The introvert’s guide to real-life SEO

In an effort to brush up on my marketing smarts, I recently started taking HubSpot Academy’s Inbound Certification classes. The course covers SEO, and as I learn more about how to use SEO to benefit clients, I realized I could use a lot of these principles to help myself — in the real world.

As an proud introvert, I hate shameless self-promotion. That’s why the idea of applying the basics of SEO to help introverts promote themselves in an introvert-friendly way appealed to me. After all, search engine optimization isn’t about throwing yourself at customers. It’s about presenting the best version of yourself when they seek you out.

Here are a couple ways to use the principles of SEO in your everyday life, introvert-style.

Give yourself a meta-description.

Meta-descriptions are those “tweet-sized” summaries on search result pages that entice searchers to click through to a page. In real life, this is your dreaded elevator pitch. The thought of crafting one of these pitches — a quick summary of who you are and what you offer — is enough to make most introverts squirm.

My challenge for you is this: think of your elevator pitch as a conversation starter, rather than a hard sell. A button that says “Learn more” rather than, “Buy Now.” After all, introverts often like to discuss ideas, rather than engage in small talk.

Keywords, keywords, keywords.

This part requires something introverts are great at — self-reflection. An excellent SEO strategy requires a well-thought out list of keywords. For this exercise, I made a list that included professional goals, things I’d like to learn, and hobbies I’d like to try out. I made these as specific as possible. In SEO, we would call them long-tail keywords.

The simple act of writing these down made them feel more obtainable. Furthermore, when someone asks, I will be able to clearly articulate my goals in a comfortable way.

Include relevant external links (in your life)

Most SEO experts agree — including relevant external links on your website is critical to obtaining high search engine rankings. The keyword here is “relevant.” Skip the show-y networking events and make connections with those relevant to you. For example, I’m interested in learning more about copywriting, so I had coffee with a local copywriter this morning to talk about his craft. From a simple coffee meet-up, I came away with loads of information about how I can get into copywriting. (Is my search rank climbing yet?)

I’ll leave you with this quote by Susan Cain from her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking:

The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers — of persistence, concentration, and insight — to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems. make art, think deeply.
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