When’s the last time you Googled yourself? LOL! No really, here’s a quick assignment for you. Conduct a search on yourself and/or your business name. How many results show up in Google, Bing and Yahoo? The results that appear are your online footprint. Your reach on the web. The online “trail” that you leave behind.
For example, when I do a search for Lisa Angelettie in Google, you will see over 27,000 results for my name. These are all the places that you will find me, my content or mention me on the web. That is my online footprint.
Now let’s compare that to powerhouse Oprah Winfrey, who has over 31 million results for her name. (Dang!) That is a powerfully deep and wide online footprint. In fact, just because I have mentioned her name in this article has immediately increased her online footprint.
So What Does That Mean?
Simply put, she has the opportunity to touch and reach a lot more people because of how OFTEN she is mentioned on the web. Her reach is VERY wide. It is the kind of footprint that all business owners should strive for and it’s really what I love working on with entrepreneurs.
Now another important thing that I want to mention is that your online footprint is NOT just a numbers game. There is also the issue of quality. See it would be very easy to manipulate your online footprint number by doing something like submitting an article to 1000 low quality blogs or websites. (Although that might actually be harder to do post Panda then it use to be.) But let’s say you could. That would give you a 1000 more results BUT the reach would be meaningless because no one is finding you on those spammy sites. People aren’t reading that article and learning more about you and what you do. No one is clicking on your link to your website. It’s really just a dead search engine result. An ineffective reach.
If you’ve been around long enough there is probably a chance that you have some of those “dead” results without your knowledge or via some of your old link building tactics. That’s okay. You can counteract some of those random results “on purpose” by creating meaningful content that is read, shared, liked, clicked on and talked about on sites that are visited and that are important — including your own! This is what creates a powerfully effective online footprint that is deep and wide.
Conduct a quick search on however you brand your business, whether it’s through your real name or your business name. How many results come up? Take a look at the first five or so pages of those results. Are these links on powerful sites? Well trafficked and well ranked sites?
I can quickly check this because I use browser plugins that immediately & automatically show me the traffic and ranking when I do a search. I use the SEO Status Alexa Pagerank Toolbar for Firefox to check this.
For deeper research, you can check your site statistics. You can use WordPress Stats or Google Analytics for this check what sites are sending you traffic.
My footprint is pretty accurate because I haven’t seen another Lisa Angelettie on the web, so I know that all those results are mine. BUT if you have a more common name, then you need to be careful. For instance, if I do a search for my maiden name “Lisa Miller”, there are many Lisa Miller’s that come up in the results. So the search engine results aren’t accurate for me and my business.
Hopefully if your name is Lisa Miller you haven’t branded your business with that name. It’s too common. Hopefully you have a unique business name and have referred to that name in your content on the web. That way when you investigate your online footprint you will see a more accurate result.
Would you like a complimentary online footprint analysis? Let’s do one over virtual cocktails! In the meantime, leave your comments or questions below and let’s grow our online footprints together.