How to Use Google+

Have you given much thought to how to best layout your Google+ circles?  Have you added your Google+ badge to your website?  Do you know how to get your profile indexed by search engines?  This article should help answer those questions and many more! How do you use Google+, right?


Your Profile

Since Google+ now has personal profiles and business profiles, you may want to change some of the settings on your personal account. Here are a few key points to know.

1. Your profile is automatically considered “public”; however your first and last name is the only piece of required information.  You have control over your profile’s visibility settings.  This way, you can choose who has access to the different sections of your profile.

To do this, simply visit the “edit profile” section.

2.You can have people get in touch with you directly with your Google+ profile, instead of an email account. This way you don’t have to expose a personal email address or worry about someone abusing it.

3.When a visitor comes to your Google+ Profile, they can see the faces of everyone in your circles and everyone who’s circled you.  However, you do have the option to choose which headshot appears and which do not!

To do this, again visit “edit profile” and select 'Public' or 'Your circles'.  Here you can choose the faces you want shown on your Google+ profile.  Be sure to save your changes by clicking the save button.

4.You can also choose whether your profile is indexed by search engines! If you are in business and want people to associate you with your business then this is an important step.

To have your profile indexed, visit “edit profile”.  Then, under on the ‘about tab’ click on the “profile discovery” section.  Lastly, check the box labeled, “Help others discover my profile in search results.”

Getting Started with Circles

Your Google circles are how you can organize your contacts.  It is important to take some time to think about how you want to set them up because you will later decide what profile and post information you want to share from based on each circle.  Either a whole circle is in, or it’s out.

For example, some circles may be privy to your contact details, employment history and education while other circles may also get to know your relationship status and so on.

It is also important to note that unlike twitter, the organization of your circles will only be seen by you.  Anyone your following will only know that you are following them, not which circle they are in. (This way you don’t have to feel bad about shutting your mother out of your personal relationship information! Teehee)

About the Home Page

The home page is where you can interact with others in your circles and start meaningful conversations.  Just like Facebook’s newsfeed, this is where you will see everyone else’s posts.

The first time you visit your home page, you’ll see all of the content shared by everyone in your circles.  However, if you click on the “all circles” menu at the top of your home page and select 1 circle, your newsfeed will only show posts by those people.

This can be very helpful as you begin to follow more people.  Google+’s newsfeed can move as fast as twitter, which is nearly impossible to keep up with in a meaningful way.  So, filtering your newsfeed by circle allows you to connect with those your following more productively.

Profile and page verification badges

If you have a website, you can add a badge (image icon) that will link people from your website to your Google+ profile.  This also gives your visitors the opportunity to add you to their circles directly.

To create your own badge, visit:

There you will be prompted to enter your Google+ Profile ID.  Your profile ID is the string of 21 numbers at the end of your profile URL.  For example, <–

You’ll need to copy the numbers and paste them into the Google+ Profile ID box.  Then, you can choose between a badge and an Icon for your website.  Finally, scroll down to get the code.

Note – If you need too, under “advanced options” you can change the width of the badge.

The +1 Button

The +1 Button is a feature that exists both within Google+ and in your Google searches.  When you +1 something you are recommending the page or post.  If you recommend a webpage (blog or article) then you are given the option to share that recommendation on your Google+ profile.

Likewise, +1’s can show up in your Google search results.  For example, let’s say you do a search on “beaches”.   When you receive your search results, all articles that your social connections have +1 on the topic of “beaches” will show up just under the search results and ads.

This means that it is important that you only +1 articles and blogs that you’ve actually read.  Giving an article a “+1” means that you are endorsing it.  Be sure to endorse articles of which you are proud because each one is reflecting your reputation.

Likewise, the more articles of your own that are +1’d the more they will show up in your niche’s Google search results.

Where Your +1’s Appear

Anything that you choose to +1 will be displayed publically across the web for any of your social connections to see when they do a search on that topic.

Your +1’s will also appear in the +1 tab on your Google profile.  Here you have the chose to make them public or private.

Would love to hear from you…

In what ways do you use Google+?

How have you designed your circles?

What information do you choose to share and what information do you keep private?

Have you added your Google+ badge to your website?


  1. says

    Google + is great!  I have enjoyed using it once I got over the initial resistance I had towards managing yet another social profile.  I really love that it personalizes your search experience and gives you a chance to rank in search among those who have you in their circles.  It is by far the most genius thing Google has ever done.  Those who haven't gotten into it, are being left behind! Great tips Kim! 
    Look what Angela Jordan just posted..The Real Importance Of Google Plus For Your BusinessMy Profile

  2. Lisa Shaffer says

    Thanks for the help. I have set up my Google+. I also have FB and Twitter. So far, I like Twitter the best and seem to get the most instantaneous results from Twitter, but I will keep trying on Google+.

  3. says

    I will tell you the truth, I like Google + , but simply have had no real time to implement it the way I do other social media outlets. Sure it is all set up and I also have a business page. Currently I am all over the map, FB Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Blogging & running my lawn care business. But your post is so detailed that if one were not to implement G + for their blog or website they would be called a fool. Thanks for yet another great post Kim!

  4. says

    Hi Kim,
    I have a Google + question and 140 characters on Twitter won't cut it.
    When I +1 something – say a blog post – it shares it on my Google + profile. But how do I get things I +1 to share to my Google + Company Page? (I hope that makes sense) It seems that I have log into Google +, manually change my "using as" to my page, then share a link manually. Seems a little confusing. Am I doing something wrong? Is there any way I can +1 something – say a blog post – and have it share on both my personal page and my company page?
    Thanks for your help!

  5. says

    Google+ is an awesome medium but is mostly a place for intellectual discussions and posts. It has thus stuck a chord with marketers but people who want to stay in touch with relatives and friends are yet to be convinced of the medium.
    I personally would love more people to be on Google Plus because it is such an awesome medium. There is this awesome pdf by Guy Kawaski where he gives great tips to leverage your Google Plus interactions and build influence –

    • Kim GarstKim Garst says

      I agree, Collin and I think you will see a mass influx of real users on Google+ soon! Love Guy Kawasaki’s book and passed on the download link recently to all my coaching clients.

  6. says

    I do agree with all of the concepts you have introduced for your post. They are really convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for starters. May you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  7. says

    Great tips Kim. I hadn’t realised that your +1’s could be turned off and made private. Also good to know that we should only +1 content that we would personally endorse. I really love G+ but just don’t seem to be able to find as much engagement as other networks. Do your think this may be an issue of needing to spend more time on the platform and diving deeper?
    Look what Clinton just posted..Blogging Tools: My Favorite Apps I’m Using Right NowMy Profile

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