When someone wants to find information about anyone or anything, they head to Google. Without hesitation, whatever information Google provides the end user with, it’s usually trusted and accepted within a moments time. No matter what the real truth is about yourself or a brand, whatever the internet says about you can greatly influence first impressions.
With all of this in mind, it’s extremely important to make sure you not only have some control over what appears in Google for your name or brand, but also that you are continually monitoring online mentions for your personal name and brand mentions as well. After all, it’s not just Google where people are finding information, it’s also through social media, web forums, rating websites and much more.
Here are three solutions ….
Monitor, Track and Respond to Online Mentions
Google, social media, online review sites and user forums… when it comes to tracking online mentions for your brand or personal name, it can be quite overwhelming. While there are free tools out there like Google Alerts that are great for providing you with updates on any new content that contain your name or brand in web content, it’s really only providing you with a fraction of the picture. As online reputation management and brand monitoring services continue to get more advanced, it’s quickly becoming easier to track and monitor mentions across a wide range of platforms, while only needing to use one solution.
One such provider that is making this process a whole lot easier is Brand24. Through their online monitoring platform, individuals and brands can see new mentions in real-time, while also tracking how to respond, engage or reply/remove such content. It’s one thing if someone makes a mention of your personal name or brand on social media, but it’s another when bad reviews or defamation comes into play. While social media is one of the largest areas of focus when it comes to brand mentions and monitoring, Brand24 was actually built with all different types of content monitoring in mind. Outside of social media monitoring, the platform also offers alerts for name or brand mentions across websites, blogs, photo sharing sites, forums, news outlets and more — all of which are delivered through email notifications and can be compiled into daily or weekly reports. These are just a few of the reasons why the online monitoring of name and brand mentions are so important.
Build Your Own Platform and Rank #1 in Google
With Google being the first resource for information in the world today, they are also going to be your first impression to millions of people around the world. With this in mind, it’s extremely important to make sure that your website, brand or content is ranking number one in Google for your name or brand. If you aren’t currently ranking number one, you simply aren’t in control over how you look online.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to actually have a website or blog. This sounds easy enough, but in some cases, it might not be — especially if you share a name with a famous celebrity, artist or online marketer. In my case, I rank #1 in Google for “Zac Johnson” and pretty much own the whole main page for my name. However, there is also a famous golfer named “Zach Johnson” that ranks very well. While the names are spelled differently, there are likely times when someone is searching for one or the other, then actually coming across the other person. This actually happens quite a bit whenever there is a big golf tournament going on. Since the names are so similar, Google pre-populates “Zach Johnson’s” standings in the results, then displays my web site right below it.
In short, if you want to rank at the top of Google for your name or brand, you need to have a powerful website (with a blog) that continually gains link juice and SEO power over time. This way, whenever someone searches for your name or brand online, they find your website first, and not another source of information that is potentially out of your control.
Use Social Media to Rank Multiple Times
With more than two billion users on Facebook and another few hundred million spread across the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others, it’s important to think about the sheer power and reach of social media. We already covered the importance of monitoring name and brand mentions on social media, but if that’s where you are stopping, you are missing out big time.
A perfect example of this would be the ranking power that lies within each of your personal and brand social profiles. Google loves social networking site and with so much link juice, authority and power behind each of these sites, it’s quite easy to rank them versus a new site of your own. While I highly recommend creating a website or brand and having it be your number one ranking in Google for your name, I also recommend using social media profiles to fill out these rest of your main page listings.
If you were to search for any big name celebrity, you will likely see their main website ranking number one, then all of the social profiles proceeding. That is of course unless they had a big scandal or negative news posted about them and might have to compete with even bigger news and media sites like TMZ ranking for their name. To see an example of a celebrity who is not doing this correctly, just take a look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s search results in the screenshot below. Not only does his main website not rank #1 for his name, he also has Wikipedia, IMDB and gossip/news websites ranking before his social profile pages!
The important thing to remember here is that it’s quite easy to rank your social profiles in Google for your name. To help and speed up the process, be sure to continually link back to your social profiles using your personal or brand name. The more you do this, and associate the links coming from your own sites, the more likely you are to see such profiles start ranking higher in Google for your name. Continue this process until you rank your main web site number one in Google for your name, then listings 2 through 10 with your social profile pages.