What Do People See When They Google Your Name?
As a small business owner it is essential that people trust you online – if you ever plan to actually sell online. People buy from people they trust ~ any “negative press” can kill the deal ~ even if the press is not actually about you, but about someone else with your name! It is hard to tell when researching online if you are reading something about the right person. Have you ever researched someone and read something bad about that person just to find out that it was the wrong person ~ with the same name? Something like that can absolutely kill the sell if it happens when someone is researching YOU!
The goal is to get anything bad associated with your name to be somewhere beyond the 2nd or 3rd page of the search results. Everything on the first 2 or 3 pages of the search results needs to be positive, items you have published, and positive feedback from customers.
Let me share what I have done to dominate the search engines for my name ~ feel free to use these tactics to help with your name as well.
- Get a BizNik account ~ BizNik is a highly optimized and trusted site. BizNik profiles get ranked in Google ~ my BizNik profile is the first listing for my name. BizNik is only for traditional businesses – if you are in network marketing do not do this strategy.
- Get a Facebook account and have your profile URL be your name ~ mine is facebook.com/dotty.scott
- Make a video and get a YouTube account in your name. Be sure the description of the video includes your name. These can be educational videos, video testimonials, or something entertaining. YouTube ranks well in Google (it is owned by Google).
- Be a guest blogger for someone else’s blog, and sign your name that links to your blog/website.
- Create a LinkedIn profile and fill it out completely.
- Create a MySpace profile
- Post articles on BetterNetworker ~ even if you are not in Network Marketing. This site gets ranked in Search Engines.
- Fill out your Google Profile completely so that it will be displayed on Google when someone searches for your name.
- If you provide trainings, seminars, or any online event have it posted Online at several different sites.
- Set up profiles at places like Naymz.com, fastpitch.com, Ning.com sites, Plaxo.com and any other social media site.
- Put your videos out on other video sharing sites like yahoo, vidler, howcast ect. I use TubeMogul.com to upload videos to more than one video site simultaneously.
- Create testimonials for other people with websites, and link your name to your website.
- Make sure your name in on your website as text, not in an image.
- Post articles at article repositories like amazines.com, ezine.com, and others.
- Twitter reTweets with your name in them will get ranked in the search engines.
- Get a written interview posted online – this can be a transcript of an audio ~ my example: http://renegadeproactive.com/
- Your videos and other content can be picked up by other blogs – very common for video interviews.
- Comment at different places and be sure to include your name.
- Forum posts can get ranked by search engines.
This is a list of strategies I am using to control my name. The last thing I want is for someone looking for a Web Designer to find my site then research my name and find anything negative. I don’t care if it is something talking about a different Dotty ~ people will think it as me and go elsewhere for their business ~ something I just can’t afford.
If you have more ideas for people feel free to add them in the comments section!
More training on Online Marketing for Small Businesses…
Claim Your Local Listing in Bing
Microsoft’s new search engine – Bing – is a great tool for local businesses. The new search engine focuses on local search – what could be better for a traditional business? There is a process to claim your business and get it listed on Bing. Go to Bing and sign in with your Windows Live ID, or register to get a Windows Live ID. (Windows Live is like Google Profile for Google – every business needs a Windows Live account). Enter your business information then locate the business. You will either be given a listing to claim or given the option to create a listing. Then simply follow the steps and fill out the form as completely as possible. A few tips:
- Try to leave nothing blank
- You can enter up to 6 listing categories – don’t stop at 1
- Photo loader does not seem to work at the time of this writing – be sure to go back later and upload photos – they claim to allow up to 10. Include a logo, image of yourself, and images of your business
Windows Live also has the option to submit a sitemap and use the Web Master Tools. These are highly suggested – if they are too technical then get your webmaster to help. The link to the Web Master Tools is here.
Go through the process of authenticating your website (up load an xml file onto your server or add meta data) then you can submit the site map and see what pages are indexed and other data that will help to get your site ranked well. Also make sure your robots.txt file does not block Bing from crawling your site.
These things are important for getting your website indexed well in Bing. If they are too technical then get in touch with your Web Master and it will be easy for them.
For more education on Search Engine Optimization…