Tag Archives: google plus

7 Great Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of Google+

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.
 

How To Resize And Crop Your Google+ Cover Photo Into A Much Smaller Banner-Like Image

How To Resize A Google+ Cover Photo I recently was playing around with Google+ and I wanted to replace the standard cover photo with a much smaller, banner-like image.

I thought this shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, but all in all I spent over 2 hours just to figure out how to reduce the size of the huge G+ cover photo.

In this post I provide you with step-by-step instructions how you can create and display a small banner for your Google Plus page or profile.

The minimum size for the G+ cover photo is 480px * 270px. An image height of 270px doesn’t seem overly big. However the photo resizes automatically to display correctly for any screen resolution and the height of the cover photo goes quickly to 600px and more.

So, what can you do to get a Google+ cover photo with a much smaller height of about 250px?

Here are the step by step instructions on how you can create a banner-like Google Plus cover photo with much smaller dimensions than the standard G+ cover photos.

I won’t go into any detail about graphics design or how to use photoshop… This tutorial is all about creating a cover photo template with the correct dimensions and re-sizing the image to display correctly on your G+ profile.
 

Here is the final result of the image we are going to create:

 

Creating the cover photo base image:

  • First, we need to create a large enough image that can be uploaded to G+. Use Photoshop, Paint.Net, Gimp… or any other software tool and create an image with the following dimensions: 2048px (width) * 1152px (height).
     
  • In this very large image, define an area of 900px wide and 170px high from the top-left corner. This area will be your final G+ cover photo and you can completely forget about the remaining space on your base image.
     
  • If you want, you can directly copy a ready made 900px * 170px image into the top-left of your large base image. This 900px * 170px image will be the only visible part on your final G+ cover photo.
     
  • For the logo text (BetterNetBiz.com) I used a font-size of 28px, for the slogan at the bottom I used 18px and for the other text (Provide Value…) I used 14px. You may want to experiment with different font sizes to adapt the image design to your needs.
     
  • The image below shows how this may look like once your cover image is finished. The real image is much taller, but I had to cut it on the right and at the bottom to fit it into this page:

 

 

Uploading the new cover photo to Google+:

  • Go to your Google+ page or profile, log into your G+ account and click the “Change Cover” button.
     
  • On the “Select cover photo” popup window, click “Upload” on the left menu and drag your cover photo onto the area labeled as “Drag a photo here”.
     
  • A popup window labeled as “Select cover photo” opens – see image below:

 

  • Drag the movable region (with the little squares in each corner) to the top-left corner of your cover image.
     
  • Position your mouse pointer on the bottom-right corner of the movable region and resize it to the maximum so that it covers your entire cover photo.
     
  • Click the “Save” button at the bottom-left of the window.
     

  •  

  • Refresh your browser window (click F5) and no you see a strange looking cover photo on your Google+ profile. In the next step we will crop the cover photo to only show the area of your actual cover photo design.
     
  • Your cover photo may look like the image below:

 

 

Cropping the cover photo to only display the actual cover design:

  • Click anywhere on your cover photo.
     
  • In the window that opens, click “Edit” on the top menu bar. A new window opens – see image below:

 

 

  • Sometimes this didn’t work for me in Google Chrome – an empty popup window is displayed without any options to edit the cover image. However, it always worked in Firefox.
     
  • Click “Crop” on the left menu bar.
     
  • Drag the movable region (with the little circles in each corner) to the top-left corner of your cover image.
     
  • In the “Actual Size” area underneath the “Crop” menu item, enter 900 for the width) and 170 for the height of the cover photo.
     
  • The movable region should now cover the design region of your cover photo – see image above.
     
  • Click the “Apply” button underneath the “Crop” menu item.
     
  • Click the “Save” button on the top-right of the window.
     
  • Click “Replace” on the little “Confirm Photo Replace” window that opens.
     
  • Go back to your G+ profile or page and refresh the browser window and now you should see your new cover photo.

 
The cover photo on your Google Plus page won’t look exactly as the image you designed, because Google adds a black gradient at the bottom of the cover photo.

I’m not sure why they are doing it – maybe to discourage people from adding a call to action at the bottom of the cover photo (something like: “Please G+ me…”) and unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it.

I hope this article helped you to replace the standard G+ cover photos with a smaller, banner-like image. If you know about an easier way to do this, please share your ideas with us and leave a comment below.