When I bump into old friends in the street they often ask me the classic question - "Fordy what are you up to these days?"
When I tell them I'm into Personal Branding and creating e-ttraction for small business owners. They sometimes look at me like I just said, "I'm a professional pole dancer, didn't you see the pics on Facebook?".
To some, Personal Branding is some new age thing, but really it's been around for ages. The clothes you wear, your office, your business card are all examples of personal branding. My particular style is online branding - how you look when someone Googles your name. LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and that old MySpace account your forgot about. If you haven't Googled yourself lately, better do it now as your clients sure are!
It's nice to be popular, but the business reason to focus on personal branding is that it's vital for your client referrals to be able to find you online. Just think. A happy client tells their friend about you and when they go to check you out on Google or LinkedIn (because they will) they can't find you. What then? Most times they will give up and you just lost a potential client. I don't know about your business, but I rely on referrals for about 70% of my new business. Therefore, it is critical for my business success to be found online, look credible and they can easily contact me. It's like a 24/7 sales person working in the background.
As you can see by the picture above, I battle with one other Andrew Ford for first page dominance of my name. It's a common name with 25 other Andrew Ford's in Australia, so it's challenge to stay on top. For some of you out there, your name will be uncommon and your challenge is that they can find everything!
So how do you keep on top?
Here are my top 5 ways to dominate Google for your personal brand
- Personal Website - the best SEO for your name is a website dedicated to you. Buy the URL www.yourname.com.au or for the country you are in. Google is highly geo-centric so you need to make sure you get a local URL. For more on how to make a personal website check out my other blog here.
- Optimise LinkedIn - LinkedIn get’s the best SEO of any social media so this should come below your personal website. Fill in your profile so it is complete. For more on LinkedIn see my post here.
- Get on Google Plus - Google plus is a great way to get a huge SEO boost in the sidebar. See the picture above, my face and details can easily be found first all because I optimised my Google plus profile. Check out my G+ work here.
- One name - ensure all your social media you want to be found are using the same name. Alternatively, if you don’t want clients to find something use a former name or nickname. Consistency is key in branding.
- Alt Tags - When you post pictures on your personal website or business website ensure to name that picture your name and what you do. This way it will have a chance of standing out in the Google picture search area. This features on the All view of Google and also in the Image view tab. This can be important if a referral thinks they have met you and want to confirm if you are the correct Andrew Ford, before messaging you.
There you have it, my top 5 ways to boost your personal brand SEO on Google. If you follow these steps you will be on your way to ensuring those referrals come your way. If you need a hand with these steps feel free to book a complimentary 20 minute brand consultation with me personally. Just click here for the application form.
PS Best of luck on building your profile and just don’t Google Andrew Ford pole dancer as there are some things you just can’t un-see...