Managing your online reputation is easier than you think and especially when you have a process. It also allows you to create a consistent brand and image online and off. Combining your marketing efforts into a consistent marketing routine can elevate both your personal brand and message to the level of importance they deserve.
Here are some simple steps to get started:
Step 1: Assessment: Create a benchmark from which you can measure progress
In order to measure the results of your efforts, it’s important to get a baseline or benchmark of where you are now. Do a simple Google search of your name, your company name and key phrases to start the process.
Using a spreadsheet or other system, note things including the search phrases, page and page rank in Google and any other pertinent details that come up in search. Since both prospective employers and clients, alike, typically Google you, you’ll definitely want to know what they’re going to see!
Do these searches on a regular basis (weekly or monthly) and continue to note results so you can see trends over time. I would also suggest that you check out the first three pages of Google search results just to see what’s coming up.
A June 2013 study by Chitika Insights related to Google traffic, noted that, “sites listed on the first Google search results page generate 92% of all traffic from an average search.” While the study was limited in scope, its results are telling. Page 1 is of utmost importance, however, I still suggest you check out results on pages 2 and 3.
Step 2: Determine what you want to change
Analyze the information you gathered in Step 1. What trends do you see? Which items are on brand and which are not? Are there any results that are coming up high in search and don’t relate to you – for example, someone with a similar name?
Are there any unwanted items that you would like to push off of Page 1 because they’re off brand, unflattering or negative? Again, after reviewing this information, note which keywords or phrases are associated with these searches so that you can take steps to influenced them as you move forward with your brand management activities.
Step 3: What’s working for you?
Continue to analyze your results. What do you see on page 1 of Google Search? What are the highest ranking URLs? If you own the URL for your name, that might be the very first item you see. A Google search for my first and last name revealed the following on Page 1: my site tarakachaturoff.com, followed by my LinkedIn profile, my Facebook account, two twitter accounts and another site of mine.
If you’re using a branded YouTube channel, that will rank high, too! Again, note what is coming up for not only your name, but also for key phrases that are important for your industry or for how you wish to be known. Typically, people like to be known by their name. However, unless you’ve been blessed with a unique name such as mine, sometimes you have to use a many-pronged approach to make sure you’re ranking for your name as well as key phrases!
Step 4: Draft a strategy that works for you!
Referring to your results from Step 3, the highest ranking sites that showcase your brand in a strong and powerful way are where you should continue to focus your content marketing efforts. Add material like blog posts, status updates, image quotes, infographics, press releases and even audio and video to keep the information fresh and relevant.
To make things easier, draft a content management calendar that can keep you on track and focused so that you’re posting regularly. If these sites are working for you and your personal brand, continue to make sure they do!
Step 5: Rinse and repeat – do what works and more of it!
The final step is to repeat what works by fine-tuning your strategy. Monitor your personal brand on a regular basis. Create relevant content that speaks to your target audience while showcasing your knowledge and expertise. Make sure content pieces are branded with your name and other key phrases by which you want to be known.
Use various link tracking applications that allow you to measure clicks and traffic. Track your progress along the way and do take the time to analyze results as compared to your benchmarks and online goals. Note how different techniques or types of content influence results.
Online brand management can become quite complex and time-consuming — but only if you let it. Keep it simple and yet detailed enough so that you’re getting the information you need to ensure your brand is well managed and cared for.
By making conscious efforts to manage your personal brand, you’ll be able to significantly influence not only what is seen, but also where it’s seen. And, should anything negative or off-brand arise, you have options and opportunities to create content flows that can influence search results while maintaining the solid foundation of your strong personal brand.
By following these 5 simple steps, you can identify what you need to do to increase your visibility and credibility in the best and highest ways possible.
Tara empowers business professionals to define and prioritize key areas of their businesses to increase their credibility, visibility and profitability by providing coaching and implementation services. A former tech industry finance professional, she’s also the creator, producer and host of Michigan Entrepreneur TV, now in its 10th year of production. Connect with Tara on LinkedIn! For more information, visit http://www.personalbrandessentials.com