Knowing how to show up on Google search when someone enters your name is an extremely important skill that you need to master.
Unfortunately, most people don’t understand how to make their name searchable on Google – or why they should want to in the first place.
So let’s get this clear right now, looking good when someone googles your name is important.
Making your name appear first on Google is something that can have significant professional and personal benefits.
Not controlling how your name appears in Google will do the opposite.
If you’ve never googled your name, give it a shot and see if you’re accurately represented.
Most people do not know how to show up on Google, and that’s okay because the problem can be fixed.
Why exactly is this important? Google is the first place people turn to learn more about a person, and often times it fuels the first impression.
Think about it:
- 80 million names are Googled every single day.
- 75% of HR departments are required to research candidates online.
- Over 80% have turned down based on negative content.
- Over half will actually make decisions based on positive content they find.
It is absolutely essential you realize how to make your name searchable on Google starts with content that puts your best foot forward., learn more at joshmacdonald.net. However, people are often represented by irrelevant content (like the 5K you ran 2 years ago) or by other people with the same name (our co-founder used to be mistaken for an ex-con).
Worst case scenario, this information actually harms your reputation. And the best-case scenario, these results don’t really add anything to the story you’re trying to tell.
Don’t let this get you down. By actively engaging online in a strategic way, you create an opportunity to shape how people see you when they look you up.
Below are tips designed to teach you how to have the best version of you show up at the top of Google search for your name. This is how to take control of your presence on the web with some online reputation management tips.
1. Claim your domain(s)
This is definitely the highest-leverage step you can take when starting to practice how to show up on Google. Google loves domain names and helpful websites. If your keyword (in this case your name) is featured in a domain, you will have a better chance of making your name searchable on Google. You can get free domain/websites at a site like wordpress.com. This is one of the most trusted website builders out there and they make the process very easy.
A free profile at BrandYourself is designed to rank even higher than these. By default, it will give you access to a custom domain name (yourname.brandyourself.com) but you can take things further if you want.
As a Premium member, you can purchase your own domain (yourname.com) and apply it to your BrandYourself profile to get the maximum benefit for both branding and Google rankings.
Extra Tip: Understanding how to show up on Google goes beyond buying “yourname.com”. It’s useful to buy your domains even if you aren’t going to use them all. It limits competition from other people trying to rank similarly for your name. This means buying yourname.com, yourname.net, and yourname.org for starters. These are typically around ten dollars per year which is a small price to pay for control over your Google results.
This might seem like an intimidating process at first, but it’s actually rather simple. To learn more about how to purchase and set up your own personal domain name, visit the BrandYourself University guide, “Register a Personal Domain” if you would like. “How to add my name in google search list” is a very popular keyword right now (we checked), but you would be surprised how many people don’t want to invest a few extra dollars to give them the best possible chance to make it happen.
2. Put your name in key places throughout the site
This is crucial for something called keyword density and on-site optimization. If you want to truly understand how to make your name appear first on Google this is a concept you want to pay close attention to. When Google spiders index a site, they look to see how often certain words are used to determine what the site should rank for. If your content never mentions your name, how will spiders know it’s about you? This is one of the most important things you can do to make your name searchable on Google, so don’t forget it.
One way to put this into practice immediately is to write a bio in the third person and put your name in authoritative places like navigation tabs or headings. For example, instead of an ABOUT page, call it ABOUT [YOUR NAME] page. This way spiders know which words are most important.
But, don’t go crazy with keywords. Because Google’s algorithms are constantly improving, “keyword stuffing” will actually hurt your chances of ranking better. If you start to include your name in ways that are not natural, Google will penalize your site. So stick to mentioning your name in a few key places that fit organically with the surrounding content.
3. Add keyword-rich content over time
Another valuable tip for understanding how to show up on Google is to continue adding to this content over time. Just because you wrote a bio once doesn’t mean that it should stay that way forever. You have likely gained new experiences and have more accomplishments to add to the mix. This is a great opportunity to beef up your bio and include more keyword-rich content on your site. If you are continually updating your website with well-optimized information about yourself, then over time you will cultivate a thorough site that Google will love.
4. Create links to and from your content
Links are the currency of SEO (search engine optimization) which is crucial to building your personal brand online. When faced with competing keywords, names, and websites, Google turns to links. Google considers every link as a vote for that specific web page, so the more votes a page has, the higher it will rank. If you have some competition and want to know how to make your name appear first on Google this is one of the most effective ways to make it happen.
Another important factor of how links work is that Google weighs how credible each link is. For example, a link from CNN is seen as more credible or authoritative than a link from some no-name blog. Luckily there are some easy ways to create valuable links to and from your best results with core social media profiles.
Social Media profile examples:
- Google Plus
- And many more
These are very credible free links you can create. Although they are nofollow links (not considered as valuable as dofollow links) they carry a lot of trust and are regularly used by Google to make determinations and ranking decisions on personal search results. If you use these as a foundation you will see that understanding how to show up on Google isn’t as tricky as it seems.
We also recommend signing up for a free account at BrandYourself to link all of these profiles together. Our free profiles allow you to plug in all of your social media profiles and make sure they are linking to each other and that they are completely optimized. This will allow you to quickly identify any missed opportunities and allow you to show up on Google a lot easier.
When creating these profiles, it may be tempting to simply copy and paste a bio and headshot into your profile and link them back to your personal website. However, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you regularly update and share content on these profiles.
You don’t have to spend massive amounts of time on them, but search engines will view these profiles as low-quality if they remain inactive for long stretches of time. So do what you can here and there to engage on those platforms just to keep them fresh. The more quality votes you have over your competition, the better.
A commonly overlooked strategy is to actually create outbound links from your own sites/domains back to these social media profiles as well. Create a “CONNECT WITH ME” on your sites that link to all your various profiles. This will show Google that you have a deep-reaching, interconnected online presence and will make your name searchable on Google.
You don’t have to go crazy with this and link to your social media profiles on every page of your site (something that some people try). Instead, stick to creating a little resource page for this situation- as mentioned above. Then you can feel free to include a natural link or two in other content when it makes sense. Google will be smart enough to tie things together if you stick with this strategy.
5. Get social & create content
Google loves fresh/updated content. If you want one of the best strategies for how to show up on Google, this is it. The more active you are on your Twitter, blog, Facebook, etc. – the more credible Google will find your site. In the eyes of Google, this is what a high-quality website or social media property does. There’s no way to fake this (nor should you want to) so just do things the right way. Concentrate on creating valuable content (links, articles, etc.) that people will share.
This is beneficial for helping you show up on Google for a number of reasons. First of all, you are creating more links, or “votes” to your sites. One option (if you don’t have a lot of time) is to use widgets to connect your social profiles like Twitter to your other profiles and sites so you can syndicate fresh content that you post on one, to various profiles.
If you have a little extra time we highly recommend spreading the love around in a unique way. Tweet something interesting one day, post a different status update on LinkedIn on another. Create a blog post here and there regarding your career or passion and share it on your site. Doing things this way is a more well-rounded content strategy that tends to perform a little better and help make your name more searchable on Google.
The other reason why this is helpful is that as you go through this process, Google will start to view all of your sites and profiles as more authoritative. When a site is deemed to have more authority, that means its links/votes to other sites are more powerful as well. This is a way to get more value from your existing link network without changing anything directly.
6. Understand this is a process that takes time
Unfortunately, showing up in position #1 in Google search results for your name isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s a process that requires time and attention. Be wary of any company that promises a quick fix or claims to have cracked Google’s code. Google’s algorithms are complex and take thousands of factors into consideration. The algorithms favor efforts that are genuine and even penalize efforts that attempt to overtly “game” the system. However, by following the best practices outlined above and staying on top of maintaining your online presence, you will establish a foundation that leads to long-term positive results.
Get on Google. You will be searched.
It doesn’t matter if you have an upcoming job interview, a sales call, an important meeting, or even a date. You WILL be Googled. We hope that these tips help you understand how to show up on Google and make your name more searchable. The process itself really isn’t that tricky, it’s just about taking the time to set things up and consistently update your properties over time.
If you are still unsure where to start, sign up for a free BrandYourself account. Once you have, our software will guide you through the steps you need to take to make your name more searchable on Google. You will also be given information on where your online reputation stands right now, and how that is affecting your professional and personal goals.
If you have a negative search result, get in touch with a Reputation Advisor to learn about your options, Give us a call at (646)-863-8226, or schedule a consultation. Let the experts in our Managed Services department build and manage your online presence for you.
If you have any questions or are still unsure about where to go from here, get in touch however you want! Customer support, social media, email, whatever works for you. We’re always eager to help.