Your name, the ultimate keyword

As I prepare some of our upcoming whitepapers, I wanted to share some tidbits of tactical wisdom for my professional readers. Everyone online is saying “put yourself out there” to help build personal brand and have a healthy online presence, but few are giving real focus to what you need to be looking at. Read this short detail and then go to Google and check yourself out online.

Once you have, do some preventative self-promotion through blogs, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook OR continue educating yourself by reading the related articles below.

So why is my name the ultimate keyword?

Lets face it: Corporations are attempting to steal your name. They want access to everyone who knows you.

The numbers are pretty simple: when Professional ABC meets NewGuy XYZ, roughly every other introduction will turn to online search to find out more information about each other. Even on a niche level: that means every networking event, in every city, every day, creates hundreds of thousands of searches online for the name of Professional ABC and NewGuy XYZ (they could be you.)

Many corporations have figured this out. In fact, your name has created a new commodity market.

  • Social networks like Facebook and Myspace love your name.
  • Companies like Intelius and Whitepages want to sell your information.
  • Google wants to make money selling your name as a keyword on a pay-per-click campaign.

Trust me on this, your name represents a commodity that you never even truly thought about.
Someone is making money off your name every day.

What can you do about it?

While you can’t control whether companies try to steal your name and the network of people it represents, you can have the choice of deciding what sites and information is most prominent online. You can start a blog, have a conversation on Twitter, or create a profile on Linked and Facebook.

By knowing the structure of keywords used in finding your name online, you can make some tactical decisions about what names and words you use on various social media sites. This makes your accounts more easily found by search engines, while focusing on phrases that matter the most to you.

The primary keywords for 90% of search engine reputation campaigns focus on “First Name, Last Name” and then the additional derivatives are added as needed. Unless we know that a specific professional is tied to a city or geographic search result, most names revolve around the following structure of keyword phrases:

  • First name, Last name
  • FirstnameLastname (no spaces)
  • LastnameFirstname (no spaces)
  • First name, Last name, company
  • First name, Last name, previous company
  • First name, Last name, title
  • First name, Last name, previous title
  • First name, Last name, city
  • First name, Last name, event (for event attendees/conferences)

In a full-campaign on such terms, there are often some strange phrases people are searching for regarding specific articles or press releases. For instance if you were on a television interview, you may have a problem with that as a specific key phrase “General News Station WX32”. Cities and neighborhoods also play a role depending if the news source of the problem is specific to a local.

As an example, when reporters blog at the Seattle PI, they have the side effect that anyone mentioned in an article on the keyword of “Seattle” has an insanely high prominence in the search engine results for “Seattle”

Hopefully this information helps you create a better, more effective online presence. If you have any questions regarding professional online reputation, feel free to leave a comment or follow me on Twitter @ceoreputation