Shape Google results to attract prospects

By Jay Palter | June 11, 2014 | Last updated on September 21, 2023
3 min read

Prospective clients are Googling you, and what they find can affect your business.

Here are some possible scenarios:

  • Your client has a friend who could benefit from your services. So, he searches Google to find a link to something about you that he can send his friend.

Read: How to measure social media ROI

  • A prospect sees your advertisement or an article you’ve written. She Googles you to find out more.

According to a 2012 Fleishman-Hillard report, 89% of consumers do internet searches prior to making purchases.

Google’s the fastest and easiest way to get information about people, products or services. That means it’s one of the most important aspects of your online presence.

Shaping results

You can’t control what shows up in a Google search, but you can exert some influence.

When someone does a search, Google looks for relevant and current content. So, if you want to shape the results, you need to publish more relevant and current content that’s identified with your name.

Here are some other ways to influence results:

1. Complete your LinkedIn profile

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and has specific details on your subject-matter expertise. And always use a headshot that highlights your smiling face. A complete LinkedIn profile will get a very high rank when people Google you.

Read: 3 social media principles for advisors and firms

2. Register and build a website

Domain names that match keywords rank high in search results. So, grab the domain (and also any other regional or topical variation you want, such as .ca, .ceo, etc.) and create a simple website or blog.

3. Create a Google+ account and use it

Set up a free Gmail account and use this account to create a Google+ profile. Google is increasingly looking to social networks to determine what’s relevant and popular when displaying search results and their own social network, Google+, is a priority source of information about you.

4. Create a Twitter account and use it

Twitter ranks well in Google searches for your name. Set up a Twitter account and make sure you tweet daily. There are some great free and low cost tools, such as Buffer, for managing a regular flow of content onto your Twitter account.

5. Create a SlideShare account

Create a SlideShare account based on your name, then upload some relevant, high quality presentations about your area of expertise. SlideShare ranks well in Google; your most viewed content will show up when people search for you.

6. Guest post on other sites

Even if you don’t have your own blog, you can write and be published on other websites. If you guest post on one site regularly, make sure the site creates an author page for you because it’ll improve your Google ranking.

Read: How to be a social media success

7. Create a YouTube Channel

After Google, YouTube is the most popular search site and is a great way to enhance search results. Even if you don’t have a a lot of content to post on YouTube, you can use your channel to curate videos and create playlists of other people’s helpful content.

8. Create a Facebook Page

Most people already have a Facebook account, but tend to use it for personal networking among friends and family. Consider creating a Facebook age for your business.

9. Create a Pinterest account

Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social networks. Whether you plan on actively using Pinterest or not, you should secure an account and “pin” a few things of interest. Consider using Pinterest as a way to focus on non-business topics that help people get a better sense of who you are as a person.

10. Create an profile is a free site where you can create a profile that links all your social media accounts.

Read: Most advisors aren’t keeping up with tech

Jay Palter

Jay Palter is a social media strategist and coach with two decades of experience in financial services, software development and marketing.