Brands don't properly leverage G+, and we're in the midst of a shift by consumers and by Google.
The first thing is, Google+ is the new phonebook. Think it's a graveyard or bought into the rumors of Google+ being “unnecessary” or “barren”? Whatever the case, there is a lot of potential for brands looking to grow SEO and visibility on Google+ and Google Search.
I’ll go through some tactics and strategy to grow your audience on Google+, and benefit your SEO.
Completely Complete Your G+ Profile
It's so simple, but often disregarded. Your content and completion is the most crucial part in your success on any social platform as it establishes authority.
If you neglect this, you'll be missing opportunities to connect with organic customers earnestly looking for your business. They will see your incomplete profile and so will Google. If you want to be a reputable business, reviews are just the first part.
So let’s make sure you’ve hit all the important pieces:
Your profile picture on Google+ is used across Google and in maps. You will need a brand image to upload that is square with room around the edges. What color your background on your picture is, you cover photo may want to mirror that or show an interior/at work shot.
This photo should represent your brand. It’s going to be displayed in a variety of sizes and as small as 16px. It should be recognizable at unreasonably small sizes. Don’t use a lot of symbols or characters, as it wont be as readable at such a tiny size.
This can be the same as your profile photo, but in most cases should be a high quality, alpha capable photo. This way if you need to use it to brand your photos you can. It's a +.
Your Google+ cover gets the point across about who you are and what you do. It’s an area to use evocative or high-def photos to make an emotional connection to potential clients.
Ads will not work here. In fact it can lead to a negative brand image, just as leaving it blank looks lazy.
Select the image that is really high quality and shows either the interior, exterior, or high quality digital art.
The cover photo is displayed in a variety of places online and it's important you have a flushed and complete look about your profile.
About In Profile
This section is in Brand pages and not Local Pages. This is how you tell potential customers or patron about how your company was forged or your companies mission statement. Take full advantage using this area to include your website. It's a good place to put a link that helps your SEO. Don't use more than 2 however.
Think of it like a small website’s about page or section.
This section for Local pages only and determines how your customers reach you. Be sure to fill it out accurately and completely. Include each of the following:
- Phone number
- Website URL
- Hours of Operation (for local pages)
Give customers the right info to find you and your services. Keep in mind, this will also inform Google about your business industry to serve it up in search results. Don't ignore it.
Verify Your Website/Address
Make sure that Google+ can associate your page with your website, connect your main WWW address.
First, go to edit “Links” in your About page and put in your website. If you have Local Google+ page it will be in your Contact information that the link should be added.
You can be prompted to verify your domain if you add some code to your website header or by confirming by email using an account registered on that domain. (@thewebsiteyouareverifying.com)
If you have a local page, you need to verify it's address with a mailing address. This is crutial in being properly added to maps, and proper SEO.
This you will the “Verified” badge for your page and that's a big deal. It means Google recognizes the connection between your site and your business. Then it can add it to the overall knowledge about your company and presence when people use Google Search.
It is what's called a trust signal, and it's a big deal to new customers looking for your business.
Posting On Google+
If you post anything on Google+ you must understand that it’s a different than other online networks. People on Google+ don’t like hollow posts with simply a headline and link spam.
All social networks have a different homogeneity and lexicon norms that are unique to each network. If you don’t talk the talk of the users on that platform, you’re not going to be able to walk the walk.
The audience on Google+ speaks engagement. They want evocation and substance. So here are some things that make up good Google+ post.
- Opening Headline: Us an asterisk at the beginning and end to make it bold when published. Just like a bog headline, this hooks their interest.
- Intro: A brief 1-2 sentence explanation of what you are sharing.
- CTA: Your call-to-action should be the link that you want them to click on (if you have one).
- Value Add: Add another 1-2 sentences (or more) that will give people value even if they don’t click on your CTA. Maybe a few points from the article you’re sharing or just a personal application of what the big takeaway is.
- Provoke engagement: End the post with a final question or something that will spur comments. Asking a question is usually a great way to do this, or give them a clear-cut thing to comment with (example: let me know in the comments if you see this working for you or not).
- Hashtags: Be sure to add any relevant hashtags to the bottom of your post.
- Image: If you want to get the highest likelihood of engagement, we’ve found that Image posts perform the best. So upload an image that relates to your content. If you’re sharing a link that generates a big image preview, then that works pretty well too. Not quite as well as actual uploaded images though in our experience.
Circles allow you to track your leads, target audience, or key influencers. Even communicate with customers.
Here’s a list of key circles you want to create:
- Industry Influences: This will be your go-to circle for following industry news or influencers.
- Target Audience: This will be a circle of people who you want to connect with who might be potential clients, customers or advocates.
- Customers or Clients: A circle of current customers, clients, or advocates.
- Team Members: A circle of employees or team members.
From your Home stream on Google+ you can filter by circles so that you can be sure you’re connecting with the right people at the right time.
Google+ Collections allow you to present your content just like you would on your professional blog. Strategically create collections that match your target keywords.
Consistently create content for these Collections and build up authority and following on your profile. Audience authority converts people who may not have otherwise seen a full deck.
While Google+ Communities have lost a little bit of steam since their initial buzz, they are still a great place to find people who are passionate about specific subject matter.
Visit the Communities page and search for keywords related to your brand. You will find communities that are related to those keywords but be sure to take a look inside the community first. Not all communities are active and others are completely overrun by spammers.
When you find one that seems active with real people, you’ve found a potential gold mine for your target audience outreach. Be sure to engage effectively and mind proper etiquette in these communities and get evangelists to your brand.
This is an important step to creating meaningful connections with customers, seeing feedback, and monitoring your competition.
Case Studies are on their way
Want to have someone else do all this? We can help. First steps are Get Your Business Online, Click For Free Boise SEO.