It is very well known that Google created and designed Google+ to be an SEO colossus—a platform that could dominate search results in a way Twitter and Facebook could not. Although Twitter and Facebook can both play a useful role in any business’s marketing, they also place restrictions on how much data Google can access, which limits their effectiveness for SEO. This is not the case with Google+.
It’s fairly easy to take advantage of the SEO dominance offered by Google+. The following tips will help you get started.
1. Improved Profile Links
When it comes to profile links, Google+ makes things much easier. With SEOmoz, you need to earn a full 200 Mozpoints to get a followed profile link. In contrast, Google+ allows you to easily link to your profiles across the Internet, and embed your follow links into a bio using whatever anchor text you choose. And the value of follow links from Google+ is just as high as any other.
Of course, the authority of the domain and the page also have an impact. If you engage with others, increase your visibility, and earn direct links to your profile and/or posts, your profile links will become much more valuable from an SEO perspective.
2. Embedding Post Links
Just as with profile links, Google+ lets you insert as many follow links into your posts as you want. Simply enter the URL and Google will automatically turn it into a link. These links will increase in value based on the number of times a post is shared, liked or linked. And if your post happens to go viral or gets shared by lots of high authority profiles, the value of the links you include can significantly increase.
3. Optimizing G+ Title Tags
Keep in mind that the first sentence in a Google+ post is automatically part of your title tag, which a) is related to rankings, and b) can significantly impact your click through rate. This is the first thing readers will see, so construct it wisely, and choose the keywords you use here carefully. A widely shared post with a solid title has a good chance of ranking well.
4. Use Your Editing Power
In a way, you can view your Google+ posts as a kind of blogging platform, in the sense that you are able to edit your posts at any time, now or in the future. This is not the case with Twitter or Facebook (Facebook’s editing options are much more limited, and on Twitter, your only option is to simply delete the entire tweet).
This particular advantage provided by Google+ is extremely important if your post happens to go viral and you want to change or update it later. You can also change or update any attached media and the title tag. Unlike its competition, Google+ offers its users a tremendous degree of control over their own content.
5. Extremely Fast Indexing of Content
Whenever you share a post, you want that content to be indexed on Google as quickly as possible. In the old days, you had to fill out a web form and wait, maybe for weeks; but with Google+, this is no longer the case. Sharing your post via Google+ increases the chance that it will be indexed sooner rather than later. In fact, rumor has it that newer URLs get crawled almost instantaneously.
So in addition to sharing newly generated content on your other social networks, make sure you share it on Google+. You should see a much more rapid indexing of your posts.
6. Connect to Influencers
Notification triggers are an important way of connecting with influencers in any industry. Google+ offers users 17 notification triggers for this purpose. Depending on how each individual adjusts their account settings, these notifications can come in the form of phone messages, emails or the famous Google red notification bar. The notification trigger actions include:
- Directly share a post with them
- Reference them in a post
- Share a post when you’re subscribed to the same circle as them
- Comment on one of their posts
- Comment on one of their post comments
- Add them to a circle
- Tag one of their own photos
- Tag them in a photo
- Suggest individuals they can add to circles
- Suggest a new profile picture
- Comment on photos after they’ve commented on them
- Make a comment on a photo they’re tagged in
- Make a comment on a photo they tagged
- Updates to an event or sending out an invitation
- Begin a discussion with them
- Send reminders about events
It’s important to keep in mind that when you are introducing yourself to someone via Google+, you should use gentle and nonaggressive methods, such as those outlined above. If you push too far while trying to make a connection, you might find yourself banned from their inbox for spamming.
7. Optimize Your Photo for Increased Traffic
Many people underestimate the importance of the author photo they use on Google+. A number of tests have shown that a high-quality professional photo can result in a higher click-through rate to your website(s).
If you create a successful author tag and include an eye-catching photo, it might not matter whether you rank first in a search or not. A fourth-ranked link with a great photo might well be able to grab some traffic from its first-ranked competitor.
8. Try out the Media Dashboard on Google+
If you rely on social media traffic for your website, you may want to put analytics information front and center in your efforts. One way to do this is by making use of a social media dashboard, which allows you to check the most important metrics from your social networks, including Google+, at a single glance. Some of these dashboards are available for free.
9. Keep an eye on your CircleRank
One of the best tools for this purpose is called CircleCount. You can try it out right now by pasting it into the Google+ URL to check on the daily growth of your followers and the effectiveness of your posts. It even allows you to compare your CircleRank score to other profiles on Google+.
10. Adopt Google+ Relatively Early
Although Google+ has grown quite a bit over the last few years, only 25% of people currently use the platform even somewhat regularly (at least once a month). It will likely continue to grow rapidly, so getting on board now would be a smart move on your part.
After all, none of the above tips will help you much if you are not actually using Google+. Most current users are the smart media and SEO types who recognize a good thing when they see it. Remember: with anything like this, it’s the early adopters who win the biggest prize.