Before we begin…
I want to preface this article by saying that the purpose of getting involved in social media networks is not for higher search rankings. Higher search rankings is a by product of effectively leveraging social media to grow your business or brand. The primary purpose of social networks is to…you guessed it… be social! You should only be on these sites if your intention is to engage with your audience and be a part of the conversations you start. The idea is to talk TO people and not AT them.
There are 359 million active users on Google+
Maybe you don’t have a Google+ account yet for your business, maybe you have one, but you don’t do anything with it, maybe you have one and you’ve tried using it but you “just don’t get it.” The truth is, you are not alone. The adoption of Google’s social network has been slower than you’d expect of a product created by the “King of Search.” The thing is, Google+ is growing and there seems to be quite a passionate following. An article release today indicates that:
The reasons behind Google Plus’s growth — it now can boast 359 million active users, up 33 percent from 269 million users at the end of June 2012, according to GlobalWebIndex — are complex and tied to Google’s effort to build a connecting layer across all its services, including search, YouTube, maps and other products. Log into one, and you’ve logged into the lot. (Source)
I do know that there is an overwhelming amount of users and “converts” that swear by Google+ and love it for its clutter-free social platform that makes it easy to find and share content through search and categorize people using circles. It also incorporates nicely with other Google apps, which is used by many businesses. This infographic lists the 20 reasons to switch to G+. I’m not recommending “switching” per se, only that you take some time to explore G+ and how it can fit into your business marketing strategy.
Having a Google+ business profile boosts SEO
Remember Google IS search. Thus Google+ IS Google. And if you want to get found through search you will get Google+.
Optimize your Google+ Profile
Fill out your Introduction, Employment, Education and Places lived understanding that the text in these sections is used for Google+ search. If you want to be returned for the term ‘SEO’ you need to have that term in one of these fields.
Placing the term in two or more fields seems to deliver some added benefit. Do it if it makes sense but don’t go overboard.
Share your content on Google+
Don’t we all want more traffic to our site? Creating and sharing relevant content related to your business is a great way to do that. Well, it’s really the best way to do that but many businesses do not realize the value of creating content on a daily basis. When you use G+ to share content, it will make your site rank higher on Google search and will be served to users more often.
Create quality content with relevant keywords
For the purpose of increasing your ranking on search, you want to write and share quality, rich content about things relevant to your target audience and make sure your copy has keywords that people searching for you will use in search.
Here is a good list of guidelines from Jim Dougherty on how to write copy to boost SEO.
Google+ allows you to claim Authorship of your content. Doing so delivers a type of rich snippet in search results along with your photo that will increase the visibility and click-through rate on your content today and may put you ahead of the game once Google implements AuthorRank. Here is a video from BlogTyrant that shows you how to do this.
Format Google+ Posts
Make sure to create a title for each post and put it at the top of the description in bold.
By making text bold and putting it at the top, Google sees this similar to a title tag for your website so it gives more weight to the words you use in the title.
To make text bold, put it between asterisks. So typing *This is your title* will end up looking like this: This is your title. Here are a few more tips on how to format your Google+ posts.
When it comes to SEO, content is King. And when it comes to search, Google is King. Google+ is not going anywhere and if you plan on growing your business online, it cannot be ignored. It’s ok to start slow, but the important thing is to start.