Friday, July 14, 2006

your online image checkup

How often do you glance in a mirror or plate glass window to check your appearance? Now how often do you check your image -- or that of your organization -- on the Web? Find out whether you're above or below the radar, and what your customers or members are saying about you, with this simple online image checkup:

* Start with your email signature block, your best free ad on the Internet. If you're only using it for your name, phone and email address, you're missing a chance to point your messagees to a news release, new Web page, or blog post that they might otherwise miss. Update your signature block frequently, and it will be frequently read -- this is a major word-of-mouth traffic driver when it's used effectively.

*Next, Google yourself, your organization, your new book title, or your issue of importance. Does your preferred image or site show up as one of the first searches? If not, you may need to update your Web page or blog more frequently; the most recent content rises to the top of any search, which is why we recommend blog posts so strongly. Don't forget to check for yourself or your group on Google Image and Google News to see photos and news stories circulating about you.

*Is your blog showing? As noted above, blogs are search engine magnets, but you can help the process along by "pinging" blog search sites like Technorati, Google Blog Search or Feedster to be sure they include your most recent posts.

Smart communicators, or those needing to raise their visibility, would do well to conduct this checkup at least once a month if not more frequently. For more ideas on how to raise your visibility online, contact Denise Graveline at

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