With approximately 86 percent of Americans using the Internet, chances are excellent that your potential customers are taking advantage of technology by putting your name, or the name of your company, into Google or one of the other popular search engines. Twitter bird icon If you log out of your Google account and type your own name into the search bar, you might be surprised at what pops up. (Go ahead and do that… I'll wait for you right here.) What did you come up with? Just look at the first page or two; there's no need to delve further, because your average information-seeker only looks at a handful of results. If you've found timely and relevant information that make you look like the professional that you are, go ahead and pat yourself on the back! People searching for you will likely take the next step and go to your website, call you, or place an order. On the other hand, did you find any of the following? Embarrassing photos References to situations and activities you'd rather your customers not know about Negative reviews Strongly held opinions that could alienate or offend a percentage of your potential clients Random information about you that is not embarrassing or negative, but is irrelevant to what you are doing now Nothing at all If your Google search turns up any of the above, you've likely already lost some potential sales.