Editor’s note: Google began deprecating its Google+ API on January 28, 2019. You may no longer have access to Google+ either natively or through a third-party tool.
You know that Google.com is a Search engine? Well, in this article I will show you how to make the most of using it to generate more traffic to your website.
And of course, it should be ‘the right traffic’ for you.
Here is one example of what you can do, when you know ‘how’.
This analytics page is from my blog post ‘What is Google Plus?’ – as you can see, it has over 300,000 unique page views.
This came about through the method we use in the Plus Your Business Academy, which is all about community building one person at a time. The content, when amplified, signals to Google Search that this is something more people should see in the future i.e. it gets a solid Search result. This one even got #1 for ‘What is Google’.
And you don’t need tens or hundreds of thousands of people to engage for this to happen.
Build your 100 brand evangelists and you will be well on the way to getting top results yourself.
Now you get some idea of the power of using Google+ for Social Seo, let’s start with a few of the basics.
In other words, don’t dive into Google+ thinking that you will magically ‘get search results’ without doing the work.
The good news is though there is a lot to be gained along the way, and when your authority has been built up your content will naturally surface where it deserves.
Let’s recap on the model if you don’t know it yet.
When people engage on your content they are signalling to the algorithm that they are willing to ‘put their name’ to the content – i.e. a +1/comment/share is connected to their Google+ Profile/Page, which is the person/brand’s digital identity. This creates, overtime, a reputation for you and your content as people begin to spread the word to other people in the community that your content is worth seeing.
Through community building you are able then to become ‘known’ by Search as the authority in the subject. Why? Because reputation, when it extends beyond your social circles, turns into you being seen in the wider marketplace as being ‘the authority’ (or one of them) and that is reflected in Google Search.
Just like a book publisher in the early 20th Century would make an author, and authority, in the subject by publishing their book, Google is reflecting in Search who is the authority based on the results that appear.
I know you may well want to jump into Google+, share a few cat gifs and get awesome Search results, but that is not how it is going to work, sorry. This is going to take time as you need to build trust, develop a reputation, and then become an authority. All of which can be delivered one digital signal at a time by the people on Google.
As such, think about the following…
Looking at an example of a blog post from your website, this is how it works:
As such, your Google+ posts can (and some would say are likely to appear) for people who have added you to their Google Circles.
This is a very powerful tool in your Social SEO toolkit.
This is a cliche, but if you don’t share then people don’t know you want your network to look like theirs. You are stronger together.
Post quality content, and build the relationships with the people who are engaging with you.
When you add into the mix engaging with existing authorities, or subject matter experts, on related subjects then you are starting to network with the right people. When they add you back, and engage with you, you are sending the right signals.
Ok, so you are posting your content, people are engaging on it, but how does it end up in Search?
Yes, every Google+ post has a URL that can appear in Google Search.
As such, you want to share public to get the maximum reach on your content.
As such you want to…
As you can see from the image below, the title of the post is just like the post
Think about including keywords in the title, related keywords in the comment (i.e. the text when you post.) And use appropriate hashtags. Don’t overdo it, but include a few.
This is a handy tip. If you want to directly track how many people have clicked on a link from a Google+ post, then look to use a shortener.
We use a branded one which is plusyourbiz.com instead of a generic one; this helps with consistent branding when the link is displayed in e.g. our weekly roundup.
This is an engagement tip.
Very often people won’t see your content the first time you post it, so give it another push on the same day or other times if it is important to you.
If you are seeking engagement then sharing into a relevant community can, and often will, increase the reach of your content – and when that happens, you will get engagement as well.
This sends those all important signals.
Note though, you should still build your network (many people find that they may have engagement but not people following you back) and also check on community guidelines whether it is ‘ok’.
When people arrive on your profile/page/community, if people see a post they will often engage. This can give the most important content you have a lift as you are getting more engagement.
This is something that is later in the journey, but if you really want to get something to the first page in Search (incognito) you will want to think about getting as much engagement as possible – thinking often in terms of hundreds of shares, thousands of plus ones.
This is something we teach people in Level 4 of the Academy – don’t rush, produce amazing content, and you will find your authority is displayed in Google Search with a health first page result.
Here is one I did to support Chris Brogan’s latest book:
Here is the thing about Google+, there are principles that you can learn but ultimately you need to experiment to see what works for the people whom are engaging on your content. Have fun, play, be free!
Increased personalization in Search, combined with almost 50% of searches coming from mobile now means that you want to sure you are connected to the right people for you and your business. And being ‘connected’ means you want them to add you back.
Social SEO means that you will get Search engine results, but the methods we use at Plus Your Business are summed up like this: the Google+ community will give you search results.
Serve the community with great content and they will reward you, as a bi-product, in return.
Interested in knowing more? Well, Martin Shervington is Founder and Community Manager at www.plusyourbusiness.com – check it out for more free resources and just about everything you’ll need to know about Google+.