Winning the Google+ Game
Is your business on Google+? If not, it should be. This social network carries a lot of potential for your company to win you new customers. For example, Jeffalytics recently tested its influence by creating four websites with varying G+ usage. One had no Google+ presence, and it did the poorest in terms of search-ability. The website with the strongest G+ presence, on the other hand, ended up ranking as the 8th result for its target keyword.
But what does the network do, and how can you take advantage of Google+’s SEO benefits? Read on.
What Google+ Does for Your Followers
So let’s say you’ve written a blog about the top carwash businesses in the city, and two people in your city are searching for a good local carwash. One of these people follows you on Google+. The other doesn’t. When the Google+ follower is signed into their Google account and searches for carwash businesses, your business will likely be in the first batch of results to show up (as long as you’ve shared that blog on your Google page, that is).
Google+ is thus a powerful tool for social searching. While some have theorized that Facebook’s Graph Search will revolutionize the way people make their buyer decisions, social media marketing director Mark Traphagen says that Facebook users want to use the site for personal reasons, not commercial ones. In his eyes, the master of social search will be Google+.
To take advantage of this search engine star, try out some of the following tips.
Establish Google Authorship
Google authorship lets you link your G+ profile to every article you write. When someone searches for your name, your article will appear with your picture, which can attract more clicks over to your website. Plus, users can click on the “More” link beside your name to see what other content Google has indexed, so searchers have more proof that you’re an industry expert.
As a bonus, when your site is linked to your G+ profile, Google will value that connection and regard your site as a trustworthy source. The result? Your site will rank better.
Build Relationships With Other Users
You already know that other bloggers can work wonders for your own blog. The same is true for Google+. Connect with your industry’s power players on the network and share your content. If they like what they see enough to share it with their own circles, the result will be an awesome SEO boost for you.
This has certainly been Traphagen’s experience; his influence reaches more than 50,000 G+ circles. As he writes, “[Because] I get regular engagement from high-authority Google+ users and my profile has been linked to by a number of high authority web sites, my profile carries higher authority for Google search.”
Share Your Content for Quick Indexing
If you share your content on your G+ profile, the search engine will index it more quickly than if you left the job up to the search spiders. Just like you share new items on Twitter and Facebook, be sure to share them on G+, as well.
Optimize Your Profile’s “About Me”
This section is an excellent place to insert relevant keywords. To write a good description, think like a searcher. What would he or she be looking for? What problem would bring them to this profile? Write your “About Me” description accordingly, and you’ll be found more easily in search.
Encourage Recommendations and Reviews on Your Google+ Page
More interaction on your G+ page means more authority given to your business page, meaning better search results for your business overall.
Use Title Tags
The wishpond blog makes the important point that Google pays attention to your G+ posts, or title tags. Because of this, it’s important to use whatever keywords you want to be connected with in these posts—the sooner they appear in the sentence, the better.
Install a “+1” button on your site
The website that had a top-ranking keyword in the Jeffalytics test? That success all came from a simple “+1” from an authoritative website. Make sure that a “+1” button is included in your menu of social sharing buttons, both on your blog and your website. Getting +1’ed gives your site greater weight in Google search results.
Google+ can be an SEO goldmine; you just have to know where to dig. With the right knowledge and some skillful maneuvers, your site can influence searchers, reach new audiences, and paint you as an industry leader. Plus, since not many businesses have jumped on the G+ bandwagon, you can set yourself apart by building up a presence on the site. By the time other businesses catch onto its value, you’ll already be a seasoned pro with plenty of customers who found you through search.
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/Salvatore Vuono