When someone wants to find information about anyone or anything, they head to Google. Without hesitation, whatever information Google provides the end user with, it’s usually trusted and accepted within a moments time. This is especially true when it comes to an individual’s or brand’s reputation. No matter what the real truth is about yourself or a brand, whatever the internet says about you can greatly influence the way others gain a first impression.
With all of this in mind, it’s extremely important to make sure you not only have some control over what appears in Google for your name or brand, but also that you are continually monitoring online mentions for your personal name and brand mentions as well. After all, it’s not just Google where people are finding information, it’s also through social media, web forums, rating websites and much more.
Today I’m going to provide you with three solutions for how you can not online monitor and track name mentions online, but also how you can gain more control over your online reputation in the process.
Monitor, Track and Respond to Online Mentions
Google, social media, online review sites and user forums… when it comes to tracking online mentions for your brand or personal name, it can be quite overwhelming. While there are free tools out there like Google Alerts that are great for providing you with updates on any new content that contain your name or brand in web content, it’s really only providing you with a fraction of the picture. As online reputation management and brand monitoring services continue to get more advanced, it’s quickly becoming easier to track and monitor mentions across a wide range of platforms, while only needing to use one solution.
One such provider that is making this process a whole lot easier is Brand24. Through their online monitoring platform, individuals and brands can see new mentions in real-time, while also tracking how to respond, engage or reply/remove such content. It’s one thing if someone makes a mention of your personal name or brand on social media, but it’s another when bad reviews or defamation comes into play. While social media is one of the largest areas of focus when it comes to brand mentions and monitoring, Brand24 was actually built with all different types of content monitoring in mind. Outside of social media monitoring, the platform also offers alerts for name or brand mentions across websites, blogs, photo sharing sites, forums, news outlets and more — all of which are delivered through email notifications and can be compiled into daily or weekly reports. These are just a few of the reasons why the online monitoring of name and brand mentions are so important.
You can see an example of the Brand24 backend monitoring system below. As you can see, not only is it a solution for providing updates in real time, it also allows for full tracking and monitoring of social media reach, positive and negative mentions, and also the ability to set up a collaborative work setting that allows for multiple users or team members to access such information.
Build Your Own Platform and Rank #1 in Google
With Google being the first resource for information in the world today, they are also going to be your first impression to millions of people around the world. With this in mind, it’s extremely important to make sure that your website, brand or content is ranking number one in Google for your name or brand. If you aren’t currently ranking number one, you simply aren’t in control over how you look online.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to actually have a website or blog. This sounds easy enough, but in some cases, it might not be — especially if you share a name with a famous celebrity, artist or online marketer. In my case, I rank #1 in Google for “Zac Johnson” and pretty much own the whole main page for my name. However, there is also a famous golfer named “Zach Johnson” that ranks very well also. While the names are spelled differently, there are likely times when someone is searching for one or the other, then actually coming across the other person. This actually happens quite a bit whenever there is a big golf tournament going on. Since the names are so similar, Google will pre-populate “Zach Johnson’s” standings in the search results, then display my web site right below it. You can see a visual example of this below.
In short, if you want to rank at the top of Google for your name or brand, you need to have a powerful website (with a blog) that continually gains link juice and SEO power over time. This way, whenever someone searches for your name or brand online, they find your website first, and not another source of information that is potentially out of your control.
Use the Power of Social Media to Rank Multiple Times
With more than two billion users on Facebook and another few hundred million spread across the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others, it’s important to think about the sheer power and reach of social media. We already covered the importance of monitoring name and brand mentions on social media, but if that’s where you are stopping, you are missing out big time.
A perfect example of this would be the ranking power that lies within each of your personal and brand social profiles. Google loves social networking site and with so much link juice, authority and power behind each of these sites, it’s quite easy to rank them versus a new site of your own. While I highly recommend creating a website or brand and having it be your number one ranking in Google for your name, I also recommend using social media profiles to fill out these rest of your main page listings.
If you were to search for any big name celebrity, you will likely see their main website ranking number one, then all of the social profiles proceeding. That is of course unless they had a big scandal or negative news posted about them and might have to compete with even bigger news and media sites like TMZ ranking for their name. To see an example of a celebrity who is not doing this correctly, just take a look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s search results in the screenshot below. Not only does his main website not rank #1 for his name, he also has Wikipedia, IMDB and gossip/news websites ranking before his social profile pages!
The important thing to remember here is that it’s quite easy to rank your social profiles in Google for your name. To help and speed up the process, be sure to continually link back to your social profiles using your personal or brand name. The more you do this, and associate the links coming from your own sites, the more likely you are to see such profiles start ranking higher in Google for your name. Continue this process until you rank your main web site number one in Google for your name, then listings 2 through 10 with your social profile pages.
Google and Social Media are Your First Impression
As you can see, there are many factors that come into play when trying to look your best online. If you aren’t actively monitoring when, where and how your personal and brand names are being mentioned online, you simply aren’t in control over how others may see your brand and getting that first impression.
Online reputation management and building a brand for yourself isn’t something that happens overnight. This is especially true for anyone just starting out. However, when done correctly, your efforts will continue to compound and grow stronger and stronger with each day.
Follow each of the recommended tips and solutions above to make sure your personal name or brand always look best at all times.
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Quick and Effective Tips to Maximize Speed of your Website or Blog
Few things are worse than when you click over to a new website or blog, and then it’s loading slow as anything. With everyone having an extremely short attention span, and so many options for other websites and entertainment online, a fast loading website is a must for every blogger, brand, or business on the internet.
There are also many benefits associated with a fast loading site, beyond just user experience. Google is now penalizing sites that take too long to load, and boosting up other sites that a mobile-optimized and running super fast.
Depending on how technical your design or WordPress skills might be, the process of speeding up your site and maximizing it’s optimization might vary. To help with this process, I’ve listed a few of the best working methods below.
Optimize your Homepage to Load Quickly
With the homepage being one of the most vital parts of your website or blog, you should be doing everything possible to make sure it loads quickly. Different things can be done to speed up your homepage such as lowering the number of posts on the main page, minimizing applications and widgets from third-party sites, and also optimizing your images so they are either loading as a smaller sized file or through a CDN service. It’s also a good idea to use an SEO friendly theme or template, as these are more often cleaner with their coding and already optimized right out of the box.
Use an Effective Caching Plugin
If you are using a CMS like WordPress or blogger, then using an effective cashing plugin can contribute nicely in the process of making sure your site is loading as fast as possible. Since caching is an apparatus for a temporary storage of web pages to diminish bandwidth and to improve page loading performance as well, it saves the server’s time to make web pages load faster. Caching plugins are easy to install and use. All you need to do is perform some research online to see which plugin is best for your site, then click a few buttons to have it installed right within WordPress. Once this is done, it’s usually just a matter of copying the account number of your CDN and letting the hosting provider and WordPress plugin do its work.
Use CDN (content delivery network)
We’ve already referenced content delivery networks or CDNs, a few times now. The way these solutions work is that they host a version of your site on their server, and then loads the content from another server that is closest to that individual’s location. More and more site owners and bloggers are using CDNs not only to improve page load speed but to provide users with a great experience to make them stay longer on the website. Also mentioned earlier, this can help with how well a site ranks in Google, while also moving your site above the competition. Moreover, if one of your server locations is overloaded due to huge traffic and visitors, then users can automatically be switched to a new server location to enjoy fast loading website experience.
Improve Your Hosting Plan
If you have a slow loading website or blog, it’s likely due to your hosting plan. If you are pushing a lot of traffic through your site and making money in the process, you should definitely upgrade from a shared server. Shared hosting is often fine for new site owners and bloggers, but as your site gains more attention, backlinks, and traffic, it will also likely be using more server resource. On a shared server, your site is also sharing the server resources with many other sites — sometimes hundreds, or even thousands! Upgrading your hosting plan to a VPS or dedicated hosting package can greatly improve the performance of your site as well. So, if you are still using a cheap web hosting plan with an average price below $5/mo and receiving massive traffic from search engines, then it would be the right time for you to upgrade your hosting plan with a better one to speed up your website loading speed.
Use Optimized Images
Big images take up a lot of space and resources when it comes to loading data from your site. This is especially true with very high-quality images. While these images are going to play a big role in the beauty and engagement on your site, there are still ways to optimize such large images so they load faster and put less stress on your server. There are many plugins are available that can drastically reduce the file size of an image without reducing the quality. Image optimization will not only help you boost website load time but will also save disk space for more files and media. If you really don’t want to overload your website with plugins, then you can also use online image reducer apps and software to optimize image before uploading to the media library of the site.
Minimize HTTP Redirects Requests
How and where content is being loaded on your site can also affect its overall performance. You may need to use redirect requests to redirect the web browser from one URL to another. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might want to do this, such as to specify a new URL location, to track visits and clicks on the site or to connect different elements of the website with each other. Since redirects might be necessary to enhance overall UX of the website, you should only be using the redirect requests that are most important because excessive redirect requests can have an ultimate impact on the loading speed of your website/blog.
Don’t Leave Your Audience Hanging
When browsing the internet, few things are more annoying than accessing a slow loading website. It’s hard enough to get someone to visit your site, let alone stay for a few seconds. Don’t give them a reason to leave right away because your site isn’t loading as fast as it should be.
Follow each of the simple and effective site speed optimization tips above to make sure your site loads as fast as possible, ranks higher than the competition and also doesn’t disappoint your audience when they hit your site.
7 Examples of How to Rank Higher in Google for Your Name
Your name is important and when someone searches for it online, you want to make sure they find your correct information. This isn’t just about reputation management, it’s also about looking your best and delivering a great first impression.
The key thing to remember here is no matter what someone is searching for online, they are likely going to start with a simple Google search. Since most people share their name with hundreds or even thousands of people in the world, having your content rank for your name might be quite a challenge. This is especially the case if you share a name with a popular celebrity, politician or well-known personality.
The good news is that when it comes to ranking for your name in Google, anything is possible. Implement each of the seven methods below into your content creation and marketing efforts to see your own site and content start ranking higher for your personal name.
Create a Website or Blog with YourName.com
It’s not just about creating a site and putting it out there, it’s also about making sure the site acts as your main hub for everything you do online. This means you should be creating original content for the site, linking to your social media profiles and also referencing back to your site when contributing to other sites or getting quoted/referenced.
Once you have a platform in place, it’s something that will continue grow and develop with your personal brand over time — while also gaining in authority and SEO power as well.
Promote Your Social Profiles
Speaking of social profiles, Google loves to rank sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter right at the top of their search results. Depending on the competition around your name, your social profiles might already be ranking at the top of Google, even above your own websites.
You can see an example of what currently ranks in Google should you search for “Taylor Swift” below.
With millions of sites and new content pieces covering Taylor Swift every single day, it’s her social profiles (Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) that continue to dominate the search rankings.
This same method works for all names and not just celebrities. If you want your social profiles to rank higher, just keep sending more links to them using a variation of your name as the anchor text.
Boost Profiles and Authority Sites
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, ranking at the top of Google for your name is important if you want to deliver the best and most accurate information. If you are having trouble ranking your own site or want to focus on ranking other high authority content in addition to your own, this is a perfect option to explore.
For example, let’s take a look at Warren Stephens, who is an entrepreneur and has multiple bios and articles written about him online. His Wikipedia profile ranks first, then a bio on Forbes and another based around “Warren Stephens net-worth” on TheRichest. While Wikipedia and Forbes are both mega-huge outlets, TheRichest is still quite powerful to be ranking number three for his name.
Celebrity networth sites have quickly been gaining more and more attention lately as they continue to ramp up the number of celebrities, entrepreneurs, and well-known personalities they continue to cover. Even if you don’t think your one of the most famous people in the world, your profile could soon quickly be picked up by their platforms and covered in the media.
How long before we see these “networth” sites ranking on the first page for many average individuals, YouTube stars and entrepreneurs?
Guest Blogging and Author Profiles on Other Sites
While you might already have a site of your own that is ranking well for your name, it’s always a good idea to try and rank for multiple positions with other relevant content. If you are an expert in your industry, a great way to secure even more page one rankings for your name is to contribute content to other high-authority sites.
Not only does Neil have his own sites, he is also a contributor to many big media outlets like Entrepreneur.com and HubSpot.com. Doing a quick search for his name in Google will result in not only his main sites and social profiles ranking for his name, but also each of these contributing bios on other sites as well.
Once again, a perfect example of how you can deliver a great first impression (and your best content) when someone searches for your name on Google.
Rank with Other Content Sharing Sites
As covered in a few of the examples above, a great way to quickly rank at the top of Google for your name is to do so with other well-established sites. In this example, we are going to look at Jeff Bullas, who is one of the most well-known bloggers and social media influencers in the world today.
His site at JeffBullas.com already ranks number one for his name, then his social profiles follow afterward. However, when you move further down the list you will see his profiles with SlideShare.net and WordPress.com also make it on the first page of Google.
Even though Slideshare and WordPress.com are two extremely popular sites, not many people consider them when trying to rank for multiple positions for their name. These are definitely two free options everyone should consider when trying to dominate the whole first page of Google for their name.
Do Interviews and Media Outreach
A common theme in this article has been the power of using authority sites and media outlets to quickly rank at the top of Google. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through interviews and getting mentioned or covered by relevant industry sites that rank well.
A quick example of this can be seen if you search for my name in Google. A few years ago I was interviewed for IncomeDiary.com, and that post still ranks extremely well for my name today.
The same holds true for even big name celebrities or entrepreneurs who do interviews or get covered for stories based around their success and fame. If you do a search for “Lori Greiner” of Shark Tank, you will see interview-based stories from BusinessInsider.com, Inc. and Entrepreneur.com all ranking on the first page for her name.
Not sure how to get media coverage on sites like Entrepreneur or Inc? Simple… just look for the author bio section in each article. Share their content, build up a relationship and maybe your story is a perfect fit for their next article.
Don’t Forget About the Power of Video
Video is a fascinating beast in itself, yet one that is often overlooked by content creators that mainly focus on “text” based articles.
Here’s two quick things you need to know about video.
- People love to share and reference videos
- Google loves to rank video since they own YouTube
Now that you know that, you should definitely be using video in your content outreach and SEO practices.
Still not sure how effective video ranking can be? Richard Branson is one of the most well-known and successful entrepreneurs in the world, with billions of searches for his name annually. With all of that competition in play, do you think a video would rank for his name on Google? — The answer is yes, and even more surprising… it’s not even a YouTube video!
Don’t Just Rank #1 — Rank for All Ten!
The ultimate goal for everyone trying to rank in Google for their name shouldn’t be to just grab that elusive number one position, but instead to rank for multiple (if not all) page one locations.
Run through the above seven working methods again and see what type of content you may already have ranking in Google. It’s much easier to improve your rankings with any existing content that you already have ranking on page 2 or 3 pushed to page 1, versus trying to come up with new and original content of your own.
In the world of SEO and ranking at the top of Google, it’s all about getting your content in the right places and building authority links and references around them
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