Leveraging a Viral Photo: A Journey in SEO and Digital Strategy

How to benefit from an online, viral event. On the short term, when it happens, and longer term to benefit from search traffic on multiple online places.

Leveraging a Viral Photo: A Journey in SEO and Digital Strategy
My bio landing page header.

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, having a substantial and cohesive online presence is crucial. As an online professional, I've experienced the highs and lows of managing a digital footprint.

Recently, a viral photo and a strategic domain change significantly impacted my digital presence, providing valuable insights into SEO and digital strategy. I write this article so you can benefit from my experience and prepare your own online footprint for when luck strikes or you have something going on that gets positive attention.


Over the years, I've organically grown a significant digital footprint. This includes multiple blogs, social media accounts, and appearances in third-party interviews, podcasts, and articles. Each platform has its unique audience and purpose, contributing to a complex but rewarding online presence.

The Viral Photo and Domain Change

A recent viral photo shook up my digital world. At the same time, I transitioned my main blog from a domain with my family name (hoeijmakers) to a more content-relevant domain (webstrategiesblog.com). This move aimed to avoid the complexities of my Dutch last name and better reflect the blog's content.

Impact on Social Media

The viral photo caused a surge in my social media following. My Instagram followers tripled to 3,300, and my presence on Twitter/X also saw significant growth.

However, the ever-changing landscape of social media platforms, with the rise of Mastodon, BlueSky, and Threads, scattered my audience. Despite this, the increased attention provided an opportunity to consolidate and strengthen my online presence.

The story I wrote about the viral photo and how I managed the sudden influx of attention attracted numerous backlinks to my websites. This boost in backlinks not only increased my site's authority but also demonstrated the power of timely and relevant content.

Mapping and Unifying My Digital Footprint

Realising the need for a cohesive digital strategy, I mapped out my digital footprint. It became clear that my online presence was more of a network than a web, lacking a central hub to tie everything together.

Mindmap to map out my digital footprint
MindMap of my digital footprint. Analysing what is key to my goals, what is personal and which language is it in (English/Dutch)

Creating a Central Hub

To address this, I decided to utilise the root domain of my old site. I set up hoeijmakers.net as a temporary holding page using Canva, which quickly rose to the top of Google search results.

While exploring bio landing pages like Linktr.ee, I realised they all operated from their domains. Wanting to maintain control, I found a WordPress plugin (Social) that offered similar functionality. Licensing and building with this plugin allowed me to create a custom bio landing page on my own domain, effectively tying all my digital properties together.

Launching Soon landing page in Canva, bio link page with WordPress and Social
Launching Soon landing page in Canva, bio link page with WordPress and Social

I'm now working with my designer (Schmuki) to develop a comprehensive website for my activities and personal brand.

Streamlining My Online Presence

This process led to a comprehensive cleanup of my profiles, photos, and banners. By unifying these elements, I enhanced the recognisability of my brand. Additionally, ensuring reciprocal links across my platforms signalled to Google the interconnectedness of my online presence, helping to establish a strong social graph.

Updated social media accounts. X, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Updated social media accounts. X, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Strategic Considerations

With a clear view of my digital footprint, I identified which areas to focus on for growth and which to maintain. This strategic approach ensures that my efforts are aligned with my goals and resources.

Dual Goals: Influence and Content Marketing

My primary goals are twofold:

  1. Influence: Establish myself as an influencer in the digital content space.
  2. Content Marketing: Use my blogs and photographs to market my web strategy profession.

These goals complement each other, showcasing my ability to capture attention and effectively market in an information-rich but attention-poor digital world.

My personal conclusion

The journey of leveraging a viral photo and strategically managing a digital presence is both challenging and rewarding. By focusing on cohesive branding, strategic link-building, and targeted growth, I've been able to strengthen my online presence significantly. The fact that you're reading this article is a testament to the success of these strategies.

For online professionals, this journey underscores the importance of adaptability, strategic planning, and continuous improvement in the ever-changing digital landscape.