Being active on Google +, currently the second biggest social media network, can help:
- your website to rank in search engines
- you to expand your business network.
In all my recent conversations about getting web traffic from Google I’ve been mentioning the importance of Google +. My clients generally respond with “What is it?”, “Why do I need it?” and “What can I do once I’ve set up my profile?”. Here are the answers…
What is Google +?
Google + is Google’s social media platform. Similar to LinkedIn and Facebook, it allows you to create a profile page and share status updates, videos and photos.
In Google + speak, you “add people to your circles”, which is similar to adding a friend on Facebook, following people on Twitter and connecting with people on LinkedIn.
And, similar to Facebook, you can also create a page for your business.
Why do you need Google +?
1. Because it’s run by Google!
If you care about getting web traffic from Google, then you need to care about Google +.
2. It’s Valuable for Helping your Search Engine Rankings
There’s a lot of value in being on Google + in terms of how it helps your search engine rankings.
Some of the benefits are:
- When an article is shared on Google+, it can get indexed faster
- Your Google+ updates and profile can appear in the search results
- People in your Circles are more likely to see your content in Google search results (if they’re logged in)
According to Copyblogger
Being active and authoritative on Google+ has already proven to positively affect your rankings. But it could go much further than that in the future.
Google + is now the second biggest social media platform in terms of active users (Facebook is Number 1).
Read below to find out what you can do on Google +, features that have made hundreds of millions of users (including me!) love it so much.
This video is about a year old now but it still gives a great explanation of why Google Plus is a must and how it differs from Facebook.
Tips for fast-tracking your Google + success
- Add as much information to your profile as you can.
- Add people to your Circles. The more people you’re connected to, the more people you can reach when you share your content.
- Add the “+1” button to your website so that people can public acknowledge that they like your content, and they can easily share it on Google +.
What can you do on Google + once you’ve set up your profile?
If you already use any Google products (gmail, AdWords, Analytics etc) then you already have a Google + profile, but it probably looks quite sparse if you haven’t added info to it. If that’s the case add as much info to the “About” section as you can including your tagline, intro text, contact details and websites that you contribute to.
Once you have a profile you can:
- Create a Google Plus page for your business.
- If you have a Google Places page (the page that appears with a map listing in local search results), it will now be rolled over to a Google Plus Local page.
- In a future article I’ll show you how to link your Google Places page to your Google Plus profile, which enables you to share updates via your Google Plus Local page. And if you’re confused by the previous sentence stay tuned, you’re probably not alone!
- Join Communities
- If you’re active in Groups on LinkedIn you’ll find that Google Plus Communities are similar (only better in my opinion).
- You can search to find communities related to the topic that you’re interested in and then click to join them
- By interacting with Communities, you can meet like-minded people to connect with (who might even be potential clients!)
- Once you find the right communities to participate in, you’ll really start to understand the value of Google Plus.
- Set up hangouts
- Google Plus hangouts let you video chat with up to nine friends
- If you’ve ever used Skype, Google Plus hangouts are similar and easy to set up, as long as the person you want to connect to is on Google Plus
- Go to Hangouts on the left hand navigation once you’re logged in and then click “Start a Hangout” and follow the prompts.
Like all social media, Google + is easier to understand if someone who is already successfully using it walks you through it.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you of the “WHY” you need Google +, and in future articles I’ll show you a bit more of the “HOW”.
Need more help getting started with Google +?
If you’ve decided that you’re ready for Google + and need help turning it in to a valuable business tool, feel free to contact me and we can discuss the options. Or check out Business Search Innovations Australia, who specialise in Google + and Online Directories.
Until next time
Melinda aka Mel is a Premier Google Partner, AdWords & Analytics Consultant, Speaker and Trainer and co-owner of Click-Winning Content. Mel provides results-driven services to Australian businesses and is committed to never using an acronym without explaining it first. She also likes grand slam tennis, cracked pepper and Melbourne sunsets. Please connect at the links below.