Start by doing a thorough assessment of your current online reputation. Conduct searches for your full name, company name, brand or other key phrase in Google and other search engines. Focus primarily on the first 2 to 3 pages in Google’s outcomes. Set this information into a spreadsheet, listing the urls, position in results and your remarks on what’s in that url. I’ve created a worksheet to help you with this process. You can download a transcript here.
Step 2: Identify Changes Needed
Look through each of the results on your spreadsheet and identify things you want to change. If there is anything negative, mark that as a priority to either delete or push down farther in the results. For outcomes that contain key information you want to promote, mark those as items you want to move up in the rankings.
Step 3: Decide Your Best Arenas
Now look at what is showing up most in your results. Are your highest ranking urls from Twitter and Facebook? Perhaps you show up more on a personal blog or in YouTube videos? If so, these are the types of places where you can publish more information about yourself and influence your reputation. At the same time, be sure to identify places where your target audience hangs out. You want to be seen and hear in the places that are most important for the type of reputation you want.
Step 4: Make a Reputation Strategy
With information about your current reputation in hand, you can now craft a strategy for constructing the image you want. Focus on both the what and the where of your content and message. What type of content will serve you best? This might include blog posts, press releases, articles for directories, tweets, Facebook pages, or interviews. Then decide where this content will be published and how. This might include which social networks to focus on, high traffic blogs, news sites, your own blogs and video sites.
Step 5: Start Building
The last step in constructing your online reputation is to follow through on your strategy and start creating your content and promoting it in the search engines and elsewhere with SEO techniques. Be sure to have your name, brand or company listed as the author on each item published, so that you get credit for it. As you generate the content that will influence your reputation, continue to monitor search results online. Track your progress and keep tabs on all mentions of your name and key phrases so that you can quickly respond to anything negative.
Once you have assessed your current online reputation and have a firm strategy in place, you can easily take control and manage the way you are insured on the internet. Keep your message consistent across all your content and you will be constructing a solid base that will help you both in your business and personal life.