How many people are searching for your personal name, brand or business online? Even more important than how many people are searching your name, is what they are going to find!
Controlling what other people see when they search for your personal name or business in the search results is considered online reputation management. While some people may consider the thought of managing and cleaning the search results up for your name or business a shady practice, it's actually anything but. There are many reasons why you would want to monitor and control what appears in the search rankings for your name or brand, and we've listed a few of them below.
- Private or personal information you don't want public
- Important business documents or information that was leaked
- Fraudulent customer complaints that hurt your brand
- Slander and false accusations from competitors
- Outdated and incorrect information about a product or service
Now look at that list again and think about how any of those could negatively hurt your personal name or brand. For instance, if you were applying for a new job and some of your not so flattering social profile pictures appeared on the first page of the search results for your name, wouldn't you want them removed?
Of course you would!
To help you with this process, we're going to lay out five of the best ways for you to start managing and controlling the ways your personal and business brand looks online.
Don't worry, if this all seems too confusing, time consuming or over your head... just give us a call and we will help you with this process.
5 Ways to Protect and Manage Your Online Reputation
Step 1: Look at your current search rankings
The first thing you are going to want to do is take a look at the current search results and see what type of content is coming up. This includes personal names, business and brand names, as well as any products and services that might also be related.
Also be sure to look at each of the rankings and decide if they are negative or positive.
It's recommended that you look at the first three pages of content, this way you will also be aware of any content that might creep up to the first page of results over time.
Step 2: Decide what rankings are positive and negative
Once you've taken the time to look through the rankings, be sure to point out which are negative and positive. We recommend you document all of this information in a spreadsheet so you can keep everything tracked and updated over time.
Now it's time for you to make a note within the spreadsheet for you to breakdown which rankings are positive or negative and how big of a threat they are. If a listing is very harmful and could hurt your reputation or business, you would want to make that as URGENT, which means you want to remove or push it down in the results as soon as possible.
Any search rankings that you find are positive and would help your brand, you would want to mark them as GOOD. This way you know which listings you want to promote and increase in the search rankings.
Step 3. Dissect the foundation of your search results
Taking control of how your name and brand look in the search results is all about knowing what is ranking where and why. Now that you have a spreadsheet of all your search ranking data, look it over again and see which rankings you actually own or have access too. These would be your web locations such as your web site, blog, social media and any other content you may have created or have access to online. You should already have plenty of pages that are already ranking, but it's important for you to note which they are so you can focus on increase content, backlinks and activity to these pages so they can rank higher in the search results.
Step 4: Create your own reputation management strategy
Now it's time for you to start putting everything together that we have so far. You know what your rankings look like, how many are negative and positive and also which rankings you also have access too.
Next you should look at your personal name or brand and see what type of message you way people to see when they search for you. By understanding what type of content is already ranking and what you would like to rank for, this will make the process a lot easier once you start creating content and build out your social profiles.
Your content generation methods should include blogging, press releases, original articles, guest writing on other high authority sites, social media updates and interviews when possible. Google is all about content, but you also need to make sure you have the perfect mix, or it could come back to haunt you!
Step 5: Monitoring your name / brand mentions and rankings
Last but not least, you are going to need to monitor for any new personal or brand name mentions. It's extremely important for you to know WHEN and WHERE someone is talking about you, whether it's in a good or bad light.
The thought of continually checking the search results for any new ranking movements and listings for your name and brand is a nightmare in itself!
The good news is that there are tools out there to help you with the process. One of which, we created and offer for free to all of our customers.
Instead of manually checking Google every other day, you can simply add your keywords and phrases to our alerts software and you'll be notified of any new changes or listed that are coming up in the search results.
Online Reputation Management is Well Worth Your Time
The process of monitoring and protecting your personal name and brand online can be quite time consuming when you first start out, however it's well worth it.
The time and effort you invest in protecting your brand right now is nothing compared to the horrendous damage that could be caused if you were to do nothing and ignore what people are saying about you online and also seeing when they search for your name.
No matter what direction you plan to take, please keep us in the loop and let us know if you have any questions. Feel free to contact InternetReputation.com at (888) 711-5576 to setup a free consultation.