One of the benchmark exercises that an SEO practitioner should do is to search using his name as a key phrase. Other variations include less obvious variations like nicknames and jobs, or nickname and event. This is a vanity exercise to know where in the world they are. In the same way, this should be the first thing that they should do before engaging a client.
Every few months, I check my name on Google search, just to see if I’m on the front page. A person or a company should also do this often, to see if there are others with the same name. If a company has a website, they should also check out the results for their website name. For instance, a law firm, like Gabionza, De Santos and Partners can type in their website name, “VGS Law”, to see if they are on the first page of SERP. (They are.) I also looked up “Sol Dean of Law” and Sol Mawis of the Lyceum University of the Philippines was on the SERP.
Sometimes when you search for something, the search key words may not be the most logical, but these are the key words that you remember. Things like, “bakery at the corner of JP Rizal and Bonifacio streets”, will become more common in the following years.
I played around with my variations of my name, like “andoy seo”, and was pleasantly surprised at the results. I was on the first page of SERP, and there were several “Andoy” around. My Quora page was on the page. The funny thing about the search results was that I ran the search with “andoy SEO”, and my other links came up. This time, my picture was on the page.
This is a simple exercise to see how large your web footprint is. For those who are aggressively pursuing high visibility in search engine results, this is a simple way of finding out your ranking without going to any other analytics page. It is one way for a client or a newbie to understand the impact of SEO, and what it can do.
For those who would want a low profile, this is one way of knowing how small your footprint is. If you have a fairly active social media presence along with Facebook account, as well as Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, and you have a unique name, chances are that you would have the search results pointing at you.
Sometimes, off-page SEO is all about being active, putting up organic shares, comments and interaction with other users. For companies, they have to find out what people are trying to find when they use search engines. This is where the analytics comes in. Page analytics compile data about the website traffic and the searches. This includes search keys. On top of that, because search engines compile data for your searches, they also have data on the search keys, and you can take a look at the keywords, how many searches for the keyword, as well as how many pages use it as a keyword.
This is a more scientific way of looking up the competitive keywords. It also leads to better results.