So, you want to take charge of your name on Google once and for all. Your personal brand has been out of control for far too long, and it’s time to seize the reins and blaze your own trail.
What’s the first thing you should do? Start paying some serious attention to your website.
Purchasing your own domain name was a good first step, but without the right focus, content and design, your site won’t deliver its full potential.
By putting in the time to create a well-designed, user-friendly website, you can get your personal brand where it needs to be on Google.
Your website is the home of your personal brand. Now is the time to put in some equity.
KNOW YOUR WEBSITE’S PURPOSE
What do want to convey most to your visitors? What do you want them to know about you?
Before throwing a bunch of random content onto your site, take a few moments to map out the information you want to highlight. Are you a professional swimmer? An accomplished academic? A proud mother?
It’s important to decide what you want people to know before getting started. Clearing this up first helps you refine your site’s purpose and can help point you in the right direction.
“38% of people will leave your website if your content and or layout is unattractive.” (2)
Your website must be positive, but also honest about who you are. In the long run, exaggerating your accomplishments and your character can discredit your personal brand.
it’s also much harder to create and maintain a fictional image than a real one. Fictional or exaggerated attributes mask who you really are, and unless you’re a best-selling author, they are rarely convincing to the user.
The content you create and include on your website should be positive, and an honest reflection of who you are. This will make it far easier for you to gain the trust of others searching your name, as well as to market yourself more effectively and engage those seeking you out (employers, friends, spouses/dates).
KEEP IT CONSISTENT
“Am I in the right place?” You never want your site’s visitors to ask that question.
Consistency is key. It’s crucial to keep your site’s style and design uniform. Being creative just to change things up can cause inconsistencies between pages, leading to confusion and hurting your rate of engagement.
By ensuring all design and style elements (font, colors, artwork, photos, etc.) are consistent on each page, you’re working to solidify your brand.
Remember: your site is your brand. For it to really resonate, it’s essential for you to send out a clear and consistent brand message at all times.
CONTENT IS GOOD, BUT DESIGN CAN MAKE IT SHINE
“88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.”
Filling up your website with useful, engaging content is important to a user-friendly experience, but so is maintaining the “white space” and design elements needed to avoid content bunching. Cramming too much stuff on a page is a veritable site-killer.
Use white space wisely, as it is key to effective site design. Work to keep similar items distinct yet complementary.
CONTROL YOUR HYPERLINKS
Ever come across a ‘404 Error’? Annoying, isn’t it? When your site’s users click on a hyperlink you’ve included, the last thing you want them to do is follow it to that no-man’s-land.
Re-direct errors waste the user’s time, make your site appear dated and reflect poorly on you and your brand.
It’s crucial that every hyperlink you insert is accurate, free of typos and ends on an active webpage. Make it a habit to perform regular checks to ensure all links are up-to-date.
HOST A BLOG ON YOUR SITE
Including a blog page on your site is a great way to update your site. A regularly updated blog shows Google crawlers your site is an active online presence, and demonstrates your subject-matter expertise to the online community.
Google loves fresh content. A blog is a great chance to grab its attention while achieving much-needed momentum in search engine rankings. A blog helps to strengthen your site’s search engine authority, improves your ability to reach and engage visitors, and provides you an invaluable “sharable” asset.
FEATURE YOUR RESUME
Even if you aren’t looking for a job, it doesn’t hurt to include an updated resume on your site. A page devoted to your work history and achievements is a great way to feature your professional credentials and experience, as well as to show the Internet you’re capable of taking yourself and your online reputation seriously.
AVOID THE AVOIDABLE
A good website defines your personal brand and protect your online reputation. Therefore, it’s important to avoid those common mistakes that will erode your online credibility.
Over-the top language can be a major turn off for the reader. Be authentic and feature your accomplishments, but avoid the tendency to exaggerate as much as possible.
Featuring EVERYTHING you’ve ever done.
It’s important to be selective with the information you’re looking to share. Opt only for those attributes that highlight what makes you interesting and unique. Leave out any unnecessary details and clutter.
It’s easy to copy and paste existing online information into your site and call it a day. The problem is that Google frowns on such practices, and may punish your website for doing so.
Avoid content duplication. Posting already-published information can work to destroy your site’s visibility and search engine authority.
THE WEBSITE: A CORE COMPONENT OF ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
As a leader in online reputation management, we understand how important a strong personal website is to the repair, maintenance and promotion of your online image. This is why we provide personal website creation as a supplement to our comprehensive reputation management services.
To learn more about the best in reputation management solutions, contact our ORM professionals today.
- (1) http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/how-important-is-user-experience-9-things-you-need-to-know-about-ux-01231378#9dseCjKzJ2pS5e8s.97
- (2) http://whitehatseorankings.com/web-design/17-stats-that-show-the-importance-of-smarter-website-user-experience-design/