Funny things happen in live presentations. I’ve been surprised many times by how shocked a business owner is to see the results of a search for their company name that I’m realizing this step is so basic, it’s often overlooked. Have you checked lately what Google has to say about your brand? If not, you might want to take a peek…
One of the surprises is created by Google’s “new” Knowledge Graph (launched in May 2012). For brand searches, the Knowledge Graph compiles information about your company and typically displays a big “box” on the right hand side of a search results page. Information within the box includes pictures, location, hours, reviews, etc.
If what shows up in the box isn’t what you’d choose, the good news is you can update the information by clicking on the “Are you the business owner?” link immediately below the box.
If you’re a new business and no box shows up at all, then your first step is to sign up for a Google Places page.
In both cases, you’ll be able to update business information, share photos, make special offers, and respond to reviews.
Once you’ve updated the information in the Knowledge Graph that dominates the first page of results for your company, then it’s time to take a look at what else shows up. Some typical things you’ll want to clean up:
- “Dead” social media accounts. Social Media accounts tend to show up near the top of results, and it’s not great for your brand if it hasn’t been updated in months – or years. If you’re not going to use it, close it. You may want to preserve the brand name (so poachers don’t grab it) by posting a “goodbye” message (rather than closing the account) by inviting potential customers to contact you IRL (In Real Life) in a way that fits your brand.
- Other companies using your brand name. Yes this happens – and depending on how they’re using it, whether it’s legal or not. At the very least, it’s good to be aware and be able to take action if need be.
- Results that just don’t “fit” your brand name. If the types of results showing up aren’t what you’d like to see as the face of your brand, it’s a good signal that it’s time to do some more deliberate work on your online presence to emphasize what you DO want to be your brand image.
Have fun with Google Places and getting your brand image where you want it to be!