We’re not talking about your ex from high school (we promise, they’re not as happy as you are) or that cute guy who sits in the corner of your favorite cafe (he probably has no job, let’s be real).
Google Stalking yourself isn’t weird at all, in fact it helps you understand how others view you and what others have said about you. Google has the power to index information with really cool data processors called spiders. This ensures that relevant content is bundled together and is easily accessible to the public. Your online presence does not stop merely because you clock out for the day. Your social media sites, websites, and any impact associated with your name could end up ranking highly into Google.
But, this isn’t about you. This is about Google Stalking your business too. You and your business should be present on search engines for keywords and content that apply to your website. For example, if you run an organic fruit stand, it would be ideal for you to show up when someone types in “organic fruit” and your city.
Google Stalking Is Okay (Sometimes)
If you’ve never thought of how you’ll show up in Google, you NEED to understand that your presence online should always consist of great SEO, a functional website, activity on social sites, and reviews from your customers. Try Googling yourself or your business.
Don’t worry. I’ll wait.
[Flash forward a few minutes.]
So, you’re back and you may have found the results are shocking. Some of the main things business owners find when they look up their new upstart business are….
In addition to not being the #1 primetime spot on your search, you may not be visible at ALL. Nope, not even on the second, third or fourth page. A great way to remedy being invisible to Google is the following:
- Create social networks and USE THEM. That means connecting with your audience, fellow business owners, and being active. Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great platforms that serve different purposes.
- Have a website. It’s a bit easier said than done, right? Begin looking into budgeting for a website that will not only represent your brand, but help provide content that is relevant to your company. This will organically help dent away and improve your search rankings.
- Customer Reviews. Get people to write down how awesome you are. Post them on your website or have them on your Facebook / Google + page. Profit from their words and boost your ego a bit.
A great way to see how to gain a presence is to look at who already does. Yes, this means your competitors.
If you Googled yourself and found negative press, then uh… let’s work on fixing that.
Maybe there’s a long story about why you have a few 1 star reviews… You’re going to be visible, you need to be prepared to make an effort to keep a squeaky clean public image. Make honest efforts to reach out to remedy any bad review. Don’t ignore it or fight it – you’ll look pretty unapproachable and stubborn. You do not want to be the next Amy’s Baking Co. with a social media meldown.
It’s not just bad experiences that reflect upon you, but the way you carry yourself, too. A sloppy profile filled with typos is negative press for you. And if you have responded with a comment to a video or article from a periodical with profanity or other negative information, this can show up on Google as well and hurt your professional image.
Congrats! You may be on the first page or clean of any questionable content revelation but that doesn’t mean you can’t be even greater. If you’re missing a few things from the list we brought up above, try incorporating them in your online presence strategy. You can even reuse content (such as reviews) for social media to connect yourself more thoroughly.
So, what did you learn through stalking yourself through Google?
Maybe you didn’t leave as many good reviews as you thought…. Or maybe your business shows up 5th in your designated keyword search.
In reality, this “tactic” isn’t uncommon. Companies often search the web for possible candidates for a job position and customers try to find companies for specific services. We promise that you aren’t some creepy stalker!
Googling yourself helps you understand that your perception is far different than what a stranger could see. Adjust your fault areas, emphasize your positives and your online presence will reflect that. Make sure Google knows how awesome you really are by follow our tips above.