In this article, I will illustrate how to rank your name in Google so that your name shows up on the first page of the Google rankings. Ideally, over time, you can rank number one for a Google search on yourname but if you happen to have a name such as George Clooney, the top 10 may be your best hope.
Let me first tell you why I am writing this.
I maintain this website, Richard Cummings, to illustrate my approach to SEO, web consulting, technical training, and project management. This website is primarily accessed directly by clients to learn of my availability for projects and to read about my approach to the business.
Ironically, though I write a lot about SEO here, I do not spend a substantial amount of time doing SEO for my own website.
However, a client of mine recently wanted to create a personal website and asked, “How can I rank high for my own name in Google? I want people to be able to search for it and come up number one.”
So, I said to him, I will not only tell you how to do it…I will show you.
Thus, I created a plan for both us to reach the first page of Google when people search for our names.
How To Reach the First Page of Google For Your Name
Since I do not actively promote this site, a search for Richard Cummings in Google does not bring up this website in the top 10. Let’s see…right now…it ranks just about exactly at number 100, the last entry on the 10th page (if you are showing 10 results per page).
If my name was a non-competitive name, this would not be the case. In fact, I have friends with unique names who show up number one for their facebook.com or linked-in pages without lifting a finger.
However, I like that my name is a competitive one-it presents an SEO challenge and good chance to illustrate how solid SEO techniques work.
Let’s first take at look at who the competition is for the name Richard Cummings to determine how hard it will be to crack the top 10. Here is a look at the top 10 entries for my name.
Ok, unfortunately, I seem to share my name with a somewhat famous writer, who appears number one for the name Richard Cummings. Then, we have a plastic surgeon, a lawyer, several linked-in profiles, and several Google images which show pictures of an aged man who prefers to wear very little clothing. (It’s fairly easy to get pictures to rank in Google but do I really want to appear next to the half-clothed older man?)
In doing a quick, first-glance analysis of the competition, I think I can crack the top 10 without a problem. I will probably be able to best the lawyer, and maybe the scientist, but the writer will be a tough nut to crack. I will tell you why next week when I write about Analyzing the Competition.
So, how will I crack the top 10 and rank for my name? I will do this using basic, solid, SEO practices.
I already have all of the on-page SEO factors in place and you will notice that I do solid linking within the site for my name. (This is achieved automatically with the smart links plug-in.)
So, what is left is just one thing, but also the most time-consuming: Outside pages, ideally with a solid page rank, linking to my site using my name as anchor text.
Initially, I will just use three techniques to do this.
- Each week, I will publish two of my articles from this site on two article websites, one of which provides a do-follow backlink: ArticlesBase.com (no-follow links) and eZineArticles.com. In these articles, I will use Richard Cummings as the anchor text.
- I will comment on 10 blogs each week and ensure that half of those blogs are “do-follow”.
- I will submit one to two articles each week to on-topic blog carnivals.
Upon first glance, I believe these three techniques will bring my name to the first page of Google. I will know more after analyzing the competition next week.
How long will it take to reach the first page of Google? This is always the first question that people ask.
If someone involved in SEO provides you a short timeframe guarantee, they are either using suspect SEO techniques that will eventually get you banned from Google (read SEO: The Seven Deadly Sins) or they are outright lying.
I know what works overtime–great content with a healthy amount of inbound links using proper anchor text.
So, how long will it take to crack the top 10 for my name? My guess is 6 months or less…but I will not provide any guarantees 😉
I will write about the progress on where my name ranks once a month…subscribe below to be automatically updated.
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richard – searched your name after reading this – as of 2.2.2011 – 10 months later – you are #9 out of 1,200,000 results – nicely done
enjoyed reading a few posts on your blog – keep up the good work
Ronn, yes it looks like I cracked the top ten in Google. I think I am #1 on Yahoo and Bing for Richard Cummings as well. This is great considering that I haven’t fully implemented the strategies above…I have been working on many other income-producing projects that have taken up a good bit of my time. I think if I get back to the strategy outlined above, I can crack the top spot…maybe even ahead of that author who is very popular 🙂
Nice Article Rechard… Learnt a few things from it.. now I will implement these for my own name… since I come on top ranks for Mohd SAQIB … but I want to come up with SAQIB and SAQIB MOHD also… 😉 😉
Also for Mohd SAQIB .. I got top in google images result… but I want it for SAQIB and SAQIB MOHD too… 🙂
Thanks for sharing your thoughts…
Keep up good work.. 🙂