Google+ has been the majority of discussions in the Search industry since the start of the year, and it’s almost certain that it’s because of the sudden merge of social and personalized search results (Search, plus your world).
The amount of users joining Google’s social platform is aggressively growing – reaching over 100 million users worldwide (since the start of February this year) in a short period of time. However, this amount doesn’t really prove how engaged their users are in the platform, given that I’m personally not that active on using this social network, and most of my friends aren’t utilizing Google+ that much as well.
I wrote a post last month on how to build authority on Google+, as having a Google+ strategy is seen to be very significant in marketing a business this year, basing from the changes that Google is continuously rolling out through their search algorithm updates.
So in this short post, I’ll just be detailing and dissecting some factors that can help boost your SEO, content marketing and social campaigns using your Google+ brand/profile page or by PlusBlogging (blogging on Google+).
Blogging is a very powerful marketing tool, and that’s a fact.
- A regularly updated blog can get a site 55% more traffic through search engine traffic and social media sharing. Imagine that happening to your Google+ page, knowing that pages from Google+ now do show up on search results for relevant search queries.
- And having a strong following base on social networks can increase the effectiveness of marketing a business by 63% (Google+ is a social network), as it can build more brand advocates that will help disseminate the brand’s message, which can then improve brand awareness/retention and eventually develop customer relationships through online conversations (responding to people commenting on your posts on Google+).
The moral of the story: Treat your Google+ page as an external blog. Offer thorough, unique, interesting and relevant posts on Google+, as this strategy can attract and cultivate shares and activity to your page.
The more you share content through the platform, is the more you put social traction to your overall campaign, given that putting out great content on Google+ and implementing solid promotions for these Google+ posts can drive more comments, +1s as well as reshares (improves sharing within the platform) that will result to acquiring more followers, as your content get across your target audience.
Here’s an excellent sample of a blog-like post on Google+ from Leodor Selenier that I saw last week:
The post’s activity was also impressive, getting 400+ +1s, 200+ reshares and 100+ comments:
And by studying the ripples of the post, you can really see how influential and authoritative the author is in his industry.
Optimizing a Google+ post
Include a title for your post
You can use your target keyword(s) on the first part of your post, by simply making it as your post’s headline. You can easily do this by putting asterisks before and after your headline (*your headline that includes your keywords*). It will look something similar to this:
Link back to a resource
Link out to your website or a page from your site, as once people start resharing your content, you’ll have higher chances of getting referred traffic from people who have seen/read your Google+ post.
Use Images or Videos on your Posts
Visually attractive images can entice people to sharing your content and clicking the +1 button, as it will display more prominently on people’s streams. Including videos to make the post more comprehensive is also a good strategy to getting more people interested and for making them share your content.
Tag people within your post
Mentioning other people or citing them as a resource in your Google+ posts can initiate conversations and might also make the people you have tagged to share your content to their circles, particularly if you’re sharing something that will be useful to their followers as well. You can tag other people in your posts by simply typing the “+” or “@” right before their names or by clicking the “add more people” on the post’s options.
How to promote your posts on Google+
There are many ways to promote your posts on Google+, especially if you’re going to consider them as a big part of your content marketing strategy (just like how you promote and build links to your great content). Below are some ideas on how you can build traffic and activity to your Google+ posts:
Share it on other social networks
If you really have a worth-sharing content that’s posted on your Google+ page, sharing it on Twitter, Facebook and Stumbleupon is an effective approach, especially if you already have a strong following base on these networks.
Tag people from the comment section
Create a post that asks a thought-provoking question and is worth solving through conversations. Ask other people’s thoughts on your post, and you can do this by tagging them through the post’s comment section.
Build contextual links to your Google+ blog posts
Cite your original Google+ (blog-like) posts on your site’s blog posts or through the content you distribute externally (like guest blogs, press release, slide presentations, ebooks, newsletters, etc). Send traffic to your Google+ posts, as it will allow you to corner people to sharing the content, clicking on the +1 button, leaving a comment or adding you to their circles (as these are the obvious options that they’ll have once they’re on your Google+ post’s page).
Invite other bloggers for a guest PlusBlog
If you’re already an authority in your field and have a wide audience on Google+, you can certainly try inviting other bloggers to do a guest post entry on your Google+ page, where they can also promote their websites and their Google+ page. It’s a win-win for both parties, as you’ll be able to get more people to interact within your page, and your content partners get more exposure from your own network.
Reach out to people who you think would really find your content interesting and would share it using Google+. Make a list of active sharers/linkers in your industry with their contact details (Google+ profile and email). Contact them and let them know about your post.
Measuring your Google+ content marketing strategy
All strategies require measurements to justify their efficiency and to ensure that you’re not wasting your resources on it. But in order to measure your campaign, you’ll first need to set up its objectives. Here are some goals that you can raise to align this strategy with your business objectives:
- To grow your Google+ network (people adding you on their circles)
- To increase the volume of traffic and leads referred to your site/business through your Google+ page.
- To develop the reach of your brand’s message using the social platform (amount of +1s, reshares, mentions and comments on your Google+ posts/profile).
You can use Google Analytics to determine the volume of traffic/leads your business is getting through this Google+ campaign, by basing it from the data derived from the time you’ve launched the campaign. From the traffic sources, see if the social platform is capable of sending high percentage of unique visitors that have low bounce rates.
You can also use Klout to see your Google+ audience’s behavior in relation to your campaign, as this web-based tool is able to show your performance within the social network. Track your numbers weekly to know if you’re social campaign is improving.