The Benefits and Basics of Google Plus

Google Plus (Google+) always seems to have hung in the background, behind the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but there’s so much talk about how powerful it can actually be and recommendations that everyone needs to get on it considering the changes happening to Facebook.

Many people (myself included) seem to primarily use it to broadcast their content or blog posts and just stop at that. I often see little interaction happening on Google Plus like you would find on Facebook.

The thing is, we really need to start embracing Google Plus because unlike Facebook being a social media network, the benefit of Google Plus is that it’s a search engine and has SEO benefits.

Google+ posts are indexed immediately into search results and when someone shares your post or +1’s it, this then influences it’s position in search results too. Unlike Facebook and Twitter where the content keeps flowing and then disappears into last year, the content you post on Google+ is there until you want to remove it. The longer a piece of content exists on Google+, the longer it will continue to be found in search results.

Another thing that sets Google+ apart is that it is more of an interest based network whereas Facebook is where people go to connect. People on Google+ group themselves together in communities based on their interests. In a way, this makes it a lot easier to find your target audience whereas on Facebook, it can be quite hard to know exactly where they’re hiding.

So, with one of my own social media goals being the aim of embracing Google+ (and I have some super tools that I’m going to share with you very soon),  here are some of the basics of Google Plus that I’m also trying to follow so that I can make Google+ work for me.

Optimise Google+ Profile for SEO

  • Make sure you use a high quality professional photo on your profile
  • Add a cover image that depicts you, your blog or your business
  • Add a relevant and keyword targeted story about you, your blog or your business
  • Provide a short description of you in the first seven words of introduction
  • Make sure you include your employment and business name. This is the best place to put your blog if you’re a blogger.
  • Add your links to appropriate websites, other social networks and key articles.

Create Circles

When you’re starting off, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many circles. Just create enough for you to put the people you’re following in some sort of order.

Categorise each circle into people you’d like to follow e.g. Family, Friends, Social Media Influencers, Parenting Bloggers, Tech Bloggers etc.

When you view your Google+ profile, your ‘home’ page is where you can view the posts of the people you have in your circles, the communities you belong to and what’s hot.

Google+ create and edit circles

 

 

Find People to Follow on Google+

Google+ search keywords

Search specific keywords & interest areas by going to the ‘people’ tab in the lefthand column, selecting ‘discover’ at the top, typing in your keyword (I’ve used Parenting) and then selecting ‘people and pages’ in the top margin so your results are displayed like this.

 

Google+ Add People

Google+ will also give you suggestions on who to follow if you click on ‘people’

 

Join Relevant Communities

Google+ communities

 

 

 

Google+ Content & Engagement

  • Determine how many posts you’ll share on G+ each day
  • Be active in sharing engaging content, videos, images and relevant links
  • Be active in commenting on other peoples posts and +1ing posts to say you like them, this is the main way you will organically grow your profile.
  • Try using google hangouts or start one yourself (perhaps with staff or a group of bloggers you know)
Google+ +1 and sharing post

Hover over the +1 at the bottom of the post and click to say you ‘like’ the post. To share, click on the green share button and add your comment.

 

Share your own content to relevant circles

Google+ post content

When sharing your own content, you can select who to share it with. You can select to only share it with one or more of your circles or you can select to share it publicly which means that anyone that visits your profile page can see your post. If you select extended circles, this means that people in your circles’ circles will be able to see the post if they visit your page. You can also select to share it with communities you’ve joined here.

 

Monitor your +1’s, Shares and Comments

Google+ post activity

Click on the drop down arrow in the right hand corner of a post, select view post activity and it will show the people who have +1’d and commented.

 

Create & Promote Upcoming Event

This one I love. Perhaps you’re a business launching a product or a blogger that has a weekly blog link up, this is the perfect way to reach a targeted audience by selecting who you want to share the event with.

Google+ creating an event

Go to the share button at the top right hand corner of your profile and select event.

 

Google+ creating an event2

After selecting event, you can select the theme, add the name of your event, the date and time, the time zone and if you select ‘Event Options’ and ‘Advanced’ you can enter your URL details. The best thing about this option is you can also select the circles and communities that see this event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add Google+ Buttons

  • Gain further visibility
  • Allows others to recommend your content on Google+
  • Tells others that you are in fact on Google+ and gives them the opportunity to follow you

Add the +1 Button

https://developers.google.com/+/web/+1button/

 

Add a Google+ Badge

https://developers.google.com/+/web/badge/

 

So go on, make 20 new connections!

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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6 Comments

  1. Malinda
    July 15, 2014 / 7:08 pm

    There are some great tips here. I must say I always intend to use Google+ more but between all of the other social medias I find I don’t have the time. Reading this though makes me think that maybe I should find the time

    • July 22, 2014 / 2:26 pm

      Thanks Malinda. Even if it’s just for the SEO benefits, I think it’s too important to skip.

  2. FitFun Mum
    July 17, 2014 / 10:47 am

    I’m really enjoying all your tips on this website Eva!

    • July 22, 2014 / 2:26 pm

      Thank you so much!

  3. Simplify.Create
    August 13, 2014 / 8:03 pm

    Such a great post. I admit I do neglect Google+ a bit