The internet is a big (virtual) place. If you make money online or have any sort of public internet presence at all, it can seem like you are just one tiny pixel on an endless screen of static. Most people struggle to get their voices heard at all in the endless miasma of the interconnected world. But some people have another problem. They get noticed for the wrong reasons. They are slighted, maligned, slandered, and generally whined about in very visible spaces. How are you supposed to continue your online business if your reputation is in danger of getting destroyed because of bad press online or anonymous posts and bad reviews?
There are a few answers to this question, and each of them will apply differently based on the type of business you own and the situation you might currently be dealing with. The good news is that you have plenty of options to choose from — five of which I’ve laid out for you below.
Haters Gonna Hate!
Truth be told, no matter what you do or how much you try to please everyone… you are going to have haters. Just take a look at some of the most successful people, celebrities and brands in the world today. They didn’t get to where they are because they let the haters get to them — and after all, that’s what the haters want anyway, right? One of my favorite examples of this is in one of Kobe Bryant’s last commercial during his retirement year he hits the game winning shot and everyone starts booing him. Kobe then becomes “the conductor” and walks off the stage. Yes, Kobe was hated (and loved) throughout the years, but without the haters, his brand never would have become what it is today.
Dominate the Search Results for Your Name
One of the best ways to defend your good name and reputation online is to make sure you have a protective wall built around your personal or brand name in the search results. While this is easier said than done, it is something everyone should be working on over time. Google “Zac Johnson” and you will see I pretty much dominate the whole first page for my name. The only competition I have it a presence every once in while from “Zach Johnson” who is a professional golfer that gets major media coverage.
The good news is, ranking in the search results and building a protective wall around your name and brand isn’t that difficult (as long as your name isn’t super generic or shares the name of a celebrity). The secret to owning the whole first page of Google lies within ranking your own sites and social properties. If you don’t already own your name as a domain, that is a must. Social profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube all rank extremely well and fast — all you need to do is point some quality backlinks to them with your personal or brand name.
Replicate this process and interlink all of your sites and social properties together and you will quickly start seeing them all move up in the search results.
Improve Your Game and Make Your Wrongs Right
If people hate you on the internet and it’s your fault, maybe it’s time to do a little soul-searching and self-improvement. I’m not saying that every person/business should immediately roll over in submission the moment someone has something sour to say, but sometimes this is your shortest path to a better future. One of the best/worst things about the internet is that it has a short memory. If you have a scandal on your hands, it’ll be yesterday’s news if you can clean up shop. Sure, some people will hold a grudge, and some people find it really hard to outrun their bad past, but you can create new customers on the foundation you’ve laid correcting your mistakes.
Whether you are an individual, brand or business, one of the best ways to clear up any wrongdoings, is to simply come out and apologize, then move on. Even going back to our first point, this is exactly what Kobe Bryant did when he held a public news conference and admit his guilt. It wasn’t each, but afterwards everyone moved on.
Hire a Reputation Management Company
As online marketers and SEO experts, we know what it takes to rank in the search results and have somewhat reasonable control over how we look online. On the flip side, should this happen to any random person, politician or celebrity, things can escalate quickly!
When you know you did something wrong or that bad news/PR is headed your way, that’s probably when it’s a good idea to start looking at professional PR management services. For those times when things get ugly, and there’s no way to fix them on your own, a simple search in Google for “reputation management” will quickly provide you with numerous resources. The Reputation Management Company is one such example of a company who contends with bad press online. They can scrub out highly visible internet comments and smear campaigns, so you can rebuild your brand reputation on or around that rubble.
The big difference between trying to repair any damage on your own versus using an outside ORM service is that most of them already have connections in high places, which means they can move at a much faster and more effective pace. Of course, such premium services and swift actions also come at a price.
Fight Your Own Battles
When it comes to internet spats, it sometimes pays to know when to fight back. Remember when Steve Jobs answered that complaint email from some dude on the internet? That was amazing! The guy was put in his place, and everyone else on the web knew that you don’t just mess with Steve Jobs or say that he doesn’t know his business. Of course, Steve Jobs is no longer alive, and you are certainly not his replacement in the cultural zeitgeist, but you may still be able to stick up for yourself nonetheless.
The main thing is to only do this when you know you’re in the right. Don’t engage in petty spats that make you look like you have a thin skin. Do engage in internet spats when someone is blatantly misrepresenting your brand, other people are believing what they say, and you have a special talent for setting these kinds of people straight. When attempting to defend your name or brand in an open forum (such as a site forums, social networks of live chat/webinar/conference), know that outside parties can add their own two-cents and quickly escalate the situation and even make things worse!
How to Protect Your Name and Reputation Online
There are lots of ways to defend yourself online, but most of them fall into one of these five categories. Don’t let internet scuffles snuff out your brand, personal identity or even what you may think of yourself. If you can get out from the clutches of the internet trolls, you’ll likely build a brand that works in the long term.
To learn more about how to protecting your brand and good name online, refer to my 97 reputation management resources article.
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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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