Sunday, August 28, 2016

4 simple ways to improve your digital footprint

Both businesses and individuals can benefit from having a digital footprint. For the purposes of this piece, I will use my personal definition of digital footprint. 

Improving Digital Footprint

What is a digital footprint? My long answer: having controllable assets & properties that accurately portray information, resources, and other content for businesses and individuals. My short answer: controlling what people see when they search for you on major search engines.

As an individual, it is important to have a slick, clean online reputation. When you are looking at future employment, you bet the hiring managers are looking you up. Businesses, both online and physical locations, must be easily findable and have a clear-cut online presence for users. Without it, users will look elsewhere. 

Without you properly leveraging your brand name on search, anyone, including but not limited to: your bully from middle school, your rival coworker, an angry ex-employee, or an angry customer, can fill up search results with negative information. Here are four simple ways you can combat that.

1) Create Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ pages with your full name. Bonus: adding images and filling out boxes with related information.

2) Have an SEO professional do an audit of your website properties. Some very small, seemingly unimportant aspects of websites can make a large impact on how Google and other search engines show your desired information.

3) Create a consistent and engaging social media presence. Today, there are a variety of platforms for businesses and individuals to engage with others users across the web. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ I would recommend to have consistent engagement. Search engines love active social media channels.

4) Publish a variety of content to the web. As search engines find these positive properties that they can accurately associate with your brand, there is a sense of "teaching" them not only your brand, but what information is generally related to your brand. Publish positive content, engage with a variety of users, and search engines will be good to you.