When beginning to use social media marketing for your business, one of the questions you’ll ask with each platform is whether or not it’ll be good for SEO. Contrary to how Twitter’s search optimization environment works, Google+ is all about Google Search. In fact, it’s been proven that it could be more optimized than even your own website as far as your company’s SEO is concerned. With some company’s search pages, there is a map, recent Google reviews, photos and contact information so that you can engage easily with the company you’ve just searched for, the information of which has been pulled from your Google+ page. Google has undoubtedly made their social platform the best for finding related content through integrated search.
While its user base isn’t quite as big as Facebook, Google+ boasts an over 500 million user base, the platform is directly accessible through Google Search, and content can be geographically personalized. Additionally, you can easily link a Google+ account to an Adwords Campaign to get better keyword optimization for your Google Search ads. Google+ is the true Search and Social media platform out of the bunch that we’ll discuss in this series, and therefore, incredibly important for increasing brand SEO.
Becoming Part of the Google+ Circle:
Starting your Google+ Account is simple enough, especially if you already have a Google Account. A company Google+ Account is actually a page that you create from your account manager’s main Google Account. By going into their own account, they can create a page. Then, follow the form to complete the profile, making sure your ‘Story’ is optimized and a great description of the company and what it does. After the information input is complete, you can verify your company with Google and create a custom URL for the company page, which will help to increase your SEO (Your company’s name will be in the URL instead of a bunch of numbers, which crawlers like). To really take advantage of some of the tools that Google+ has to offer, consider adding a Google+ badge to your own website to help drive visitors to your Google+ page to become brand followers. Also, including links to your YouTube channel and building up the links section in your company’s profile will help to increase search visibility.
Some components of the Google+ page also appear on search results. For instance, the address and operation hours, ratings/reviews, and posted pictures will also appear on search pages and on Google Maps. This makes your results much more information rich and increases your company’s search authority.
+1 Up the Competition:
Google+ pages have many features that allow you to not only increase your SEO, but grow a brand community on their social platform. On every post, there is an option to share, or +1 the post. Shares increase exposure and search visibility for people looking for the content that you’re posting, and +1 functions as a Facebook like, increasing engagement with your established user base. You can encourage people to follow you, or add them to their circles. Circles are like Facebook’s friends, except that they can be easily organized into different groupings based on related interests. This means that those who you put in your circle can also be grouped according to different interests/demographics. Once the grouping is done, you can post to only certain circles, allowing for more targeted content to reach them.
There are also various different ways to engage your circles. Google+ Hangouts allow for video chats, which are be useful for functions like online webinars, video chatting with customers, and creating engaging conversations with a brand community to improve the company. There are polling post options, which allow you to gauge customer reaction to new products, or even to take surveys for market research (This allows for targeted groups of users to express their opinions on brand/industry/products related to your company).
Lastly, it is important to have reviews on your site. Companies with many reviews of their products and services have increased authority with Google’s search ranking, and this also communicates to the customer that your company can be trusted to deliver a quality product/service.
Now, Make it Better!
To get the most out of your company’s Google+ page, you want to be very active, deliberate, and use as many tools as you can to increase your company’s authority and brand following through Google+.
To make your posts as optimized and as relevant as possible, the headline of the post should be optimized for SEO so that people searching for related content can see your post. Additionally, Google+’s character limit is a lot larger than other mediums such as Twitter, so don’t be afraid of longer posts, as they optimize well and make for engaging content. Along the lines of creating optimized content, creating relevant hashtags within the post allow users to search for related content. This also helps with your link building, relevancy, quality, and SEO of all of your posts.
To engage people more effectively, use images to visually engage users. Original content is much more valuable in Google’s eyes, so creating infographics and other visually relevant content is very good for increasing your company’s Google+ authority.
A couple paid tools that Google+ offers are content and page promotion. These tools are keys for increasing your company’s reach on Google+. Content and page promotion work exactly like Facebook’s page promotion and post boost tools. You select an ad budget, an audience, an optimized message, and then analyze the impact of those posts. Make sure to experiment with promoting different types of posts to different circles to maximize your engagement!
Additionally, there are +Post Ads, which are targeted ads that appear on related sites, inviting you to join your company’s Google+ community. For example, if you sell web design services, and a user is on a forum that lists different web design companies in Portland, a +Post Ad will show up, inviting you to follow Dorey Design Group on Google+. It’s a new way of creating ads that increase brand engagement and allow for open communication to occur between a company and its consumers.
Lastly, and most importantly, remember to engage those who engage with you. People that get personalized responses to comments, thank-you’s for shares/follows, and conversations through hangouts/chat are more likely to re-engage and answer future calls of action. It’s important to remember that even if your content is extremely relevant and engaging, a company must still view social media as a two-way communication platform, and respond and engage with users directly.
Interaction makes your company more genuine and responsive to consumers, and that will do more for your company’s brand than targeted ads ever will.
Questions about social media marketing, Google+, or DDG’s services? Contact me!