Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
When I began my writing career in 2012, I was essentially a nobody. When I would search for my name, all that would pull up is the doctor and lawyer who shared the same. Today, it’s a whole different ball game.
It had nothing to do with being vain or trying to get Internet clout. It was more about marketing myself as a writer and “competing” with the other Michael Brockbanks of the world.
Even though they never really knew we were in competition, I found it quite entertaining.
Why Search for Your Name in Google?
No, it’s not narcissistic to search for your name in Google. As a writer or any other creator, your name is your brand. And like any other brand, success comes down to marketing.
However, there can be a few other factors that can inspire you to take a glance at how Google perceives you on the Internet.
Over the years, it’s been a semi-annual tradition for me.
First, searching for my name delivered a great deal of motivation to become more than I was. As I was working on perfecting my talents as a writer, I wanted to see if I could at least reach the first results page.
As I continued to learn more about SEO and pushed to hone my writing skills, I began climbing the ranks.
To this day, I constantly feel motivated to see what else I can accomplish in search. And from my point of view, I’m just getting started.
Inspiring Over Time
It’s inspiring to see how Google rewards my progress by showing the things I’m involved with online. The more active I am on specific sites and platforms, the more “recognition” I seem to get.
Of course, this has little to do with actual recognition and more to do with search terms and intent.
Still, I often feel a sense of pride in my work as my projects often come across search results. It’s my goal that perhaps my Amazon author page will appear in the top five over the course of the next decade.
Search Engine Marketing Ideas
If you want to grow as a writer of any kind, you need to get your name out there. No one is going to hire you or pay attention to your books if they don’t know they exist.
When you browse how other names appear in Google, you can get a feel for what you need to do next. For example, Google seems to prioritize active social media accounts when you search for any name.
In my case, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook are among the top results. I know one author on Twitter whose Pinterest account is displayed prominently. I’m not very active on Pinterest, so, mine doesn’t show up.
The point is that searching for a creator’s name can give you all kinds of ideas of where you might want to put a bit of effort into marketing. This means going above and beyond just pay-per-click campaigns or Google ads.
Friendly Competition – ish
One of the biggest motivators for me when I began this journey in 2012 was a bit of friendly competition. Back then, the lawyer and doctor made up all the images and links on the front page of Google for my name.
I made it my goal to knock them off of page one completely. And today, the only one aside from myself is a director on IMDB…in the 10th position.
In fact, the vast majority of images in the search for my name displays a slew of my projects. This includes everything from images I’ve liked on Twitter to the work I do for GreenGeeks Web Hosting.
Not to mention my first book.
Although the other Michael Brockbanks didn’t know there was a competition going on, it was still a motivating factor for me. I turned it into a kind of game to see if I could be the one name to “rule them all.”
All kidding aside, I do find it very engaging to see what Google will show from me next in search as opposed to those of the same name.
How My Name Took the Top of Search Results
Needless to say, the progress I’ve made in search is the result of spending 10 years creating content. Unfortunately, a lot of the platforms I’ve used, in the beginning, don’t display the work I’ve done, such as Textbroker.
That’s what happens when you spend a lot of time as a ghostwriter.
However, a lot of other projects I’ve worked on helped me climb the ranks over the span of several years.
So, how was I able to secure so much of the first page of Google?
My Website as a Creator
The blog, MichaelBrockbank.com, is kind of like my base of operations regarding everything I do online. Anything I can gain credit for in terms of creation goes onto that website. Obviously, it’ll be in the first position in a Google search for my name.
Though, I would have thought WriterSanctuary.com would be higher on the list as this is the site I spend the most time developing.
It took more than a year before my base blog managed to hit the top of the page, though. It’s not an instant guarantee to hit the top of the search even if the site identically matches the name.
That’s where a bit of SEO finesse and writing blog posts come into play.
I’m constantly producing content under my name. As such, Google has correctly associated everything thanks to the intricate web of backlinks and accreditation I’ve worked on over the years.
Unfortunately, my blogs show up on page two of the search results. I’m currently working on getting them on page one, but I guess that depends on whether Google prioritizes them over social media.
Considering the impact of social sites nowadays, I’m not sure if that’s possible. But that’s part of the fun for me; working to see if I can overcome certain obstacles.
Published A Freelancer’s Tale
Getting A Freelancer’s Tale published on Amazon helped a bit over the past year. Although the book itself isn’t currently in the top search results, the blog feed from my Amazon Author’s Page is…which is a bit curious.
My ultimate goal is to have a search results page as fleshed out as Stephen King’s. But that’s not going to happen with one, extremely niche book.
This means I have a lot of work ahead of me.
Using Several Writing Platforms
Another of the biggest reasons why I command the search results is because of the different platforms I use. Although I’m not as active on some of them as I’d like, it’s all part of that intricate web I was talking about earlier.
Even my new Inkitt account appears on the third page, and I only have a single chapter uploaded on that site. Though, it looks like the Inkitt result in Google is near the end of things that are attributed to me in search.
But Vocal, Buy Me a Coffee, all three of my primary blogs, GreenGeeks, and even Constant-Content are all present within the first two pages in Google.
Social Media Activity
As I said earlier, Google seems to prioritize social accounts. Today, WriterSanctuary’s Twitter account is second, followed by Crossing Colorado’s Instagram. This is a bit odd considering I am way more active on WriterSanctuary’s Instagram account.
That’s saying something considering I don’t really post a lot to Instagram. I just never know what to take a picture of aside from myself, which makes me feel weird.
Needless to say, social media is a worthwhile element to marketing yourself as a writer or any other professional. You don’t have to get sucked into the negativity if you’re actively interacting with a certain community and don’t care about what’s trending.
How to Improve Your Name in Search
Remember, your name is your brand as a writer. Whether you’re a blogger, author, or freelancer, success centers on the number of people who know who you are and what you offer.
One of the easiest, albeit time-consuming, ways is to take the entire first page of Google for your name.
How do you go about boosting recognition in Google?
- Research using incognito mode on a different browser: You don’t want to use a browser that will have a cache of your previous searches. It can skew the results in your favor.
- Create an author or writer blog using your name or pen name: If you’re trying to reach the top of the search results page, you need a site displaying your name.
- Always use the name you want to rank: Don’t use fake handles if you’re trying to promote yourself as a writer. Remember, it’s all about getting your name out there.
- Be somewhat active on social media: Even on days I don’t actually post messages or questions, all of my blogs automatically share posts once they’re published.
- Write on as many platforms as you can: The more Google can associate with your name as a creator, the more likely you’ll start taking over search positions.
- Learn a bit about how SEO works, especially from the author’s perspective: Search engine optimization goes beyond just using the best keywords for an article.
- Remember that it’s not going to happen overnight: Be patient with your search engine campaign. It can take quite a long time before you start snagging search positions.
Although there are a lot of variables that contribute to showing your name during a search, the above is what I focused on the most. I’m also planning on doing a bit more marketing in the coming months.
The overall point is to ensure your name is available in all of the most important places.
Get Your Name in Search Result Pages
As a creator, you’re going to be in the public eye. How pronounced you are in that visibility depends on how much effort you put into marketing. But if you want to be successful, you’ll need to make sure the people you’re targeting know who you are as a professional.
Sure, there are plenty of ways to market outside of Google. But the fact remains that you need some kind of marketing to build an audience or client list.
How does Google view you as a professional?
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