5 Ways to Control What Customers See About You Online

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When someone searches for your company name on Google, what do they find in the search engine results? For many businesses – especially small businesses and local businesses – the top link is the business website. But after that, it’s a free-for-all. Searchers are presented with random mentions of your company in local news or a tweet from someone who stopped in at your office or a job posting at a local jobs website – nothing that really “sells” your business.

Web-savvy small businesses know the value of search engine results and they endeavor to “own” all ten search results on Google’s first page. (That’s the page that people look at most. If they don’t find what they are looking for there, they rarely click to the next page. So it makes good marketing sense for your business to own your “Google Top Ten” search results.)

Here’s how to own your Google Top Ten search results:

  1. Optimize your web site
  2. Make sure that your site shows up at the very top of search engine results all the time. Optimize it if it does not.

  3. Create an off-site blog
  4. If you don’t already have a blog on your website, create one at a different address – perhaps a .net or .us version of the domain you use for your main site. (If your budget is tight, use a free service like Blogger.com
    or Posterous.com). Add content to your blog regularly and Google will rank it higher.

  5. Make sure your social media reflects your business name
  6. Some small businesses share Twitter accounts and Facebook pages with the owner of the company, so those social media accounts aren’t always optimized for the business name. Create social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
    (and elsewhere, if appropriate) that contain your business name.

  7. Start a YouTube channel
  8. A YouTube channel that is set up in the business name (and filled with great videos, of course) is an effective way of owning another of your top ten search results in Google.

  9. Press Releases
  10. Press releases written about you and distributed to authoritative release distribution websites can rank quite high in Google (even on the first page), especially if a local newspaper picks up the story.

When people search for your business name on Google, it just makes sense that you have total control over all of the important results that they see. Use these 5 tips to help you own your “Google Top Ten” search results.

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