With the success of sites like Facebook and Twitter, it seems like everyone has been trying to get in on the social media bandwagon. Google, of course, is no exception. Google+, however, was built by a search engine, for a search engine. The site holds plenty of hidden talents that are great for getting your name out there. I firmly believe Google gives extra credit to sites that participate on Google +1 (see this case study). Although the platform hasn’t had as much success as other social media sites, bloggers or those with personal websites can benefit from using Google+ and here’s how.
SEO and Google+
The practice of SEO can determine a huge portion of profits made off of a website. Companies can pay fees reaching up to $500/hour for a specialized SEO consultant to work on their website. For bloggers or personal websites that don’t have that kind of dough to spend, there are other ways to get your website ranking on Google. While all social media sites are useful tools, Google+ has a few tricks that put its profiles higher on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
The biggest contribution Google+ has to a blogging site is its community capabilities. Communities can be set up for private groups, but there are also public communities that can be searched for and easily shared with friends. These public communities are organized by category, so if someone searches “photography” in Google+, a list of photography community pages will pop up. An SEO trick, however, is to use keywords that are less broad and more specific to your blog or website. Google+ offers multiple locations on the page to hide keywords that allow for specify, bringing the right people to your page.
The difference between having a group on Facebook and a community with Google+ is that much of the content on Facebook isn’t immediately available to search engines, putting their pages lower on the SERP. Since Google is already directly tied to Google+ and the information is more readily available, community pages rank higher.
Got to say I am loving Google communities (even better than Facebook groups). For an example of a good one check out my friend’s community “Simple Blogging Network“, it’s ran by Beth Hewitt. Join it if your a blogger!
Google+ makes it really easy to share and spread information. Because the site is connected to all other facets of Google, users are instantly linked to Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, etc. This allows users to expand the reaches of their blogs through multimedia, and keep tabs on their blog or website through Gmail and Google Documents. Plus, the popular site Blogger is a publishing tool from Google and already directly linked to Google+. Google+ also has a mobile app so users can easily follow when new posts are made.
Besides Google+’s big name connections, the site provides a lot of opportunities within a page to share information. Google+ allows uses to embed links throughout their profile page, making it simple for viewers to click and go straight to a relevant page on your blog or website. Not only that, but links can be embedded in comments too. Utilizing comments that are quality and centered around your content is another SEO trick that raises a page’s rank on the SERP.
Hangouts on Google+ work like face-to-face chat rooms, but they have a special feature that allows users to stream live broadcasts. If you want to stream a live video, hangouts have an option to “Enable Hangouts On Air,” which streams your video publicly on your Google+ page, YouTube channel and website. After the show, Google+ uploads the video to your YouTube channel and Google+ page for viewers to check out later. Use SEO key words in the description or comments on your video to bring it higher on a search list and increase traffic to your blog or website.
I can see Hangouts getting very big quickly! Personally, I haven’t done any hangouts yet as I am camera shy, but it’s a great way to make things much more personal
Also, just a little tip for everyone out there if you want to reference someone on Google +1 use + and their name (example: +Garen Arnold). It goes to their inbox when mentioned, provided they check it :) But, don’t abuse it!
There are many facets of social media to promote your work, and Google+ is a great option because the site already has its hands in multiple areas of the Internet. Using SEO tricks on Google+ can help users find new audiences, increase traffic to their blog, and access multimedia.
Do you have a Google+ account? How has Google+ been effective for your blog or website? Don’t forget to Google +1 this post if you found it helpful!