The 2014 Google+ Beginners Guide for Bloggers and Marketers
Why Google Plus?
Two years back Google marked one of its greatest ventures till date by launching its Social Networking Website Google+. Google Plus is now lot more than just a social networking website- ‘It’s a social layer’ as Google calls it. As on October 2013, Google+ had 540 million active users
Now is the time when millions rely on social media for marketing their products, brands and content. While every Tom, Dick, and Harry is trying to make use of every single platform to boost his business, an opportunity from Google is something you should not really miss; especially if you are trying hard to gain some online presence. Moreover, the unbelievable success that Google+ has achieved by reaching 10 million active users even in the beta stage, prompts us to pause for a moment to consider Google+ a hope for improving online business.
Google+ is now one of the most promising platforms for bloggers, content marketers, and brand strategists. Content authors and marketers have become more alert ever since they discovered that the use of authoritative Google+ account affects their search engine ranking. Since search engine optimization (especially with Google) today is trickier than ever, it is the right time for you to exploit Google+ for boosting your Google search ranking.
The early adapters of Google Plus have achieved rapid popularity for their brands in a very short time. If you’re thinking that you are late for the party- this post is just right for you. This hub is a basic and beginner-friendly guide to help you set up, customize your Google+ profile, Google+ Pages and explore communities to boost your online presence.
Which Platform do you think is effective for marketing?
Starting with Google+
As the Google says “One Google Account for everything Google”- if you have a Google Account you can use it to sign in and start using Google+ as your profile has already been set up.
You should make sure that the Google account that you are using to access Google+ is your personal account that you use regularly. Since you are using Google+ for developing your website, using personal account will help you integrate it with your other online profiles and in setting up Google Authorship profile (about which we’ll be seeing in a moment)
If you do not have Google account, you can create one and get access to everything Google.
It is advisable to provide your Name as it is in your authored pages, blogs or websites. Once you sign in or create your new account, you will be directed to a page where you have to update your basic profile information.
Customizing your Google+ Profile
Signing in to Google+ account for the first time, you will have to enter your Name as it should appear on your profile. Then, upload your profile picture and after completing the basic form, click on upgrade button.
Google+ suggests you the list of people you might know to add in your circles that is pretty much like adding friends in Facebook. By adding people in your circles, you might be able to mutually share any content or media and hangout with them in Google+.
There are different filters for circles – Friends, Family, Following and acquaintances. However it is not suggested for you to use your Google+ account to just get connected with friends and family if you’re aiming for business success. When it comes to using Google+ for promoting your business, you can to connect with other professionals, get followers and share with them your business related stuff.
Updating Basic Information
You can update your work, education and other data to make your profile relevant to the image you wish to publicize. It is essential that you include your skills, current work and other stuff that might help visitors in discovering your expertise and interests.
Your home page features the latest updates and keep a check on what others are sharing. By moving your cursor to the top-left of your screen where you can see a g+ sign, you’ll be able to explore Google+ by navigating between profile and other tabs. Next thing to do is making your profile look professional and make the first impression stand out. Here is how you customize the main elements of your Google+ profile.
Making most of the Google+ cover photos
- Google Plus Cover Photo and Design Tips - Plus Your Business
Here are a few quick tips and a couple of in depth videos and guidance on making the most of your Google Plus Cover photos for Profile and Pages.
Updates to Google Plus Cover Photo
Setting up the user profile
Changing your Cover Photo:
It is important to make use of small things that you perhaps may not consider for they affect your business without you noticing it.
Just similar to the way you update your timeline cover in Facebook, you can have cover picture for your Google+ profile. You must upload a cover picture that suits best for you or your business and it will override the default picture. Images that are at least 480 by 720 pixel size can make your cover.
Google+ images- your profile and cover picture are they keys to impress people. So make use of relevant and original images to prove your marketing and design skills.
Let others Discover you
Your Google+ profile has several tabs that if c- that if edited properly, can make your profile shine! These tabs basically display your work, skills and other online activities.
The first one you might want to pay attention to is about tab. ‘About’ tab has some interesting elements.
Add your Story
The story section includes Title, Introduction and Bragging rights that you might want to fill up smartly. Story section is really important for you because search engines show the first few characters of your introduction when someone is searching for people whose introduction involves similar phrases.
Your story must shortly explain your online profile and you can include links to relevant blogs or websites of yours.
Link to your Blogs and Websites
It is also important that you update your work information and ‘Skills’. The section that is of our concern at the moment is the links section you can provide the URLs of your blogs, websites and products you are marketing.
Links section has three divisions- Other Profiles, Contributor To and Links
In ‘Other Profiles’ you can add your social media profiles i.e., links to your Twitter, YouTube and other accounts.
The most important part for now is ‘Contributor To’ where you are supposed to provide the links of pages that you have authored. Remember that you are providing here the links to your guest posts on the websites. So you are required to link to your author pages on these websites for it helps others discover your profile and contributions.
Adding links to these websites make it easier for you to claim Google+ Authorship to promote your content. Getting Google+ Authorship will help you increase your visibility in search engines. But we’ll come to that later.
The last part is where you can share links directing to your websites and personal blogs and other links that you might find interesting. Sort out the links that you want to provide in each section carefully.
Claiming Google+ Authorship
- Link to your Google+ profile using rel="author"
Follow the link to get detailed information on setting up your Google+ Authorship.
Claiming Google+ Authorship to increase your Search Engine Visibility
Getting Google+ authorship means that you are claiming authority over any content you create and it is done by linking the content to your Google+ profile. You are integrating your author profiles so that others can discover your complete online authority.
When you build your Google+ authorship, your photo will be displayed in search results whenever you content shows up. By clicking at your photo, people can discover your other contributions.
To create your Google+ authorship you must create a link to your Google+ profile and then link back from your profile to websites you have provided. It is very easy to set up Google+ Authorship. It is easy to check whether everything is okay with your Google+ authorship by making use of Rich Snippets Testing Tool.
Google+ Communities Homepage
Discover Related Communities:
Google+ communities were introduced to audience in December 2013. Communities in Google+ are quite similar to interest-based Facebook Pages where people can share content that is related to the community’s niche. It is possible to share your content with these communities and the users of this content will help you to spread it wider by re-sharing it with others.
There are diverse.communities available to Google+ users to connect and engage with the people who share common interests. Users can post different content, media, ask any questions, start a discussions related to the specific topic of the community.
Since Google+ communities are strictly moderated against spam, any content that is not related to the community's topic, moderators can delete the post and block the user.
Top 20 Google+ Communities
- Top 20 Google+ Communities Your Business Should Join
Here is a post that features the list of top 20 Google+ communities that your business should join!
Joining and Posting to Communities
You can open the communities home page by hovering over the drop-down that appears on the top left just below the Google+ logo and then clicking on the 'communities'. Communities homepage features the list of communities available for you to join. You can also use the search bar to to find the communities related to your search word.
In order to post and comment in the communities you must join them. Many of the communities will allow users to join them immediately while some others moderate users before involving them.
Once Google+ sorts out your interests in the communities by keeping check on which communities you join, it suggests the related communities that you might want to check.
Posting to communities is a great way of attracting visitors to your content or products. Sharing with communities is pretty much like sharing in your profile.If you share a piece of work with public communities, the news can be viewed by anyone checking tour profile. So this is one the difference between public and private communities that the content you share with private communities are only accessible for the members of the respective communities.
While sharing your story with communities, you can select the category from the list provided. For instance if you are sharing your post on driving traffic to your blog, you can select the category 'Blogging' or 'Building Traffic' from the list set by administrator of community.
Always make use of hashtags while sharing a post for it helps others to discover you when they are searching for a topic related to your hastag.
Create your own Google Plus Community
Creating your own community on Google+ is a great way to promote your business in a non-professional way (like using Google+ Pages)
Communities are open for discussion with others and by using the right tactics, you can turn your community members to your business followers. Click on the 'Create Community' button, just beside the search bar on the community homepage. You can allow your community to be either public or private and set alter other features to moderate your community.
Giving a catchy tagline to your community, updating the description of community and adding relevant and attractive photo do make a good impression on audience. Once you are done with creating your community, you have to invite users to join it.
Creating Google+ Business Pages
If you have ever marketed your content or product using Facebook Pages, you won’t feel it much different on doing it with Google.
To set up your Google+ business page, you have to create a page. Pick the category of your business and you’ll then have many sub-categories to choose on. The video below helps you set up your Google+ business page.
Creating Google+ Brand Page
Great Google+ Pages
- Great Google+ Pages
Take a look at 10 brands with great Google plus pages for tips, ideas and insights on improving your page
Promoting Google+ Business Page
After creating your Google+ page, you have to work a bit to promote it and gain potential audience. Understanding properly the aim of your page helps you adding the relevant content that will be helpful to people.
Make sure that you have updated your page with the basic details and shared sufficient content before trying to promote your page. Optimizing your page properly can help you achieve your end-result quickly.
How do you rate Google+
Marketing your content on Google+
Google+ allows you to share content and different media with your fan base to maintain the engagement of your page. Sharing your recent marketing venture, blogs and findings will help you fetch more audience.
Building your brand page and creating your own communities can be very helpful in marketing your content or product quickly. Invest some time and share relevant content so that your audience will re-share and promote it.
You can refer other people, pages and communities by making use of @ symbol followed by the name. It is also possible to add hashtags in your posts to widen your fan circle. Whenever your profile page is displayed in search, your latest updates will be shown. So keep your page up to data and share only what is important.
If you haven’t created your Google+ account or not thought of using it for content marketing, now is the time to do. I hope this basic guide has helped you set up the essentials. Once you understand the basic customization and use of Google+, you are ready to get going. You can then explore more about the subtle and significant aspects such as Search engine optimization using Google+,relation between Google+ and Google search, building Google+ fan base and many more.
Share your thoughts and experience on the various features of Google+ and how do you make use of them to promote your business.