By Julie Harrelson on November 24, 2010
Put your company name on Page 1
Here’s the ultimate frustration for a business owner: Typing your own name into Google’s search bar, and finding yourself outranked by other professionals who have the same name.
That’s how it used to be for me. If someone met me at a business networking event, remembered my name tag and Googled me, they’d find a CEO in San Francisco and a Ph.D. in Texas before they’d find me. Even if they remembered my company name, and searched for “Harrelson Group,” they would find my listing low down in search results.
After some head scratching and Internet surfing, I realized I was making some common and very correctable mistakes. What I needed to do was some very basic brand management and search engine optimization (SEO) work in order to drive both my own name, and the name Harrelson Group, higher in search results.
I did three free and easy things – and they worked!
1) I started adding new content regularly to my website. I made sure always to add a byline - “by Julie Harrelson, CEO of Harrelson Group” - as part of the text. This helps build my brand by getting my name out more frequently, and has raised the Julie Harrelson that is me to a higher position in search results.
2) I had my website administrator install a search optimization plug-in that places coding on all my images so each now has a relevant keyword that can be found by search engine spiders. I also had my admin go back and create a title and description for each previous entry in the Harrelson Group blog in order to optimize those entries for search engines.
3) I established a tag cloud of keywords that are highly relevant to my work, and linked the appropriate tags to each blog post.
Building Content Every Week
I add content to my blog, “Think About It,” every week. My mission for this blog is to promote conscious business practices by writing about my own work life and about interesting things I learn from other professionals. I get lots of ideas from the business sections of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and I add my own perspective to these current stories. Commenting on current topics is a great way to demonstrate that you’re in sync with your industry and culture.
The results were startling and gratifying. In just one week, both my own name and my company’s name appeared higher on the first page of Google search results in both the Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers. A search for “Julie Harrelson, CEO” brings up my blog posts on the first page of search results.
I also got an unexpected benefit from my SEO efforts. Other keywords that are important to me are now linked to my name and my company name. When I search “strategy,” “creativity” or “vision” with my name or “Harrelson Group”— bang! There I am, right at the top of the search results page, making it easy for anyone to find me.
Easy SEO Optimization
My website is created in Wordpress, so it was not difficult to find a free plug-in – the All-in-One SEO Pack - to code my images and titles. I found it easy to use, as it automatically optimizes titles and images for search engines. This tool made it easy to change the titles on my past blog posts, thus instantly building up a library of work by “Julie Harrelson, CEO of Harrelson Group.”