Google+ Profile For Business – Now’s The Time
I must admit to being rather slow to set up and use Google+. I’m not alone.¬†One in¬†four people use Google+¬†just once a month. People are catching on fast but there is still time to get involved and make a significant difference to your website’s authority, ranking and traffic. It is thought by SEO experts such as AJ Kohn and Cyrus Shepard that G+ will be more significant to search results than other social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook because Google owns all the Google+ data.
Google needs to be able to distinguish between high-quality websites with relevant content and poor-quality sites so that they can improve the search results. Google plans to link the search results with content from great authors with a high Author Rank. You want to be in this category and so do I!
This is a great opportunity for a home business and freelancer to compete against larger organisations and improve the ranking position of your website. Google’s emphasis on Author Rank is an advantage for small businesses driven by a entrepreneur or small team as a G+ profile is about projecting and engaging with an individual. A high Author Rank could give you a high page rank, which will increase¬†traffic to your website and potential sales. AJ Kohn puts it well¬†in his article Author Rank when he says ‘You have to be in it to win it‘. It seems likely that in the future your website’s ranking is going to be heavily influenced by your Google+ Authorship ranking.
There are four immediate steps to take:
- Set up a G+ personal and business page
- Claim authorship
- Produce great content
- Engage on Google +
Whilst Google is offering some customised URLs you will see that most of us get given an ugly url similar to this: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103661560420374987985/posts. However, in the meantime you can change it to something more meaningful with Gplus.to.¬†I’ve changed my personal profile url to http://gplus.to/ElizabethConley.¬†From your personal profile you can easily set up a business page.
Below are 10 tips on how to take advantage of Google+, drawn from an excellent article by¬†Cyrus Shepard, a SEO expert at SEOMOZ.
10 Tips To Take Advantage Of Google+
1. Follow Your Profile Links
Consider this: at SEOmoz you must earn 200 Mozpoints before earning a followed profile link (submit good comments!) On the other hand, Google+ not only allows you to link to your other profiles across the web, but you can¬†embed followed links directly into your bio¬†with the anchor text of your choice.
If you can raise your visibility by getting more people to¬†engage with you,¬†share your posts, or¬†link directly to your profile, the more valuable your profile links become.
2. Embed Post Links
Like profile links, Google+ also allows you to insert followed links directly into your posts ‚Äď¬†as many as you want. Simply insert the full URL and Google will automatically format it as a link.
The value of these links increases the number of times the post is shared, linked to and +1ed.
For example, check out this¬†one sentence post from Alexia Tsotsis, which has a PageRank of 3 and is cached by Google every couple of weeks. (Even though PageRank is not highly correlated with rankings, for Google+ it‚Äôs often the only metric available.)
If your post goes viral or is reshared by high-authority profiles, the value of those links increases.
3. Optimize Your G+ Title Tags
The first sentence of your Google+ post becomes part of the title tag, which is¬†highly correlated with rankings¬†and greatly influences click-through rates. Choose your keywords carefully and consider that the first sentence will be the first thing most people see.
Check out how this simple post from Danny Sullivan¬†ranks for its title.
A widely shared post with a good title has an excellent chance of ranking for its given keywords.
4. Unlimited Editing Power
Google+ is just like your own mini personal blogging platform. This means you can fully edit any of your posts at any time. Not so with Facebook or Twitter. Facebook gives you only limited editing abilities. Twitter, after you tweet, only lets you delete.
5. Index New Content Lightning Fast
If you share new content on Google+, chances are that Google will index the page very quickly.
Rumour has it that new URLs are crawled almost instantly. This makes complete sense as part of the purpose of Google+ was to¬†replace Twitter when creating Google’s Realtime Search.
In the old days, if you wanted a website indexed you filled out a webform and waited several weeks. Today, it’s as simple as pressing a +1 button.
¬†‚ÄúGoogle+ is the new Google Submit URL box.‚ÄĚ
- Rand Fishkin, GROW 2012¬†Source
Share your new content on Google+, as well as your other social networks, for quick indexation.
6. Connect With Influencers
Google+ lists¬†17 different notification triggers¬†that can help you connect with influencers in your industry.
Depending on the individual’s¬†account settings, these notifications can take the form of an email, phone SMS, or the omnipresent red Google notification bar.
17 actions that trigger notifications:
- Mention them in a post
- Share a post with them directly
- Share a post and you’re in a circle they subscribe to
- Comment on a post they created
- Comment on a post after they comment on it
- Add them to a circle
- Suggest new people to add to their circles
- Tag them in a photo
- Tag one of their photos
- Suggest a profile photo for them
- Comment on a photo after they comment on it
- Comment on a photo they are tagged in
- Comment on a photo they tagged
- Start a conversation with them
- Send them an invitation or update an event
- Remind them about events
- Any activity on events they created
7. Optimize Your Author Pic For More Traffic
Last spring, I performed¬†a series of tests¬†with my Google+ author photo that led to an increase in the click-though rate¬†for my websites.
If you successfully¬†implement the author tag¬†and have a catchy photo, it often doesn’t matter if you rank 2nd, 3rd or even 4th. With an eye-catching pic you can often grab free traffic away from even your competitor’s #1 ranking.
8. Test Drive A G+ Social Media Dashboard
Google Analytics has progressed greatly with social media reporting, but if you live and die by social traffic you want to bring the information front and centre.
Adam Singer¬†created an awesome social media dashboard that you can use for free. At one glance you can view all your essential metrics from Google+ traffic and all other social networks, including:
- On-Site Social Actions, i.e. Google +1s
- Revenue per Visit by Social Network
- Overall Traffic Stats by Social Source
Bonus:¬†Install this dashboard for free in your Google Analytics account by¬†clicking here.
9. Check Your CircleRank
My favourite new tool is CircleCount.¬†Try it now¬†by pasting in your Google+ URL to¬†chart your daily follower growth, the¬†virality of your posts, and even¬†see your “CircleRank” score compared against all other Google+ profiles.
10. Be An Awesome (Late) Early Adopter
There’s still time.¬†Folks are catching on. Yes, early adopters win the day.
You can do Google+ in less than 10 minutes a day. This means creating a few simple habits to fit it into your workflow.
- Press the +1 button to spread and share worthy comment
- …¬†add comments on the truly great stuff
- Add¬†+1 Buttons¬†on your own content
- Engage/Comment/Reshare/Start a hangout/Create an event
- Circle Great People
- Make it easy for people to circle you…
If you found this article helpful, click on the G+ button. Share your comments below and catch up with me at Google+.