Joining Google+ is not optional if you’re serious about establiising a solid presence both socially and from a search engine perspective. The reason is simple. Google is throwing its weight behind its social media platform and is ranking websites with G+ pages highly. Your chances for appearing in top Google searches for any given keyword are exponentially higher if you have a Google+ page and have optimized it by taking the following steps:
How Google+ Works
Google offers customized search results these days. It knows your search history from your IP address and from your login, and will display results on top which it thinks you are more interested in. If you have a Google+ page and one of your followers is searching for one of your products, Google will display your G+ result among the top results for that user (personalised search result). Google has merged its web search with its social media search, and the results have favoured businesses which have a strong Google+ presence.
Optimize “About Me” Section
Google’s spiders work off keywords to track and rank content. When writing the “About Me” section of your Google+ page, make sure that you include keywords which your customers are likely to be searching for. The keyword(s) should appear as early in your text as possible.
Establish Google Authorship
If you haven’t claimed Google authorship yet, you probably should get started. Google authorship links all of the content that you produce across the web to your Google+ profile. What it means is that whenever someone searches for a piece of content you’ve created and sees the link on the search engine results page (SERP), your picture and name will be visible right beside the link to the content. The search results will also show the number of Google+ Circles that you are included in. This improves the clickability of this particular search result. Moreover, Google also recognises you as the author of this content and this builds towards your author rank but we’ll save the authorship and author rank discussion for a separate post.
Use Circles to Build Relationships
There are other pages on Google+ that wield a lot of influence, basically because a huge number of people have them in their Circles. G+ Circles are like groups to which you can add people or pages. Similarly, other people can also add you and your page to their Circles. When you have made your Google+ page, the next thing you should do is look for highly influential pages in your category and add them to your Circles. Build your relationships with those pages by frequently sharing your updates with them but also sharing their content and engaging with them (not one way traffic). If they get to know you and share your updates, this could mean a lot of exposure for your brand. Also, there is the potential that Google will rank you higher based on your G+ influence, as your profile will have links from many influential G+ users.
Use Google+ for Immediate Indexing
Sharing your content on your G+ page ensures that it is indexed by Google crawlers more quickly. If you publish a post on your blog or website, Google can take weeks or even months before it displays your post among the search results. Sharing it on G+ is a surefire way to make the spiders notice it almost immediately.
Use Content SEO
All the rules of website FoogleSEO also apply to your G+ page. Use your keyword in your titles and posts and try to maintain a keyword density of 1-2% (as a basic rule of thumb). Your keyword should appear early in the text of your post. Use hashtags and title tags to increase your exposure.
Get a +1 Button
Google also favors content that has been +1’ed by a lot of users. After creating a G+ page, the next thing you should do is to get a +1 button for your website, so that people can share and +1 your content to their Circles. I recently wrote a post on the new Google+ follow button which you can easily add to your site.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this summary of how Google+ can really catapult your website up the search rankings if you employ the right SEO tactics to your G+ page. I’ll end this post by suggesting the golden rule to your G+ success is to engage, engage and keep engaging and not to continuously push your own content. Users will reward you by adding you to their circles but also approaching you for an opinion or seeking your advice which naturally turns you into an authority.
Kapil Jekishan is the digital strategist at WebQuacker which is an Australian based Social SEO partner for small to medium businesses looking to increase their revenue through the web. When Kapil isn't helping design websites or developing social media strategies, you'll find him shooting hoops or checking out the fine Sydney eateries with his fiance.
You can follow Kapil on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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