Online reputation management is not just a strategy to consider if something negative surfaces about you. It should begin early on, because the longer something has been online, the more authority it will have. If one of your goals is to see nothing but positive items in search results for your name, then here are some ways you can boost your personal brand for better search visibility.
Your Name Domain
If possible, and as early as possible, grab the domain for your name. You can do lots of things with your name domain – start a blog, create an online business card that links to your social networks, and so on. No matter what is out there about you, your name domain should rank first. Great name domains include yourname.com, yourname.wordpress.com, or even asite.com/yourname.
It’s not enough just to create an account and fill out a profile on social networks. In order for them to rank well, you need to be active on those networks, as well as find ways to link to those profiles. The top profiles that seem to show up in search results include:
- Google Profiles
These are not the only ones – even profiles for StumbleUpon, Mixx, Digg, etc. rank well. Be sure to enter your name in the name fields and get customized usernames / URLs when possible for the best possible optimization.
Photos and video can rise the top of search results if optimized for your name. For images, make sure the file name, alt tag, and title tag for the pic includes your name, and for videos, make sure the title and description includes your name as well.
Guest Blog Bios
Guest blogging is well known to help you build a great reputation. If a site has high authority and offers author bio pages, then those pages will usually rank well for your name, especially if they are updated with your latest posts often.
Is someone asking you for an interview? Do it! If they put your name in the title, url, and description of the post (which they likely will, especially if you ask nicely) then it will do well in search results.
When you type in just about anything, chances are if there is a Wikipedia article about it, it will be in the top 5 of the results. There are a lot of rules about biographies of living persons and especially autobiographies, as they may not be completely unbiased, but if you know a Wikipedia editor and have enough status to have a biography, then this will definitely rank well for your name.
The Key to Getting Your Brand Ranked
So what is the key to getting all of these good things about yourself to the top of SERPs? Just like website or page you want to rank for a particular keyword, you have to build links with anchor text. The easiest way to do this is by blog commenting with your own name and link to these various profiles and profiles. Interlink your websites to your profiles and profiles to your websites. Include your photos and videos on these websites and profiles. And then your name will be on its way to dominating search results with only the best information.
If you want to see these kind of results in action, Google Matt Cutts and you’ll see what I mean!
Your Personal Brand Management Techniques
What additional advice would you give for people trying to manage their online reputation? Please share in the comments!