If not, you most definitely should! Why you ask? In today’s search-happy world, your brand/business is getting Googled by potential customers whether you know it or not. Over 1 billion names are Googled EVERYDAY!
With a plethora of businesses that fall into a category of “similar/same”, people are using search engines and Google to find what they want (or possibly what they weren’t expecting) with a mere click of a mouse. Search engines are now one of THE primary sources for user’s information gathering.
Oddly, many of the clients I have worked with have never thought to Google themselves or their brands as a part of their ongoing brand monitoring. Approximately 50% of individuals have ever looked up their own personal name or that of their business to see what information about them is available to all, online.
Googling yourself regularly may feel self-centered but it absolutely should be an integral part of maintaining your brand. It is vital that you know what consumers are finding out about you or your business as of course, we all want our audience to get a positive impression when they search and find us.
Spending some time Googling your name/brand every few months allows you to readily see whether your online presence (aside from what you control through your website, online content and marketing vehicles) is an accurate representation of your brand and what you desire it to be known for. Not having an awareness of what may be being said about you/your brand, by way of reviews or comments posted on social media or via other mediums, risks you unwillingly denting your business reputation.
Googling can also provide you with information on where you brand name falls in the results field. Unless your name or company is one that is common with many others, the first few listings that come up is the real estate where you want your name/brand to be showing. The name of your company ideally should equate to your URL/domain to lessen consumer confusion (but that is a whole other blog topic).
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic wand you can wave to make YOUR information appear in the numero uno spot but knowing where your brand appears is pretty darn important. If your brand shows up halfway down the page or worse, doesn’t even make the first page, then you might want to enlist the assistance of a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert pronto!
If you Google and find inaccurate information, you need to double check where that data is coming from and see if you can rectify it. Oftentimes, when we are auditing a brand, we Google an existing client’s business name and find links to pages on their website that are no longer active (the dreaded 404 error). Finding these may seem trivial but in reality, it tells a consumer that you have loose ends or are sloppy. Not good not matter how you spin it.
If you find negative feedback, don’t ignore it or shrug it off as the cost of doing business. Go to the source if you can and reach out to them. Ongoing feedback about your products/services helps brands evolve and grow, even when the feedback isn’t always what we want to hear. Try and make things right if possible, as this shows customers that you do listen and are willing to meet their needs.
Bottom line is that the World Wide Web and how so many are using it for a multitude of purposes, should be making anyone with a brand/business rethink how they are portrayed and how they show up on the internet.
So get Googling and see what you might already know (or might not) about your name/brand.