Google+ is such a brilliant platform because it allows businesses to take advantage of the areas where Google will be focusing now and in the future.
Primarily, ensuring search results are relevant to what browsers – their customers – are searching for when they use Google search.
That content on a website is relevant to the website and business, and relevant to the target audience who will land on that website.
That links both from and to a website are relevant to the content and business it links from or to.
Personalising Google+ for Relevancy
We know search is becoming more personalised, which means, at least in theory, everyone should begin to see results that are more relevant to them each time they search. Google’s ultimate aim appears to be knowing what a person is going to search for before they search for it. While we’re not quite there yet – Google Hummingbird is a step in that direction – you can take a number of steps immediately that will ensure that you rank highly for relevance and that Google+ works as powerfully as possible for you.
We understand that not everyone is a huge fan of social media, and that many will love that you can setup a Google+ Business page without needing your own personal one. However, having your own Google+ page instantly gives your business some extra clout and real estate across Google. You don’t need to start using it on a prolific basis if you don’t want to, but then why wouldn’t you want to share all of your great business content through your personal account? You’ll have a +1 on all of your content straight away, and it will get your content out to an even wider audience. Even if this wider audience is only friends and family, subsequent shares from them could easily reach someone who ends up spending their money with you.
Google authorship is an important aspect of your inbound marketing campaign. People who can view the author of an article or blog post will subsequently check out their profile and business page if the content was high quality and gave away value. Google authorship takes a matter of minutes to set up using your personal Google+ account, and doing so will bring the following benefits:
Click through rates will improve, as readers prefer feeling a personal connection with the writer.
It gives your business added ‘real estate’ on Google, therefore building brand awareness and exposure while not doing anything differently.
As people grow to recognise you and appreciate your content and business in general, you’ll become an authority in your industry, which will eventually lead to the snowball growth effect as more authority leads to greater exposure, which grows your authority even further, and so on.
Google authorship marks your content as yours. If someone steals your content and publishes it on their website, they, not you, will be penalised for duplicate content publication.
In order to use Google authorship, you’ll need to have a personal Google+ account first.
Setting up your Google authorship account is easy. Ensure you’re signed into your personal Google+ account, go to http://plus.google.com/authorship, and enter your email address. Google will send you a verification email, which you’ll use to confirm your email address and Google+ account. Your authorship is now set up, meaning all you have to do is add a short byline to all of your written content using the rel=author tag around your name, and your profile picture will appear next to your content in Google search.
In your Google+ account, be sure to add your business website, in addition to anywhere you guest post, for example, in the ‘Links’ section under the ‘Contributor to’ subheading.
Google+, whether your personal or business account, is worthless without having the +1 button on your website. Although Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Webspam, said earlier this year that +1s don’t influence search results, Google still show you how many people have given a +1 to an article when they display it in their results. This enables browsers to ascertain for themselves which posts are the best and most authoritative. Without a +1 button, you’re preventing your readership from giving you this benefit.
If that isn’t enough to inspire you to ensure you have a +1 button on every single piece of content on your website, consider this: websites with a +1 button are estimated to enjoy over 350% higher traffic than those who don’t have one.
To place a Google +1 button on your content pages, visit https://developers.google.com/%2B/web/%2B1button/.
Google+ business isn’t just a platform for sharing content via the +1 button. You should also use Google+ business to post content directly. After all, Google+ is a social network, and Google want you to use it for networking and conversations as well as for bookmarking.
This doesn’t mean you should stop blogging and post everything on Google+, far from it. However, you should ensure Google+ is part of your content marketing strategy, and that you have a plan in place to produce and publish regular content direct as well as sharing it. These don’t need to be full-blown blogs or articles, but shouldn’t be glorified tweets, either. It is often a good idea to use Google+ to publish a 150 – 200 word introduction to a blog and then direct someone to the full piece, which is more engaging than simply sharing a link. Doing this will make you more visible within Google+ search when people perform searches around your industry, keywords, or hashtags.
This is where you can ensure your content reaches the largest possible audience without picking up penalty points for publishing duplicate content. While reading the last point, you were probably concerned that posting on Google+ might mean fewer people than normally would see your content.
However, Google+ enables you to embed your posts on your site using HTML. Not only does this ensure everyone sees your posts, it will also introduce your regular website readership to your Google+ account, which again will lead to more +1s, and greater authority over time. Embedded posts are fully interactive with your Google+ account, meaning that people who comment on your site and separately on your Google+ page can engage with each other, while +1s are also aggregated.