Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a very useful tool in making sure that your chosen personal brand is front and centre when people are looking for you online. It’s why recommend paying close attention to the Google rankings of your portfolio.
It's important to note however, that rankings in search engines such as Google or Bing, are controlled by those companies and are not something that can be controlled by Clippings.me (or you).
That said, there are some easy ways to increase the chances that your portfolio will show up in a search for your name.
Step one: Ensure that your portfolio is indexable.
For search engines to link to your page, you'll need to make sure that they can find it and process it.
By default, all Clippings.me pages are indexable, which means that we invite search engines to crawl all of our profiles on a regular basis. We invest considerable time and effort into making this as easy as possible.
The only exceptions to this are pages that are deemed to have broken our rules in some way, which are noindexed.
When thinking about indexing, you should also think about the terms that you wish to be found for – in SEO parlance, these are known as “keywords”.
For instance, If you have a pen name, which you expect people to be searching for, you should use this as the name on your journalism portfolio instead of your real name.
You should mention any other secondary terms which you’d like to appear for in your subheading or profile description field.
Search engines normally assign the greatest weights to titles – which in the case of Clippings.me is normally your given profile name.
Note that Clippings.me premium members can customise the title (for instance, to make it more enticing to click on or add an additional brief description) by using the SEO Settings section in their account.
Although search engines will normally all page content and assign the highest values to titles and subheadings, you should also pay attention to the description of your page.
By default, Clippings.me uses an excerpt of your profile biography for the description which is passed to search engines.
However, if you are a Clippings.me premium member, you may wish to customise this – this can be useful in increasing clicks to your portfolio, since the meta description tag is used to help decide search engines what to display in the “snippet” that’s present against each search result.
If you wish to remove your portfolio from search engines, (for instance, because you are building your site out and are not ready for it to be indexed yet) you can access the “noindex” flag from the settings area of your Clippings.me page. Checking it will instruct search engines not to list your page (it will be dropped from the index if it’s already listed).
Step two: Linking
Although Clippings.me submits all portfolios to the search engines by default, you may wish to help with discovery of your profile page by linking to it from other sites.
This has several benefits as well as helping search engines to find the page quickly – for instance, it also helps them to determine the importance or ranking of a page (the logic being that a highly linked to page will be more interesting for other searchers).
There is some evidence that linking from social profiles is a benefit to search engine optimization, so consider your Twitter, Facebook LinkedIn profiles, as well as any websites or blogs that you can link from.
Sadly, search engine optimization is something of a black box.
It's not always easy to understand why a page ranked highly, or at all, but following these simple steps can help you to make sure that you're in the best possible shape to make your work discoverable when people search for you.
As always, the team at Clippings.me is here to help with any further inquiries. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.