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Friday, Mar. 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Getting Started with Social Media: Use Google+ Wisely

By Mariel Bacci
March 8th, 2013

Google+ is becoming more and more popular in terms of social media for business.  The main advantage of Google+ is that your activity will easily rank high in Google search results.  Make sure you have your Google Plus profile set up to connect with your potential customers strategically.

Link To Social Media Accounts

If you offer promotions in your other social media accounts, make sure you link to them in your G+ profile.  You can also post information on promotions you have in G+.  Tying all your accounts together and persuading your guests to interact with your highest converting form of social media will help increase your ROI.

Use Keywords in You Profile

When composing your bio, don’t be afraid to make it a little bit keyword heavy.  If you are a salon tell people you specialize in a list of ten different styles of hair color or name the brand of color you use.  Do your keyword research and use the knowledge to your benefit.

Take Advantage of Search Rankings

Google+ profiles rank extremely well locally.  If you are a business with a store on the ground, you can do a lot to leverage this to your advantage.

Make sure to include the hours of operation and a link to a map of how to get to your business.  Add a link to your website in case they might have some interest in shopping online.  A lot of times a Google+ profile might rank higher than your actual website.  Give your followers the tools to find you.

Make sure all your posts and information are set to public as the default in order to reach the largest audience possible.

Personalize your page URL

While Facebook allows page owners to create vanity URLs of the structure facebook.com/YourName, Google does not currently do the same.

By default, Google+ page URLs look like this: https://plus.google.com/9837506918275069129865/posts. At http://www.gplus.to/, you can create a custom URL like gplus.to/baccimar, which will redirect a user to your page. Branded links rank better and are a lot more memorable.

Add Important Information to Your “Employer Field”

There are a lot of characters you can input into the “Employer” field, and this along with your image is the only information will have about you before they decide to add you to their circles.

Instead of listing your employer, tell a little about your company or include your company UVP.

Pay Attention to The Details

Google+ details will rank high is search engine results, so it is important to treat your Google+ page as your first impression to  prospective clients.

Use your Google+ page as a navigation space to all your other online activities- link to your website, top converting pages on your website, blog and main social profiles (Twitter, Facebook, etc). Also be sure to use the photostrip underneath your headline to display the photos that you feel represent your brand in the best light.

Use Google’s Free Resources

Put a Google Badge on your website.. To do this, you need to sign up at the Google+ Platform Preview and then create and customize your badge at the Google+ configuration tool page. The page will generate a script that you’ll code into your website to enable and display the badge.

Add the +1 button to your company’s website so that people can recommend your site with a single click.. HubSpot reported that websites that use Google’s +1 button generated 3.5 times more traffic from Google+ than websites that don’t have the button installed.

Use Photos Wisely

Your Google Plus photos don;t have to be images of flowers or your most resent office party.  You can use compelling figures, facts and graphs to promote your business in the photos section.  Images are valuable converters if they offer compelling information.

Use Circles to Segment Your Voice

Segment your circles so that you can serve people the information that is most relevant to them. The more customized your circles are, the more valuable the content you share with each circle and the better the response will be from your audience on Google+.

Leverage Hangouts to Pull Prospects Closer

Have you been stagnant in your qualitative research? Ship you prospects a product sample and a calendar appointment for your next focus group.

Invite your follows to exclusive access conversations with the CEO, designer or spokesperson for your company.  This can make your prospects feel involved and invaluable.

Use your brain juice!  Google+ allows you to set up real time, multi-participant chat rooms.  There must be something you can engage your circles with.  Why not a live performance or demonstration?

Show Some Love Through Google+

As with every social media platform, the law of reciprocity appliesInteract with other peoples circles, engage prospects and personalize those engagements.Checkout out other people’s hangouts and use them as an opportunity to engage people about your product or service.  Send seven personalized messages to each person in your circle, and they will be loyal for life!

How do you use Google+ to engage your prospects or work symbiotically with other businesses?  Have you found Google Plus to be a waste of time or an important point of contact for your business?  If you have not yet set up your Google+ account or you need help optimizing, get in touch!

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Comments (39)

  1. You know i always say that G+ it`s bad SM but i`ll try your advice to make more on G+.Thanks

  2. I really need to start messing around with Google+ more. I made an account and tinkered with it a bit a while back and then sort of forgot I had it. I seem to do that sort of thing a lot it seems. :D

  3. Google Plus’s power when it comes to business is really omnipotent. If you are awebsite owner and you want to leverage, setting up an account in g+ will help you. Social media’s power when it comes to the business world is getting immeasurable and articles that guides people on how to properly use and manage accounts is indeed helpful.

  4. spot-on info and advice re google+

    whereas most people consider facebook and twitter the most important & influential social networking sites, and linkedin the most important & influential business networking site, google+ truly is the single most important networking site (not just for social networking or for business networking – for all networking).

    google+ outweighs all the other players in this market segment for two primary reasons:
    1. google ‘gets it’ (‘understands it’) better than any of the others – google+ isn’t primarily a social networking site or a business networking site – it’s an ‘everyone and everything’ networking site.
    2. it’s google (enough said ;-)

    this isn’t to suggest that facebook, linkedin, twitter, and other networking sites should be ignored – to the contrary, they’re all important & influential players, too – if people use them and consider them important, google considers them important – which means they should be integral components of any online marketing endeavor.

  5. Great info, especially the google badge info. Now I’m off to update my profile…

  6. Wow! I never knew I could personalize my url on google+ page. I’m gonna do it now for sure. Thanks

  7. Love these tips. I also have been shying away from Google+, but it is definitely picking up steam! Get on or get left behind!

  8. Love the goplus.to tool, great article though. After they updated the layout of Google plus I am loving it. Now it becomes very beautiful :)

  9. Well, there’re indeed a couple of advantages of google plus. First one is that it’s made by google. Getting google pluses are certainly more valuable than let’s say facebook likes.

    Furthermore, unlike facebook, google plus gives dofollow links. So it gives social awarness, branding and SEO advantages due to dofollow links.

    Besides those I totally agree with your points and I couldn’t agree more with using it “wisely”. We heard of one case someone created quite some spam and got de-indexed. Not the website, but the google plus account.

  10. Thank you very much. In the past, I didn’t use G+ for my site. I didn’t know it bring me more advantages. Now, I will try to utilize G+ for my site.

  11. Hi,Google+ is very great social media sites for the promotion of the any category websites and i think its a great way to get great traffic and ranking to the pages.

  12. Hi there,
    Thanks for the post; one thing I never knew about Google+ was the fact that they’re good for local rankings and local businesses. Is there a way you can link your Google+ page with your Google Business page?
    Alana

  13. As a web agency, your articles are always inspiring, thks!
    I love Google+ but here in central Europe, it doenst look to take off. Lots of client of our services of social marketing are on multiple social networks but G+ doenst give a lot of performances

  14. Although still way behind Facebook, Google+ is picking up its pace.

    And Since Google+ is Google’s social media, you can be sure that Google prioritize its social media for its search result pages.

  15. With so many choices in terms of connecting with your read through social media, it can get difficult and time consuming to manage them. Although Facebook is king of the social world, I find that Google+ provides more impact in terms of my exposure on all of Google’s entities: Youtube, Google maps, etc. Everything is integrated and really helps my marketing efforts.

  16. Great article, however in Europe the power of Google+ is far less significant than in US. It seems to slowly improving, but it will take a lot of time to catch up with Facebook and Twitter. As a owner of the webshop, I don’t really see direct improvement since I’ve started using Google+.

  17. These tips are cool. I already use google+ for local reference, but not on steroids, as you so well explained. It maybe hard to put it all in practice, but I think it’s worth it.

  18. Wow! I never knew I could personalize my url on google+ page.

  19. Awesome and informative post about G+. I did not use G+ for my blog and website now i will try to G+ for my blog and website and i think G+ is very great place for sharing your blog and website information and this is a best way to get traffic and ranking our blog and website

    Thanks

  20. Hey Mariel,

    Big fan of the ‘plus’.
    It looked at first it would just be a poor Facebook clone , picking up the scraps from Zuckerberg’s table, but its carved out a nice niche for itself.
    The ‘local’ element makes plus that fact its content is indexed first by the big ‘G’ means it should be indispensable for any local business worth their salt.

    Mike

  21. This is good advice for businesses with a local presence. However, the problem is that Google+ is still very much the domain of techies, internet marketers and spammers. The amount of real people there is comparitively small. My view is that – for social – your time might be better spent elsewhere.

  22. This is potentially good advice for local businesses on Google+. The problem is that G+ is still predominantly techies, marketers and spammers. There aren’t enough real people there to make it a priority.

  23. I like that you point out that special attention needs to be paid to the picture.

    So many people I know have tried in vain for weeks to attain author rank with Google + just to find that the reason they weren’t getting it was because their picture was the wrong size, or wasn’t a straight on angle. Definitely something to look for.

  24. I have to agree with some of the comments here. I’d love to roll out a huge Google+ marketing campaign because of the interconnectedness of the service with your social presence, but there are just no real people there to market to.

  25. Google+ has been an amazing resource for me. The amount of in-depth conversations I’ve had since the “Communities” features launched is unbelievable.

    One of the best things is linking your G+ profile in with authorship markup – it has increased the click-through rates on our search results remarkably!

  26. Hi Mariel. Thanks for the great post. There are so many things I didn’t know about G+. I also never know that there is a site where I can create custom URL for my G+ profile. Awesome.

  27. Yes,Google+ is very great social media sites for the promotion of the any category websites and i think its a great way to get great traffic and ranking to the pages.

  28. Hi, from starting only, I have given much importance to Google Plus as I know its from the Search Engine giant, Google and it will surely serve great importance in future as most modern search engine (Google) now takes the help from the Social signals.

  29. My Google+ account is getting really active at the moment, and lots of people are adding me to their circles.

  30. Yes obviously G+ is great power of social media..Now a days its a great alternative of facebook. Now we can share our business in 2 social media sites. This is potentially good advice for local businesses on Google+. As a owner of the webshop, I don’t really see direct improvement since I’ve started using Google+. Everything is integrated and really helps my marketing efforts.

  31. Very useful tips!! I have been using Google plus for a while now and I have found out that it is a really valuable ingredient to achieve an efficient website positioning.I have learnt new ideas and tips in this post which I am sure they are gonna help me better the way I use this social network. Thanks a lot for the post.

  32. I really love the G+ platform, but I just wish it would get adopted by a wider community. It’s great to keep up to date with tech news, but it would be nice to see some of my ‘real life’ friends on their too.

    It’s technically so much better than Facebook, but without the users it’s sadly lacking.

  33. Hey this is really timely for me, thanks. I’m just starting up and am trying to figure out G+.

    I’ve found their platform is really picky…but then is picky for some good reason, at least, it makes sense to Google.

    For instance, with the rich snippet image for page authorship/publisher, I couldn’t figure out why my little picture wasn’t showing up, even though G+ accepted it for my profile. It seemed to follow the normal rules, was a face shot, clear enough, not spammy.

    Turned out it liked the same exact photo better when I uploaded the whole HUGE photo and cropped just my face, as opposed to cropping it on my computer, then uploading just the face.

    Silly, but I do now remember the interface complaining that it couldn’t find my face in the original face-only pic, but that beef WASNT present when I uploaded the whole photo.

    Lessen learned: spoil the beast!

  34. Hi Mariel, Thanks for useful writing. Truly G+ is like a boon for businesses because it provides businesses a way to spread out and effectively reach out to their target audience. The best part of this writing is you very well explained all the important features of Google+. Obviously Google prioritizes the Google+ profile based on it freshness so it helps to rank high in Google search. I am glad that you made some time for writing such useful stuff. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. I will be grateful if you continue such informative & supportive stuffs in future.

  35. I think Google+ is becoming a better Social Media platform for business versus that of Facebook. The importance of having a Google+ profile that is fully completed is not only important for the Google Search Engine, but also can enable Google Authorship.

    Thank you for showing a way to personalize the Google+ URL. Do you know if this redirecting feature will have any affect on SEO?

    Thank you Mariel!

    Sam Martinez

  36. Hey Mariel,

    Very interesting post. I never thought of using keywords in my bio nor having a branded URL. You really provided good tips to think of and apply.

    Thanks

  37. in the moment G+ had in Europe not the power than in the Rest of the World – here is Fb the one-and-only – but i think G+ had in the moment the problem with their API – because then all (!!) WordPress Blogs could post automatic to G+ and so more and more posts on this social media platform will grow up.

  38. Thanks for the post; one thing I never knew about Google+ was the fact that they’re good for local rankings and local businesses. Is there a way you can link your Google+ page with your Google Business page?

  39. Thanks for the excellent advice on optimizing a Google+ page. I’ve mostly been ignoring G+ up until now, but I’ve learned that it simply won’t go away (Google is in this for the long run).

    Another piece of advice that I think should be added is the use of Google Authorship between your website and your G+ page as doing so can benefit your site’s rankings.

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Mariel is a GA certified analyst at FutureNow, Inc.

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