July 15, 2009
I often want to find out more about someone before I decide to do business with that person. To get the information that I need, I Google the person’s name and see how well-known they are online and what they have to say. What I discovered in my search is that their social media profiles, like those found on Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook, show up high in the search results. Google, however, has started giving these well-known social networking sites a run for their money by creating their own online profile option.
Google Profiles are simple web pages where you can list general information about yourself. Anyone who can create an account on Google and verify their real name through a screening routine can now have a personal profile page on Google. The most powerful aspect of this system, however, is the ability to include links in your profile, which can pack a powerful search engine optimization (SEO) punch for you. Best of all, Google provides this service at no cost to you.
Profiles are public and include your actual name and/or a nickname. You can list your occupation, where you are located (your profile will be used for Google Maps), a list of links, your photo and a short introduction. Google even provides a way for visitors to click a link on your profile to contact you directly.
Here are 5 secrets to creating a powerful Google Profile:
1. Upload your photo. One of the keys to creating relationships online is to let others know you’re a real person. The easiest way to do that is to provide a visual cue, like a photo, to help them remember you.
2. Include keywords in bio. The “About Me” section is where you can use outbound keyword-rich links to your advantage. As you compose this section, be sure and include several keywords others might use to find you, and link those back to your web site. For example, if you’re a divorce attorney in Houston, you might have the keyword phrases, “Houston divorce attorney” and “family law attorney” as links back to your primary web site.
3. Link to your sites and profiles. You can link to any number of sites from your Google profile. Just like in your bio, use keywords to your advantage here as well. So, if you run a cleaning business and have produced several videos demonstrating what you do, instead of listing your link to your YouTube videos as “YouTube.com,” you might instead use “Professional Cleaning Videos,” which links to your YouTube stream instead.
You should add the following links to your profile:
–all of your social networking profiles (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Linkedin)
–YouTube.com or UStream channel
–Social bookmarking profiles (Delicious, Reddit, Digg
–Article syndication page
–Free giveaway sign up page
4. Showcase your products and services. The page editor allows you to upload images through photo sharing sites Flickr and Picasa. Upload images of your physical or information products or shots of you in action delivering your service.
5. Take care when choosing your profile URL. If you have a Gmail account, Google will ask you if your want to use that username as part of your profile URL. Be aware that if you choose that option, you are inadvertently giving away your Gmail address. I chose instead the longer profile URL with the long string of numbers. I don’t like my email address appearing anywhere online, so even though this profile URL is longer and more difficult to reference, it beats filling my inbox with spam.
If you don’t use Gmail, you can select any available username to be part of your profile URL. If later on you sign up for Gmail, you can choose this username as your Gmail username. Once you’ve selected your customized URL, you won’t be able to change it or delete it. However, you can make it private at any time by selecting your old URL on the “Edit profile” page.
Take a few minutes today to claim your name and create a powerful profile for your business. It costs you nothing, creates powerful one-way inbound links back to your site, and will help you get found online.
Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps baby boomers create profitable online retirement businesses by demystifying the steps needed to successfully market a baby boomer business online. Would you like to learn the specific Internet marketing strategies that get results? Discover how to increase your visibility and get found online by claiming your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at ==> http://www.OnlineBizU.com