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January 28, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 4:00pm

Top 10 ways IT professionals can boost their online profile

CBR picks ten of the best ways for IT professionals to ensure that their online presence and Google search results are benefiting their business.

By Kate Heslop

Whether it’s for your business or yourself, boosting your online profile can be key to getting traffic to your website and attention to your brand. Being at the top of the first Google results page for your name or your company’s name keeps you in control of your online presence, ensuring that what people read about you is always positive and constantly updated.

The best way of keeping track of your online profile is to do what prospective clients and employers would do: Google your name. See what search results appear on the first screen. Are you satisfied with those? If not, there is only one way to move search results down to other pages, by letting them go stale and not clicking on them, or by creating new links that are clicked more often to push them down. So if an old web page appears that doesn’t show your company in the best light, or a competitor’s website appears, you need to take steps to push those results onto the second page, and clean up your online image. Do this every month or so to ensure that what your clients are seeing is best representing your brand.

I pick the top ten things that every businessperson or business owner should be doing to keep their online presence looking its very best.

10. Discussion forums

Speech bubbles

Getting involved in online conversations is a great way to not only make contacts but to also project your company’s outlook. If you work in data centre management, and there is a discussion forum set up on a website relating to a data centre event or a generic data centre website, join in the conversation, let people know what your company can offer without sounding like an advert.

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9. Privacy

Privacy Facebook

The last thing you want is for prospective employers or clients to type your name into Google looking for your latest business venture, only to be bombarded with pictures from your holiday to Spain or embarrassing galleries dedicated to drunken nights out from your uni years. Make your Facebook page private by utilising the privacy settings and ensuring that your profile doesn’t appear in Google search results. Manually edit the privacy settings of photo albums by making them only available to your Facebook friends. If you think your personal Twitter account isn’t representing your brand, make that private too, you can adjust the privacy settings so only people who follow you can view your posts.

8. Google+


Some people are convinced that Google+ will be the network to join in 2014, whereas others are dubious, as Google itself has admitted to being behind on the social media bandwagon. But it’s a great way of adding another web link to your Google results page. It also links up your Gmail account, your Blogger account and your Youtube account, keeping you constantly connected and in the loop. Set up a Google+ account for your business and yourself and begin networking. Make yourself as prominent and noticeable as possible without becoming annoying. Find the balance between good networking and spamming.

7. Reviews


Letting your customers voice their opinions on your brand might seem daunting, but if you’re good enough at what you do, you should have nothing to worry about. Getting your business on review websites can attract future clients and make your brand more well known. It also allows people to compare your business with others, which will hopefully let your company shine. Yelp is a firm favourite; you can sign up for free, set up a thorough profile and even respond to reviews. Which brings us to the next point…

6. Be nice!

Desk note

Playing nice online is the best way for your brand and image to get noticed (for all the right reasons) and shared. People are more likely to write nice reviews about your company, more willing to be your contact on various networking sites, and will be more interested in recommended your services to others. This is often a downfall for companies on Twitter who receive complaints via the social network site over products. Being cooperative, friendly and apologetic goes a long way. Support your opposition by following them on Twitter or sharing a piece of their work on LinkedIn, because then it’s more likely that they’ll return the favour, and it’s best to keep your friends close and enemies closer!

5. Youtube


Your company should invest in a Youtube account, as people respond well to visual media. Even if your business doesn’t currently upload videos to your website, it’s a great way of making your company more visually appealing, more open to potential consumers, and more informative. You could upload videos of events that your company holds, or ‘how to’ guides for the software you provide. You could even upload video interviews, with people in your company answering any questions that customers may have, and giving greater detail on what your business can offer. Every time you upload a video, get sharing it across every networking site and link it up to your website for full coverage and more viewers.

4. Twitter


It is recommended that you should always separate your online profiles, your personal life from your business. So have a Twitter account for yourself, where you can post anything you wish and keep in touch with friends. Have another Twitter account for your professional self, where you can make contacts and post links to your work. Then create a separate account for your business, acquire as many contacts as possible, keep your Twitter feed updated with regular posts and connect with your followers.
Top tip:
Make a note in your Twitter bio explaining which account is your personal Twitter, and include the handle to your professional profile in case potential clients can’t find you.

3. Website


For people who have no idea how to build a website and have a limited knowledge of HTML, there are a number of websites that can help you. Go Daddy is a popular and affordable choice, which lets you create and run a website for as little as £9.99 a year. It will help you build your website, from layout to embedded tools such as Twitter feeds running live on your site. Create a contact page on your website with links to social media websites such as Twitter and LinkedIn, and keep your site clean, simple and easy to navigate.
Top tip:
Upgrade your website’s account to make sure that it is compatible with mobiles. As most people go online with their smartphones and tablets, it would be a waste not to translate your desktop version to mobile.

2. Blog


This doesn’t have to be a thorough daily update of your life, but people like to know the thought processes behind work and the faces behind the business. Making it more personal and giving a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your work immediately makes you more approachable. Your blog doesn’t have to have a huge readership, but every time you post a blog, post the link to it on your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and any other sites. If it’s a company blog that has updates on what you’re up to, it could be a good idea to embed the blog on your website, so people don’t have to stray too far to find it. Blogger and WordPress are two of the best options for blogs. With Blogger, people can subscribe to your blog and get constant updates on new posts.

1. LinkedIn


The social network for businesses, it is the place to make and maintain contacts, publish your career history, your educational background and update your contacts on your business. Make sure your profile is filled to the brim with information, cover all bases, from your education, to your volunteering, your past jobs and skills acquired over the years. Endorsement of skills is also a handy feature for people to back up your claims that you know your stuff, so if you endorse the skills of your contacts, it’s likely that they’ll return the favour.

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