Want to drive more traffic to your blog/website? Want to reinforce your brand every time you leave a comment or ask a question? Want to link to other websites without driving your traffic elsewhere? Here are 4 simple steps that you can take. They won’t take much time and they’re all free. Most of these tips are covered in greater depth elsewhere on this blog but they’re all worth mentioning again.
Tip #1 Let us get to know you!
Just like in real life, showing up where your customers (and other like-minded business people) are is important. Whether it’s a social networking event like a business expo, a BNI meeting or a Chamber of Commerce business-after-hours, networking is a valuable opportunity to build awareness of your business and form meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships. It’s the same online. The difference is, it’s harder to communicate from behind a computer monitor which makes it even more important to create an online presence and be seen out there.
Tip #2 Brand Yourself With a Username.
Start by creating a globally recognized avatar at Gravatar. It’s free and easy to do. You just create a username, tie it to your email address, add a profile picture and you’re ready to go. Once you’ve done this you’ll no longer have that generic gray icon that you see next to your comments on blogs.
Keep in mind that your username is a part of your brand, so choose it wisely. Twitter only allows 15 characters, so, you may need to get a little creative. You can go to KnowEm to see if your username is available on most of the common social networking sites. Don’t forget to register your username on as many social networking sites as you can – whether or not you ever intend to use them. It will prevent someone else from reserving it.
Tip #3 Brand Yourself With Your Email Address.
Your email address should be just as much a part of your brand as your logo, your website and your username/profile. When you use an email address from Gmail, AOL, Yahoo (or any other email service), you’re promoting their brand not yours. If you’re serious about your business, you should use an email address associated with your domain name. If you don’t have your own domain name… what is your brand?
Tip #4 Don’t Send Me Away From Your Site.
This is a pretty simple one actually. We all know that search engines love links and that they play an important role in improving your search engine ranking. A linking strategy including links to both your own posts and to other sites is an effective way to help boost your rankings in the search engines.
So, how can you link to other websites without leading people away from your site? They may not come back right? The key is to have the link open in a new window. All you need to do is to change the “target” to “Open link in a new window”. If you’re using WordPress, you’d change the target here:
What are you waiting for?
No excuses now. If you recognize yourself in any of these tips, now is the time to act. If you need help, let me know. I promise to answer – for free! I hope to see fewer generic gray icons sitting next to your user names. (I’d much rather see your smiling face or your logo.)
I’m sure many of you have been sitting there nodding in agreement and thinking . . . “Yes! I already do that!” You’re probably also thinking of many more great tips. So, what would you have included? What tips can you share that will help us build brand awareness and drive traffic to our sites while keeping the search engines happy?