Although launching almost 3 years ago, Google+ still seems to be considered an after thought to a lot of marketing professionals – after all, there are only so many hours in a day. Many businesses have conquered the likes of Facebook and Twitter marketing, blogging etc, so why would they spend time spend time on another social network where they’re not sure of the benefits.
There is a large conception amongst businesses and marketers alike that their audience just don’t exist on Google+ and that it is somewhat of a ghost town compared to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Whether this is true at the moment or not, there is still one major benefit from using Google+; and that is SEO. Below are some tips on how to optimise your Google+ page to boost your SEO.
1. Publish to Google+
Most marketers will probably be using social media management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer. Even if you are not, it is easy to publish the content you are already creating for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn onto your Google+ page. Using social media management tools makes it easy to not only schedule posts but publish individually or across all platforms at once.
2. Claim Custom Branded URL
Rather than the default long string of numbers at the end of your Google+ URL, you can claim a custom branded URL which will make your page easier to discover and share. In order to do this your page needs to be at least 30 days old, you need a profile photo and at least 10 friends.
3. Link Google+ with Website
By linking your Google+ page to your website, not only are you creating a backlink from Google+ but this will allow your Google+ page to show up on the right hand side of the search results as seen in this screenshot for Starbucks below.
4. Fill out “Links” Section
The Links section gives you the opportunity to add any other links which are important to your business. For example, your blog, social profiles, and any page you wish to drive traffic to.
5. Fill out your “Story”
In your profile ‘About’ tab there are several sections of information, the first is your “Story”. This is where you can put your tagline and introduction to your business. This section is important as a snippet of your introduction (up to 77 characters) will be used in Google+ search results when people are searching users who have particular keywords in their Google+ profile. The snippet used will be the part which most closely matches the keywords searched.
6. Optimise your Posts
The initial content of Google+ posts is just as important as title tags for your website and blog posts. Make sure the first 45-50 characters of your Google+ posts are crafted with this in mind as this is what will be displayed as post titles in the search results.
7. Include Rich Media
Google+ is one of the most visual social channels out there (besides Pinterest) as not only does it support standard images and videos, but it also supports animated GIFs. These can stand out amongst images and videos where you have to click to play meaning you have more chance of grabbing potential targets attention.
8. Utilise Google+ Authorship
When the contributors to a businesses blog sign up for Google Authorship, their personal Google+ profile will be synced with blog posts meaning there is the potential for their profile picture to show up next to posts they have written in the search results. Not only does this build trust and establish credibility to their writing but it also means the post stands out more in the SERPs and therefore likely increase click through rates.