Google+ is arguably the most powerful social media platform for you and your business. With 343 million active users as of January 2013, Google+ is the second most popular Social Media Platform, second only to Facebook.
Yep, you heard right – there are more active users on Google+ then on Twitter!
But the sheer number of users is only part of the equation. The real reason that Google+ is so important for SEO is quite simple. It’s owned by Google – the be all and end of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Just check out our post from a few weeks back to learn more about why you can’t ignore Google+!
Google is the largest search engine on the Internet. And in a world where your search rank is key to people finding you on the Internet – and using your services – an active Google+ profile can significantly boost your searchability.
Don’t believe me?
If you have a Google+ account, try running a Google search on your own name. More often than not, the top results will be in Google+, rather than Facebook or Twitter.
So how can you take advantage of Google+ to help push up your SEO ranking?
Here are 10 simple steps to help make Google+ work for you:
1. Use It. (Sign up already!)
This is pretty basic. If you haven't done so already – it's time to sign up! You may not be first to the party, but you can still get on board and start using the platform to advance your business.
2. Set Up (or edit) Your Profile Carefully – With SEO in Mind!
As you set up your profile, SEO should be driving your word choice and decisions. Use your keywords in descriptions, titles and texts on your profile. Even your picture can be optimized! Choose a great photo that your readers and followers will want to look at. Then put an author tag on your photo that includes some of your keywords.
If you already have a Google+ profile, review what you have written there and make edits to add in your keywords.
· Is your picture compelling and friendly?
· Does your profile leave the impression that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy on the topics that matter?
3. Set Aside 10 Minutes a Day for Google+.
Just 10 minutes. Dedicate the time while you're drinking your morning coffee or do it each day just before lunch. Spending a few minutes every day on Google+ can do wonders for your SEO and will boost your overall web presence.
Add posts, share interesting links or build new connections. Put yourself out there to connect with other users, clients and experts in your field. Share your knowledge and build your reputation by posting relevant, interesting links!
4. Include Keywords and Relevant Links on Your About Page
Choose your keywords carefully. Think about what your customers will be searching for and where your specific expertise lies. Use the Google Keywords tool to analyze which keywords are best worth investing in.
Don't be afraid to play around with content and keywords over time to track how different keywords affect your click through rates. While getting accurate data requires a critical mass of readers and several months of data,be patient! Looking at how people are interacting with your site and profile according to keywords can provide you with priceless data.
Once you have honed in on keywords that you want to push, you want to USE THEM all the time on Google+.
Google+ offers limitless opportunities to place keywords and relevant links inside the text that you produce.
On your About page, include links to your business website or blog. You can also link back to specific posts or pages within your website, so your readers will quickly have access to the information that is most relevant to their needs.
5. Use Keywords in Your Titles
Google+ sees the first sentence of each of your posts as the Title. This title tag ranks very highly in SEO and is a crucial place to include keywords. Use as many keywords as you can, without taking away from readability. Writing great first sentences will not only push your ranking; it's also the crucial place to pull in your reader. More often than not, a reader will decide in those first few words whether or not to keep on reading!
6. Engage Your Audience:
This is true for any social media platform. The larger your network and the more involved you are, the more power your presence will have on any given platform. During your daily 10 minutes, spend time engaging with people in your field as well as with potential customers and clients.
Write posts that are interesting and factual. Establish your expertise and use your keywords and links whenever you can (without being obnoxious.)
As you build your presence, your circles will grow and your SEO ranking will soon follow suit.
7. Use Google+ Events
The Google+ Events feature is relatively new, but it's a great way to connect with your audience. You can use Google+ Events to design custom invitations to events both off and online. Whether inviting clients to a webinar or Google Hangout online, or welcoming business partners to an evening out to say thank you, Google+ Events presents another opportunity to boost your online presence and – of course – to use your keywords, build up your network and boost your SEO.
What are some other great bonuses of Google+ Events?
· You can invite users whether or not they are on Google+.
· Google+ Events syncs with your (and your users') Google Calendars!
· The "Party Mode" feature lets all the attendees instantly upload photos into an online album of the event, via the Google+ mobile app
8. Set Up Google Authorship for SEO Benefits
We wrote last week about the importance of getting credit for your writing with Google Authorship . Google Authorship also has benefits for SEO. When you post blogs and writing around the web and use Google Authorship, the content will include a link straight back to your Google+ profile. Your Google+ profile picture (which, is of course already optimized for SEO) will appear next to the content you write.
By using Google Authorship, you can ensure that your smart, savvy writing, whether on Google+ or elsewhere, is working boost your ranking. So remember to include keywords in what you write, as well as links back to your website or blog.
Posts with Google Authorship rank higher in SEO and are generally thought of as more credible – thus resulting in higher click through rates.
9. Check Your Circle Rank
Google+ has a feature where you can check your circle rank score. This can help you track your growth and see how your profile compares to other Google+ profiles in your field. The feature also allows you to track the success and virality of specific posts.
Use this tool regularly to monitor what's working, and where you need to make changes.
10. Edit at Will!
One significant difference between Google+ and other social media platforms is that you can edit Google+ posts at any time. If you see a post is going viral and that you want to add in a few more keywords – you can do it! If you start targeting new keywords, you can return to old posts and add them in. This flexibility is a great advantage over other platforms.
Google+ is a mecca for SEO opportunities! More than any other social media platform, Google+ offers a way to boost your ranking and give your visibility a huge push. If you want to use social media to find clients – and help them find you and your page – the 10 minutes a day on Google+ will quickly pay off.
· Have you had success with a Google+ Hangout? How many people came? What worked? What didn't?
· Has a client or customer recently found you through Google+ ? Tell us about it!
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