The internet is often the first place clients go to look for you.
What you may not know is that as many as 90% of all prospects don’t go beyond the first page of search results.
And two out of every three searches are done using Google, so Google yourself and see what comes up.
The first page of search results is practically your resume.
People can also search your name along with a city or company name, job title or profession.
Try different combinations of search terms and see how the results vary.
While you have little or no control over what Google chooses to index and display, there are ways to optimize your search results.
Try the following:
1. If your name is David Scott, the search engine won’t distinguish you from those with the same name. So, consider using your middle initial or name (e.g., David Meerman Scott) to differentiate your identity.
2. Create a LinkedIn profile with a customized URL. Google picks LinkedIn profiles and places them at the top of search results, thus separating them from the crowd.
3. Register your own personal domain — yourname.com — to optimize search results for your business. You can use your personal domain for a simple blog site or redirect it to a personal web hosting service, such as about.me.
Read: Find new clients online
4. Set up a profile on other social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and SlideShare. It’s good to reserve your account name even if you aren’t an active participant. Every social networking account pushes you closer to the top of your search results. Of course, populating these platforms with quality content doesn’t hurt your credibility either.
5. Set up a Google+ profile and configure your Google authorship on sites where you post content. This enhances your visibility significantly by displaying your profile picture on the results page.
6. Write or curate relevant articles for your blog and offer to write posts for other blogs.
7. If you’re more of a commenter, set up a profile on Disqus.com or Livefyre.com and use it to share your views. And set up a profile picture to appear next to your comments on WordPress sites.
8. Set up accounts on second-tier networking sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, Quora and YouTube. No matter how you define a site’s social status, it costs nothing to create a profile and reserve your name.