This is a continuation of Create an Online Persona and Get Hired 1.
So, now that you have Googled yourself, prepared your professional resume for posting online, acquired a new email address, purchased a Web site, and started a blog, here are some steps to improving your Google results.
Your Web site may be the most difficult thing to get up and running well. Just think of managing your SERP or search-engine results page as you would handling public relations .
There are a few things that are out of your control, but a few things you can do to get good results. You may not be able to bury all the negative press out there, but you can highlight the positive press in your favor.
LinkedIn.com is currently the largest business social networking site. It allows you to connect with experts and colleagues in your specific field. You can also promote your accomplishments without the possible embarrassment on other social networking sites.
Only professional information is put on LinkedIn. Once you are in, your profile will be available at linkedin.com/in/your name. You can customize your public profile web address if you like. Then you can post your URL on your resume, blog or Web site. Google usually rates LinkedIn profiles highly.
It is best to keep your information current and use your knowledge and experience to answer other people’s questions so you become more visible on LinkedIn.
If you recommend others on the site, they are likely to reciprocate.
Now that you have your own site, you will need to get it to go to the top of Google’s search-engine results page (SERP). Keywords have more weight if they are in the URL of the page. So, try to incorporate the most important (target) words into the URL address.
Google will search your site for clues to its content, so if you use target words more often, your Web site should appear higher in the results.
Google also searches for relevant links on your site. You need backlinks to your website, so link to it from other sites you might be on including your blog, LinkedIn, Facebook and ZoomInfo and make links on them to your own site.
Zoominfo gathers bits of online info associated with your name. You might want to check there to see what it brings up first and whether or not it is accurant and up to date. If you find yourself on Zoominfo, you can claim your profile and fill in your updated professional information. Another site that collects data on individuals is Spoke.com.
I have already written about this social networking site, Facebook. Depending on your goals, it may or may not help with your business relationships.
You should learn to use the privacy settings. You will not be able to manage every photo that someone tags of you, nor control what someone may want to write on your wall, although you can untag photos and delete wall posts later.
If you decide to be on Facebook, decide if it is for socializing or professional. It is best used for social purposes. Suggest to business contacts that they connect with you through LinkedIn rather than Facebook.
Make Comments or Write Articles
On business-related blogs, forums or sites, you can make comments. Often when someone Googles you, your comments will show up.
Make sure your comments are professional and show you in a positive light. You can also contribute article to sites that are related to your industry such as About.com, eHow.com and Google Knol.
Following the feeds of well-respected people in your industry can be advantageous, but not necessary. You will have a pretty full schedule updating your blog, Web site, and LinkedIn profile, so this may be an extra step if you find time.
Having an impressive online persona is important, but if you have no social skills, it will eventually be found out.
If it is important in your line of work, you should get out and meet with people and make some personal connections. Put on your best attire, do a little grooming (or a lot) and get out there.