Having a solid reputation means filling most or all of the SERP (page one) with positive content. This might sound like a daunting task, but if you start putting one or two hours per week into reputation building activities, you’ll develop a strong presence on the web which will help to ward off reputation damage in the future.
At ReputationDefender, we tell our business clients it’s not a matter of if but when they will receive a negative comment on the internet. Private individuals are less likely to attract this type of attention, but anyone who interacts personally with clients in their job could also find themselves mentioned in an unflattering review. Once this review ranks on the SERP for your name, it will start to hurt your career.
Create Your Personal Brand
Imagine your career is a business. Your fist step would be to claim the trademark name so it can’t be copied. Then you would go on to build a professional website so customers can find the company easily with a quick search. This is exactly what you should do to start developing a personal reputation as well.
- Purchase Your Domain Name – It usually isn’t expensive to purchase the domain for your name, and the benefits far outweigh the investment. As you probably know, there are a lot of domains on the internet. The most credible are .edu or .gov. However, for a personal site .com or .net sites are usually appropriate. Try to purchase a domain that includes your professional name with no alterations so the URL will rank high on a search for that name. If you have a common name and both the .com and .net domains are already taken, add another word that relates to your field (for example: JaneSmithAccountant) or a generic word (JaneSmithOnline). Take out the longest registration license possible. The point is to prevent someone else from using your domain and creating sites that could damage your reputation or add irrelevant results to the SERP.
- Build a Personal Website – this is a great place for employers, or anyone else, to learn more about you. It’s easy and free to create a site with WordPress, so you don’t need a lot of technical knowledge. Include the same information you have on your CV and write a detailed, professional bio for the about section. Link all your social profiles to this page, so anyone looking you up on Facebook or Twitter will be directed back to your site. Use relevant keywords, including long tail key phrases related to your field. Add separate pages for different aspects of your career, but keep a clear site hierarchy and interlink pages so they will be easier for Google to index.
- Blog – Blogging about topics that relate to your career is one of the best ways to get more results on the SERP and it will also help to impress an employer. Stick to material that relates to your career and avoid controversial issues. Link your blogs posts back to the website and share them on your social media profiles to generate incoming links. Schedule a weekly or monthly time to update the blog. Adding fresh content here will help keep all your pages up to date.
A strong SERP will put you on the way to having a positive, resilient reputation in the long term. However, you never know what may happen in the future. Read on for some advanced tactics to counteract a serious reputation attack.