You know how important it is to make a great first impression in real life; are you making a great impression when someone meets you online? When a potential client looks you up, you want them to find the best you have to offer. You don’t want to be outdated or inaccurate, which is why it makes sense to review your online presence on a regular basis.
Most consumers research a business online before they make contact, which is why you need to maintain your online presence. Unless you’re just getting started or are in the witness protection program, you’re already online – now you must make sure what people are finding reflects you and the way you do business.
We do a periodic Digital Audit with our clients to ensure they are maximizing their digital presence. This article outlines what we look for and the approach we take.
Step 1: Google Your Business
When people Google your name, what are they finding? Is it an inactive Twitter account? A LinkedIn profile that hasn’t been updated since 2012?
The good news is, you can easily find out: Just do what they are doing. Google your first and last name and see what comes up.
In an ideal world, the first few links are your website, then perhaps your brokerage listing or realtor.ca, LinkedIn and any other social media. In a perfect world, you also see your Google Business listing. If you don’t have a Google My Business listing, click here.
If you have a common name, this may be a challenge, which is why it’s even more important to have a listing on Google Business. If you’re registered, when people do a search for you your listing will come up on the right-hand side of the page, with your website, social media links and most importantly, all your five-star reviews.
Step 2: Social Media
The next step is to identify any social media accounts that aren’t in use but are popping up in a Google search. Delete them. Chances are you don’t need that MySpace account anymore. Perhaps you have more than one Facebook page under your name – time to merge them or remove the one you’re not using.
Now it’s time to have a hard look at your website. A colleague of mine who writes website copy says many business owners she speaks to are surprised about what they find when they look at their own website. Take a few minutes to read the copy on your site. Is the information on it accurate? is it up to date? Do your social media links work? If you answer no to any of these questions, it’s time to update your site.
Review your active social media sites now. Are your usernames consistent? If not, see if you can make them consistent – you won’t lose any followers. Make sure your profiles are fully fleshed out including your story on Facebook as well as the About section. Is your LinkedIn profile up-to-date? It should be, because that’s one of the first links that will come up in a Google search. You’d be surprised at the number of people who haven’t updated their profile after they have changed companies.
Are you using the same headshot on each site? If your headshot is out of date, book an appointment with a photographer. If people don’t recognize you in real life from your headshot, that’s a missed opportunity.
- Are there any other sites where you should be collecting reviews?
- Set up a Google News Alert for your name to see when you pop up
- Create a system for collecting reviews (an automated email or prepared template works well for this)
- Update your email signature: Make sure your website and social media links are there and working
If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. However, if a potential client looks you up online and sees that you’ve done an incomplete job with your online presence, they’ll likely think that is how you conduct your business and they will move on.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about your Digital Footprint. We are happy to offer suggestions.