For anyone online that is investing time in creating content, generating ideas in their field of expertise, or is involved in become a face or focal point within their business, being able to be found in search engines when a user searches for your name is incredibly important. It helps to define you as your own brand and an expert within your related business field. For individuals within the technology industry and especially within website marketing (including but not limited to design, seo, social media, sales, executives) this is vitally important. It’s one of the first things that can really identify you as someone of importance and can be taken seriously.
But where should you start? Social media accounts, with their ease of setup, usage, and overall trust in search engines is a logical beginning point, and Conductor just released some study data to support this. So far this year, Conductor has conducted two experiments to see what social media profiles are most likely to rank high on search engines when a name is searched. Their test subjects were 500 of the world’s top tech writers’ names and the results they got back were quite amazing!
The graph above shows the percentage of social media profiles that were found on the first page of the search engines and then breaks down whether those profiles were found in the 1-3 results or 4-10 results of page one. It also shows that the visibility results have increase from the original study in January 2012 versus June 2012.
Here is just one more reason that you should get yourself on Twitter if you aren’t already. With 95% of all names queried having their Twitter account show up on the first page, and 67% of those ranking in the top 3, it is a no-brainer seeing that having a Twitter account can be a first step toward getting your personal branding exposure on search. Of course it is not just having the actual account, but actively engaging the account and your business community that will get you to that coveted top ranking. Unless of course you happen to share your name with a hockey goalie, you stand a very good chance at breaking into the top 10.
From there research showed that, LinkedIn and Facebook are the next obvious choices in that order, in creating a personal branded account, and lastly Google+. Google+ is interesting to theorize about. Is the reason that Google+ profile pages do not rank as well as Twitter is because Google+ is used much less frequently. Conductor’s research does seem to correlate to that as they found that in sampling their 500 names, a whopping 89% of Google+ profiles showed fewer than 3 posts on the account a month. If user frequency increases on Google+ it will be interesting to see if visibility also increases. I hope this is not the last time that Conductor applies this study.
On a site note, I would also highly recommend building a website (such as this one, which admittedly has been too far long in the making) that can be a center piece that is all about you. Try to get a domain name that includes your name or handle as you are recognized in your industry if possible and be sure to update the homepage title tag to include your full name as well. This website can link to your social media accounts, and vice versa so that searchers looking for you can connect in the way the best see fit. This way, you’ll always have a central location to promote yourself and a site that can rank for your name should Twitter or Facebook ever go the way of MySpace and FriendFeed.