We have all read the news stories reminding Generation Y to constantly check Google rankings to make sure those college party pictures stay off the internet and out of job interview conversation. We often pass these articles on to our children and younger coworkers but are we taking our own advice?
Like most Baby Boomers, our college days were long over by the time social media sites and Google came around. It is easy to see why many of us don’t give a second thought about our results on Google. However, with today’s innovative product development needs, online branding strategies, growing ecommerce capabilities, and increasing demand for online customer service, it is more than likely that your organization will require familiarity, if not expertise, in the online world. In these cases, having no online presence can be just as bad as having a negative one.
“To people who don’t know you, you are your Google results,” explains William Arruda, Personal Branding Specialist from Careerdistinction.com. Because of this, you want to use your Google results to show yourself as an innovative thought leader who can manage a professional and searchable online presence. So how do you set up and maintain professional and searchable Google results?
- First, Google yourself to see what comes up. You may not think your name will show up in the search results if you haven’t been managing your online brand. However, you might see your biography from your organization’s website, your LinkedIn profile, or even a blog written by a university student when you spoke at a convention last summer. Make sure all of these search results are positive and professional.
- Decide how you want to be found. Of course, it is important to be found when people Google your name. However, maybe you have a particular area of expertise or special interest that you also want to be associated with your personal brand. Choose words that best represent you and your personal brand.
- Optimize your blog or LinkedIn page with long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are 2 to 4 words long making them less competitive. For example, it is easier to get to the top of the search results if your keyword is “brown cowboy boots” instead of “shoes.” Optimize on words related to your company, profession, alma mater, or related interests. Remember, it’s not about getting lots of eyes on your page, it’s about getting the right eyes on your page.
- Start a personal website. Many of us are too busy to blog or simply don’t want a lot of our personal views on the web for everyone to see. However, a personal website with your resume and portfolio can show your creativity without the time commitment of a blog or the limits of a LinkedIn profile template. Make sure to purchase a domain name with your name in it (such as robertsmith.com) to help with search engine results.
What other ways do you keep up with your Google results or maintain your online personal brand?