When was the last time you searched for yourself on Google? If it’s been a while, go ahead and give it a shot. We’ll be here waiting…
So, how did it go? Were you surprised by the results? Did you like what you saw?
You’ve just taken a step that people take regularly these days. In fact, it’s so common that names often appear prominently in search results.
Even if you’re not as well-known as Elon Musk (and don’t worry, most of us aren’t), rest assured that people are actively searching for your name on a regular basis.
I promise you.
Whether you’re a service provider, salesperson, a leader, or even a lawyer, you can bet that you’re being Googled quite frequently.
Especially if your business is closely tied to your personal identity, your Personal SEO™ plays a crucial role in shaping your brand.
The Impact of a Common Name
Even having a common name won’t deter people from looking you up. They’ll search not only for your name but also your business name or your name coupled with your location.
Two Objectives in Personal SEO™ Reputation Management
Irrespective of what you discovered in your recent Google search, whether it yielded positive or negative results, now is the time for some personal reputation management.
We all have two primary reasons for taking control of these search results: to enhance our image and safeguard our online reputation.
- Look Good: Elevate the rankings of positive search results and listings that you can influence and control.
- Not Look Bad: Push down the ranking of any negative or neutral search results.
If you’re a communication professional, adopting this approach can be a valuable way to revamp personal branding for yourself or a client.
Taking Charge of Search Results for Your Name
Search results for personal names typically consist of social media accounts, blog author pages, and biographical pages on company websites.
The team biography page on your company’s website is often the ideal page to occupy the top spot in search results. It’s a powerful Personal SEO™ tool because you have complete control over this page. So, let’s start there.
Your Bio Page on Your Website
Google constantly strives to present searchers with the most relevant page on the internet for their query. When that query is your name, your bio page on your website becomes your best opportunity to shine.
Here’s how to optimize your profile page for your name:
- Use your name as the URL.
- Place your name at the beginning of the <title> tag.
- Ensure that every profile on every social network links back to this page.
- Link only to social media networks where you are actively engaged.
- Use a current headshot, and remember, no headshots older than three years – hairstyles change!
Now, let’s explore the social networks. Social profiles rank high because they are credible in Google, and each profile has a unique, rankable URL.
Even if you are not active on certain platforms, creating profiles there can help you manage page one of Google search results for your name, particularly if you’re working to suppress negative content.
LinkedIn profiles often rank prominently. Optimize your LinkedIn profile by:
- Crafting a descriptive headline.
- Ensuring your summary has at least 250 words.
- Amassing 500+ connections.
- Keeping your Location, Position, and Company details up-to-date.
- Prioritizing the most relevant skills in your endorsement section.
- Gathering a few recommendations from professional contacts.
- Posting articles within the LinkedIn platform, even if they were originally published elsewhere.
- Personalizing your public profile URL with your name.
- Making your entire profile visible to the public.
Facebook profiles also tend to rank well. Even if it’s not directly related to your job, ensure your primary profile picture is professional since it may be visible to many. Claim your vanity URL to enhance your visibility.
Twitter profiles rank highly, especially if you use your real name. In your Twitter bio, link to your team bio on your company’s website to boost that page’s ranking. Even if you don’t actively use Twitter, complete your profile and include a tweet redirecting people to LinkedIn or another preferred platform.
Optimize YouTube by creating videos featuring your name in the title and description. This can effectively control your personal reputation.
Interviews on Other Websites
Mentions or interviews on high-domain authority websites can significantly boost your visibility in search results. An interview page often features your name prominently in the header and title tag, making it beneficial for SEO.
Use your networking and outreach skills to secure interviews and watch your page climb the rankings, especially if your name is relatively common.
Author Bio Pages on Other Blogs
Guest blogging is an excellent strategy for building a personal brand. Writing for a reputable blog can lead to a bio page that ranks prominently for your name. This is yet another advantage of guest blogging and collaboration.
Personal Search Results – Enhanced!
By dedicating less than a day to refining your personal brand and search results, you can expect to see improvements within a week.
Make your name shine on Google.
Remember, if your personal brand doesn’t sparkle offline, no amount of SEO can fully compensate. Nevertheless, for those looking to enhance their online presence, investing an hour or so in optimization is unquestionably worthwhile.