Just like we frequently update our wardrobe, and do that yearly spring clean, it’s also important for us to regularly clean up our online presence. Our digital footprint directly impacts our personal brand, because first impressions are now formed about us online. So for our career and reputation, it’s essential that we continually monitor and update our online presence.
An online audit should occur every three to four months; It’s as simple as modifying your pre-existing profiles, and conducting quick Google searches to see what’s being written about you. Not doing so can have damaging ramifications, costing you your job, potential clients, and opportunities of further growth in your field.
1. Create a Strategy
Developing a strategy is key to making your digital audit worth your time. Create goals and milestones to update and organise your online presence, to ensure you reach them in the short and long term.
2. Find your ‘Digital Dirt’
Google Search is simple and effective. And, believe it or not, it is the most common tool that enables others to discover digital dirt. Search your name, and make sure you take a screen shot of what is discovered about you. After this, you can group your findings based on the overall search results, pages that directly relate to you, and pages of people who share your name.
With these records, you can keep track of changes to your online presence over time, conduct an analysis of your online presence, and map changes that need to be made. Keeping track of people who share the same name as you is important; You want to ensure you dominate search results when your name is searched, so you don't miss out on opportunities.
3. Evaluate your Online Presence
After collecting and organising your data from your Google search, this information will give you with an overall impression of who you are. If you are unhappy with your online identity, think of your ideal identity, and strategise on how to get there. This may require the creation of new content, such as more articles or blog posts related to your work or expertise, updating your online profiles to reflect your current job and skillset and deleting inappropriate content and profanity. You can also adjust your privacy settings on Facebook or Twitter, and create new accounts with platforms to assist your career (such as LinkedIn).
4. Defeat those who share your name
Should you feature in the top 10 results for your name in Google, you have a good shot at becoming the leader. The solution to reaching the top is to publish regularly on social media, or blogs that are directly tied to your name.
If you find that another person is gaining all the glory for sharing your name, consider changing yours by using a nickname or your maiden name, to give you the opportunity to dominate search rankings.
5. Manage your online presence
No good will come from yearly online audits; they need to be done on a regular basis. Make them a priority above all others and you will reap the rewards. Remember, first impressions have changed; they are now formed from what is visible about us online.
The Social Check Team