Circle Up: Google+ Tips from SEO & Marketing Pros

Once labeled a “ghost town” in 2013, today Google+ is anything but. Google’s burgeoning social platform is projected to overtake Facebook in 2016 according to a SearchMetrics study. Established in 2011, Google+ boasts 540 million active users.

Last week, @BruceClayInc hosted the weekly #SEOchat on Twitter. The topic of conversation was getting the most out of Google+. Find out what marketers including Google+ specialists David Amerland and Mark Traphagen had to say when asked about:

google plus tips
Follow and circle Bruce Clay, Inc. on Google+.
  1. Google+ SEO Benefits
  2. Google+ for Clients
  3. Google+ for Engagement
  4. Tracking Google+
  5. Google+ and Circling
  6. Google+ for Blogging
  7. Google+ Hangouts On Air
  8. Google+ Communities
  9. Google+ Personal Benefits

Feel free to jump to the topic you’re most interested in by clicking on the heading above, or read them all.

Google+ SEO Benefits

1. How have you seen Google+ impact your #SEO? Do your G+ posts or page rank for your brand or keywords?

@DanLeibson: It has impacted our Local SEO process heavily …

@KMullet: Well, since they dropped the Twitter firehose, you can *at least* count on G+ for fast indexing.

@DavidAmerland: G+ connections play key part in serendipitous discovery in search.

@MarkTraphagen: Yes! Google “Google+ page analytics” for example. Has been ranked for 2+ years now. First line of post is treated by Google like title meta tag (include keywords there). Personalized search big factor in G+ SEO. Peeps who circle you will see your content elevated in their searches. You build profile authority on G+ by who engages with you the most. Surprising to many: follower count alone is low correlation to search authority from G+ Relationships count!

@KristiKellogg: Agreed. engagement boosts clout (& @Klout) on all social platforms, not just follower count. The count is irrelevant.

@JoshMcCormack: Definitely. I’ve seen people with 10x the connections and lower Klout.

@VirginiaNussey:  I mainly recommend #GooglePlus participation to a client for Google Authorship and as an additional rankable profile.

@ClairDogg: I’ve noticed quicker indexing when blog posts are shared on Google+. Authorship has greatly helped for traffic.

@Jason White: We’re seeing a lot of benefits with the complete local integration and when used to send traffic across social platforms.

@TannerPetroff: I’ve seen Google Plus pages ranking for all sorts of stuff. Authorship markup is huge for SERPs, too.

Google+ for Clients

2. Do you recommend Google+ participation to your clients and for what purpose? How do you convince them of the SEO benefits?

@AlexPeerenboom: We almost always recommend Google Plus to clients now. Even if their industry isn’t very active. Hangouts are a great tool for content.

@DavidAmerland: G+ is a digital identity service. One ‘easy’ way to stake uniqueness in a crowded web.

@MannixMarketing: Have been recommending Google Plus since day one and now requiring it for local search. #GoogleAuthorship alone …

@MarkTraphagen: We build strategies for clients that bring proprietary audience for them into G+ (Hangouts On Air for one).
Hangouts On Air can be shown and promoted on other social networks. Then invite audience into brand’s G+ community to continue conversation. If a G+ brand page owns an active community, it may help the Google relevance “score” for that brand.

@TannerPetroff: Most of my clients are local, so setting up G+ local accounts for local SEO is necessary. Not tough to convince them.

@ChrisPKing: Convince them of long term benefits of Google+ participation and personalized search immediate benefits.

Google+ for Engagement

3. What content earns the most engagement on your Google Plus? Short posts? Long posts? Videos? Pics? Links? 

@TannerPetroff: I see photos coupled with medium length posts doing really well on G+.

@MannixMarketing: Most engaging posts are generally current event driven (big local festivals or national/global pop culture).

@ChrisPKing: Images work well in Google+ especially with large travel and photography communities.

@DavidAmerland: Content that resonates most closely with target audience needs. G+ revolves around the human factor. Content needs to be monitored and engaged with to thrive.

@MarkTraphagen: Images will get more +1’s & shares, but we do well with long form content that stimulates lots of comments, too. Worst performing on Google Plus –> “Link Dumps” – posts that are just a link with no added thoughts or questions.
Google Plus tip: If you want more quality followers, seek out good relevant conversations & contribute helpfully.

@KristiKellogg: I’ve seen a LOT of engagement with photos on my personal profile.

@ChelseaBeaAdams: Community engagement and thoughtfully tagging those you want to loop into a conversation is really the secret to G+.

@KMullet: Solve problems, answer questions, and be engaging/entertaining.

@DelawareDigital: Oftentimes the amount of engagement on a poor/lazy post astounds me.

@VIPsBond: A picture is worth thousand words, try info-graphics on Google Plus, they can certainly engage people, provided they are useful.

Tracking Google+

4. Do you track any metrics related to Google+? How much traffic is Google+ referring? Any analytics apps you’d recommend?

@MarkTraphagen: I highly recommend SteadyDemand for G+ analytics

@ChrisPKing: I use Buffer on Google+ Pages for analytics.

Google+ and Circling

5. What is your strategy when it comes to following other Google+ users? Do you participate in Circle Sharing?

@DavidAmerland: No. There is a simple criteria: do they produce or share valuable content that enhances my G+ experience?

@ClairDogg: Pictures, with links a close second, get the most engagement, based on my experience.

@MarkTraphagen: I avoid the mass circle shares like the plague. Just adds junk to your stream and no authority value. See my post on what creates authority in G+: How Google Plus Pages & Profiles Gain Search Authority.  I find most of my most valuable follows through people who engage intelligently on my content and posts I’m engaging on. G+ Tip: Circles are most useful for managing your browsing. Create top circles for your most valued follows so u see more from them.

Google+ for Blogging

6. Are you using Google+as a blogging platform? If so, how do you decide if the content is going on G+ or your site blog?

@DavidAmerland: It should be part of your conversation with your audience. Some G+ posts are just G+ posts. Others are better as blog posts. Find the human interest factor in your stories. That will increase their impact.

@VirginiaNussey: #GooglePlus seems to support long-form posts, both as a poster and reader. We’ve experimented with excerpting blog posts on G+.

@MarkTraphagen: Original content on G+ gets appreciated if you do it regularly. Helps build your rep and following there. At Stone Temple, we’re experimenting with original content just for our G+ page.

@KristiKellogg: We do teaser posts, too. The #GooglePlus posts are like a sneak preview of the BCI blog :)

@PaulaSpeak: Google+ is effective place to summarize your blog posts and link to your site.

@Clairdogg: I have my blog in a central location, my website. Entries are shared on Google+ to appropriate circles.

@ChrisPKing: No, I don’t use Google+ for blogging or any other third party platform. Build your own products on your own domain.

@OldhamJared: I’m not using it for blogging, but would like to.

@Tony_DWM: Connect: G+ profile, authorship, link social accounts (G+ to YouTube), add G+ Biz page (w/ good description) & posts for G+ entity authority.

Google+ Hangouts on Air

7. What Google Plus Hangouts On Air do you participate in or recommend for SEO and Internet Marketing strategy?

@DavidAmerland: Those that allow you to learn something new, meet someone interesting or connect with your audience in real-time.

@MarkTraphagen: We do a weekly Digital Marketing Answers Show, once a month. David Amerland is our guest.

@GrantTilus: Google Plus Hangouts on Air are a great way to create original content for Google Plus. I’ll actually be presenting on producing them at SMX West.

@MannixMarketing: Generally participate in #googleplus hangouts that have reputable speakers or are more local conversations.

@PaulaSpeak: The Hangouts are a rich vein of expert information. :)

Google+ Communities

8. How are you using Google Plus Communities?

@DavidAmerland: Communities add depth to the engagement and the subject authority.

@AlexPeerenboom: I’m in Communities that are of personal and professional interest.

@ClairDogg: Interact with others with the same interests.

@OldhamJared: Currently using communities as a think tank with other marketers. Also for targeted customer engagement for biz.

@AlbanySaratoga: I personally use #googleplus communities like I do my “lists” on twitter. Quick way to tap into/engage specific groups.

Google+ Personal Benefits

9. How are you leveraging Google Plus personally? What’s the biggest benefit you’re seeing?

@DavidAmerland: I met some awesome people who changed my thinking. I have a direct channel with readers. Can’t get any more real than that. G+ is a true collaborative platform leveraging cognitive surplus. (i.e it helps you get smarter, faster).

@MarkTraphagen: On personal level, greatest benefit of G+ is as a learning community. Another personal benefit of G+ is personal brand building, esp. via Google Authorship. Big discussions w/ really smart people. Via hangouts I’ve actually gotten to really KNOW prominent peeps in my industry before I ever met them. When I go to conferences, people already recognize me from seeing my face in their search results.

@AlexPeerenboom: I’m using Hangouts more and more for client meetings.

@DavidAmerland: Be open. (it’s actually hard to do). Trust requires: Contact>Perception>Assessment>Connection – all steps possible within G+.

@VirginiaNussey: Seems like personally I use #GooglePlus for social community and content discovery and for clients I recommend as #SEO tool.

@ClairDogg: Mainly for sharing content, my own or others. Occasionally, share a private photo. Found a niche who engages.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this week’s #SEOchat! #SEOchat is held every Thursday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET on Twitter. Learn more about participating here.

Comments (2)
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2 Replies to “Circle Up: Google+ Tips from SEO & Marketing Pros”

Wow, I can’t imagine Google+ overtaking Facebook but if that’s what’s been predicted to happen by 2016 then I might start increasing my own Google+ circle. Thanks for this post Kristi.

Chelsea Adams says:

Zoey, Having just returned from #SMX West 2014, I’ve got to say… Google+ is a hot topic right now. I heard the social network brought up time and time again in session after session. The power of a network that is directly associated with Google is just really incredible. It’s been proven that G+ posts can help your brand rank on page one of the SERPs more often (in personalized search results for those people who have opted into following you on G+), and there’s a huge branding/community opportunity with G+ Hangouts on Air (often called HOAs); Huge beyond anything I’ve ever seen come out of Facebook. I only see Google+ growing and becoming more and more of a marketing priority for optimizers.

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