Are There SEO Benefits From Using Google+?
Do you really need to add another social media platform to your daily to-do list? Although it’s been a few years since Google+ launched to mixed reviews, the micro-blogging social media platform is a great tool for helping SEO. So, yes. Yes you do.
Initially launched in 2011 to compete with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and others, Google+ received scattered applause when it debuted. Met with resistance for requiring everyone who wanted to comment on YouTube to have a Google+ account, the social platform also received criticism for lumping all Google accounts together, making it difficult to separate business from personal.
You probably already have a Google+ account. If you have a gmail account you have an automatically generated G+ account. For this reason there are 2.5 billion Google+ accounts globally giving it more accounts than Facebook. How many of those are active accounts is an entirely different story.
The platform has remained relatively silent in recent years, save for a 2017 update to comments and images, but still boasts of millions of users each day.
So, while many detractors were saying Google+ was as relevant today as MySpace, the platform has found its sweet spot as a kick-ass platform for schools, businesses and professional networks. Why? Because it’s more user friendly in this regard than a Facebook biz page, yes, but the major mojo for Google+ is that it will help your site’s SEO.
The Google search engine knows exactly what’s on a Google+ page because, well, they created it. Content posted to your Google+ page is more likely to appear on search results pages than your content posted to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or anywhere else. The code is written by Google so there is no ambiguity about the content. Google created it. Google knows how to read it.
So How Do You Create A Google+ Page To Take Advantage Of This SEO Helper?
Just like most social media platforms, images, videos, links and hashtags are the main content. But by building a comprehensive Google+ profile with keywords and including absolutely everything about your business, you are hand delivering your business information to the Google search engine in a way it totally understands.
It’s actually pretty fun to use too. You can configure what your feed prioritises, so instead of a blanket algorithm guessing what you’d like to see like with Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, the user has a choice to customise. What’s Hot (popular), circles, sports, news, entertainment, etc are all choices one can select for their feed.
So let’s look at how to build a Plus page that will enhance your business by building community participation and help with your brand messaging.
When you create a Google+ post make sure you utilise your keyword strategy – hopefully easy since you’ve already done most of this work for your website. Utilize your keywords when you craft a comprehensive title, summary and commentary. The beauty of this platform, unlike a website, is that you can add hashtags and usernames.
You can also upload images quickly without having to hassle with a CMS like Drupal or WordPress. Also, unlike a webpage you will have running commentary and engagement from your network which is direct, immediate feedback that helps you measure the impact of your posts and the reach of your business. But the biggest business tool (besides boosted SEO) on Google+ is circles.
“Google+ is the center of the Googleverse, and it is completely integrated in search,” says YouTube authority Derral Eves. “Setting up circles the right way is an important part of utilizing this power.”
Creating circles in Google+ is more specific than Facebook’s blanket approach to inviting either all your friends at once or the tedious task of inviting them one-by-one to like your page. It also skirts the “why-is-this-person-sending-a-connection-request?” tangle inherent in platforms like LinkedIn.
Once you’ve setup your circles you can share content from your website, daily updates on a business related topic or anything else really. But the cross-promotion of your website content is where you’ll get more SEO traction than if your content was sitting solely on your weblog.
To get the most out of it be sure to add the little G+ icon next to your other social share buttons: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and the rest.
Once you’ve begun posting you should start seeing the benefits of belonging to the Google+ community trickle in. And it’s easy to measure the success of your posts.
Since it’s Google, it has amazing analytics to measure the performance of your posts. Track which pieces performed well on Google+ by checking the post’s impact through various times, circle segments or anything else.
Take advantage of a tool like Bitly to create short, customised urls from your web posts (that are then posted to your Google+ feed) that are easy to find later when you comb through Google Analytics. After some dedicated posting and tracking you’ll be able to measure just how much those Google+ posts help your SEO.
You can also customise your Google+ url when you create your account. Try this link here: http://plus.google.com/pages/create.
So while Google+ initially got knocked around by the online community, it’s still a pretty cool platform worth exploring. And maybe it is best for SEO and nothing else, but if used correctly is has potential to be a strong social tool that in the end will increase your web site’s reach. And that’s always worth your time.