The internet has completely changed every aspect of our lives and how people find information online. No matter what the reason is for someone using the internet, their journey usually starts with a simple search from Google. This could be a for a product, service, brand name, person, friend, family and even customer reviews and complaints.

Whatever ranks on that first page of Google for a specific phrase or keyword is going to leave a solid first impression and that’s not something you want to leave to chance. Instead of hoping for the best and leaving your reputation and first impression up to Google, you can build a protective wall around your brand while also establishing yourself as an expert in the process.

Build Out Your Own Brand Strategy

How to Protect Your Reputation and Brand Yourself as an Expert

In this article we are going to highlight five different ways you can easily start protecting your online brand and what people find when they search for your name in the search results. You may not be the only “John Smith” (your name) in the world, but when someone searches for you online, follow these steps and deliver that first impression you want to have.

1.) Create a Blog Around Your Brand

You probably already have a web site for your brand or business and might even have an online resume for yourself, but if you want to bring your level of protection to a whole new level than you should also be creating a blog as well. Blogs are easy to setup and you can brand one off of your existing domain name or launch a completely new one (which would also give you one more listing in the search results). The great thing about blogs is that Google loves how WordPress (blog software) creates content and also provides the proper formatting and sitemaps to make your content easy to index. As you build more content with your WordPress blog, your site will rank for more long tail keywords in the search results while also rising to the top for your main brand or personal name as well.

Protecting Your Brand

2.) Monitor Your Online Mentions

Knowing what people are saying about your name and where is also extremely important. This isn’t simply a matter of typing your target phrase or keyword into Google and seeing what ranks for it, you also need to be looking at sites that don’t index in Google, press releases and of course social media. There are many tools out there like Google Alerts that you can setup for free and get an email every time a new article or content piece comes out with your specified keyword, but the tool is lacking in comparison to many high end tracking tools out there. The focus on knowing when and where your personal name or brand is being mention, is so you can address the situation before it’s already out there and being seen by your competition and customers.

“Your online reputation is more important then your credit score right now, people can easily Google you and get a good idea of who you are. Protecting your online reputation can make or break your entire reputation.” Logan Chierotti, COO of

3.) Focus on Social Media

With over 2 billion users spread across all of the major social networks, it’s crucial for you to not only know what is being said about your brand on these networks but also to establish yourself on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ as well. The good news is that social networks are going to be a much bigger benefit to you than a headache. Google loves social networks and because they already have so much authority and rank so well, it’s easy to get them to rank at the top of the search results for your personal name or brand. This means you should be creating a personal and business profile on every social network possible — thus not only giving you a place for everyone to find you, but also eliminating the possibility someone else secures your name beforehand.

Using Social Media to Protect Your Brand

4.) Write for High Authority Sites

Just like social media networks rank well in the search results, so do high authority blogs and news sites. Many of these sites offer the opportunity for outside writers to contribute original and quality content to their sites. In fact, HuffingtonPost, Forbes, Entrepreneur and American Express all use free content from contributing writers to grow out the content on your site. Just like we mentioned how creating a blog and social profile is important to increasing your chances to rank on the main page of Google for your name and brand, getting a high profile author account on these sites would do the same — not to mention further branding yourself as an expert.

“One of the best ways to protect your personal brand, is to continually produce high quality content and write for some of the largest brands and news outlets on the internet. When your name is listed alongside the likes of HuffingtonPost, TechCrunch, Forbes or any other huge media outlet… it also brings that authority to your name as well” John Rampton, Entrepreneur at

5.) Secure Your Personal & Brand Domain Names

If possible, it’s extremely effective and important to make sure you own for both your personal name and brand name. In most cases, if you don’t already own your personal name, then someone else might already own it — if that’s the case you can always try to buy it from them directly or use a domain broker to try and negotiate a sale. In addition to owning your name as a domain, you should try and by the .net and .org versions as well, along with any anti domain names that could be used against you and your brand as well. (ie:

Securing Your Domain Name

Protecting Your Brand & Being an Authority Expert

If you look at the top sites, brands and experts on the internet they all have one thing in common — they are the “go to” source for whatever it is their audience wants. TMZ and Perez Hilton are the go to sources for celebrity gossip. DrudgeReport and FoxNews are the go to sources for politics and world news… and the list goes on. Your personal or business brand needs to work off this same concept and become the authority in your niche. This takes a lot of work, but it starts by implementing all of the steps above and by creating amazing and valuable content that people are looking for.

“To succeed, you must be the best at what you do for a specific audience.” – Dan Schawbel, Personal Branding Expert

Protecting your online reputation and branding yourself as an expert in any given niche isn’t an overnight process and it’s not something you can simply outsource. This is your brand, business and personal name… treat it like gold, while something you could also lose overnight if you aren’t careful!