When Google+ was first introduced in 2011, it was written off by a large swath of technophiles and bloggers. Many in the online community felt this was merely Google trying to play catch-up with the likes of Facebook and Twitter – and the platform’s paltry user base seemed to affirm these suspicions. But, as an ancient wise man once said: “Don’t bet against the most dominant search engine on the planet.” Maybe he didn’t put it quite that way, but it’s still never wise to ignore a tech monolith when it decides to go all in on the game it helped create.
These days, Google+ is expanding and evolving at exponential rates, and its increasing number of users represents this growth. Statistics show that, at the moment, only 1 in 4 marketers are using this platform for their SEO purposes. That means Google+ is still in the “ground floor” stage as far as marketing is concerned. But this won’t be the case forever. Sooner or later marketers will be on Google’s social launching pad as much – if not more – than Facebook and Twitter.
With that in mind, here are five down and dirty tips to help marketers master the basics of this new social networking tool.
Take advantage of triggers
Google+ comes equipped with 17 or so triggers geared for nothing more than to bring people together. Marketers in a particular industry can utilize these triggers to connect with likeminded folks in the same business sectors. Triggering notifications is as easy as commenting on a post, responding to a post, kicking off a conversation, adding people to circles and more.
One remnant of the old days of SEO that still holds true is the importance of that first sentence in a piece of content. The first sentence is the tag, and that’s what comes up in search results. All lines that Google draws connect the dots between catchy title tags and high search rankings. Adding just a few optimized keywords helps any marketer’s case as well.
One nice thing about Google+ is that it isn’t shy about trying out new features on a regular basis – and most of these are advantageous. CircleCount is one such example. It serves to bring vital data to the forefront by looking at follower growth, profile rank and blog post popularity. Marketers who care about metrics would do well to utilize CircleCount.
Google may monitor their rankings like a hawk, but they still allow for much freedom as far as content is concerned. For example, Google+ allows marketers to embed as many links as they like in their content. Experts state that, as long as each link is relevant to the post, marketers can – and should – embed ‘til their little hearts are content.
One of the best ways to take full advantage of Google+’s awesome power is to revisit posts. This is also necessary into today’s social world. If a post does indeed go viral, it is crucial to maintaining momentum that said post is relevant and up to date. Google+ comes with a host of text-editing features, and marketers will want to utilize these when they check back with their content to make sure it is still evergreen.
At the moment, Google+ is revolutionizing modern SEO. While sites like Facebook actively restrict Google search results, Google+ makes them a launching pad. It offers a fully tailored and integrated search and social experience to the user, and thus will continue to be a major player in the future. Marketers who ignore this new reality do so at their own peril.
Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO companies in the United States.