Google’s answer to Facebook is of course Google Plus. As an individual you might not spend any time on this social network. However, as an online marketer it’s critical to have a business presence on Google Plus because it influences how well you can rank in Google’s search results. That’s why I’ve made a list of tips to help you brand and build relationships using Google Plus.
1. Open your Google Plus profile to allow for search engine indexing. Simply mark the box that says, “Help others find my profile in search results.” You’ll find it under Search Visibility.
2. Fill out your Google Plus profile completely, since this might be the first contact someone has with your business. Also, you get 5 featured spots for photos, so use them wisely to brand your business and engage others.
3. Use keywords. In your ‘About’ section, use the keywords you want to rank highly for – especially the keywords you know your potential customers are using.
4. Add your links. In the “recommended links” area of your profile, add links to your website, blog and social profiles.
5. Add more links throughout your page. Remember, Google Plus can help you in Google search, since the two are so closely tied. Therefore you want to post links to your business in both your introduction and your contact information.
6. Manage and interact with your circles. If you’ve got more than one target audience, you’ll want to manage your circles accordingly by targeting the news and information you send to each circle.
7. Do you write a blog? Then add the +1 button widget to your posts, enabling your readers to share your content on Google Plus.
8. Use a short and snappy tagline. You’ll notice that Google Plus gives you a place for a tagline underneath your page’s business name. Make it work for you by incorporating your best keyword to help with Google search.
9. Wear your badge. Promote your Google Plus page on your website(s) by adding the Google Plus badge to your profile, in your sidebar, etc.
10. Know who your audience is. This isn’t Facebook or Twitter, so don’t assume you’re interacting with the same type of folks. Instead, take time to get to know your circles. Ask questions, make polls, find the best ways to interact and share content, etc.
11. Get others to circle you. The more you can be in other people’s circles, and the more followers you have, the better your ranking is likely to be in Google searches. (Are you beginning to see why Google Plus is important? It’s not so much the social aspect, it’s getting Google to notice and rank your website.)
12. Use video and pictures. Both work well on Google Plus, and both are far better at accessing people at the emotional level than mere words alone.
13. Don’t be afraid to suggest. To keep people on your page longer, create your own list of suggested circles in your profile’s About section.
14. Search for your business. Make it a daily habit to do a search for your business and see if people are talking about you and what they’re saying. And be sure to respond and also re-share their posts when appropriate.
15. Learn the basic formatting. You can rev up your Google Plus posts and make them stand out by learning these 3 basic formatting codes:
Bold: If you want show any word(s) in bold text format, enclose the word(s) with *.
Italic: Enclose the text with _ (underscore) to show it in italic format.
Strike through: Enclose the text with – (dash) to strike through the text.
16. Update through your smart phone. Download the Google Plus app to manage Google Plus on the go and make updates when ever you want and where ever you are.
17. Hyperlink to someone’s name. Posting about someone on Google Plus? You can hyperlink to their name by typing “=” or “@” in front of their name.
18. Think about your timing. When is your audience most likely to be on Google Plus? This is when you should be posting. Also, when someone likes or comments on a post you made, the time to reply is immediately or ASAP. The longer you wait, the less of an impact you make.