Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Google Footprint

Do you know what your google footprint is? It's the first 10 - 40  items someone sees when they google your business name. Why is this important??? It's the best way to control the virtual impression your business makes.

Think about it... For the sake of example, let's say your business name is AXZ Sewing. And you google your business and maybe your etsy and twitter account come up. But let's say you had a problem with a customer and they've taken to the web saying AXZ Sewing SUCKS and that is in the top 10. And let's say, you're business is fairly successful and someone is trying to ride on your coat-tails and they's started an AXZ Sewing blog... that has NOTHING to do with you or your business... but it will mislead and frustrate YOUR customers. Just what are you supposed to DO about all that??? Well, controlling your google footprint can help!

Let's take a look at my google footprint for some ideas - This is 1-5.
#4 is ALSO facebook so I cropped that out. This is #5-9

#10 was Facebook - again!

Let's break it down:

  1. My website... with a nice layout to the most popular pages on my site. I maintain and extensive site for this reason.
  2. My Etsy... when I concentrated more on Artfire... that was #2.
  3. Facebook fan page
  4. Fan page again
  5. My blog
  6. My blog... I wrote a tutorial for free... and posted it on a site listing tutorials for other glassers. It gets me TONS of traffic, boosts my ad revenue and...now, another toe in my google footprint!
  7. A site geared toward glass people. I get a free listing there. I RARELY update my profile or pics there (I should!) but... look...that site gets so much traffic, it adds to my google footrpint.
  8. My twitter
  9. Widgetbox - an app that allows me to put a slideshow of my current work on my main blog page. 
  10. Fan page again.
The bottom line here: ME...ME MEME and ME! I control my google footprint by spreading my name around. In other words... I don't care HOW you find me but find ME. Not an angry customer and not someone trying to make money off my name... find ME.

Here are a few obvious ways to spread your name around:

Yourbusiness.com. - having your own website may seem pointless if you sell on Etsy / Artfire but there are a several  good reasons to have one. It can serve as a anchor with links any selling venue, online or in person. It gives you control over your image... suppose you have thousands of business cards printed with your Etsy shop and Etsy goes belly up???  Train your customers to start at your site FIRST, someplace you control .

And let's go back to the scenario in the beginning... what IF you become wildly successful??? I love the Daily Coyote blog... but when her writing career took off and it became obvious she needed a new website... DailyCoyote.com was taken. The domain has since been sold... I pray to the rightful owner but that's just one example of how a web scammer will try to make money off of a successful business name.

For around 12 bucks a year, you can and should own your own dot com...whether or not you use it! Protect your name! If you do launch a website... update it often! Google hates static!!!

Facebook FanPage / Google + Pages: A great free way to get your name out there as well was an amazing way to communicate with people who are already clearly interested in your work!  I frequently post pictures of new work to my fan page and often sell it before I can bother listing it elsewhere! This is a win /win all around in my book!

Blogging - For footprint purposes... it's really bad form to blog on your own dot com. A number of web hosting companies toss in a free blogging template. But this does nothing to add to your footprint. Additionally, blogs on their own dot com never seem to aggregate properly. My experience starting the blog for the Fire Divas taught me this... Our Diva blog lists our individual blogs with the most recent published on top. Divas that published on their own sites would never go to the top.

It's much better to go with the grandaddies... Blogger (a google product!) or Wordpress. You pick up more followers there as well. Wordpress is so amazing that I utilize their inner workings as a template for my main website. It gives me the power of a blog with rss feeds shooting out to twitter and my fan page with the flexibility allowing a shopping cart.

Don't think you have anything to say??? Hogwash! I haven't met a creative type that couldn't talk about their work for ages.  Focus on new items (again, sell before you list!), holidays, other sellers who make complimentary items. Write a tutorial and share the link! Wordless Wednesday is a popular blog tag around the net. Who can't take a great pic and put it up one Wednesday??  Try to blog just twice a week to keep your blogging footprint active.And sign up for blogger in your business name whether you ever blog or not! Protect your name!

Arts Organizations - There are three free handmade glass art organizations online and yep, I'm a member of all! There's also one expensive one.... and no, I'm not a member of that one.

Try and find one geared toward your art form. If you can't find one... consider starting one.... The ad revenue alone should make it worthwhile!

Twitter -  Many people are twitter resistant. I use twitterfeed.com to feed all my shop feeds and my blog feeds to my twitter. I don't go on there and get political or personal... I just try to keep my feed active. And that keeps my google footprint bigger!

Now... back to that angry customer... eventually, he will fade away. Why??? Because YOU are working to keep your name in the top of the google search! You have inundated google with legitimate and current methods to find you and the angry customer's post is getting older and dying a sad google death!

Feel free to ask questions!

Next week, I'll focus on some other ways to increase your footprint.


galla15 said...

Very nice post! I google my etsy shop name and my proper business name frequently. Actually by checking those first few pages I discovered new sites, like Klout.com
Somehow I was listed in that site and I had never heard of it so I checked it out. Interesting site by the way :)

Great information! These blogs are liked a lot by google for all the fresh content :)

Victorian Swag said...

Thank You! I'm still figuring out how to have an "online presence" and I find so much information sometimes that i get really confused! Thanks for being so straightforward and reader friendly!

new creationz said...

Wow - so much to digest here. You are amazing with all your knowledge. thanks so much!

Lostlemonade said...

Thanks for info, Holly. I'll be working my footprint!

Sewinggranny - Mona said...

I am coming back to this later... interesting! Thanks!

Embroidery Queen said...

Great info to know. Thanks for the lesson.

Michelle said...

Great information Holly! Thank you

Deb said...

uniquecozytreasures - Thanks for the info. I really appreciate these blog posts that give us information that we can use to better our business. I have learned so much from reading this type of blog.

Deb said...

uniquecozytreasures - I just Googled my business footprint and found pages and pages and pages of links. This is great!

PaintedMemoriesByRosella said...

Great information! Thanks for sharing!

Lexiekinprints said...

Love Love this article!! so much helpful stuff in there!

CamillesCloset said...

You always have very nice and informative posts. I find that I have to come back several times to get a full understanding. Thanks for your help.

Ruth said...

Very good information, can't wait til next week to learn some more :)

Jessica said...

Awesome post :) I was happy to find out that my google footprint for craftycreations81 is GREAT :)
Thanks for the post!

Elizabeth said...

wow. I have NO footprint. but my name has something to do with some video game :(

guess its time for a website.