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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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.
In late June, Facebook commenced their introduction of photo comments, a new feature which allows you to comment on posts through images as opposed to text. So now users have the opportunity to tell us how they feel via an image using a quick snapshot. I sense this update is bigger than most are making it out to be as it alters the way you engage with friends/fans on a post.
The bigger question is, how can businesses leverage Facebook photo comments when it comes to their social media strategy?
1. Make Your Fans Share Relevant Images
I don’t think it matters too much which industry your business sits in as there is always a way to make your fans share an image if you just ask them. For example, if you run a a dessert cafe, with this new commenting feature, you could reach out to your fans to share an image of a ricotta cheese cake they’ve liked. Your post could simply be “We’ve just introduced our home baked ricotta cheese cake, what’s your favourite? Show us a photo”. Asking your fans to share images can work for a digital marketing agency also. For example, you could ask your fans to share an infographic they’ve seen which explains the ins and outs of an optimised blog post.
There are numerous opportunites to take advantage of this particular element and it truly comes down to what aspects of your business are meaningful to you and whether they would generate more engagement in the form of likes and shares from your fans.
2. Discover How Your Fans Spend Their Day
So the common rule we’ve all been preached on Facebook is that 70% of your content should provide value and develop your brand, 20% should be attributed to sharing what others have posted and the last 10% goes to self promoting your business or your own brand.
So I realise the hardest part is hitting the 20% sharing mark, but it really shouldn’t as photo comments make it easy to share other people’s ideas. I would also recommend posing the the following question to your fans “How’s it going today, Show us via a photo of what you’re up to today!”
If you work in the finance industry there is a strong possibility that the team heads out for lunch on a Friday. This is a good opportunity to share a photo of the team having a feed on the company page as it shows the team building element and fun culture which exists in the organisation. To take it one step further, they could ask their fans to share images of what they plan to have for lunch on a Friday (generally unhealthy so could make for a few interesting pics).
3. Commenting Milestones
There might come a time where you want to push your fans to reach certain milestones of sociability e.g. when this post gets 100 likes ot 50 shares we will release the next installment of our video series. As a business you could look into using photo comments to establish specific milestones in order to encourage your fans to spread the social love.
4. Ask Fans To Share Photos Of Them Using Your Product
Reach out to your fans and ask them to photograph themselves using your product in a unique manner and share these images as comments. This is an excellent method to get the creative juices flowing of your audience and also free marketing for your product to audiences who may not have seen your product in a particular way, but now they have.
Perhaps Mario Balotelli (pictured below) might be a perfect candidate for sharing a photo of himself to the manufacturer of those bright acqua earphones.
Facebook’s photo comment feature opens up a new avenue for business owners to engage with their end customer. It allows creativity and fun by asking your followers to respond with a photo as opposed to text (the caveat being to ensure the images aren’t explicit). When you interact with each comment, I would recommend tagging the fan in the comment which expands the reach across Facebook as a whole
How do you plan to use Facebook’s photo comments feature as part of your business? Let us know but sharing your comments below.