Monday 28 July 2014

So, it's probably time we talked about Google+ !

If you were anything like me, when Google announced they were jumping into the social media sphere with Google+, you rolled your eyes, groaned or felt a level of stress at the prospect of managing yet another social account.

So 2 years ago, in walked Google+ and initially, it seemed like a pretty empty landscape. Perhaps you were an early adopter, signed up for an account because you had a Gmail email and then sat there as the tumble weed rolled by.

That was me.

All I was thinking was that Google is Google, they pretty much own the internet, and therefore, this thing is going to explode. But it didn’t seem to. There were limited people on there, the content was uninspiring and frankly, if I’m going to kill some time, I’d rather spend time with my friends and customers who are hanging out “over there” (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.).

There were rumours that Google+ was going to begin to edit and filter what you then saw when you searched on Google, but it didn’t seem too.

That was until recently.

I challenge you to do an experiment: Google something. A question, a brand or better yet, your own business and start to see what comes up.

Here is my example:

Yes – that big box on the right had side with the photos and map is linked to the Digerati Google+ page.

You may also notice that Google+ posts, people and bloggers come up in search results with an image next to them – making them stand out over and above the others.

You might not want to hear this, but Google+ is in full swing now and it’s really starting to define what you see in Google search results. More importantly, Google+ is going to affect the way your business is displayed and ranks in Google.

I can more than understand that people probably don’t want to manage ANOTHER social media platform however, if you are in need of a little google-boost (as probably 90% of our clients are) then you really need to put this on the to do list!!!

So, how can you go about this?
  1. Get a Google+ personal page set up – and fill in all the sections so the profile is full and complete
  2. Follow as many people and businesses as you can that relate to you, your industry or your business contacts
  3. Create your Google+ Business listing ( Fill it in as much as possible to ensure you have links to your website, your other social media, and add some images.
  4. Follow relevant businesses, or people from your business Google+ page
  5. Begin to post from both your personal page and from your business’ page. If you are concerned about managing multiple accounts, just commit to post on Google+ every time you post on one of your other media. You can also link other profiles to your Google+ and it will pull in your posts.
  6. Think about your keywords – if you want to rank on Google for certain keywords or content, use these in your posts and profiles.
  7. Use hashtags. Like most other social media, Google+ uses Hashtags and they are a great way to get noticed. If you aren’t in the habit of using them, #startpracticing #modeloffothers #usethem #itsfun  
  8. Keep in mind: Google+ at its best is public. Unlike your personal Facebook page, where you can add photos of you and your cat eating dinner in your pyjamas, we really don’t recommend this here. If people search your name, your Google+ profile will come up and so we advise you to use your personal Google+ Profile as an extension of your business page and keep it pretty professional. As per Google’s help, “The only information you can’t hide is your name, profile photo, and cover photo. Your tagline will also be public if you add one, as well as your YouTube channel if it’s linked to your account”. So yes, you can make aspects of your profile private, but you’ll lose some of its capacity in regards to search results.   
Give it a go and keep and eye on it. Hopefully you'll see it helps you be profiled more comprehensively by Google in it's organic results.

And, as always, Digerati is here to help if you have questions.