Infographic: Primping For The Web

You spend time on the Web. Whether for business or pleasure, you probably want to appear in a positive light, rather than a negative one. Or maybe you just want to appear. There are ways to improve your Web presence and, particularly if you are promoting your business or profession, you want that Web presence to jump out of the screen and shake your audience’s collective hands.

I have mentioned BrandYourself here in the Studio before. They have crafted this handy infographic that outlines some of the ways you can improve your Web presence. Of course, there is the obligatory self-reference to their own Web-reputation service. Self-promotion aside, there are some nuggets to be gleaned from the chart, including ranking the best sites for visibility – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and nameplate / visual biz site Zerply in that order. For videos, you are better off with Vimeo than YouTube. For your personal blog, pick WordPress – no brainer there. WordPress does a lot to promote its own pages. If you care enough to put the effort in, then it is worth focusing on the best locales for your Web efforts.

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Brand Yourself with BrandYourself

Why bother to build an online presence if you can’t monitor and control it? Emphasize the positives and de-emphasize the negatives with BrandYourself, a startup that helps you control Google results for your name through good, old-fashioned SEO. SEO, or “search engine optimization” still works in this modern-day and age of social, so it is worth devoting at least a percentage of your attention to it.

 

BrandYourself leverages  the familiar dashboard / profile set up, easy to activate with step-by-step directions. When I say step-by-step, I mean it. They walk you through the process of setting up your profile and boosting your content, educating you on the why along the way. I even learned a few things setting my profile up.

 

There are free and paid options. BrandYourself users employing the free option can optimize up to three links they want to push up in search results for their names. Your profile page will assist you in linking out and into that profile, which increases  Google page ranks. From your profile on BrandYourself, you can  link out to other online profiles, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, or your own sites and blogs. And it will help you promote them, with guidance on how to improve SEO for each site. Paid options give you unlimited sites to link to and optimize.

 

Another interesting feature of BrandYourself is the ability to track who is looking at your profiles and links – the feature is brand new as of thisTuesday. The feature shows you where visitors to your BY profile are located and where they work, based on their IP address. This is done by matching the IP addresses from the visitors to BrandYourself’s own database of publicly available IP addresses. Is this useful? Well, it really only tracks the biggest players – the publicly available IP addresses of smaller players probably aren’t listed in the database. But it certainly will motivate you to keep your BY profile spiffy. And that isn’t a bad thing when you are trying to control your online SEO.

 

 

So, why would you go paid versus free? Here is the comparison chart from their site:

 

 

And here is their pricing:

 

 

You can find my BrandYourself profile here. Since it is free for the basic service and three links, why not give it a try?

 

 

Time To Primp Your Google Profile

Yes, I said “primp.” Last week, Google updated its Profiles with a vastly improved appearance. Go ahead, compare it to Facebook profile pages, everyone else is. That said, I greatly prefer the streamlined look of Google Profiles and the lack of ads (at this time anyway) on the page.

Google Profiles launched two years ago, but was pretty rudimentary in look and use. I primarily filled out my profile so that I could add all of my connected social services in one place and, well, you might as well fill out a profile if one is available to increase your visibility in the Great Google Search World.

But now, with the changes, you can really mod your profile out, with pictures, more descriptions and a nicer look. Plus, the profile page is fitted out with two tabs: About Me and Buzz. Now, you can quickly tab over to see that person’s Buzz content, which is a welcome boost for the somewhat quiet social service. In the Buzz tab, you can then select posts, comments or likes to see the information you have interacted with and how you have interacted with it. It is a cleaner interface than Google Reader, and I can see myself going to the Profile page to quickly access my likes, for later reference.

Here is my updated Profile’s About page:

Do you have a Google Profile? Hit the link here to update it with the new editing features. Do you not yet have one? Hit that same link and fill one out. When Google gets around to really pulling its social act together, you will be glad you did.

UPDATE: I just saw this article over at the Google Operating System Blog – if you use unedited pictures for your profile but use the online editor, visitors can still access the entire photo. If this is a problem for you, consider editing your images on your computer before uploading. Thanks for the tip, Alex!