A hotly discussed and debated topic in the world of online marketing is how to rank on the first page of Google search results. There is no magic bullet, formula, or company that can instantaneously propel you to the first page. If a company guarantees you first page success, they are making promises they just cannot keep. Only a strategically developed and well coordinated plan including a website and social media strategy will propel you to the top. Implementing and executing your plans will take time. Slow and steady wins the race.
As you start to implement your plans and connect with customers and clients across all social media platforms, you should also take a few minutes and see how your name ranks in search results. After all, as a small business owner you are your operation, and your name is part of the brand. Make sure you are findable just in case a potential customer or client cannot remember your business and goes looking for you by your name.
So first, start out by searching for your name. Log out of all Google accounts and clear your computers cache and browsing history (or just use another computer). Type in your name to the Google search box and examine the first few pages of results. Side note, if you have a common name or share one with a celebrity; put some descriptor after it (i.e. Jane Smith, Sacramento Realtor). If you don’t rank on the first page of Google for your name, this is a problem which needs to be addressed and you can do so with some simple steps:
- Join the reputable social media websites including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter and make sure your name is part of each account.
- Pay close attention to LinkedIn. Recently I’ve noticed that LinkedIn profiles are ranking in the top spot on Google search results for individuals.
- Optimize your profiles on all social media platforms. Make sure your profiles are well-written using (but not stuffing) keywords. It is critical that you have a unique profile for each social media platform.
- If you have a website, create a bio page for yourself. Again, the information should be similar but unique to your other internet profiles.
- When publishing content (blog posts and website articles) publish as yourself with authorship attached to your Google+ personal profile.
- If you have a common name “Jane Smith” or if you share a name with a celebrity, then you need to start writing content with your name and profession. Make sure your profession is varied with different wording based on your keywords but all related to your core business.
The real secret to ranking in Google search results….there is no secret. Google is constantly updating its search rankings to give users the best experience possible, the algorithms are not dedicated to helping the business owners. Your best path to the first page is to follow best practices, create coordinated content and social media campaigns, and seek out expertise when you need it. Most importantly, never try to cheat the system or sign on for the quick fix.