In our last blog, we discussed the benefits of the new Google Social Search function, that integrates your Google+ posts into search results. Today, we’ll focus on how to hit the basics of how to optimize your Google+ Page for SEO. The Google+ Page, Google’s social media business page and answer to the Facebook Fan Page, was recently released by Google. Google+ is very similar to Facebook but also has the following distinct features:
1- Google+ Circles- Circles allows the user to sort their followers into specific group, which is ideal for target marketing. With Facebook, you can send messages to personal and Fan Page followers only. With Google+, you can segment your Circles into as many groups as necessary and target a message that only they can see.
2- Google+ Hangouts- Hangouts is a great video conferencing service available to Google+ members that allows you to share resources. This function is a great and free way for companies to collaborate with different teams anywhere in the world.
3- SEO- A properly optimized Google+ Page will help you be found on the search engines.
With that last benefit in mind, let’s focus on how to optimize your Google+ Page for SEO so you may be found in the search engines.
Optimize Your Google+ Page for SEO | The 4 ‘Musts’
When you are creating your Google+ Page, for best optimization, pay attention to these 4 items:
1- Page Name- if you are branding your business, then that should be the Google+ Page name. If you are branding a product or service, then that should be the Google+ Page name. And if you have a unique business and product, then create a Google+ Page for both.
2- Tagline- you will have 10 words to briefly describe your product or service. Use this opportunity to promote your keyword. Consider that the combination of your Page Name and Tagline will essentially be the META description of your Page.
3- Introduction- When writing the Introduction, consider writing this as you would the description of your site.
4- Keywords- as you’ve probably figured out by now, you want to have your keywords throughout, but you don’t want to keyword stuff. Make sure that you include your keywords in the tagline and introduction so the search engines will rank you.
Optimize Your Google+ Page for SEO | About Section
As is the case with any other SEO initiative, make sure in this section that you are writing thoughtful and engaging content when describing what your company, product, and/or service is about. Massage the keywords into this description. Also, because you are able to customize the anchor text, include a keyword in the anchor text where appropriate. Finally, fill out as many of the fields as you can, making sure that you include photos and video components as well. The more information that you complete in the Google+ Page ‘About’ section, the better your page will rank.
Speaking of photos and videos, everytime you upload, make sure you include a detailed description (using keywords) and provide a link back to your website. Also, if you’re using a famous person, make sure to tag that person in your photo as well.
Optimize Your Google+ Page for SEO | Write Long Messages
Individual posts on Google+ get their own URL, so unlike Facebook and Twitter, where you are limited on how long of a message you can create, you are free to write content as long as you feel is necessary to get your point across. And since it has it’s own URL, if the post goes viral, it will most likely rank in the search engines itself.
Optimize Your Google+ Page for SEO | Use Ripples
According to Google, Google+ Ripples creates an interactive graphic of the public shares of any public post on Google+ to show you how a post has rippled through the network and help you discover new and interesting people to follow. You can find the Ripple of any public post using the dropdown to the right of the post. At the bottom of the page, Google shows you the top Influencers, stats about how the post spread and the different Languages of the sharers.
Here’s an example of how a ripple works from SEOMoz.org:
Sometimes getting an influencer to share your content can be very difficult, if not impossible. Ripples provides an easy way for you to investigate who are the influencers of the influencers. Let me give you an example of how this might work in a real world situation. Let’s say I write a blog post on Google Analytics and am hoping to get Avinash Kaushik to share it, since he is a leader in the Analytics area. However, I don’t have a direct relationship with Avinash, so I need to find someone approachable who does.
Step 1 – Find an influencer
Look at Avinash’s Google+ page and see what type of content he is sharing with his circles. Find a post that he shared that has quite a few shares and view that Ripple. Look for a Ripple where the original poster has anaccount that is in a reasonable amount of Circles. Below is a Ripple I found that is perfect since it was originally shared by user with a small but strong following.
Since Avinash shared Michael’s content, there is some form of trust between Avinash and Michael. Even if it’s a fluke, there is a good chance that Michael may be an influencer on a different social network and could still be worth contacting.
Step 2 – Make a connection
Reach out to Michael and make a connection. All of his contact methods are displayed in his profile on Google+. Most users have linked their Google+ account to their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts which gives you plenty of ways to reach out and make a connection. Establish some sort of “relationship” before asking him to share your content. I suggest that you provide something of value first or other comment on something he has posted as the first point of interaction.
Once a connection is made, share your content with him via Google+ and ask him to share. With luck he will share your content and it will catch the eye of Avinash and he will re-share it exposing it to thousands of more people than you had before. Even if Avinash doesn’t re-share it, you did get Michael to share your content and expose it to another group of people outside of your norm. Plus there is a chance that he will expose your content on other social networks which he may have more visibility on.
Step 3 – Rinse and repeat
Obviously you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket with Michael. Continue to see who Avinash is re-sharing and reach out to those people as well. Soon you will have contacted a large number of people who Avinash trusts and the chances of him seeing your post are much higher.
In summary, Google+ Pages offer more opportunities for SEO than any other social networking site. Therefore, if you haven’t created your own Google+ Page yet, then you should absolutely do it and optimize it properly. If you have a Google+ Page, then you should go back, follow the tips above, and optimize correctly. As Google+ continues to grow in popularity and more people see SEO results from it, you can bet that the results of your efforts will be seen.
If you liked ‘How to Optimize Your Google+ Page for SEO’, then you may enjoy other articles about Social Media Marketing and Social Media Education available at Black Box Social Media.