Who Is The Real Matt Nelson?

As a self-described ‘expert’ in Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization, I’ve decided to document some of my efforts to improve the rank of a keyword search of my name, “Matt Nelson”.

I’ve already managed to get to page one for a search that includes my middle initial “Matt C Nelson”, but so far I don’t appear anywhere in the top 100 results of a google search for the keyword “Matt Nelson”.

The truth is, I’m not very easy to find on the internet, particularly with all these other Matt Nelson’s masquerading around as the real Matt Nelson. I’ve met more than a few other people with my name and have to guess there are 10’s of thousands of us, not to mention a few of them have a lot more fame than I’ll ever have.

As a result, it should be a fairly competitive keyword and should serve as a pretty good exercise in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Hopefully it will also serve as a useful demonstration of the basics of Search Engine Optimization and Internet Marketing, so kick back, have a beer, and get ready to geek out.

Branding Myself

As a freelance consultant, I’ve finally accepted that at the end of the day I’m really just marketing myself. As much as I may loathe self-promotion, it just has to be done.

One of the most basic and fundamental measures of how well a business is doing with its website is whether it ranks #1 for a search of the business’s name.

If I own a business called “Matt Nelson’s WordPress and SEO Wonder Emporium”, I would want to find my website appearing somewhere on the first page of a Google search result for that keyword, preferably in position 1. Which, incidently I already do, go ahead and try it out.  You should see my LinkedIn profile as the first result, my Manta profile in second, and this website in third (as of Jan 2014).

But my name is Matt Nelson, and I’d really like to rank on page one when somebody searches for my name.

So let’s start with the basics and take a look at the impostors… errr I mean the competition.

The Keyword ‘Matt Nelson’

Good SEO starts with thorough keyword research. Here in Part 1 I’ll get into some numbers and breakdown what it should take to get to the top of the search engines for a search of my name.

I don’t really expect reach the coveted top 3 positions anytime soon, but getting to the first page looks like a very achievable goal over a 6-12 month period.

Keywords –  Searches/Month

  • Matt C Nelson – 0
  • Matt Nelson – 8,100
  • Matthew Nelson – 9,900
  • Gunnar Nelson – 14,800
Based on some initial keyword research there are about 8,100 searches per month for the keyword ‘Matt Nelson’. Not too bad…the real Matt Nelson is a pretty popular guy and I’d sure like to be him.

Why target a keyword that nobody is looking for?

As you can see, nobody is searching for the keyword ‘Matt C Nelson’, so I’m not going to bother including the C in my SEO efforts anymore. This is an often overlooked aspect to good SEO… poor keyword research can cripple a marketing campaign before it ever starts. The only time you should ever be guessing as to what keywords people will be searching for is when you’re doing the actual research.

And while the numbers show that there are more searches for Matthew than for Matt, I’m going to stick with Matt since that’s the name I use in real life.

Oh and because of this…

Definitely not me.

As of now, the real Matt Nelson would seem to be Matthew Nelson, formerly of the band Nelson.

This is a fact that I have been painfully aware of since growing up with the same name as a guy from a 90’s hair band.

who is matt nelson?

Searching for the real “Matt Nelson”

As I mentioned earlier, I currently don’t show up in the top 10 pages of a Google search for the keyword ‘Matt Nelson’. That includes any of my social media sites, clients sites, articles I’ve written, or even this website.

That’s not much of a surprise as I’m not much of a self promoter, I don’t use social media very much and I’m generally a pretty private guy… at least I was until now.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on the progress. Since this is a brand new site, it will take some time to earn the reputation that a top ranking site deserves. I’ll only be using White Hat SEO practices which means no link farms, content manipulation, article spinning or any other trickery or tomfoolery.

I hope you’ll come back for my next installment where I will talk about some of the On-Site SEO that I used to help improve my rankings. And don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for future updates. Just enter your email address at the bottom left. Thanks!