Have you Googled the Grinch recently? Go ahead, take a look.
His search results are abysmal. Nearly the entire first page is clouded by allegations of him "stealing Christmas."
And why? Just because he wanted his neighbors to keep it down a bit?
Now, I know what you're thinking. And I agree -- the Grinch did actually break into all those houses and run off with presents, ornaments, and trees. It was a very regrettable thing that he did.
But the Grinch gave back everything he stole, publicly apologized, and was forgiven by all of Whoville. And despite having righted his wrong, the Grinch is haunted to this day by the online reflection of that act. He's famous for it.
I did a little digging and discovered that the Grinch is an experienced tailor with his own tailoring business. (He's quite talented too -- he made his own fitted Santa suit and Santa hat for that shameful act, complete with flared collars and cuffs.)
Unfortunately, there's nothing online about his business -- just the negative information about his thievery. Given that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase, the Grinch's online presence is likely a very influential deterrent for most of his customers.
And it's not a minor issue for him either. The Grinch gets Googled roughly 200,000 times each month -- and 5 times that amount come Christmas time! He's losing tons of business just by virtue of what people find about him online.
It doesn't have to be that way. If I were to take on the Grinch as a client, I'd propose the following steps to improve his online presence and turn that huge search volume into new business leads.
Before we start creating any new online properties for the Grinch, I'd want to make sure that we fix what's already out there. There's a lot of room for improvement.
First, Wikipedia. The majority of the Grinch's Wikipedia page is inappropriately negative with biased phrases like "grumpy, anti-holiday spirit" and presumptuous statements like "He scorns the Christmas season...apparently irritated by the happiness of others and deriving pleasure from spoiling other people's merriment."
This kind of language is much more reminiscent of a tabloid than a Wikipedia page.
Wiki guidelines explicitly state that Biographies of Living Persons ("BLPs") must be written conservatively, neutrally, and with regard for the subject's privacy. That's a fancy way of saying that Wiki editors need to be really careful about the kind of information they put online about any living people. Luckily for the Grinch, any material that violates this rule may be removed immediately. So that's step one.
The other piece of the Grinch's online presence worth fixing ASAP are his social profiles.
It looks like he already has a LinkedIn and Twitter profile with his name in the URLs. The next steps would be to fill those profiles out with as much information as possible and connect with people in the Grinch's existing network. These are two critical steps that will help those profiles rise in search results.
One of the biggest issues with the Grinch's online presence is the lack of properties under his control. When people look him up online, the narrative is completely controlled by other people.
I highly recommend we create a website for the Grinch's tailoring business, perhaps GrinchTailors.com. We're up against some pretty nasty negatives, so we'll want to do everything we can to get this site on the 1st page quickly. Building a page all about the Grinch (with his name in the URL) will help, and keeping an active blog will be good too. The content for the blog will be determined based on the Grinch's audience, something I'll have to find out when I speak directly with the Grinch.
I'd like to also get access to TheGrinch.com, which would serve as a personal website, a central hub of information for anyone interested in learning more or getting in touch. Visitors would be able to find the Grinch's experience, his tailoring work, contact information, and client testimonials to mitigate the negative information that's already out there.
Finally, we'll want to reserve several social media properties, choices we'll determine after hearing more about the demographic info of The Grinch's target audience. To start, I'd recommend Facebook, Instagram, Crunchbase, Google+, and Youtube. Then we'll need to optimize everything to maximize their potential for ranking in search results.
The Grinch has decades of experience as a tailor and is well-known in the tailoring community but there's absolutely no positive content out there that reflects that. Sure, we'll want an active blog on his company and personal websites, but I'd also like to get him published on external publications to build his credibility as an expert in his field.
Next, I'd sign the Grinch up for online services like HARO and ProfNet Queries to find opportunities to secure valuable media coverage. I'd also like to connect with mid-level fashion and style bloggers to secure opportunities for collaboration.
And that's really just the start. Once we start earning a foothold in the 1st page of organic search results, we'll enjoy a snowball effect. More traffic on The Grinch's web properties means more people engaging with his positive content instead of the negatives. More engagement means more conversions back to his tailoring website and more improvements in search results. And the cycle continues.
I know I can help turn the Grinch's online presence around. I just need to get ahold of the guy. Tell him to give me a shout if you see him. I'll give you a referral bonus.
Originally published on RyanErskine.com.