Your digital footprint is important: here’s how to grow it

Digital Footprint

Digital Footprint

When someone searches on Google or any of the other lesser known search engine for your name, what do you think they will find? Do the results make you look good or bad? Building and protecting your digital footprint is not a nice to have anymore, but a must have as it can determine your success online.

The web is an information portal and is one of the first mediums people use when they are looking for answers and solutions. What if your name or business pops up on the search results and it’s negative? It’s important that what people see about you online is positive in such a way that they would like to interact and build a relationship with you.

If someone were to search for you, what would they find? Would they find things that make you look good or bad? Your internet persona is extremely important and protecting it is critical to your success. Online, first impressions last. Your personal digital footprint and that of your business are both at stake. This also plays a big role if you are after that one business deal that could make or break you, or if you are looking for a new career position. If you have a negative digital footprint online, what does that say about you?

Your digital footprint should be a positive emulation of who you actually are and what you are doing. Make sure you present yourself in a way that is exciting, unique, and in a way that should make other people choose you over your competition. Find below a couple of pointers on this.

Having a good digital footprint

If you don’t have a positive and good digital footprint, you will never be able to beat your competition. The first thing you can do to start building your footprint online is to make sure that all of your social media profiles are complete with up to date information on what you do. You will never be noticed if you don’t give people information they can relate and hold onto.

Social media can play a big role in building your footprint because it allows people to get to know you as a person and interact with you. One of the main goals with building your reputation online is to get top organic rankings about you that are positive on the search engines. The reason I say search engines is because it’s still the norm to search on one if you have a question or looking for a solution.

How to start building your digital footprint

  • To begin with, focus on one social media channel like LinkedIn and complete your profile completely. LinkedIn is a great social network that you can use to cultivate business relationships on.
  • Don’t rush to complete all your profiles. Take each one step-for-step and start building up your profile on other social media channels. If you are not sure which ones to use, start with the most popular ones like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
  • Start blogging. Blogging is a great way to increase your reputation and footprint online by sharing interesting and valuable magnetic content with people and then engage with them in a discussion to start building up your network.

Remove unwanted content

If you have any content online that is questionable, try to remove it as soon as possible. This could be content in the form of your unprofessional behaviour (party photos on Facebook), questionable memberships, information about your background that can be hurtful to you, etc.

An easy way to eliminate unwanted content from the past is to build up positive content that will outrank the negative content. Even though this isn’t the solution, it can help to push down the negative comments on the search engines results. You can bury it so deep in the results pages that it will never be seen, but take caution. It’s still public.

Your digital footprint is crucial to you and your business success online. Make a point to regularly check that the content online about you is met with a favorable and positive reaction from people. If you respect the reputation for yourself and your business, other people will definitely feel the same way.

Anton Koekemoer


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