Can you control your online presence? What Google Sees? Well, Google is like a real “Mother”. You know, the Mom-that-knew-the-rules-you-broke-before-you-came-home type of mom (or maybe that was just mine). Yep, that’s Google and every other search engine out there, but Google seems to be the biggest necessary beast of them all. So, can you control what Google picks up?
Last week your challenge was to Google yourself. Cheers to you for taking a step back, putting ego aside and seeing what popped up. If your search yielded your site, white pages, and Facebook page, then congratulations. But what about all the other “stuff” that came up in the search? Are the top 10 results all you? All your studio?
Instructors, you often work for a studio or even multiple studios. Did the search you did find you and your studios or did the search just find the studios but no mention of you tied to Pilates?
Studio Owners: You have your name, your studio name and you may even have Instructors who rent space or work for you. Does your name or your studio name dominate that first page?
Let’s talk about building your online platform. You want your name, your studio name to dominate those first pages of any search. How you ask?
Here are some easy tips for both Instructors and Studio Owners:
- Your website should be set up so that Google likes it Meaning, your name is on it (in text, not as a picture) – even a few times!
- You want a YouTube video about you and your studio. It doesn’t have to be Hollywood quality! Just something quick, easy and informative will do, and guess what… Google loves YouTube. Why? It owns YouTube. Uploading your video to YouTube adds another line on the search results – just make sure the title of the video includes your name and studio name.
- Start blogging. Or, guest blog if you do not want to have to commit to something regularly. A blog from you or about you will come up in a search about you. Another way for future customers to connect with you, hear your voice and point of view – from the source.
- Social Media, I know you think you don’t have time, but make the time. Pick a couple of mediums and set them up. You’ve already set up YouTube above, right? Same concept. When someone does a search, it’s yet another result that comes up. Today’s customer wants to know who they are spending their time and money with before they even walk in the door. They want to know you. So, give them the information they are looking for. Remember, if you don’t have someone else will.
- Have a website for yourself. Include all the locations you teach at and link to them. Need help building a website? Shoot me an email, and I’ll make an intro.
- Use social media to check in at the studios you are at. You can do this on Facebook, Yelp or Swarm (formerly FourSquare). When people think Everybody Pilates they can think of You!
- Review sites and city sites are great! Get your clients to review you. These will come up on a search and make you look the 5-star teacher you are. Yelp is bound to locations, meaning the studios you work at, so have your clients leave your name in the comment for that studio.
- Connect with your team on the web, social medias
- Become the expert of Pilates in your community using the tips above (Youtube, blogs)
- Studio clients to write reviews online
- Studio clients “check in” at your studio
- Which leads me to my next point, and back to our topic of Spring Cleaning… what if there is info coming up in the search results that you don’t like? How do you get rid of it? Can you get rid of it?
Well, some believe that all publicity is good publicity. Others believe that a bad review is a nail in the coffin. I am more middle of the road. As a writer, if what I write gives someone a reaction good or bad that is so moving they have to comment… well that’s fantastic! As a teacher, I (of course) only want the best reviews. However, as we know, we have no control over what people write about us. Or do we?
Here are some easy tips to start with on this last week of the Spring Cleaning Challenge:
1) Give Google Content: It makes you more “Googleable”, and it (slowly) bumps anything you’re not fond of off the front page of results. Use the tips above.
2) Get Social: I keep saying it because it’s true.
3) Double check your privacy settings on your Social Media. Did you know you can make only a portion of your Facebook profile public?
If you found some things you wish were not there, you have a few options. If it’s a picture you’re tagged in, untag yourself. Double check your privacy settings. On Facebook, you can make it so that you have to approve any tags. Go to the source. If there is an article, clip or post that is in error, let the author know. If that doesn’t work, go to the search engine. Even the beast that Google is has a complaint link to assist you (you can read more here). You also can set alerts so that anytime your name or studio name is used; you’ll be the first to know, by clicking here.
I can’t guarantee any of those things will work. Sometimes bad things happen, and you can’t change them. But in the digital space of the World Wide Web, you can at least bury them. You bury them by giving Google the info it needs to make you shine. Updates to your site, reviews, blog posts, videos, social media, good publicity from clients, local events. All these things matter!
If you want to be the expert at what you do in your community, then get Googleable and get out there.
This post is one of a 4 part blog post series: Spring Clean Your Pilates Studio.