Your Company’s Online Footprint

Years ago I used to tell clients- “Keep everything on your website, videos, pdf’s, presentations, etc- We want them on your website!” Although we still want people coming to your website, we just can’t ignore that people spend more time on other websites than yours! There are so many ways to get your content and contact information in front of prospects where they hang out most.

I’m here to tell you that over the years, I’ve evolved along with our constantly changing Internet. The goal now is to have your content found everywhere your prospects spend their time online. That can be many, many places.

Let’s step back and see how Businesses want a prospect to find them.

People will search industry keyphrases to find what they need- like Las Vegas Commercial Real Estate, Las Vegas Auto Insurance or Stupid Bumper Stickers. They’ll eventually narrow down the results to businesses they’d like to deal with. When they want to go back to one of  the businesses they’ve picked, they’re going to type your company name into a Google search bar as opposed the exact url into the url address bar.

Before they click your company (which should be result #1), what else do they see? Do they see some not so flattering newspaper articles about your company? Maybe where you’ve worked previously? How about the oh-so-common Ripoff Reports that all businesses just love? Your mission, if you choose to accept it is to take control of page 1 of Google when someone enters your company (or your personal name).

You must own the first page of Google for your name

There’s no question, you want to be on the first page for your targeted keywords and phrases, but just as important is when the searcher looks up your company, or your name.

Go ahead, do a search. I’ll bet you see a lot of the results of pages of where you’ve already been. That’s because Google uses your IP address and your Google account’s past history (if you’re logged in), as well as other factors (Google +) to give you results based on your previous clicks. Here’s how to get unjaded results in your web browser:

Chrome: Wrench > New Incognito Window

Firefox: Firefox Dropdown > Start Private Browsing

Safari: Edit > Private Browsing

Internet Explorer > InPrivate Browsing

Now, do the search. Results are differnt, huh? This is a better example of what someone who doesn’t have your search habits will see.

How can you own it?

Footprint

If you’ve ever looked at your Analytics, you’ll see that many people search for many different mind boggling things. Now with all the social sites, you have to incorporate into your thinking that many people spend their time on many different websites/social networks. From YouTube, FacebookTwitter and the new Google Plus.

Start a Blog. Google changes their algorithm all the time – (500+ times in the last year), but the thing that will always help is good, original, industry relevant content. You can easily contribute good content with a simple Blog on your website. I always say, Social Media starts with your Blog. Are you a resource for your industry? No? Then be one. Be the go-to-person that people automatically think of when they think of your industry. Contrary to popular belief, knowledge isn’t power. It is the use of knowledge that is power. Very easy- Post good content on your website on a consistent basis.

Get Social. There’s big controversy about Google having/not having access to Facebook and Twitter’s data, but one thing is for sure, Social Profiles show in Search. Get them. Claim your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and especially Google+ accounts. Track down profiles on Social Media sites that list your business- like Avvo which is for lawyers, doctors and dentists. These websites will find your business, have it listed and show it as unclaimed. Claim it and fill out the profile. At least you’ll have a bit of control over it.

Get your content out there. Believe it or not, people search other places than just Google. People looking for Presentations will probably look on Slideshare. Slideshare is one of the most popular places to store presentations. Anytime I speak, I always have people come to me after and ask for the slides. Get your presentations online, and once again, make sure you fill out your profile. Here’s a good example:

I always bring up a Realtor friend Dru Bloomfield.I know Dru through other connections and now keep in touch on Social Media. Dru loves taking pictures and uploading them to Flickr, which is a social media photo repository website. She had someone contact her about buying a home on a golf course in Arizona. She said, “I just uploaded pictures of that golf course to Flickr“. The prospect then said, “I know… how do you think I found you?” Fill out your profiles, include your website.

We all know people that would rather watch a quick video on a subject as opposed to reading about it. Get a YouTube video channel and ask yourself: “What would I do if I had a 24/7 cable channel?” YouTube is now serving an insane 60 hours of video uploaded per minute and 4 billion video views a day. It’s the second largest search engine (behind Google, the company who owns both). Attache a video camera and mic to your computer and record away. The videos don’t have to look professionally produced. It’ll actually be better if they’re informal as people can relate better.

Google realizes that people have different channels where they like to get their information. That’s why they use them in their search results. Make use of the profiles on these social media websites and link them up to your website. So when people find them on page 1 when searching for you… you’ll have your best foot forward.

What online channels do you like using for your business?

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