Google Plus is a great platform (maybe even the best of all) to build your authority, to establish great business relationships, to build a fan base (followers), to improve your search engine rankings… and to get more traffic, signups and sales.
However, in order to get there you need to take the right actions. Simply setting up your G+ profile and business page and waiting for the magic to happen won’t be enough. In order to succeed with Google+, a few additional steps will be required. But don’t worry, it’s not rocket science either and it won’t take up all too much of your time.
So, let’s get straight to the point: Here are my top 7 steps to get the most out of Google Plus…
#1: Build Relationships – Post, Comment, Share & +1
This is the most important G+ success step and it is also the most time consuming one. It is not just a quick one-time only step or something you do for the next 2 or 3 weeks… this is an ongoing task you will be doing (almost) every day for the years to come.
Wow, this sounds scary – I know. But it all comes down to properly organizing your G+ marketing tasks and making it a habit to spend 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes a day performing those tasks.
And yes, if you only have 5 or 10 minutes a day for Google+ you will also be able to reap all the great benefits of this amazing platform – it will just take a bit longer.
The most important thing here is to post, comment, share, +1 on a consistent basis – every day. To circle new people in your niche on an ongoing basis, to join and participate in communities…
To get an idea what you should be doing on Google+ on a daily basis in order to get the most out of G+ with the least amount of effort and time investment, I recommend you read my blog post: 10 Great Steps To Succeed With Google+ – A Simple Plan for Your Daily G+ Marketing Activities
The post provides you with a complete marketing plan for Google+ and explains step-by-step how to build your authority on G+ and how to grow a large following.
#2: Claim Authorship
Google allows you to claim authorship for all your articles on personal websites and blogs as well as for articles you provide as guest author. Google provides your profile image and some analytics data (number of people in your G+ Circles) together with your content title and description in the search results.
This is a great way to stand out in the search results, to boost your credibility as author and to increase your click through rates on Google search and get more traffic.
There are 2 different ways to claim authorship on Google+. You can either link your articles and blog post to your G+ Profile using a verified email address or by adding a link from your articles to your G+ Profile as well as a reciprocal link from your G+ Profile (Contributor Section) to the site(s) where your articles are hosted.
Here are the detailed descriptions and the required code snippets: How To Claim G+ Authorship
Once you are finished setting up G+ Authorship, you can test it using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
#3: Fill Out Your G+ Profile Information
Optimize your Google+ Profile information and use your most important keywords in your tagline, introduction, bragging rights, occupation…
Add clickable links to your introduction and provide a bullet list of your products and services, your biggest benefits, your strengths and USP’s…
Add links to your blogs and websites and to your social media profiles in the Links section.
#4: Format Your Posts
Google+ provides several basic formatting options for your posts and you should make use of them. The most important one is the possibility to make your text bold.
Simply put an asterisks at the beginning and the end of the text snippet you want to appear bold Like: *Some Bold Text* After committing your post, the asterisks will go away and the text will appear bold.
Use this option for your headline, for important links, for sub-headings…
Other formatting options are:
- _Italics_ Becomes: Italics
- -strikethrough- Becomes: strikethrough
Take a look at the Google Cheat Cheap for other interesting options.
#5: Use Hashtags
Using hashtags allows you to label and associate your posts with specific keywords. For example, if you use the hashtag: #socialmedia and someone searches for posts in G+ with the same hashtag, your post will show up in the search results.
You can use hashtags anywhere within your post or simply add a list of hashtags at the end of your post. All hashtags need to start with the # symbol and may not contain spaces or any special characters.
If you would like to use a phrase like: social media software, you have to use it in the following way: #socialmediasoftware
#6: Shorten Your Google+ Url
When linking to your Google+ Profile or Page, something like: gplus.to/YourName looks better than the standard G+ link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100492717814268471783
To get a customized G+ short link, go to http://gplus.to and enter your preferred short link name and your G+ profile ID and/or page ID.
#7: Setup Direct Connect
G+ Direct Connect allows you to quickly navigate to a specific G+ page from Google search when searching for +pagename.
For example, if you type +YouTube into Google Search, you will be immediately taken to the YT Google+ page.
To establish G+ direct Connect, you need to connect your G+ page with your website. You can do this either using the Google+ Badge on your site or by adding a code snipped to your site
Here is the code for the G+ Badge. If you are using WordPress, you can add the code to an empty text widget on your sidebar
If you don’t want to use the G+ Badge on your site, you can also use the following code on your home page:
<a href=”https://plus.google.com/[yourpageID]” rel=”publisher”>Find us on Google+</a>
Here are the detailed instructions for establishing the connection: Linking G+ To Your Website
And finally you also need to link to your website from your G+ Page. On your G+ Page, go to Profile > About > Links and click the Edit link. Underneath Website, provide the URL to your website (the same URL to which you posted the code snippet in the previous step).
Unfortunately, at the moment G+ Direct Connect only works for business pages with a minimum amount of popularity and whether your business page is eligible for G+ Direct Connect will be decided by Google’s algorithms.
Do you have any other great ideas on how to benefit even more from Google+? Please share your knowledge and experiences in the comment section below.