Google+ · SEO · Social Media

How to Integrate Google+ Into Your Online Marketing Initiative

google plus How to Integrate Google+ Into Your Online Marketing InitiativeGoogle+ is Google’s social network and was launched in mid 2011. Although it took awhile to catch on in the social media marketing world, it’s experienced considerable growth in its short existence. According to Forbes, Google+ had 343 Million active users at the end of 2012, which is second only to Facebook.

As this network continues to catch on, it’s likely that its user base will grow even more and could even give Facebook a serious run for its money. For this reason, it’s an excellent tool to add to your social media campaign. Here are some ways you can capitalize on this network and some tips for maximizing your efforts.

Create a Great-Looking Profile

Making a solid first impression is critical, so you will want to put some time into your profile. Unlike many other social media sites, a Google+ profile is a bit more extensive, which gives you an opportunity to showcase your personality and skills in better detail.

You should start by uploading a professional headshot of yourself. Coming across as friendly and approachable is important, so it’s best to smile. From there, you will want to fill out all the fields on your profile sections. This will include information like your education, occupation, skills, etc.

Giving your audience some insight into your unique personality is also important because it helps you come across as being personable. That’s why it’s good to mention some of your hobbies or interests outside of work.

You may also want to create a brief tagline to give people a feel for your style. Google+ also allows you to insert an image at the header of your profile, so you should have this image reflect your personality as well. If you don’t like any of the pre-existing images, you can also upload your own image.

Another great aspect of this network is that it allows you to link out to other websites you’re active on. This makes it the perfect opportunity to insert links to your primary business website and other social media profiles, which can increase your exposure even more. Furthermore, it’ll allow your articles to show up with authorship markup in the search results.

Just make sure that anything you link out to portrays you in a positive light. By spending time customizing your profile, you should be able to connect with others on a more personal level and stand out from the crowd.

Get a Badge

One of the easiest ways to help people find your profile is by installing a badge on your other business websites. This will create your own icon that visitors can click on and quickly access your Google+ profile. To get a badge, you will first need to need to sign up on the Google+ Platform Preview. Then, go to the Google+ configuration tool page to choose the specific style of badge you want. While this process is quick and requires minimal effort, it can have a profound impact on your campaign and could significantly increase the amount of traffic you drive to your profile.

Create Outstanding Content

Just like any other platform you use in social media marketing, providing your audience with valuable and/or entertaining content on Google+ is crucial. Haphazardly posting useless information just won’t cut it, so it’s wise to invest an adequate amount of time into your content as well.

You will want to post robust content that gives your audience something to sink their teeth into. Unlike other networks like Twitter and Facebook where it’s not possible or detrimental to create long winded posts, Google+ offers the Circles feature, which allows users to filter out the content that goes into their feed.

Consequently, you don’t really have to worry about overwhelming your audience with in-depth content. This makes it the perfect network for building authority and a positive reputation in your industry.

Since people respond to content differently, it’s smart to incorporate a few types. For instance, inserting images, videos and infographics along with traditional text can be beneficial and spark more conversations.

A big part of getting people to read your content is making it easily digestible. For instance, you should avoid writing excessively long paragraphs and insert plenty of spaces to break up ideas. You should also use sub-headers and bulleted lists to make it easy for readers to skim over your content. This way they can quickly find what they’re looking for.

Google+ Authorship 

Another feature that makes this network such a valuable marketing tool is the Google+ Authorship program. Once you’re set up, much of the content you rank for in Google search engines will display your headshot to the left along with some brief information. At first glance, this may not seem like that big of a deal until you understand the full benefits.

Perhaps the biggest is the higher click-through rate. Since humans are naturally visually-oriented, there tends to be a preference to click on a link with the author’s picture as opposed a link without one. According to CopyBlogger, some authors have seen up to a 150 percent increase in traffic by simply claiming Google+ Authorship.

If you’re looking to improve your branding efforts, this program is ideal. When readers enjoy a particular article you’ve written, they can conveniently check out other content and some will even follow you. This means you can establish a loyal reader base over time and become recognized as a top professional in your industry.

Since plagiarism has become an increasing concern, Google+ Authorship can help prevent wrong parties from claiming and using your work. By verifying your account and having your headshot next to your content, plagiarizers will be held at bay.

Besides this, signing up can give you a distinct advantage when it comes to SEO. The reason for this relates to Google naturally wanting to promote their social network and rewarding people who use this platform. In a world where SEO has become incredibly important, being an author can do wonders for your campaign and help you outshine your competitors.

How to Sign Up

The best part is that it’s relatively simple to set up Google Authorship. To begin, you will first need to create an account on Google+ if you haven’t done so already. You will then need to go to your profile page and click on the “About” section. Then, click on “edit” on your “Links” section.

You will then see a “Contributor to” section that will allow you to create a custom link. This is where you will want to enter the website or blog that you write for. After doing this, you will be provided with a code to embed on your primary website that looks like this:

<link href=”https://plus.google.com/{plusPageUrl}” rel=”publisher” />

You just need to replace the profile URL with your Google+ URL. After everything has been properly set up, you should start seeing your profile information beside the content you create.

You can also check to ensure that everything went through correctly by using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. If you run into any problems along the way or need help, refer to Step-by-Step SEO: How to Set Up Google+ Authorship.

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Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.
a29c83e4f0b1d1b1a710284fef94e548 64 How to Integrate Google+ Into Your Online Marketing Initiative

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3 thoughts on “How to Integrate Google+ Into Your Online Marketing Initiative

  1. Informative post. However, you may wish to revise your first paragraph, which brags that Google+ had (only) 343 users at the end of 2012! :)