When Google announced last week that they’ll be starting to roll out Search Plus your World, it became more evident that search is shifting towards a simpler way of retrieving data for their users by merging personalized search and social search on their result pages for logged-in users (including relevant Google+ pages).
This sudden – but already foreseen – move from Google is definitely going to make massive changes on how businesses should market themselves, as this is certain to affect traditional online marketing methodologies.
There are billions of searches happening everyday (worldwide), and with the recent report from ComScore, stating that Google+ has already reached 67 million users since last November (and is expected to grow more in the coming months), they can easily develop this as a culture to searchers/users, in which the only thing that seasoned marketers can do is to adapt.
Google+ is Google 2.0, and in Rand’s recent whiteboard moz video on why a Google+ strategy is vital to marketers and businesses, you’ll see how they are really pushing Google+ on their search results.
So why is building your brand’s presence on Google+ necessary:
- Google+ is already taking over search results, if you’re an authoritative figure in this social platform, then it’s easier to yield traffic and leads to your site/business, as your Google+ presence will improve your search visibility.
- Google will eventually pull social and brand data from this channel to determine highly authoritative figures/content in any industry (AuthorRank).
Goals and objectives in building your Google+ Authority:
- Increase the number of people that have you in their circles.
- Increase the number of re-shares and +1’s of your Google+ content (content you share).
- Increase the number of mentions of your Profile/Page in Google+.
- Increase external activity, which can be measured through the amount of +1’s of your site’s content.
Below are just some tips on how you can build and continuously improve your authority on Google+.
Optimizing your content by including the rel=”author” tag and reciprocating it with your Google+ profile has been one of the most efficient ways in increasing your posts/pages’ SERP click-through rate, as it’s perceived as a more trustworthy and credible content when displayed on search results.
I’ve written a guide last year on how you can implement this markup to a website/blog and you can check the post here.
Of course, allowing your site visitors to +1 your content is also one of your Google+ strategy’s foundations, as Google uses these sharing/voting data to analyze the strength as well as the popularity of your website and its content.
The placements of your Google+ 1 button is very important, as making it more visible increases the chances of your button being clicked by your readers. You can place it above the fold or at the end of each of your site’s content to draw actions from your visitors.
Optimize Google+ Page/Profile
This is basic, where most of the task will only require you to complete your Google+ profile, and to allow your page as well as your posts to be publicly visible to logged off users and in search results. Your page/profile’s tagline and introduction are its meta description, so optimizing it by including your targeted keyword(s) may also enhance CTR and attract people to adding you.
You can check out Kristi Hines’ guide on how you can easily optimize your Google+ page.
Promote your Google+ page on your other social platforms
Perhaps the easiest way to attract people to add you in their circles is to first start with the social networking sites that you already have a following base (Twitter and Facebook). Promote the link to your Google+ profile/page through these networks, and that’s probably it.
Promote Google+ page via Content Marketing (CTA)
Include a link to your Google+ page whenever you distribute content externally (guest blogs, slide presentations and videos), especially on your author profile. This method has proven to have high success rate, particularly if you’re providing high-utility content on websites where your target audience are highly engaged.
Use the link to your Google+ page/profile as your external as well as your site’s socially engaging content’s call to action, to attract more of your audience into adding you to their circles.
Linking to your Google+ page from your Blog comments
Comment marketing is an effective way of reaching out and building relationships with your link prospects (and even in targeting their readers/followers), as by simply contributing to the discussion you’ll be able to be recognized in your industry as an active contributor.
Linking to your Google+ page instead of your site’s homepage can help establish a stronger foothold when aiming to build relationships, as it puts more emphasis on building a connection rather than just building a link.
Leading blog owners and their readers to your Google+ profile, very possible if they’re finding your comments really useful, are more perceptible to taking actions (adding you to their circles). And using this method also sends positive signals to Google, as you are building relevant links to your profile.
Reach out to people that have you in their circles or people within your circle by communicating to them. You can start off by commenting on the things they share on Google+ or by responding to people who comment on your posts. It will eventually give you more exposure when people in their circles start noticing your conversations with them.
Engage the right people in targeted discussions and you’ll certainly do fine.
Share useful and relevant Content to your Circles
The more you are sharing valuable content on Google+, the more chances of getting your posts re-shared and/or +1ed by the people in your circles. This builds up your authority and popularity as a user, as people are finding you as a great resource of content in your industry.
Personalizing your posts, by including your own opinions about the content you are sharing, can entice commenters, which again can improve the social data that Google will be collecting from your account.
Connect with Influencers through Google+ Ripples
Ripple is a feature on Google+ that allows users to see the flow of how a certain content has been continuously shared on Google+, in which users can see the top sharers as well as the influential ones who have shared that particular content (a very powerful set of data that can be viewed in a separate webpage).
Casey Henry of SEOmoz wrote an extensive guide on how to use Ripples to connect and engage with influencers and you can check it out to learn more about how to utilize it in collecting data, studying your target audience’s behavior towards content and in finding influencers in your industry that you can target to build relationships with.
In case you’re wondering what it looks like:
Tagging People in your Circles when promoting your own Content
You can specifically do this when you have cited or linked out to their works from your content. It’s one of the best ways to get into their radar, and hopefully to have your content shared by them.
Increase activity on your Google+ page
There are a lot of events that you can do to make your Google+ page more active such as:
- Launching live Q&A sessions, where you can invite people to ask industry related questions and have them answered by you or an invited guest (this is being done on Facebook fanpages and Twitter to increase the number of likes/followers).
- Using Google+ brand pages as a platform for CRM, wherein you can accommodate and/or address consumer-related discussions.
- Organizing contests, which is quite a common approach on other social media platforms to increase the number of followers and to build brand awareness.
Google+ may pollute search results, by serving bias content (seeing as results would be based from personal and social activity). Finding more useful and spot on content/information could be disrupted by this move from Google.
On the other hand, marketers might find it harder to shift their strategies to getting more social, especially to those who have been accustomed to backend marketing, but in the end, all that we can really do is to adapt to these changes.
Keep on building great content, because when you keep on producing useful content, people will always know how, where and why they need to find you.