What Happens When Someone Googles Your Name?

So you’ve set up a blog. Now you are churning out great content, connecting with your readers, networking with other bloggers, building a list, and even providing excellent value to your subscribers.

How’s your bank account looking?

What Happens When You Search Google For Your Name?Still not improving much?

Why not? Why are your leads buying, but not from you?

Let’s look at the same situation from a different angle: you are a brand new subscriber to my list.

You don’t really know me all that well yet, but starting to get some information from me and like what you see so far.

Then suddenly, I hit you with a product offer.

As it happens, you’ve already heard of the product and are thinking of buying it anyway.

However, buying it from ME means you’d have to cough up some personal information, possibly including your credit card.

Do you feel comfortable enough to do it? And what about my refund policy? Would you actually trust me to honor it if need be?

These are the kinds of questions your potential buyers are asking all the time.

Making money online is ALL ABOUT TRUST.

In order to see if you can be trusted, most people will do a little checking up on you before they buy from you or join your team.

They’ll go to Google and type “Your Name” in the search box and see what comes up.

Will what they see help you or hurt you?

This is exactly what can make or break your business.

Before your lead buys from you or joins your team, they are very likely to do some research on:

  1. Your Name
  2. Your Company/Brand
  3. Your Product

And this is where most online entrepreneurs fail miserably.

They fail to control what shows up on the first page of Google for their name/company name/product name.

You see, the very fact that your prospects are doing some research on you is great: it shows they they want to like you and buy from you.

Now they simply want to make sure that their desire to buy from you is validated by all the wonderful things Google will reveal about you.

Here’s what it comes down to: if you fail to control the first page of Google for anything related to you or your business, your competitors will do that for you.

They’ll be more than happy to monetize your traffic for you.

You HAVE TO fully control the first page of Google to see your business succeed. And by “fully control”, I mean the first 10 results on Google.

Like Yaro does:

yaro starak search results on google

Or like I do:

ana hoffman search on google

Mind you, not ALL the results come from web properties owned by us, but even if they aren’t ours, they are positive, thus creating even stronger social proof that we are worth doing business with.

Do you control the first page of Google for your name?

Here are some steps I’d take to change that.

1. Register YourName.com

Make sure you own your name as a domain name (EJ recommends Namecheap for domains).

If YourName.com is not available, go for MeetYourName.com or WhoIsYourName.com.

Also, register any possible combinations for your product or your company name (providing you are not breaking any company policies, of course).

2. Create A Site Under Your New Domain Name

You have two choices here:

  1. Simply redirect YourName.com domain to your “About Me” page of your existing blog. Very easy, but not as effective at controlling the first page of Google.
  2. Create an entirely new blog, dedicated to branding you as an expert, leader, and someone worthy of doing business with.

For the purposes of this post, I’ll assume that you went with option #2.

3. Properly Structure Your Blog

Organize your categories according to the information you intend to provide on your blog; for instance:

  • You
  • Your Company
  • Your Product
  • Your Training System
  • Etc.

You can also achieve even better search engine rankings by using pages rather than posts to organize your blog content. To learn more about this strategy, read my post on blog structure.

4. Remember About On-Page Optimization

Don’t forget to include your main keywords, like your name, your product, etc., in the title and description tags for each page you create.

Here are some things to watch out for when it comes down to on-page optimization:

  • Use your keywords at the beginning of your title and anywhere in your description.
  • Keep your title to 70 characters long (including spaces).
  • Keep your description to 150 characters long.
  • Make sure your titles/descriptions are unique to every page.

To learn more about on-page as well as off-page optimization, make sure to get my free SEO report.

5. Internal Deep Linking

The easiest way to start your link building campaign is by linking within your own content.

When you use your name or your company name, make sure to link it to your “About Me” page or your company page occasionally (i.e. don’t overdo it).

Side note: the general SEO consensus is that Google will count only ONE link to the same URL per page. For instance, the fact that Yaro was kind enough to let me mention my free SEO report in the post will count as a link to my blog; however, the same link in my bio will not be counted as yet another link. You can’t double-dip, in other words.

6. Social Media Profiles

Create as many social media profiles as possible, if you haven’t already.

Make sure to use your real name for your profiles; nothing stupid like “MakeCashToday”, which will only discredit you.

Link all your profiles to About Me section of your blog; even better if you can use your name as the anchor text.

Also, remember to occasionally link back to your social media profiles as well. This will help to increase their PageRank and authority, which in turn, will help them to move up on Google.

Continue adding fresh content to your profiles always linking back to your blog.

7. Good Ol’ Link Building

Link building is definitely the cornerstone of any successful SEO campaign.

And it isn’t as complicated as some make it sound, albeit very time-consuming.

Things like blog commenting with proper anchor text (especially commenting on CommentLuv enabled blogs, where you get double the links), social bookmarking, article marketing (yes, it still works for link building, if not for traffic generation due to the Panda updates), guest posting, etc. are all great places to start.

8. Rinse And Repeat

The same goes for every new page you create.

Every page needs to tell Google I am relevant, rank me! for any number of given keywords for your name.

On-page optimization, one way link building, monitoring your rankings – all are the necessary ingredients for a successful Google takeover.

Remember, you can’t make someone remove any negative information they might’ve posted about you (you can always ask, of course), but you CAN┬ámake sure that you push their information off the first page by optimizing YOUR web properties better than they did.

Love it or hate it? Comment to show me that you’re alive!

traffic generation cafe

P.S. If you haven’t already read Yaro’s story on how he started to make money online, I highly recommend you do so – it’s truly inspirational.

Image courtesy of Danard Vincente on Flickr

About Ana Hoffman

Traffic, traffic, traffic... Can't do without it, but don't know how to get it?
Ana does, and she freely shares her web traffic advice that doesn't suck on her Traffic Generation Cafe blog. And don't forget to pick up Ana's 7 Steps to Complete Search Engine Domination free SEO report while you are at it - stop hoping for more search engine traffic and go get it!

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  • What a powerful and enlightening post! There is so much value here and I am certainly going to take advantage of it and put it to use! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Very intriguing and informative post! very useful. I know I can always improve my blog and I can count on reading this blog to be beneficial to me!

  • Very informative as usual. Shared with my contacts.

  • Hi! Ana,

    Happy to see you on EJ.

    About purchasing a domain name that’s yourname.com, my name is somewhat too long as you can see, so, what’s your advice on this? Do I purchase chukwukaokwukwechukwuka.com or simply chukwukaokwukwe.com?

    P.S: Nice and value-filled article. ­čśÇ


  • Great to know I’m on the right track. I’ve even discovered Google has generated sitelinks now for my Confident Man Project. Ana’s advice is gold. Thanks, Graham

    • It’s always nice to discover that we are actually doing something right, Graham, isn’t it? LOL

  • Hey Ana,

    Absolutely loved your article!

    About domain names, do you register domains like yourname.us or do you consider using country specific domain names just useful for local brick and mortar businesses?


    • I suppose it depends on the business, Sergio.

      For a business like Yaro’s, I’d register all the possible extensions.

      For a brick and mortar business, you are right – country-specific extension makes the most sense.

  • Raj

    So, what happens if the readers click on the second and third pages of google search – which they will, if they find that first page has been already filled up!

    • As long as there’s nothing negative there, Raj, you should be in good shape.

  • Simple but true, “making money online is ALL ABOUT TRUST”. Thus, taking care of our name by simply being trustworthy should be our priority. Great post and thank you for reminding us.

  • Great advice Ana, thanks. I’ve been reading and writing a lot on personal brand development as key for business success (Gary Vaynerchuck being a real inspiration in this area) but hadn’t thought of going so far as to rank for my own name. My business name does rank #1 in Google (and just about every position so that’s gratifying).

    One question on your first para, about someone buying from you and having to provide personal information. I agree that trust is paramount to someone buying from you but aren’t most sales either through affiliate links or Paypal (and other online payment systems)? So you are not seeing any personal data other than the opt-in information?

    Maybe I’m missing the point?

    • That’s true, Cassie – for most people, these would be affiliate links.

      However, since it’s still your recommendation, your buyers will associate the checkout with you – can they trust your advice? would they get their money back if need be?

      Many people still don’t realize what affiliate marketing is and don’t really understand that it’s out of your hands once they click you aff link.

      By the way, just wrote a post on how to choose good aff programs:

  • Really interesting and informative post, I never knew how to achieve first page rank while searching your name or product. I’m going to implement your mentioned strategy on my website. Thanks again Ana!!

  • Hi Ana, I don’t know how to describe you…..would the word wonderful be enough? an understatement ….uuh. One thing is sure, you’re sent to impart generations. This article is insightful, enlightening and unique. I’m hearing about this for the first time. Thanks a million!

  • Thank you, Ana, for all the great information. I had been wondering about whether I should add pages to my blog; you have answered my questions.

    I’m new to blogging and recently switched to WordPress. I love it and glad I made the change, but how do categories and tags help my blog? Is one more important than the other?

  • Ana
    Great ideas. Fortunately I bought my name a year or so ago just because it “felt right” but I have not yet built a site for it. It does make sense though to tie it all together as I have multiple sites and businesses and have become online active over the last year. I’m printing this out and making a plan

  • Hi Ana!
    Thanks for the tips. These are very useful for any business or even person who is strengthening its SEO campaign because these aren’t just about controlling the first page result on Google about yourself, but also helpful for SEO.

  • This is obviously easier for people that have less common names, but much harder for all the John Smith’s out there. My name is reasonably common, but I am working on dominating it.

    I guess time has a lot to do with it as well. The person that has just got started is going to find it a lot harder than the person that has been actively marketing online for a couple of years.

  • Great post Anna, it looks like internet marketing is finally growing up and realising that they have to play by the real world rules like everyone else. Google Authorank will be a blessing for the good types around here, but a curse for some of the more shady characters.

  • This is one of the best posts I’ve seen all week Ana. I think I’m going to link to this post from my comment policy to show visitors exactly why using their names is important and to use the CommentLuv feature for the keywords.

    I would also add that when we search our names on Google from our home computer we can’t trust the serps we see due to personalized results (search filter bubble). Using something like scroogle to ‘hide’ our settings from Google will offer more honest results.

  • Great insight Ana, This in my opinion is one of your best posts.

  • Very informative post, never thought about the ranking of my own name before. Thanks !

  • Thanks for the post. Im on the journey to rank for my own name on Google. The story of Yaro Starak is inspiring.

  • I believe every business do have bad review in the internet search while no one can escape from there and mostly bad news go viral faster than good news.

    To increase trust, try to show your partners which from big company, show some of your client base, testimonials, use SSL for your site, bought a Truste as a promise to your customers and finally show as much as possible about your company .

  • Thanks for this reat post Ana! Just going to apply this for my blog. Hope this will work for me.

  • […] segment of your business you need to work on: whether it’s website redesign, list building, branding – you name […]

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