To “google” something or someone has become synonymous with searching for relevant information on the topic or person in question. As an individual, if you Google yourself it could be for curiosity, vanity, or to see if unflattering photos and information will show up when a potential employer searches for you before making a hiring decision.
For professional service providers and small businesses owners, brand management, reputation monitoring, and search engine relevancy are all reasons to google yourself or your company on a regular basis. How your business is seen (or if it’s seen at all!) to the online community is extremely important. With more and more people using a search engine to find local products and services, how your company is portrayed can be the deciding factor whether or not potential customers decide to buy from you, or your competitor next door.
Why You Need to Google Yourself
A few things to consider when conducting a search for your company online are:
1. Is Your Branding Consistent?
Your business logo, slogan, photos, description, address, and other pertinent information should be the same on every directory, review, social media, blog, and other websites. Not only is it unprofessional to be inconsistent in your branding, but will cause confusion for potential customers looking for what you have to offer.
2. Is Your Business Seen as the “Expert” in Your Field?
The more quality content you have online for potential customers to see and use, the greater your “expert” status becomes. For someone just moving into your city looking for the products and services you provide, this information means credibility, which in turn equals new business.
3. What is Your Online Reputation?
How your business is perceived by the local community can make the difference between success and failure. Business review sites allow customers to rate their experience with you, whether good or bad. The more positive reviews you receive, the higher likelihood of new business from online referrals. However, the negative reviews can destroy your reputation and the possibility of new customers.
4. Can Potential Customers Find Your Business Online?
Your website, directory listings, and other online properties need to be keyword optimized for your specific industry, location, and search terms that customers are searching for. Without these essential elements, no one will be able to find your business online, which equals lost sales.
Don’t forget to use the image and video search as well as the standard web search when checking on how you’re seen by Google, you may be surprised by what you find!
How does your business stack up? Have you Googled yourself or your business lately?