Since 2008, Dennis Velco founded and has nurtured LinkedIn’s largest LGBTQ networking group from a concept to an international networking resource with over 46,000 global members – that grows daily. Velco is a social entrepreneur with a passion for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.
It was the driving force for Velco to launch the LGBT media crowd-sourced corporate social justice tech startup OutBüro. Additionally, OutBüro is a growing site of LGBT related business news, information, resources, and stories of careers and business owners.
Velco continues to moderate and grow the LinkedIn group yet now branded as and supported as a service of OutBüro.
For Dennis, creating, cultivating and growing the OutBüro on LinkedIn group has been a persistent and passionate endeavor.
OutBüro on LinkedIn welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT), queer, intersex and questioning professionals and entrepreneurs, along with friends, allies, recruiters and diversity professionals seeking to connect, network and communicate to advance their careers.
A Persistent Pioneer – How it began
“I’ve been on LinkedIn since way before people knew what it was, when I was living in New York City 16 years ago,” says Velco, now based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Back then it wasn’t as prominent as it is today. I put it on the backburner for a couple of years. As more clients began to mention it in casual conversation in late in 2007, I got more involved and did what most people do-I filled it out like a resume and began to prospect on it.”
As he became more involved, Velco began noticing other features of the networking service, especially the preponderance of collegiate alumni association groups listed on people’s profiles.
“I scoured LinkedIn searching for an LGBT Group and looking up very prominent LGBT community members to see if their profiles had any LGBT group listed. I found nothing,” he says. After several patient inquiries and a few months of back and forth, it turned out the site wasn’t hosting an LGBTQ networking group.
Velco contacted LinkedIn providing a strong case for an LGBT group on the site. Eventually, LinkedIn gave the green light, and Velco agreed to be the group’s owner and moderator voluntarily donating his time and resources.
He approached the project with fervor and a sense of mission. “I felt and continue to feel it is vital to have a strong open and out LGBT presence on the world’s largest professional networking site,” he says. “People are much more likely to be out on Facebook yet still hesitant to be out on LinkedIn.” At Velco’s request, all groups on LinkedIn offer the option to hide a group’s membership on public profiles.
Adding Members & Content
Once LinkedIn signed off, Velco jumped in with both feet, embracing the project, donating hours of time each day – including weekends – to building the group, taking a labor-intensive, trial-and-error approach.
“I would search LinkedIn and find profiles of people that had ‘LGBT, GLBT, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer and so forth’ in their listing and send them invitations to join the group. I’d have to be careful to weed out people who have ‘Gay’ in their names,” he says. “I then would send each person a personalized invitation to join the group.”
Building and maintaining this group has been a labor of love. “My past life partner thought I was crazy in the beginning of building it due to the amount of time and personal money I was investing in the group. The first several years I would spend anywhere from two to six hours a day combing the Internet for pertinent content to post,” Velco recalls.
“March 2018 will mark ten years that I’ve done this voluntarily,” he says.
In addition to writing pieces for the group, Velco searched international news sites to curate LGBTQ-focused, business-oriented pieces. “I would strive to stay non-political and avoid content that would alienate members,” he says. “I’d try to get global content because I didn’t want it to just be an echo chamber of U.S. and Canadian content. I can’t wait until LinkedIn gets automatic translations because I would like all members to be able to contribute, view and participate in their native language. I believe that being an English only site is a deterrent to many. Having such a feature I believe would increase member active participation.”
Nixing NSFW Content
Despite what a handful of aspiring members might think, LinkedIn is not an adjunct to Grindr or a Circuit Party Facebook page. Deflecting accusations of being sex-negative, Velco has spent a fair amount of time screening out applicants who submit genital images as their profile photos. As a business-oriented (rather than social) site, even shirtless pictures are typically verboten.
“Policing the group is important because while Facebook is typically banned at most businesses via the company internet, LinkedIn is not,” he emphasizes. I want OutBüro main site and our channels such as OutBüro on LinkedIn to remain Fortune 1000 level office friendly.
“I hold to LinkedIn’s terms of service. I’ve had to moderate and get involved with spats and even had a stalker who ended up banned from LinkedIn for life. I’ve had blatant anti-LGBT content in profiles. Every single person’s profile in the group must be reviewed by me to a degree.”
Partnering with StartOut
In 2017, as StartOut investigated new channels for outreach, freelance Marketing Director John Graham reached out to Velco to see if the two groups could cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship, one that would boost StartOut’s member recruitment.
“I knew how large the LinkedIn group was and how it made sense to develop a partnership with him. It’s a large channel to find LGBTQ entrepreneurs and those who support them,” Graham says. “The OutBüro on LinkedIn group has been one of the most effective means to continue growing StartOut memberships/registrations. It has been nearly 11 times more effective than Facebook.”
Today he’s exploring his new home town of Wilton Manors and the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area.
The group has from high school students through White House staff of both the Obama and Trump administration and every role in between. “Knowing that people at that level value the group enough to have an open LGBT or they are friendly representatives present makes me feel great. My effort to date has been well spent.”
Nevertheless, Dennis and his passionate quest continue with OutBüro being part of the evolution. He states, “I feel good because OutBüro is about helping people and companies/organization be better and make good decisions be being a resource and a tool of communication, growth, and change.”
November 7, 2018 (updated June 18, 2019) Published by Dennis Velco
Are you seeking ways to grow and make the most of either your online or face-to-face gay professional networking for your LGBTQ owned business as an entrepreneur or grow your professional career be it a dog walker, attorney, project manager or other? Making connections face to face is always the ideal since it provides an opportunity to casually and naturally discuss your business or career in the course of a natural conversation. However, in today’s times of social media and everything internet, you’d be remiss if you don’t also take advantage of the incredible resources available to grow your business or career locally, nationally and globally online.
On Facebook, take a good look at your Facebook history. Does it need a bit of a scrubbing? In any case, I highly recommend you lock your Facebook account down so that only “friends” who are connected with you can see your postings and photos – especially if you like to post photos of nights out shirtless dancing or more.
Likewise for all other social media accounts. This is especially true if job hunting. The recruiters WILL check out your social media accounts even if not listed on your resume or LinkedIn profile. They’ll hunt it down to see what kind of postings you put out there. So lock them down, and/or keep them clean.
Wow, did you just get a “friend” invite from a smoking hot guy or gal? Be careful, that could be an account for the recruiter or prospective client to check you out behind your locked down account. Yes – it happens.
2. Define your realistic goals
What are you trying to achieve with your gay professional networking? Are you trying to land a new job, or gain new clients/customers? Networking takes time and energy. You cannot wait until you really need it to start. It has to be built over time. So many job seekers and small business owners don’t get this and set their expectations unrealistically. So when it doesn’t pay off right away they give up thinking there is no value in professional networking. Marketing 101 says it takes 12-18 or so impressions of your brand to make a memory. Social networking is similar. You must put in the efforts and follow the tips below to create a repeatable impression so that you stick in the minds and get those calls for that new job or call from potential clients/customers. Define your goals and be realistic. Magic and miracles happen because you take action and follow through with both a 3-6 month range goals and a longer term 6-12 month goals.
3. Identify your ideal contact types
You don’t target a company – you target a person. Go narrow and deep (versus wide and broad), and find out who works in your ideal department and who makes the decisions for what you are after. From online profiles to press releases. The resources to discover your ideal contacts are out there.
4. Identify your “strategic contacts”
With all the online information, there is almost no reason for a cold-call or cold-email anymore.
“Strategic Contacts” are contacts who can make important introductions to your target contacts.
5. Put yourself out there
There are a few ways to give your gay professional networking strategy a push in the more active direction, but one of the best is obviously to be face-to-face.
Sign up for conferences or events, which are typically jam-packed with valuable information. Plus, most events give you plenty of time to mingle to start to build professional relationships. Get their contact information and before you leave schedule a get-together for coffee.
Consider volunteering with local or national charities. It’s a great way to both give to your community as well as make new friends and contacts with similar interests.
Try a new organized hobby or sport. It’s a way to get out of your routine as well as also make new friends and contacts not to mention sports such as hiking or others is a great health benefit too.
6. Social media works
Social media has its limitations, but you can take advantage of what it has to offer following these tips.
I get amazed by how many people I chat with, like just this week, who are in a job search mode and when I ask if they are on LinkedIn they say NO. I hold my internal response to that and simply reply, “Well, it’s the largest online professional site and recruiters use it prolifically to find active and passive candidates. Get on it today, and once your LinkedIn profile is completed indicate that you are in the job market via its tools. It’s simple and just take a little bit of time to set up following our 37 tips for the queer professional profile on LinkedIn.
There are thousands of groups all over LinkedIn that create industry-specific communities. In addition, there are some that are topically focused while still remaining professional such as the OutBüro on LinkedIn.
Making LinkedIn work for you
Follow companies and check out who works there.
You can leverage LinkedIn’s search for the job title or keyword and then filter it by a company. Nice!!
Scroll through the search results you discover potential new contacts, job titles, positions, and companies.
LinkedIn saves your recent searches for easy access again.
Be judicious – as a free LinkedIn member, there’s a limit to the number of search result monthly that LinkedIn serves up. If you find yourself repeatedly hitting that ceiling, consider a professional level account for a few months.
After your initial contact and introduction get the conversation OFF LinkedIn into a direct email, phone or in person as soon as possible. You’ll quickly find that messages via LinkedIn get lost in all the connection notices you are making.
OutBüro was launched in April 2018 with a goal to provide a unique space for LGBT professionals of all levels in career and entrepreneurs to:
Connect and network
Form industry or topically focused groups for further interaction
Find a or be a professional mentor
Gain exposure through posting articles and press releases add SEO love to your own website.
Gain exposure through company featured articles about your career, business or your employers
Provide the only LGBTQ anonymous employee rating system for their employers similar to Glassdoor.com
… and growing in content and features
In addition to connecting with real and desired “friends,” you should check out LGBT focused, industry-focused and topic-focused groups. Facebook is cluttered a bit much with images of cute kittens and what someone is having for dinner. It’s possible to professionally network yet quite a bit more work to do so.
6e. Other social media sites
You have to leverage the social media sites where your target connections and audience hang out be it Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or others.
7 Don’t be shy
Don’t be afraid to reach out and make mutually beneficial connections online. You can find common ground with almost anyone, so using this can be an icebreaker. Make sure your language is not only professional but authentic when reaching out as well.
8. Customize your connection request
When connecting online, send a customized note about why you are reaching out to this person. Did you meet them somewhere? What do you have in common or why would they want to connect with you? Use their first name in the connection message. Keep it brief.
9. Provide and offer value
Focus on giving value to your new contacts, rather than only on what you want from others. Take this rule both in person and online. Like and make thoughtful pertinent comments on other people’s conversation and postings. In person, a good listener asks questions. As they see your genuine interest in them and what they do, they’ll provide the same opportunity for you to share as well.
10. Hash it out
When sharing your own content, re-posting content from a site or commenting, consider leveraging hash tags to gain more visibility. On LinkedIn, you may also follow hash tags to discover great content and people in the topics and industries you are interested in. Engaging and interacting with your non-contacts and contacts alike strengthens those connections and builds your credibility which can lead to opportunities.
11. Professional associations
Get involved in all professional associations that you can. It’s a great way to build your industry knowledge, gain certification as well as network for career opportunities. There are many LGBT focused professional associations to compliment your general ones too.
12. Chambers of Commerce
If you’re a business owner, participating in your local chamber of commerce is a great way to make connections with complimentary business and build a referral network. Many areas also have LGBT Chambers of Commerce too. They provide not only networking opportunities but also education and other resources valuable to the entrepreneur.
If job seeking, you might consider volunteering at the chamber to gain access to all those business owners. That networking could lead to a new job.
13. Nurture your relationships
According to Forbes, 23% of more than 2,200 CFOs agreed that failing to keep in touch or only reaching out when you need something is the greatest networking mistake that professionals make.
There are lots of ways to stay in contact and on their mind. After you’ve gotten to know them a little, you might provide them skill endorsements on LinkedIn. Maybe you might pass along another contact that would be mutually valuable. If you have the opportunity you might connect a great candidate for an open position they have that’s not a fit for you. You’ll comment thoughtfully on their postings. You’ll share their press releases. A little activity can go a long way and build in building a rapport.
14. Networking vs. cruising
Okay, some might think even writing this is just a step beyond. But because I’ve seen it happen to others as well as I’ve had it happen to me, it’s worth stating. When you are in the mode of professional networking, keep it focused on just that. Trying to mix your professional networking and using it as a pick up / hook up vehicle can mean you are too focused on that guy/gal and missing potential professional opportunities.
Can you meet someone via professional networking event that you are personally attracted too? ABSOLUTELY. But, in the space of networking, keep that conversation brief, exchange numbers, and schedule to meet after the event or another day. Remember why you are there.
Also if at a venue where alcohol is being served – have a drink or two, but your always safe with water. Go out and have your fun after the business event.
Gay professional networking is not a “one-off activity”. If you follow the tips above, you can start building your network and leveraging those connections to help build your business or grow your career.
Studies show that the key to long-term career success is having a great network. Making yourself known and respected in the community, be it local or online will open up a variety of doors to opportunities.
Have an LGBTQ related news tips focused on the professional side of life? Contact us to get the word out.
November 5, 2018 (updated June 18, 2019) Published by Dennis Velco
To discuss your LinkedIn profile as a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer professional, we first must cover some basics because as an LGBTQ professional we have a bit of a challenge in comparison to heterosexuals which can make networking and hunting for your next career move a bit daunting. Like 72% of LGBTQ professionals, you may have experienced discrimination and harassment on the job at your current or past employers. This can make you feel a bit of trepidation when hunting for a new job wondering, “should I stay and endure or should I go to a hopefully better more LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming work environment.”
Companies Large and Small are LGBTQ Enthusiastically Welcoming
Luckily, many companies have realized that being diversity open and welcoming toward LGBTQ employees by providing LGBTQ friendly and equal benefits and policies literally provide the company with huge benefits culturally and financially. Corporations and organizations can be the bridge to equality even during turbulent waters of an unfriendly political administration. If applying for a new job at a Fortune 1000 level company be sure to check out the latest HRC Corporate Equality Index for a listing of companies and their LGBTQ employee friendly HRC score. But, companies of all sizes all over the world are waking up to this and providing LGBTQ friendly benefits and policies. Some large companies today even have a diversity and inclusion HR recruiter dedicated to recruiting great LGBTQ talent. Be sure to check out our article on job seeking as an LGBTQ employee for additional tips.
Whether you are currently actively looking for a new job or passively open to being contacted by recruiters with potential opportunities, in addition to LinkedIn consider joining the growing site of OutBüro and add your resume to the searchable database. It is rapidly growing and adding new companies, diversity recruiters, information and features to better serve you and the global LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur community.
Build your LinkedIn profile and network before you need it
Follow the guideline tips below to jump-start your gay professional networking and job search. When you’re not looking for a job, it can be all to easy to ignore your LinkedIn. In conversations, I’ve heard so many people say, “I’m not searching for a job right now so I never go onto LinkedIn.” MISTAKE. You don’t show up for a first date and before server asks for your drink order ask your date to marry you and move in – right? I hope not else your dating life is dismal. Professional networking is the same. You need to build the relationships and nurture them. That starts with having a fabulous profile.
Here, I’ve pulled together what you need to know about making your LinkedIn profile sparkle and dazzle.
The most overused buzzwords on resumes and profiles are responsible, creative, effective, analytical, strategic, patient, expert, organizational, driven, and innovative. Drop all the overly used common words and make your resume and profile stand out with fabulous action verbs that make you look like a superhero in your field. Also, consider using a grammar app like Grammarly.com. I love that tool.
3. Resistance is futile
Keep in mind that today large companies use artificial intelligence to search their database and the internet for resumes with key terms in complex formats. So you need to cover the skills simply, directly and in plain language.
4. Get past the first rung
Remembering that often the first actual person who sees your resume or assessing your LinkedIn profile will likely be a junior recruiter who likely has zero knowledge of the industry and your skills. They are looking to see if your resume has all boxes checked before moving it along to the next review step. Many junior recruiters are fresh out of college. Keep it simple and clear while still being complete.
5. Job Duties – ditch ‘em
As you review and update your resume be sure to say bye-bye Felicia to job duties on your resume. Showcase your achievements to demonstrate that you’re a high performer. This will translate to your LinkedIn Profile too where it will catch the attention of recruiters.
6. Snap that pic
Like a good queer in the digital age, you know your profile picture will be the first thing that grabs attention on a site or app. LinkedIn is really no different – except it’s professional only. If starting a new LinkedIn profile. It can be casual and even goofy but keep it corporate office friendly. If you are not a professional fitness coach, keep the shirt on. I love a hot torso shot like the next gay guy, but LinkedIn is not the place for that unless it directly relates to your work.
Have a little fun trying different shirts, poses, backgrounds and more. Just give a smile, be sure it’s clear, friendly and appropriate for your industry and level in your career. Even if you have to wear a suit and tie it can still be professional yet show some personality.
7. Don’t be a mystery
Complete your profile to it’s fullest. The more content the better chances a recruiter will come across it in their searches. Touch and add to every section of the profile, from title, summery, employment history, skills, get endorsements and so forth. LinkedIn actually automatically suggests profiles areas you have not completed. Take note and complete them if appropriate. Think of it this way, have you ever been on a “dating” app and you see a great profile pic then click through and there’s absolutely no profile info? Makes ya wonder. Don’t expect recruiters to think you’re so hot in your photo that they send you a message saying, “Hey, what’s up? What skills do you have and are you available now?” They won’t. They’ll just ignore you and move on.
8. Custom URL – no it’s not vanity
Having a custom URL makes sharing it so much easier. But don’t get cute with stuff like “AwesomeGuy” or “AmazingProgramer”. Keep it simple and professional. The best is www.linkedin.com/in/yourname See instructions from LinkedIn here.
9. Make your profile headline awesome
Your job title and company really shouldn’t be your profile headline. Think of this as your self-marketing tagline. Check out our list of fabulous action verbs to be on message while conveying action. What is it about you that sets you apart? Maybe highlight very briefly your biggest kick-butt thing you accomplished in your last role. Look at other profiles in your industry. Do you see a common theme? If so, don’t be a sheep following the masses. Make your’s stand out as unique showcasing your value proposition. This headline will be constantly visible as you participate in groups, like and share content as well as visible in recruiter search results and when potential contacts are making a quick decision to invite you to connect or accept your invitation to connect.
10 Craft it based on job descriptions
Review several job descriptions from companies you are targeting. Notice keywords and phrases that appear often in some or all and ensure those same words are scattered throughout your profile and summary. Not as duties as mentioned earlier, but within your accomplishments. You can bet that recruiters are using those same keywords when searching for their next candidate.
11. Leverage the summary space
Your profile summary should be just a short overview of your top skills and qualification and maybe include a list of the top few industries you’ve worked in that is also your target ideal job. Keep it short. Usually 3-4 few sentence paragraphs is idea and if you can work in a short bulleted list. This is meant to give the viewer enough information to want to know more.
12. Numbers are good
Include quantifiable numbers in your resume and LinkedIn profile. It can convey your value and credibility. For example, “Founded, built and moderate LinkedIn’s largest LGBT professional networking group with currently 45,000 global members” or “Reduce IT software annual maintenance agreements by 28% within 6 months in Fortune 1000 level financial service firm”.
13. Show personality
Your LinkedIn profile summary is your chance to shine and stand out. Be professional yet write in with a little personality too like you are having a conversation. It’s a brief opportunity for the viewer to get to know you and tell if you might be a good fit for their work culture.
14. Don’t be a queen
England’s queen can get away with talking in 3rd person. No one is going to believe someone else other than yourself completed your profile. So use language as if you are directly speaking to someone, not like it’s a Forbes article a journalist wrote about you. So when appropriate use “I am passionate ____”. This is one area where your resume and LinkedIn profile differs.
15. Be current
Sure you have to list all the relative jobs with the amazing experience you’ve had in the past, but what if you are currently unemployed or reentering the job market? On your LinkedIn profile, you need to enter something with a “current” date. Why? Most recruiters almost always use your current title and description in their searches. They then look beyond that if it captures their attention. If needed create a dummy job listing and use this to list all related experience you have marketing toward your ideal job. Use the job title for that and if not currently employed consider adding “Seeking” as the company.
16. Contact info
Be sure you add at minimum your email address and phone number to your profile. Also add any other social media accounts you are comfortable with being found by and looked at.
17. Add a website
If you currently do not have a portfolio or about me website, strongly consider creating one. It can complement your resume and LinkedIn profile. If you aren’t technical there are many platforms available to get it up easily such as Wix and others. Also for under $10 you can obtain a URL from sites like Domain.com. On this personal branding website showcase all the work and projects that make you stand out. It’s a great way to move beyond the confines of a resume or LinkedIn profile to communicate your talents and value while presenting a little personality and flair. Naturally, for entrepreneurs, it will be your company website. When completed add the website to your LinkedIn profile.
18. Jazz up your summary with multimedia
On your summary, you are able to addWord documents, Excel files, PowerPoint presentations, pictures, screenshots, video, pdf’s and other electronic files. Maybe add your full resume do it’s accessible for recruiters to download. Perhaps it’s company brochures or branding images. You may want to consider hosting these files on Google Drive.
19. Add certifications
Adding certifications to your profile is a great way to showcase your knowledge and achievements.You may consider adding the text in your summary or job experience. However, adding the actual certification section, via Achievements to your profile will allow recruiters who are looking for a candidate with a certain certification to find you who leverage the specific fields meant for that content.
20. Add projects
You can leverage the projects feature to further build your profile allowing a greater range of skills, talents, and accomplishments to be featured making all the content search-able to find you.
21. Add volunteer experience
Have you gained some great experience volunteering? Add it to your profile in the Volunteer Experience section of your profile. Maybe you didn’t gain work-related skills serving food to disabled veterans or cleaning kennels at your local animal shelter, but adding it to your profile demonstrates that you are a well-rounded person who is involved in your community. It could make you stand out as just the right candidate.
22. Add languages
Do you speak French, German or Mandarin? Adding the languages you speak can be a great way to differentiate yourself on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
23. Get LinkedIn endorsements regularly
When you hear, “you did an amazing job”, ask the person to provide you an endorsement on LinkedIn. Don’t be bashful about specifying what you would like them to say. You might even consider drafting the endorsement based on what they said, naturally suggesting they edit it as they see fit before posting. In that provide a link to your LinkedIn profile. Both these actions will make it super easy increasing the odds that they will follow through with doing it.
24. Delete/hide a recommendation
It’s great that someone had the thought and took the time to provide you an endorsement, but every now and then you might receive one that is not aligned with the direction of your career. It could be in your best interest to delete/hide it from your profile.
25. Keep it clean
With all the options you have to add content to your profile on LinkedIn, I’ll also say, “Don’t feel you have to fill in every single thing.” Just because you can, does not mean you must or should. Keep your profile clean and as minimal as possible while conveying your professional experience and direction. I for example with my new direction in life removed absolutely all of my past technology project management entries. Why? Because it’s not where I’m going. If you worked at McDonald’s 8 years ago and it’s not relevant to where you are now and where you are going – don’t add it or remove it now.
Also, be brief with just enough nuggets of information to make your profile show up in the searches and WOW the recruiter or prospective client. The profile is not an essay. If you want to add more content check out the below tip of adding articles.
Profile all Set – get social
26. Update Your Status
LinkedIn is not the place to post what you ate for lunch. Keep yourself visible in the activity stream by updating your status. Just keep it professional and ideally focused on your industry. Share industry articles, news and company updates.
27. Be social
As you see content from others, like, share and make thoughtful comments on what others post.
28. Follow topics & use hashtags
LinkedIn recently implemented hashtags which now provides you the opportunity to follow them as topics as well as put them in your status updates/postings and comments to push your stuff into those same topics for others to discover beyond those you are connected directly to.
29. Follow companies and people’s
If you are just starting out on LinkedIn your news activity stream will be a ghost town. You need to jump into liking and commenting thoughtfully on what others post. This will be visible in your activity and can boost your exposure. So, judiciously follow industry leaders and companies that you are interested in. You can follow people that you are not directly connected to. From their profile choose the more “…” and then select “follow”. Visit company pages and select the “follow company” button. If you go a little gangbusters at first you can always unfollow them in the future. They won’t get notified if you unfollow – so no feelings hurt.
30. Write article content
Anyone can publish an article on LinkedIn.If you already have a blog it’s a great way to repost your content, building your personal brand and increasing the content associated with your profile thus improving your visibility in searches. Be sure to explore all the LinkedIn Article features. For examples check out articles I’ve posted via my own profile. Use hashtags in your article to increase its exposure. Ideally, you’ll add a featured image and call to action images in your article (search the internet for “free images” – never just download something you see on another website – not cool). Cover the topic and show a little personality while remaining professional.
31. Be a groovy groupie
LinkedIn Groups can be an indispensable resource. Just like your general site activity, the more active you are in a group the more exposure you will have and build a branded reputation as a thought leader, a nice person and an interesting conversationalist. There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn. Choose wisely. Search for your industry and topics of interest, such as OutBüro on LinkedIn which is the oldest, largest, most active and moderated LGBTQ professional networking group with, as of this writing, 45,000 global members.
Via your group settings, you can control the communications from the group as well as hide a group from your public profile. You may also directly message any other group member so that increases your reach on LinkedIn. You may find another group member works for a target company you seek to work at or do business with and have the group as a conversation opener. Keep your group posting and commenting activity focused on the group topic.
32. Connect with others
You may have come across other articles about LinkedIn that say to only invite people to directly connect with you that you actually know. Okay, that is the premise of LinkedIn. But would you attend a local in-person business networking event only to grab a few snacks, maybe have a beer and talk with ONLY the people you already know? If so, you just should have invited those friends over for a BBQ in your backyard. What was your point of attending the networking event if not to meet NEW people? Right?
LinkedIn should be no different. It is about expanding your reach and exposure.
I’ll admit, I’m a prolific connector. It has paid off and will continue to bring new opportunities in many ways.
If you are new to LinkedIn, I won’t put a number on how many connections you should have. But think of this. If seeking a new job or reaching out to new client potentials and your LinkedIn profile as next to no other connections, what will a recruiter or prospect think?
This person has been living under a rock.
This person obviously has no value to bring me since others don’t find value in connecting with them.
This person scared of social media and maybe technology as a whole.
This person is not dynamic enough.
This person will not fit into our work culture.
Do not be that person. You are welcome to invite me to connect to get your connecting on a strong path. I’ve been on LinkedIn for 17 years – way before it was much – and have over 24,000 1st degree connections which will then be your 2nd-degree connections. My connections span the globe and industries.
33. Search privately
Via your LinkedIn privacy settings, you can choose the way your profile appears when you are checking out other profiles. You may not want every person to know you visited their profile. Not a problem. Set your privacy settings and jump in with no trails left behind.
34. Job hunting secretly
If you are seeking a new job yet currently employed, you may not want the current employer to be aware you are looking for greener pastures. No worries, in your LinkedIn privacy settings set your “Job seeking preference.”
35. Send a message
When you are asking to connect with someone on LinkedIn, don’t just click “connect”. You receive a much better acceptance rate if you choose the “send a message” feature. Take moment and check out their profile to see where you have commonalities and personalize the very short message. It might read, “Hi Bob, I see you’re the director of the Dallas LGBT center. My work focuses on providing information and resources to LGBQ professionals and entrepreneurs. I’d love to connect on here.”
36. Engage, ask and thank
After someone accepts your connection or you accept theirs, reach back out with a short “Appreciate the connection” message. If you think there’s a good reason to, ask for a short introduction phone call. Do NOT just start spamming the person with over received “offers” to improve their website and SEO. I get those several times a week. I just hit delete and then assess if I really want that person in my network
37. It’s not a dating site
Could there be a chance of meeting someone via LinkedIn for dating? Maybe. I’m guilty of receiving a connection request, checking out the profile and thinking, “Holy crap, he’s hot as f*(k !!” But that’s not the intent of the site. And personally, if not local, what’s the point of that train of thought? I’ve read about a woman using it as a dating site. Normally, most frown upon that approach on LinkedIn.
Do you have tips on what’s been successful for you in your use of LinkedIn? Use the comments below to share your ideas, tips, and tricks for us all to grow together.
October 31, 2018 (updated June 18, 2019) Published by Dennis Velco
BringMeGift Vacation & Business Travel App and OutBüro have partnered for a fun contest/game. Download the BringMeGift App, Register as a Service provider, create your fun and interesting service offer listings for vacation and business travelers between Oct 31 and Nov 7, 2018. The individual with the most offers listed will win $200 from BringMeGift. Also, for those that download the BringMeGift App, also the first 100 people to also register for free on www.OutBuro.com will receive a discount code for 50% your BringMeGift monthly service provider fees. After registering on both, send a short message to OutBüro via Support Contact form to receive one of only 100 discount codes for BringMeApp.
October 28, 2018 (updated June 18, 2019) Published by Dennis Velco
BringMeGift is the brainchild of Viсtor Semeniaka a Belarusian developer who had the vision to bring the global gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community a unique tool to make your next travel exciting and personal.
To take the BringMeGift to the next level he moved to New York City and was accepted to participate in the startup accelerator at Starta Ventures. Further, BringMeGift has made a smart move in creating a relationship with Mr. Matt Skallerud, founder of Pink Banana Media, who is very adept at reaching the target LGBT market through online marketing. BringMeGift is a unique approach and seeking investors who share their vision.
This is built on an invite-only trusted network concept. Mr. Semeniaka believes that this will make users of the amazing new app feel more confident in creating the vacation experience of a lifetime. What makes this new travel tool so interesting is the ability to either pay directly for a service offered, or barter – offering a gift, thus the name BringMeGift. For example, say you have a favorite Spanish wine that can only be purchased there. If you live in the US, you cannot get it. So, if you offer a service, say the use of your spare room, be a local guide for an afternoon or more to a Spanish traveler you may request they bring you a few bottles of that so much loved wine in return. Then sit back and sip away.
Offer a home cooked meal for example coupled with great conversation. What a great way to be a global citizen and make new friends. Offer the use of your car for a few hours or a day. Offer to be a hiking guide in local parks. Offer to be a shopping guide. Nearly anything can be offered and requested in return.
This is not just for your vacation. As a past extensive business traveler myself, I would have absolutely loved an app like this during those times. Business travels can be so mundane with few options to get out of the hotel after work. I spent many evenings sipping cocktails at bars just so I’d have someone to talk to that wasn’t work related. With BringMeGift, on your business travels you can offer to bring a token of your appreciation and explore the city with a local and make great friends if you find yourself in that location again.
Naturally, the participants will have to keep country customs and airline baggage restrictions in mind.
About Starta Ventures: Starta Accelerator’s mission is to introduce startups with European R&D roots to best practices, trusted advisors and mentors, and overcome cultural differences through a customized educational program that helps startups gain traction in the United States and become part of the local startup and investing ecosystem. To put it simply we do everything we can and everything that you need to expand into the American market and succeed globally.
About Pink Banana Media: Pink Banana integrate s the power and reach of content & social media marketing with traditional online strategies including banner ads and e-mail campaigns. We merge PR, Advertising, Marketing & Social Media.
Send us your news tip regarding LGBT owned businesses and/or companies focusing on the LGBT community.
Pride in STEM is a charitable trust run by an independent group of LGBT+ scientists & engineers from around the world. Proud of who we are and what we do.
STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) seem to have low numbers of out LGBT+ people, both for personal or environmental reasons. By showing that not everyone working in STEM fits the same mould, we hope to challenge the general public’s perceptions of what scientists should be like.It is becoming more and more evident that embracing diversity, in all its forms, is vital for the future of the innovation that science, and the world, relies so heavily upon.
“Solving these problems requires nothing short of a revolution in how we do science, talk about science, and how we expect science to be. We need inclusive and intersectional changes. To solve the many diverse challenges humanity is facing in the twenty-first century we cannot afford losing people from minority backgrounds,” said Dr. Alfredo Carpineti, Chair and Founder of Pride in STEM, a British charitable trust, and one of the primary organizers of the initiative.
The other co-organisers are House of STEM, a network of LGBTQ+ people working in STEM in Ireland, InterEngineering, an organization for LGBT inclusion in Engineering and Out in STEM, a U.S. society educating and fostering leadership for LGBTQA people in the STEM fields. The discussion that started LGBTSTEMDay looked at the most effective way to promote role models and engage the different communities to which we belong. Discussions quickly became plans, and organizations such as Science Gallery, Ecsite, and the CERN LGBT group, immediately pledged their support.
When the project was announced in March, it quickly spread throughout the scientific and LGBTSTEM community. People and organizations got in touch to help bring the project to completion. There are currently 30 events happening across three continents, and we are supported by 42 organizations, among which we find international collaboration such as CERN and the European Space Agency.
“This support truly gives you hope. We formed our network last year to bring together a community of LGBTQ+ scientists in Ireland. And now we are building an incredible international family of groups and organizations, all working to make STEM more diverse and inclusive. LGBTSTEMDay is an exciting opportunity to bring that family together, in a truly global push towards improving the visibility and representation of LGBTQ+ people in STEM”. Dr Shaun O’Boyle founder of House of STEM, added.
LGBTSTEMDay is not going to be the be all and end all for this project. It is a beginning. Other organizations have approached inclusion issues with similar strategies so the expectation is that a day of recognition can go a long way in helping to raise awareness and increase support. This can be a new and important component of the global push to increase diversity and inclusion in STEM.
Dr. Carpineti stated “LGBTSTEMDay won’t fix all the issues, but it will shine a big light on them. We are sure it will start conversations, and that’s so important. Ignorance kills. It is time to stop pretending that the STEM disciplines are not influenced by politics and social changes. Some science might be done in a physical vacuum, but no science is done in a historical one.”
LGBTSTEMDay will predominantly be an online initiative with posts by organizations big and small. Individuals will share stories, photos, and videos about being LGBTQ+ in STEM. Help us share this hashtag with the world, and further broaden the reach of our cause.
September 14, 2018 (updated June 18, 2019) Published by Dennis Velco
Getting coverage for business launch, new service, successes, and milestones can be difficult. Press releases are still an essential part of getting the word out about your business or organization. Using press release distribution services are great, but no certainty that your press release will see the light of day or be targeted to the LGBT professional community you seek.
OutBüro is the fastest growing LGBT professional and entrepreneur focused website with great page ranking. On OutBüro you have a platform to promote your business/organization in many ways. We’ll always remain professionally focused office friendly even if that means excluding some segments that have plenty of coverage elsewhere. Your news will not be competing with circuit party ads or Hollywood gossip.
Free Press Release Submission – Self Serve
After joining OutBüro for free, complete your personal profile. On your profile, you have the ability to submit articles to promote your business products, services and industry similar to submitting articles on LinkedIn. After your submitted article is reviewed and approved it will become part of the OutBüro main blog. Be sure to choose the category “Press Release” and other categories as pertinent. Contact us to potentially add categories. Be sure to add a great captivating featured image too.
Press Release – Full SEO Optimization and Leverage the OutBüro Growing Online Universe
At OutBüro we know how to maximize the search engine results for your press release. We leverage full-page text and image optimization techniques targeting the LGBT professional and entrepreneur. We can do the same to expand that to your niche market if not solely LGBT focused. Not only would it appear branded on our blog, we’ve built an off-site social media distribution network that includes our own LinkedIn LGBT Professional Networking Group with 45,000 global members. Submit your press release for a small fee to cover the cost of our time in editing, SEO optimizing, image cost and image editing and our time is socially promoting your news.
Create A Group on OutBüro
You are amazing at what you do. Demonstrate it by being a leader on OutBüro. Start a business/organization, industry or topic-focused group in where you are the group administrator. Post regularly, invite your network to it and engage your audience. As your group grows and you engage you will be viewed as the leader in your field and can turn that into opportunities.
Online LGBT Business Citation
Add your LGBT company/organization or company seeking LGBT employees to the OutBüro company directory. After joining OutBüro, anyone may add a company/organization of any size and anywhere in the world for free. The free listing has limitation such as no website URL, no social media links and cannot list if they have LGBT friendly company policies. Gain the full features and demonstrate your support of the LGBT community with a full feature listing. There is a non-profit rate with full feature too.
After adding your company OutBüro company directory invite staff and volunteers to join OutBüro and rate/review your business/organization from their LGBT employee/volunteer perspective. Have them share what a great experience they have working for you. We have company review guidelines and moderate when necessary.
Though LinkedIn is a valuable professional networking tool, not all of us feel comfortable being ‘out’ in that setting. Glassdoor offers quality insight around what it’s like to work at specific companies, but it doesn’t share experience specific to LGBT employees. That’s why you need the LGBT networking site, OutBüro.
Learn more about the LGBT networking site, OutBüro:
Meet LGBT networking leader, Dennis Velco of OutBüro
Dennis Velco is the Founder and CEO of OutBüro, an LGBT networking site for entrepreneurs and professionals. The site allows users to network, submit resumes to a searchable database, and rate companies anonymously from an LGBT perspective. It also provides a forum where companies of any size can connect with LGBT candidates through active recruiting.
Dennis joins us to discuss the impetus for OutBüro, describing the platform as a safe space for LGBT job-seekers. He offers insight around joining an employee resource group at work OR creating one of your own and addresses the common disconnect between a company’s inclusive policies and how LGBT employees are actually treated in the workplace. Listen in for Dennis’ advice around promoting diversity and inclusion year-round and learn how you can reap the benefits of joining the OutBüro community!
Topics covered about LGBT networking
The impetus for OutBüro
LinkedIn and Glassdoor’s ‘little gay baby’
Safe space for LGBT job-seekers
Forum for companies looking for talent
The capabilities of the OutBüro site
Connect with mentors, VCs and join groups
Communicate without limitations
Submit resume to the searchable database
Rate companies anonymously
Users demonstrate expertise via blogging
The value of LGBT-friendly policies
Impact on quality of life, job satisfaction
Affects long-term earning potential
Policy doesn’t always reflect reality
How OutBüro is different from the HRC Corporate Equality Index
Includes any company of any size
Offers feedback loop from employees
Dennis’ advice around coming out at work
Individual choice (may not feel safe)
Join employee resource group
Create an informal network of peers
Dennis’ take on promoting inclusion in advertising all year long
Visibility leads to awareness, awareness leads to equality
Economic value informs how marketing dollars spent
Dennis’ insight around shifting focus away from sex and politics
Most oppressed usually most sexually outrageous
The tendency to act out under ultra-conservative administration
Get Focused to Improve Your LGBT Business Search Rankings
Today LGBT Entrepreneurs must focus on gaining high-quality backlinks surrounded by topically focused keywords from domain authority sites. OutBüro is laser-focused on being a niche domain authority for LGBT business owners and professionals in it’s growing community.
Marketing today is part science and part art. For the LGBT entrepreneur and businesses desiring to target the GBLT community OutBüro provides an opportunity to focus on results. Your results will improve the more you leverage the many features and benefits it currently provides and as new features roll out.
OutBüro should be a part of your business online trust authority strategy. Your profile provides the opportunity to tout your skills in a description. Additionally as described below it provides a place to link your profile from 30 high ranking domain authority websites and an open text area to associate an unlimited number of other social media and industry-specific profiles. As OutBüro continues to grow in size and business-related content your profile and business listing on OutBüro will continue to grow in value to your overall online marketing presence, trust, and website ranking.
When building online trust Google, Bing, and Yahoo want to see more than a profile listing. To supercharge your online trust rating you must choose the platforms that are meaningful for you and your brand. Then take the time to really engage with others users of the sites. This means connecting with others via “friending”, following, getting followers, and commenting in a meaning manner on what others post. This activity creates content-rich link juice that drips to your site. I recommend scheduling time on your work calendar at leaset weekly to visit each site, post, like, connect and comment.
When backlinking from OutBüro or any other site, be sure to mix it up. Don’t only point to your main site’s URL home page. Also, link to your inner pages. Those inner pages might be your about us page, a contact us page, an FAQ page, a services page, and your cornerstone key content. Cornerstone pages are those pages and blog postings that really get to the heart of what your business is about, the ones you are most proud of and the ones you internally link to most often from other pages or postings.
To further juice it up, consider stacking your linking. From your LinkedIn profile provide links to your Behance and OutBüro profiles in addition to your primary website. From YouTube link to your LinkedIn and OutBüro profiles and so forth. This stacking supercharges your interconnected whole internet presence taking increasing your authority. As the saying goes, a rising tide raises all boats.
Add Your Other Social Media Profiles to Your OutBüro Profile
After you have created your OutBüro account, log into OutBüro and access your profile from the top menu.
Next select Profile.
On your OutBuro profile, only fields that have been populated will be displayed based on our privacy settings.
Edit any and all Profile content you like. Here we are focusing on your Social Media links so choose “My Social Media Links”.
On this page, you are provided fields for 30 high domain authority social media sites for you to provide your profile URL link on those sites. Links to the sites are provided to create accounts if not already there. If you have social media accounts on other sites simply add them to the text box at the bottom. We recommend providing the site name and then the URL.
Be sure to scroll down to the bottom and to hit SAVE before leaving this page.
High Doman Authority Sites to Consider
In addition to creating your profile on OutBüro, below a 12 high ranking domain authorities, to get you started on the right track:
1) Facebook.com (DA 100) This is kind of a “duh factor”. A must have. It is one of the most trusted and used websites in the world.
2) Twitter.com (DA 100) Recently this has come into great focus with the current US President using it as a communication platform. Like him or not, this is a highly used site that has super credibility and trust.
3) YouTube.com (DA 100) Owned by Google, a YouTube channel allows you up to 5 links in the profile along not to mention all the opportunity on each video posting you upload but also when commenting on other videos.
5) LinkedIn.com (DA 100) The most popular general business networking website. It’s a must and you Pinshould also join OutBüro on LinkedIn – it’s first and largest LGBT professional networking group.
6) Pinterest.com (DA 100) This is not for every business, but if it is for you, it’s been a powerhouse ever since it launched.
7) Reddit.com (DA 99) As the most popular social booking marking sites, Reddit is a wonderful tool to leverage.
8) Stumbleupon.com (DA 98) A great social bookmarking websites that is popular and commands a very high authority.
9) Vimeo.com (DA 98) One of the most popular video-sharing websites just behind YouTube, Vimeo is awesome because it allows you to add lots of backlinks to your profile.
10) About.me (DA 90) Here you can display your talents and link back to your many other social properties.
11) Soundcloud.com (DA 93) If you have audio to share or just want to listen to some independent tunes, this is a great website to have in your tool chest. From your profile, you can set up lots of backlinks too.
12) Scribd.com (DA 92) This super popular book reading website offers a powerful high domain authority link to point back to your main site, or another social profile site for that matter.
December 22, 2017 (updated June 18, 2019) Published by Dennis Velco
As a business owner, it’s important you understand that ranking highly in search engines is vital for your website. In fact, it could be your golden ticket to immense profits. But how? The answer is search engine optimisation (or SEO).
As an LGBT entrepreneur SEO improves website’s visibility
SEO is the process of making your website visible in search engine results pages (or ‘SERPs’ as they’re often called). And what a process it is. The Google algorithm considers over 200 factors when determining what websites to show for a certain search term.
It all starts with your website. Google sends out automated ‘robots’ (also called ‘spiders’ or ‘crawlers’) to visit every accessible page on every website across the internet. These robots gather information on each webpage and store it all on the many Google servers located around the world. This way when someone searches for a term related to your site, the Google algorithm goes to work, processing all the information that has been collected from your site and similar sites. It then determines which sites are most authoritative and relevant to query. The results are presented in the form of an ordered list, with the best options at the top.
To simplify things, think of the web like your local library. Your site is a new book that has just arrived and the librarian is the Google robot. She gets familiar with your book and determines the most logical section to display it in. A visitor comes to the library and they aren’t aware your book exists but they’re interested in the genre or topic. So they head to the relevant section, explore the different titles and eventually decide to check out your book because it’s just what they’re looking for. Success!
SEO is constantly evolving as an LGBT Entrepreneur – Keep Up!
Website owners have been thinking about how to make their sites rank in search engines since the rise of the internet in the 1990s. Along the way, some SEO practitioners figured out ways to trick the algorithm into thinking their site was more relevant and authoritative than it actually was. This type of optimization was coined ‘black hat SEO’. It quickly became frowned upon due to the negative experience it created for web users. Some SEO techniques were originally acceptable (known as ‘white hat’) but moved into the black hat category as they became overused or as the web matured.
Search engine algorithms are consistently updated to make black hat techniques less effective. SEO is always in a state of evolution – so it’s important to remember that what mattered a few years ago could now be less effective or completely discouraged. If the Google crawlers identify black hat SEO on your website, your site could be penalized and drastically drop in search engine rankings. The best way to avoid black hat SEO is to always ask yourself if you are improving the experience on your site or providing valuable and original information. If the answer is ‘yes’, you can feel confident that your website is search-engine friendly.
Seven ways to optimize your LGBT Business website for search engines
If you ever tried to learn about SEO, you’ve likely heard dozens of different things you should do. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start.
The best place to begin is with the list below:
Keywords These are the queries that your prospects would likely search for when looking your type of business. Start by coming up with the obvious ones and then use a keyword research tool to identify other terms that could direct people to your site. You can get an idea of how competitive terms are and how often they’re searched for and go from there. Once you have your keyword list determined, you need to make sure these terms exist throughout your site.It’s important not to overuse keywords – search engines will penalise any content that looks spammy. Aim for roughly 2 percent keyword density.
Page copy It should contain your keywords but be sure not to overdo it. The Google crawlers read text just like us humans do, so it’s more important that copy is readable and well-written. Many people use their keywords too much in their website copy, thinking they are really letting Google know what terms they want to rank for. In reality, they are writing poor copy which makes for a bad experience on their website and can actually hurt their site’s ranking. Before you publish a new page, double-check your copy. If your grammar school English teacher wouldn’t like it, neither will search engine crawlers. See our article on Content Marketing.
Title tags This is the copy the appears as the clickable link in SERPs and in the tab of most web browsers. It acts as the title for each individual page so it carries a lot of weight with search engines. You’ll need to make sure each title tag is unique, contains relevant keywords and follows a consistent format across your site. It’s best practice to include a keyword specific to the page. If you have space you should also include your brand name. It’s best to use a hyphen (-) or a vertical bar (|) to separate keywords from your brand name. Keep copy to under 55 characters to make sure it’s not too long to display.
Heading tags There are six different heading tags you can use (from H1 to H6). H1 is the most important heading tag to search engines and should be applied to the page headline. It’s important not to use the H1 tag more than once per page, as it could result in an over-optimization penalty with Google. The other title tags can be used multiple times on a single page. On a page that contains a lot of copy, the H1 tag can act as the headline and H2s can be applied to each sub headline. This format sends signals to the search engine crawlers, while also making for a strong user experience by breaking text into separate sections.
URL structure URLs present another opportunity to showcase your keywords to search engines. Be sure they’re included in the resource path – or the part of the URL that comes after the domain name or /. It’s best practice to use all lowercases and hyphens to separate words when optimizing URLs. Here’s a good example: rockyardshoes.com/running-shoes.
Images Search engine crawlers can’t see images like humans so they rely on the code behind the image to understand what it is being displayed. They gather information from the alt tag, image title and filename.
Alt tag text is the copy shown in place of an image when it can’t be displayed – perhaps it failed to load, or the user is visually impaired and uses a screen reader. You should provide a brief explanation of the image for alt tag text. For example, ‘Woman wearing running shoes’.
Image title is the copy that appears when you hover the mouse over an image. The copy should build on the description the alt tag text provides. Think of it like an image caption. For example, ‘Orange running shoes for women’.
Filename is the name applied to an image when it’s saved. For example image337.png isn’t great. But running-shoes-women.png is. Take a moment to make sure it is descriptive and only use lowercase text and separate words using hyphens.
Meta descriptions A meta description may seem daunting – but it’s just a name for the two lines of text that appear in search engine result pages under the clickable link and URL. If you don’t provide Google with a meta description, then it will display random text from your page that may mean nothing to a user. Meta descriptions no longer factor into search engine rankings, but they can help encourage searchers to visit your site by providing a preview of what’s in store. It’s best to keep the copy under 150-155 characters and to include a call to action. For example, ‘Start your free trial today’.
Updating your website usually requires editing HTML code. However, many modern content management systems, like Squarespace or WordPress, enable you to build and edit a website with no coding knowledge.
Commit to SEO for the long haul
Once your website is optimized for search engines, you’ll need to form an on-going SEO strategy. This is the hard part of SEO but it’s what will separate you from your competitors. Think of it like going to the gym. You need to devote time and energy, stick to a plan and patiently wait for results.
Three ways to provide visitors with great content
For the people at Google, the internet is all about the exchange of information. This means that the Google algorithm places a lot of weight on the quality of the content on your site how often you publish it. See our article on Content Marketing
Content is a blanket term that refers to the descriptive copy on your webpages, in addition to blog posts, articles, case studies, videos, infographics, slideshows and so on. Anything that provides valuable information and is accessible to search engine crawlers is considered content.
The key to producing great content for SEO purposes is to make it fresh, relevant and unique.
Publish fresh new content frequently This shows Google that your website is still active. Old content quickly goes stale if it’s in a prominent area of your site.
Keep content relevant Your content should be related to your website and what your business offers. Don’t stray off topic. It could confuse search engine crawlers, as well as visitors to your site.
Always be unique You should present information that is not available on other websites or at least in a different form than it exists on other websites. Never copy and paste content from other sites onto yours. It will do more harm than good.
The importance of inbound links
Links on other websites that point back to yours are known as ‘inbound links’ and play a huge role in obtaining favorable search engine rankings. If the web is all about exchanging information, then inbound links are essentially other sites endorsing what your site has to say.
Not all inbound links are created equal in the eyes of Google though. A single link from a major website like nytimes.com or bbc.co.uk can provide value equivalent to a dozen links from average websites.
Creating great content and obtaining inbound links go hand and hand. When you write a great blog post or guide, it’s going to influence Google crawlers. It’s also going to impress visitors to your site, who will want to share it on social media and link to it on their own websites.
Be visible to local searchers
If you run a brick-and-mortar business, you want your website to convince people in your community to visit in person. Optimizing your site to appeal to people close to you is known as local SEO.
Be sure to include your location in your main keywords. If you run a seafood restaurant in Boston, you’ll want to be sure that your website is visible to local searchers seeking a seafood restaurant. You’ll want to optimize around the term ‘seafood restaurant Boston’ in order to let Google know where your restaurant is located.
It’s also important to sign up for a Google My Business account. This ensures that your business contact information is consistent across Google search, Maps and Google +. It also gives your business a greater presence in search results. Your customers can leave reviews, which naturally attracts new customers.
SEO will help your website succeed
As you can see, putting in place a strategy is essential if you want your business to succeed online. If you constantly improve your website and publish great content then you will have a better search engine ranking than your competitors. It’s that simple.