If you seek new clients, new contacts, or just an interesting message from a visitor from time to time, it is worth doing a few simple things to increase the number of visits you get to your ProZ.com profile page.
The most powerful ways to boost traffic to your profile are (1) to go platinum and (2) to earn KudoZ points. These two activities have a big impact because... well, because ProZ.com is built to work that way! Being a paying member, and earning KudoZ, causes links to your profile to appear in various (favorable) places throughout the site.
Paid membership and KudoZ participation aside, there are a number of additional ways to boost traffic to your profile for free, with very little effort. Here are seven of them:
1. Enter detailed fields of expertise
This is very important, whether or not you are a member. To be clear: You will not appear in the new directory when a client searches for a detailed field (ie. most of the time), unless you enter detailed fields in your profile. Note that a special form has been provided for the purpose, and unless you have used that form, you will not be recognized as a specialist in a detailed field. (Writing it in, or including it in your CV, is not good enough!)
If you do nothing else after reading this article, at least take five minutes to enter your detailed fields, so that a client who needs a professional with your expertise will be able to find you!
Go to: http://www.proz.com/quick_profile
and fill out the section marked "Fields of expertise".
2. Enter a list of keywords (optionally in several languages)
Did you know that there is a box in your profile provided for you to enter keywords related to your expertise, capabilities, services, etc.? Because clients search the ProZ.com directory and the search engines by keyword, the more keywords you enter in your profile, the better your chances of coming up in searches.
One technique to consider for the keyword box is entering your most important keywords in all the languages in which you work. Terms like "traductor" can boost your traffic, too...
Go to: http://www.proz.com/quick_profile
and fill out the section marked "Keywords".
3. List your top language pair first (order them all!)
It is now possible to control the order of the language pairs listed in your profile. Make sure your top language pair is listed first! Why is this important? For one, it helps to communicate to those viewing your profile what your top pair is. But it also has a technical effect: when your name is shown in places throughout the site (in the new Articles Knowledgebase, for example), often there is only enough space to show one language pair. In those cases, we show your first pair only. Because search engines like Google associate texts used in links with the content of a page, you will want to make sure we are putting forward your top language pair.
To sort your languages, go to the "Language pairs" section of the Quick Profile page (http://www.proz.com/quick_profile
) and drag and drop languages as appropriate.
While you are there, consider using the "Hide from profile" option for languages in which you may answer KudoZ, but are not interesting in accepting assignments. This will help ensure that you get the right traffic to your profile.
4. Link to your profile from elsewhere on the web
One of the most basic and most important ways to boost traffic to your profile is to link to it. You can include the URL of your profile in your email signature, on business cards, in your CV and other places.
Linking to your profile from elsewhere on the web provides a special benefit: search engines like Google will assign a higher priority to your profile. So when a potential client searches for a translator in your field, your profile will stand a better chance of coming up early in the results.
Where to link from? If you have your own website, link from there. (And link back to your website from your profile.) And, where appropriate and permitted, consider linking from forum posts to your profile. (At ProZ.com, your profile is linked to each time your post.)
5. Personalize: Consider uploading a photo and using your real name
Giving your profile a personal touch will not only help people remember you, it will bring more people in in the first place. Why? Photos draw attention from the forms and job quotes, of course. They are also required to be considered for the featured slot on ProZ.com's home page. As for real names, there are a percentage of clients who prefer profiles in which real names are shown.
To upload a photo, or opt to show your real name, go to:
* Whether or not you choose to show your photo or real name is purely a personal decision. We just felt you should know that it can make a difference.
6. Localize your profile
The number of visitors viewing ProZ.com in a language other than English has increased dramatically. To best communicate your skills to potential clients, and to be sure to come up in relevant Google searches, localize the key areas of your profile into your working languages, so that a visitor viewing the site in one of your working languages will also see the content of your profile in that language.
To localize your profile, go to: http://www.proz.com/?sp=profile&sp_mode=settings&sp_submode=localize
7. Customize the search-engine specific areas of your profile
It is now possible to customize areas of your profile that are important to search engines such as Google, including the title that appears at the top of your browser.
To edit your title, as well as other search-engine related information, go here: http://www.proz.com/?sp=profile&sp_mode=settings&sp_submode=se
Note: For some excellent tips on writing great titles, see: http://www.socialpatterns.com/search-engine-optimization/writing-better-titles/
Do you have any tips for other ProZ.com members on boosting traffic to profiles? Add your tip as a "contribution" after this article...