Actually that’s no longer true; all major brands are on there, it seems fairly populated now and while it will never be Facebook or Twitter, I reckon it does have a steady cohort of loyal users. What percentage of those users are fellow marketers I don’t know…although I suspect it’s quite significant.
Along the way, Google has changed Google+ and integrated it into almost everything it controls. And as things have changed recently again with the transition from Google Places to Google Business, I thought I’d list some how-to’s for setting up and linking everything to Google+ to maximize the organic value from this platform.
The clever people at Search Metrics conducted a sophisticated study looking at what high ranking sites had in common and what lower ranking sites had in common to come up with a list of ranking factors…Google+ came out as the most powerful.
The top 5 spots were predominantly occupied by social media (mainly Facebook), backlinks were 3rd, Pinterest came 7th and Twitter 8th which makes me wonder about the ranking benefit of images vs. text or the ease with which social proof comes (Twitter replies may come easier than Pinterest repins which may in turn lower its ranking klout).
Now It Gets Fiddly…
Taking the above into account, here’s what you can do to maximize your Google+ presence:
1. Secure a page and populate it
– Get a Gmail account if need be and set up a Google+ business page
– Fill this in; add logo, images and people to your circles (you get suggestions on sign up if you’re stuck)
– Join a few communities and post to them, +1 other people’s posts too
– Post to the platform daily if possible using big hashtags (#marketing, #celebrity, #fashion etc)
2. Verify your email and company address
– Upon filling in the company email, when you click verify, a verification email will be sent to that address, verify this using the link in the email
– Upon filling in company address, when you click verify, a verification code will be sent to the business address via post, when this arrives fill in the verification code to verify
3. Link your Google Business page (formerly Google Maps) with your Google+ page so your Google+ page shows up on Maps
– The Google+ page formerly attached to maps will now show on Google+, upon going to your profile, on the left side, hover over the menu and click to see all pages
– If this merge is possible, 2x Google+ pages for the 1 business will show up, your main one must have a tick next to it to prove it’s verified, the other will look barer
– Go to settings of the barer looking one and click to connect another page to Google Maps
– A scroll down menu will appear, select the page you want to connect
NB: A few items will be deleted be merging the pages, check Google’s guidelines for full details
4. Set up authorship for your blog posts or important landing pages:
– Decide on person/s you nominate to be Google Authors and set up Google+ profiles for them
– Populate profile with proper headshot and fill in all boxes
– Verify email address, ideally use an email address on the domain you want authorship for ie firstname.lastname@example.org as supposed to email@example.com
– Set up author as page manager for the Google+ page
– Insert this code into each page you want marked up with authorship:
5. Put a +1 button on your home page and keep track of +1’s using www.plusonechecker.net
– Some plugins do it but it’s easiest with the code below, this needs to go in your site’s template so perhaps a developer job:
<!– Place this tag in your head or just before your close body tag. –>
<!– Place this tag where you want the +1 button to render. –>
<div class=”g-plusone” data-size=”medium”></div>
6. Link Google+ page with website
– The easiest way to do this is to have access to Webmaster Tools where you will receive a message and can verify the website there
– If not, upon filling in your URL on your Google+ company page, click the verify button and a request will be sent to your Webmaster – WMT has to be set up for this
7. Set up schema markup
– Again this requires Webmaster Tools, once logged in, go to the Search Appearance tab and select Data Highlighter
– There is an easy step by step visual highlighter which you can use to add markup to pages
Charlotte Waller find me on Google+.
28th August, 2014