What appears at the top of search results when someone searches for your name? The best answer to this question would be your personal website. For most individual names, Facebook and LinkedIn rank at the number one position as well.
No matter what ranks on the main page of Google for your name, it’s important that it’s actually in reference to you and not someone else with the same name.
By owning the main page of Google for your name, not only does it make it easy for people to find the best and most accurate information on you, it also allows you to control what is seen by others… hence delivering the best first brand impression possible.
Dominating the first page of Google search results isn’t just important for your personal brand and creating a great first impression, it’s also one of the best ways to protect your online reputation.
Todd William, founder and CEO of ReputationRhino.com, had the following to say about online reputation management:
“Many of the tools and tactics that defined the online reputation management industry just a few short years ago are obsolete and ineffective now. Just to give a couple of examples; it used to be that if you owned the dot com, dot net, dot org for your first name / last name or for your business name, all three of those sites would rank on page one for a search for your first name / last name or your business name. That is no longer the case.
It used to be that publishing a press release would enable that press release to appear and stay on page one for months, if not years. Now we are finding that a newly published press release, even from premium press release distribution sites, have a shelf life of around two or three days at best and then disappear into page three or page four. If your goal is page one and managing positive content and maintaining positive content on page one, we have seen that become much more difficult to manage over the past couple of years.”
Ranking on the first page of Google for your name is easier said than done, especially if you have a common name or share a name with a popular celebrity, politician or someone else who has received a lot of media attention—again, this can give people searching for your name a bad first impression, even if the content isn’t actually on you!
First Page Results
After being in the online marketing space for a while now, I’ve had the pleasure of building up an active following over time. However, I also share my name with one of the world’s top professional golfers. My name is spelled “Zac Johnson” and his name is spelled “Zach Johnson”; even so, there has always been a battle in the search results for first page domination.
For a while “Zach Johnson”, the golfer was continually ranking on the main page for my personal name “Zac Johnson“, but today I can say I have successfully secured the entire first page of Google when someone searches for my name. This has not only helped solidify search rankings for my name, but also further established myself as an expert as well.
How was this done? With a lot of hard work, time and focus, but the short and direct answer is by creating my own sites, social profiles and using interviews, media mentions and high quality content to highlight my achievements and success. With each new article, guest blog, backlink and social share, these content pieces continue to rank higher.
Establish Expert Status
The easiest way to dominate the first page of the search results for your name, or brand, is through the use of your own site properties and social media.
Here’s a look at some the top sites and methods you can use to secure multiple page one rankings in Google.
Facebook Fan Page
The best way to rank in the number one position on Google for your name is to setup a domain name (that matches your existing name) and create a blog.
This blog can be used as an online resume, a personal profile or simply a one page site that links out to all of your social profiles. Think of your personal blog as the central hub and a great way to protect your brand. The more incoming links and references you can get for your blog, the higher it will rank, along with passing link juice to your social profile pages as well.
Ranking number one in the search for your personal name is quite a challenge and the goal of dominating the whole first page is even harder… however, it is definitely possible.
By following the tips and methods outlined in this article, not only can you rank for your name, you can also take total control of your online reputation and deliver the best first impression possible.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Zac Johnson, the creator of Blogging.org, is an entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space. You can learn more about Zac through his blog at ZacJohnson.com. Connect with @zacjohnson on Twitter.
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