#3: Your personal domain name and website
You already own your “FirstNameLastName.com,” right? What year is it again?
If not, grab it while you still can.
There’s no need to ever pay full price for a domain name, by the way. I’ve worked with Register.com for years — their customer service is outstanding — and I always visit RetailMeNot.com or a similar coupon site first. I search for Register.com promo/coupon codes and typically get between 15% and 25% off the already low domain name price.
What isn’t low is the cost of owning your domain for five to ten years, with automatic renewal, which you absolutely should do, even if it costs you a few hundred dollars. It’s worth it.
If your name is common and already taken, create an alternative that still uses your first and last name, but adds additional identifying information, like your middle name.
One of my longtime collaborators uses his LastName.com because it is so unusual. Another pal goes by RabbiFirstName.com
When you create your personal webpage using that domain name, make sure the site’s title tag contains your name and perhaps more information that distinguishes you from the other John Smiths, and even locates you geographically.
Every website has a title tag, and Google places a great deal of importance on what yours says.
If you look at the top of this page, the title tag is “PJ Lifestyle > 3 Tips for ‘Owning’ Your Name on Google’s First Page Results.”
The title tag is the top most, hyperlinked “title” that’s displayed in Google’s search results.
Not only does it “count” for a lot in Google’s current algorithm, but it helps prompt searchers to click on your link.
If, like me, you use WordPress to run your blogs and personal and/or business sites, title tags are easy to control.
So be sure to put your FirstName and LastName at the very beginning of your title tag, and add another descriptive phrase you want to be found for, for example, “San Diego real estate agent.”