Knowing what the world sees about your business can be an important piece of your branding knowledge.
If someone Googles your business, what will they see? Will it be all rave reviews from your favourite customers or will there be some not-so-great reviews amongst it too? Whether you like it or not the results that pop up about your business when a potential customer hits Search will influence their decision about whether to engage further with you or not.
Here’s my top tips for keeping an eye on your business’s digital profile.
1. Once a month is enough
Don’t over-Google yourself – things won’t change overnight and even if they do, will you really have time to deal with it every day? Better you spend that time providing amazing products and services to your existing customers and marketing yourself to potential newbies.
2. Focus on the first page
Just look at the first page of the search results. According to a 2014 study most people only look at the first page and over 2/3 of those only look at the top five listings. This is what really matters. If you Google your business name (and you’ve been doing business for over 12 months) and it doesn’t appear in the top 5 then it’s time to get your Search Engine Optimisation and Keywords reviewedG
3. Search in Private or Incognito Mode
This way your search results won’t be influenced by the existing information stored by your browser such as search history and cookies. Or ask a close friend to Google it for you – they will see different things to what you would see.
4. Search using Advanced Tools
This way you can search for posts that might have gone up in the last month, week or the past 24 hours. You are more likely to find fresh content this way and it will help you keep on top of any negative reviews you might have and get them resolved as soon as possible.
5. Promote the Good Reviews
When you find a great review on line, then promote it, promote it, and then promote it again. Get it up on your website, your Facebook page, tweet it and post a pretty picture embedded with the positive review to your business Instagram account and include a link back to the original review. Getting people to click on the positive feedback will help it to continue to rank highly – and outrank the not-so-nice.
6. Utilise Google Alerts
Google’s free Alert system will send you notifications when your key phrase pops up somewhere on the web. This is a great way to find out if you have appeared in any news items and you can share it on your social pages to build social credibility.
7. Google the other types of information
Google using Google’s image, video, news and blog searches too – you may find something which may not necessarily have come up in the generic search section. It also means you can Google yourself several times in a month without feeling weird – bonus!
8. Use Quotation Marks and Ampersands (&)
Remember to use quotation marks and the & symbol (it’s officially called an ampersand) to Google a phrase or string of words, For example you could Google your business address, your tag line, your brand name, your personal name, your trade and location and so on. Don’t just Google the name of your business. Someone might write about the “mobile mechanic on Smith Street” in order not to name and shame, but you will know that that is your business. Get creative.
9. Try the other Search Engines
Try the other search engines – Bing and Yahoo! are still around (I know – who uses those??). Some people do, so worth a quick squiz on those sites to see how you fare on their platforms too. Click through on the links they return to find out where they are pulling their intel about you from.
Knowing what Google knows seems impossible but a quick Google session for 10 minutes over coffee once a month when you don’t feel like starting on that bookkeeping or BAS can give you plenty of data about how you are perceived in the market place, help inform your future marketing efforts and uncover any unhappy campers before they go viral.
Coffee and Google – the perfect distraction from all those other things that need to be done, but now you can justify it. Happy searching!
Found a spelling or grammatical error in this post? Then contact me as soon as possible and let me know and I will offer you a free 30-minute review of your digital presence and some fresh ideas you can try out for free.
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If you’d like to find out how I can help you build an amazing, customer-converting social media strategy, then book a free strategy session. In around an hour we’ll develop a plan to take your business to the next level.