If people are curious about you and want to learn more about your business, it’s likely that they might Google your name for more information. This can easily sway their opinion one way or another and, in some ways, offers a valuable first impression to potential clients.
A lot of what is available on Google is out of your control, but there are some ways to help people connect with you in a beneficial way.
The best defense is offense.
The first thing to understand about Google’s search engine is that it is very unlikely that something will be taken down per your request. Instead of worrying about how to get certain things deleted, consider the information you’d like people to see and put that online. The more of that you do, the more likely it is that Google’s algorithm will present that information first.
Keep your personal accounts private.
Using social media is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. However, your profile may not be full of content you feel comfortable sharing with clients and potential clients. Adjusting your accounts to private and making sure only friends can see your Facebook activity is the best way to keep your public and private lives separate online.
Promote your professional web pages.
Staying active on LinkedIn and having an “about me” page are sure-fire ways for people to quickly connect with and learn more about you. By promoting these pages, you’ll be able to have a strong online presence without shedding too much light on your personal life.
A consistent LinkedIn presence allows you to foster professional relationships online to help further your career, as well as pave the way for you to help others. You should also consider having a public Facebook page for people to see when they search for you. This can be a place for you to remain connected with people professionally, while staying active in a social space.
Don’t get lost in the mix.
Odds are you share a name with hundreds, maybe even thousands of other people. Some of these people may have a not-so-attractive public record attached to them. To avoid getting the signals mixed, make sure you differentiate yourself by attaching your profession to your public web pages. This will allow people to more specifically search for you and prevents “Jane Smith the dentist” from being confused with “Jane Smith the sales rep.”
Even though you may maintain a website of your own, it’s common for people to forget the exact address. Naturally, the next step is for them to Google your name, and what they eventually end up seeing is up to you (mostly).