This subject also falls into the reputation management sphere. When someone’s searching for your business in the Google search bar, what’s the first thing the person sees?
If you answered “search results,” you’re close, but that’s not quite right. They very first thing the searcher sees is Autocomplete suggestions that drop down from the search bar. This is the actual first impression you leave with customers. And it’s important to know what people see!
Google searches for individual names are tremendously popular in both personal and professional spheres, so it follows that Google Autocomplete is critical to online branding.
Information gleaned from Google has a profound impact on personal branding — and it isn’t just search results themselves that matter. You need to consider the Autocomplete suggestions displayed before (and above) those search results.
Granted, problematic Autocomplete results are more often are concern for individuals than for companies, but if your CEO or another notable executive has a negative result in the Autocomplete list, that’s a serious problem.
In general, the best way to battle a negative Autocomplete result is to execute the reputation management strategies we noted above. However, there are a few additional ways to improve what shows up there.
For example, consider what you want to have show up in Autocomplete when someone searches for you. For example, if you do executive recruiting, you want people searching for your name + executive recruiting.
You can add the desired search term to your business card or email signature, prompting people to link you with that phrase when searching for information online. That’s a great way to get people searching for “Mary Louise VanHoosen executive recruiting,” for example.
Here’s the benefit: The more searches people do for that phrase, the more Google will prioritize it in AutoComplete. You can take this further by including a direct link to a search result page in your email signature.
The actual text can read something like “learn more about me,” but link it to the “Mary Louise VanHoosen executive recruiting” Google search result page.
Google will treat this much like someone typing that phrase directly into a Google search bar. The more than happens, the more it will show up in Google Autocomplete.