Natural Ranking: LinkedIn is great for a single ranking. Most of the time all you need is the name to be an exact match and it will be on the first page.
Link Building – Regular link building with exact match and partial match anchor text to LinkedIn is very important if it’s ranking but not as high as you would like it to be. The first step should be to ensure your domains, web 2.0’s and other social properties are linking to the LinkedIn profile. If they are, get some outside links, make sure the links are contextual.
Connections – I always check the number of connections if a LinkedIn profile isn’t ranking as high as I expect. LinkedIn shows the exact number of connections until you reach 500 then it shows “500+ Connections”. Anything above 500 doesn’t tell Google anything. I do believe there is value in getting to 500+ connections.
Full profile details – Having a completed profile is very important. Some LinkedIn profiles will show with partial details, but a completed profile has a much better chance of being displayed in the search results. I like to see job and education history, recommendations (given and received), and interests. Don’t skip this part.
Picture – Having a picture is mandatory in my experience. Rarely do I see a LinkedIn profile rankings without an image. They don’t show in the search results if there is no picture. You might be able to find one, but it’s very rare.
Dangers: Sometimes two LinkedIn.com results will show. One is usually the individual page while the other is a public page listing others with the same (or similar) names. If this happens, you can usually push other stuff onto the first page and one of the two pages will drop. I like to build links to the page I want to stick to ensure it does stick.
LinkedIn is such a big site, I’ve never had any trouble building links or adding connections too quickly. I’ve never had an account banned or seen one drop in the rankings. Hit it hard!
Examples: The example name can be seen in this screenshot.
You’ll see Facebook (public) in the first position, LinkedIn (public) number two and Twitter at number 10. Google doesn’t believe the Facebook or LinkedIn pages are relevant enough to list the real page of that person.
Check out the LinkedIn public directory page and you’ll see most do not have an image. The person at the top of the page has a different name. About 10 people down you’ll see the exact match name. Open her profile and you see 6 connections. No image, no connections, no details, no rankings.
How about that Twitter account at the bottom of the page? She has a lot of tweets (8,304 as of this writing), why isn’t it ranking? Check the screenshot.
Only 272 followers! With 10,000 real followers I am certain that would be a top 3 rankings. The key word is real followers.
Natural Ranking: Facebook, like LinkedIn ranks very well for individuals but rarely ranks for medium-large businesses. Sometimes you’ll see a Facebook business page but in my experience it may happen 50% of the time.
Promotion Methods: Get as much non-logged in data you can to display. Check in an Incognito browser or another browser that is logged out and see what shows. You want to show as much as possible. This includes reviews and ratings, posts, likes/friends, visitor posts and even photos. The more Google has to see and digest the better.
Dangers: Often you will see a public and personal Facebook page, just like LinkedIn. Same recommendation, build links to the one you want to keep and let the other slide off page one. Facebook is an extremely large site and very rarely will ban an account because of actions you take. I add likes and friends as quickly as possible. There is no need to be shy.
Natural Ranking: Twitter ranks very well for both individuals and businesses. You will rarely see more than one Twitter URL ranking on page one and if you do, it usually indicates a very weak set of results.
Promotion Methods: Twitter requires two different things to rank well (most of the time, and always in competitive terms). The first is followers, I usually aim for 10,000 followers over a 3 month period. The second is regular tweets/updates/action. This can come from retweets, likes, or regular tweets. There are many services that will help automate this process including missinglettr.com. I’ve been using missinglettr for a while and really like it. It helps you stay focused on what you do and schedules unique tweets automatically.
Dangers: Twitter is different from both LinkedIn and Facebook as it has more automated techniques to find and ban accounts. To stop this, make sure your account is email verified and if possible phone verified. There are many people who sell phone verified accounts (PVA), but using a real phone number is always best.
Since Twitter accounts are very likely to be blocked or suspended it’s very important that the account is verified. This helps you get it back if you ever need to. In order to keep an account from getting banned, avoid adding unnatural followers, especially in high quantities. Secondly, make sure you’re not being seen as spam. If you post too often (through other automated ways) or have a lot of churn in your account (followers, unfollowers, likes, likes removed, retweets, retweets removed, etc.) you’re at a high risk for getting suspended.
Here is one of my accounts that is suspended, it was email verified but not phone verified.
Additional Reputation Management and Social Media Strategies
If you’re struggling getting web 2.0’s and social media accounts to rank for your client or business name, start thinking outside the box. I usually expect social media accounts to take up 2 or 3 positions on the first page. That leaves a lot of positions you need to fill.
Have you considered any of the following?
- Interviews – Real or create for reputation management
- Guest Posts – Can you get name in title? That’s crucial!
- Domains – Exact match domains are great for reputation management
- Premium content – Newspapers and other paid content
- Reviews – Can your client review or be reviewed?
- Giveaways – Giveaways can draw attention to a client
Those are some public tactics that we’re currently utilizing. Beyond that, the rest stays a secret for now!