A stranger stopped Mark Traphagen (@marktraphagen) at a conference and looked at him quizzically.
“’I know you. You’re in my search results’,” he recalled the man saying.
“It was my first moment of being Internet famous,” Traphagen said.
Traphagen, director of digital outreach of the Raleigh-based agency Virante, is listed in more than 32,000 Google Plus circles.
You read that correctly. 32,000.
Traphagen (@marktraphagen) and fellow SEO superstar Phil Buckley (@1918), SEO director at Virante, shared their insights with the iMedia community last Thursday about how to improve a personal or business brand’s web presence through search engine optimization.
“You have to think of leading Google through your site like a blind five-year-old.” – Phil Buckley
Associate Professor Amanda Sturgill invited Buckley and Traphagen to move their wildly successful SEO Roadshow from Raleigh to Elon. The current students, alumni and other guests were honored they agreed.
Here are some of top things from the session:
- It’s imperative that web developers and SEO specialists have experience in each other’s fields to improve communication and collaboration.
- Search engines want to know more about a page through metadata. Think about all the data on your page and let search engines know what’s the context of that data. Buckley: “You have to think of leading Google through your site like a blind five-year-old.”
- Your code should be as much a thing as art as graphic design. Keep it clean and organized.
- Use web-based tools to improve your code, such as Schematic.org and SEO-browser.com. The first adds additional metadata to your page. The latter helps you examine and understand the component parts of a Web page. It shows you what the like looks like to search engines.
- Validate your sites using Validation.w3.org because it’s one more thing that Google likes, and shows that the site is well-maintained. The Google Webmaster Team considers validation when determining a site’s quality.
- Learn how to effectively use Google Plus. Just do it. Be like Traphagen and join more than 32,000 circles.
- Pay attention to Google Authorship and Author Rank. Traphagen said, “It’s Google’s identity engine.” Google authorship allows an individual content creator to establish who they are and connect their face to all of the content they made.
- Why is Google Authorship important. It makes sure search results stand out. “And nothing stands out more than a human face.” This could be a huge factor in search later. Companies will want to feature authors who have high social capital and a large web presence and reach.
- When networking, leverage your existing connections by calling them every once in a while. Do something memorable. Buckley passes out French coins from 1918 instead of business cards.
- Build authority online by creating content. Traphagen: “The content that you create becomes a calling card for you.”
Want to read more? Chip McCraw, who attended the event, collected key #SEOatElon tweets on Storify.
DIONI L. WISE IS A FORMER NEWSPAPER REPORTER WHO WANTS TO ENHANCE HER SKILLS IN MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING AND DIGITAL MEDIA STRATEGY. SHE HAS A KNACK FOR DOING CARTWHEELS AND TURNING MUNDANE PHRASES INTO SONGS.