Maintaining your online presence is as important in this decade as “official records” were in the last. Google has made it possible for anyone, any where, to find you– sometimes, even with little information to begin with. Your name, city; that’s typically about all the information people need to connect the hyperlinks and find out what you’ve been up to on the Interwebs.
This isn’t a post to warn you about managing your social media reputation. If you’re not already doing that, start there first. Instead, I want to talk about something just as important: making sure people can find you.
It’s common for HR departments, and potentially your next first date, to search for you before ever meeting. If you own your domain name, well, that can make it pretty easy for them to do so. Owning your “yourname.com” might seem like a fairly obvious thing in this digital age, but, not surprisingly, many people simply do not. If you’re on the fence about the benefits of owning your domain name, here are three good reasons to do so.
1. There’s Many of You
Listen, as unique as your personality may be, your name, is likely not. The spelling of my last name for example, “Mathieu”, is not common in the United States. However, there is a popular children’s book illustrator named Joe Mathieu. There is also a popular radio personality named Joe Mathieu. Both of whom, at any given time, may be easier to find in Google Search than me. Having a Google + Profile does help me, and so does this site; but, just to be sure, I do own my own full name, JosephMathieu.com. That site, basically a virtual “business card”, points people to the sites they can find my real profiles on. And that brings me to my second point…
2. Manage Fakes
While I’m not popular enough to have imitators (or, at least any I know of), but some of you may. While you can’t necessarily monitor for every fake you out there, you can make sure people can find the real you. A simple one-page site, with links to all your official social & other internet profiles could go a long way to keeping those searching for you to avoid fake pages.
3. Helps You Rank in Search
Let’s face it: we’ve all Googled ourselves. While my name might not be as common, yours just might be. How many Jessica Johnson’s or Scott Green’s do you think there are in Chicago alone? It’s also likely that there are some with the same name and relatively the same occupation in the same regional area, making things that much more confusing. Since not everyone is a writer with their own blog, a virtual business card site, such as this, is a fairly easy way to distinguish yourself from the pack. Connecting that page to your Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other popular social profiles, and having those profiles link back to your site, will help immensely. And, most importantly, it’s really easy to do (and, if you want help, just ask).
I’ve given you several reasons here to own your domain name; but, that doesn’t mean there aren’t others. Do you have any good rationale you’d like to contribute? Let me know!