Chances are your company’s website and where it ranks on Google is top of mind for your company’s marketers. What about your own Google search results?
A growing number of entrepreneurs and small business owners are taking their online reputation into their own hands with BrandYourself.com. Launched in March 2012, this personal, do-it-yourself SEO platform makes it easier for individuals to control their Google results. Professionals make up a good portion of BrandYourself.com’s user base, which is 120,000 strong thanks to quite a bit of press and viral features.
With the millions of names Googled every day, it’s no wonder why these individuals put a premium on their search results.
Just like a brown-bagged lunch, your name goes to work with you too.
“Bad results hurt you and good results help you,” says Patrick Ambron, CEO and co-founder of BrandYourself.com. “It’s not just negative stuff either; it’s about a more relevant and accurate representation of themselves on the Web.”
By using Ambron’s service, professionals can push up relevant material in search results, while pushing down inaccurate, irrelevant or unflattering returns.
Take the case of a Harvard professor who came to BrandYourself.com after being falsely accused of stealing T-shirts from the Gap. From then on, every time he was Googled that incident topped the results. By using this product, he was able to push up relevant material.
Ambron says it’s a case of, “bad results happening to good people,” which is how the company began in the first place.
Co-founder Pete Kistler couldn’t get an internship in college because he was being mistaken for a drug dealer in Google. Not all cases are as extreme. Often it’s something like removing someone’s highschool volleyball championship from the top result and replacing it with their free, automatically optimized BrandYourself.com profile, LinkedIn page or whatever page meets their objectives.
“We’ve always believed we are solving a mainstream problem, and we are a mainstream product, with no price or technical barriers,” says Ambron.
People understand the concept of putting their best foot forward, as the website converts 30-40% of traffic. Ninety-eight percent of these conversions utilize the free product features.
“We make money on the 2% who pay,” says Ambron. “We don’t monetize our free users other than we think they eventually may pay us.”
The main difference between the free and premium membership is that a free users can submit up to three links they’d like to top search results, while paid members can submit unlimited links (for about $9 a month).
Here's two tips to make your LinkedIn profile higher in your search results. First, make sure you are using your first and last name, not a nickname. Second, look at your profile’s URL. You can modify your URL so it’s not like Linkedin.com/afjdljflsj, instead, includes your name, like Linkedin.com/PattySmith.
BrandYourself.com will walk you through the process, and new features can also inform you when a specific company Googles them, plus how they found you, where they’re located and where they work.