fields of heatherOne of the reasons I started getting interesting in what we now call social media was if you Googled my name back in 2008 all these other Heather Milligans (my name back then) came up and I was lost in the field.

Within a few weeks of establishing my digital footprint, I started to rise in the Google rankings. Eventually solidifying my position, and elbowing out all those other Heather Milligans, and eventually the other Heather Morses.

It was pretty easy to do both. But will what worked then work now? There are a lot more people and more ways to get into the Google search result space.

My friend John M. Byrne wrote today about “Identity Theft: Sharing a Name With Someone (Kinda) Famous.” John is not only competing with all the famous John Byrnes out there, but now his 93-year old grandfather has joined LinkedIn, causing the LME to have some fun at his expense.

John has some great suggestions around creating and sharing content, all of which will work.

I’ll add a few other tips to aid the searcher when trying to narrow down the search results to find you:

  1. Be consistent across your social media platforms with your brand. The Sports Dude shares his name with another entertainment kinda guy: a historical documentary maker. So we always include his middle initial in everything.
  2. Use keywords in everything you post. For the Sports Dude, that includes making sure the keywords in his profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and his blog include references to “sports” “journalist” “broadcast journalist,” etc.
  3. Link to the right content. When blogging, or on Twitter, make sure you are linking to and retweeting the content that reinforces your brand. It will make it easier for people to find you, or confirm that you are the you they want to know.
  4. Guest blog on other blogs. That will help raise awareness, create links, and, once again, put out some bread crumbs to guide people to the real you.

You have to realize, the more common the name, or the more famous the name, the more you have to work at it. It doesn’t have to be difficult, don’t think too hard about it, just be consistent.

If you have found other helpful tips, please share them in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: Simon Herrod on Flickr