5 ways to dominate Google for your personal brand

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.

Andrew Ford, personal brand SEO on Google, social star.png

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Andrew

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...

Andrew Ford

Social Star, Level 4, Suite 402, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.