When you have an online presence, it can be difficult to find a balance with being recognized and only for favorable reasons. Any tiny slip or impulsive comment can have a negative impact for years afterward. Having no online presence can be just as damaging because people will wonder what you are hiding or if you are even interesting. Your goal is to ensure that every time your name is searched on Google, there will be only positive results. If you need to fix your online reputation, the following four tips will help.
Build an Optimized Website
The first step is to purchase your name domain. Doing so will help people find you faster and make your site rank higher. You will then need to build an optimized web presence that is attractive to both visitors and search engines. The primary keyword used should be your name because that is what you want to base your ranking and reputation on. While using your own name for the domain is best practice, it may not be available, which mean you should place your name on blog posts and in page titles to help your ranking.
Post Engaging Content Regularly
Building a website is not enough. You need to post fresh content to it regularly to move up in the Google rankings. Blogs and video content that visitors can comment on and interact with will bring in the traffic and quickly make your name a household word. Not publishing regularly could allow someone with the same name or a similar spelling to come along and jump you in rank because their content is fresher. Another consideration to fix your online reputation is creating content that people will enjoy and link to from their social media accounts and personal websites.
Be Active on Social Media
While social media allows you to build an online reputation quickly, the platforms work in different ways. LinkedIn is the leader for letting users have complete control over their content, which is an important factor when you are searching for work. Employers often check LinkedIn before any other social media site when they are looking for information on applicants. Be sure to completely fill out your profile and replicate connections that you have in real life. Being on social media is especially important when you have a common name. Signing up for a Twitter account but never posting to it will give Google a negative impression, and someone else with the same name who tweets daily will quickly gain an advantage over you. On Facebook, be sure to review your security settings to keep questionable content out of public view. If you use Facebook for personal reasons, consider creating a pseudonym and block search engines from indexing your profile.
Create a Personal Brand
Getting your name out there is important, but brand building is better. You can guest blog, speak publicly or even write a book based on your expertise and life events. All of these efforts can generate a revenue stream as well as creating positive publicity around your name. While it is vital to be on LinkedIn and other platforms, they only help with your name, not your reputation. It is your reputation that gets you known, gets you hired and gets your career going. Your brand is your online identity.