I was recently talking to a group about the concept of digital footprint or your online presence. One of the people in the group told me he had no digital footprint. Not so.
In fact, a quick Google search of his name and business revealed that he had no fewer than six online profiles! He may not have intended to have a digital footprint, but there it was nonetheless.
Your digital footprint has two components: the presence you intentionally create and the presence that is created without your active participation. No matter the genesis, you do have a digital footprint and it is influencing how people perceive you online.
Discovering Your Footprint
The first step in understanding your online presence is to do a good search of your name and/or business. Make note of all the places where you are mentioned. Look at each mention and assess:
- Accuracy of the content
- Completeness of the content
- Relevance and credibility of website
- Opportunities to add or change information
You also want to explore places where you think that you and/or your business should be included. You many find references to you that are not picked up by a more general search. Determine if you are present or not. Either way, take note of how to get information added.
Manage Your Footprint
The next step is to shape your digital footprint. Take steps to make sure your information is complete and accurate as many places as possible. Add a credible profile image.
It is helpful to write down your current brand positioning statement and description so you can cut and paste from profile to profile. Not only can that save time, it does a great job of ensuring brand consistency across the web. That boosts your credibility and your search engine ranking.