With Google’s recent announcement of Search Plus Your World, there seems to be conflicting view points on whether or not the social network is worth our time. It’s clear that at the moment, that the network is not as big as the hype surrounding it. Nonetheless, we know from watching Facebook and Twitter grow that these things take time. In Arnie Kuenn’s post, he concludes that even though Google’s new social updates may not affect each of our search results immediately, they eventually will. This is why it is critical that businesses get their foot in the door, and make their social presence known on Google Plus now. This means not only setting up a profile, but optimizing it properly to ensure higher search engine rankings. This post will discuss all of the key components necessary to do so. Please refer to the Vertical Measure’s Google+ profile at any time during the post when you need an example.
Google will recognize your name as your page’s title tag. Your name should simply be the name of your business or brand. We do not recommend keyword stuffing here, as this will be used as your name when leaving comments on posts.
The field beneath your business’ name is your page’s description. In Google search results, it will be displayed as properly written meta descriptions often are. To ensure this, your description should describe your brand in less than 85 characters. It should be appealing as to attract clicks from searchers, but also include your primary keywords.
The introduction should be optimized for your primary keywords, but do not over do it. It needs to read naturally and be appealing enough that potential customers will stay on the page to continue learning about your company. In this section you have the ability to use both paragraph and bullet point formats. When you do use one of your keywords, be sure to hyperlink it with a link back to the specific page on your site where people can find information about that product or service. Additionally, you may use rich text formatting such as bold and italics to help your primary keywords stand out.
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You may not consider photos as content in the traditional sense, but to Google they are. First and foremost, make sure you have a profile photo of your brand’s logo. Next up is to upload a minimum of five additional photos to fill up the scrapbook slots. These are the photos to the right of your profile photo, and directly under your description. Remember, these are the first five photos people will see when they visit your site. Before you upload any photos, however, you need to make sure they are optimized. You can do this by renaming the photo files to not only describe the subjects in the picture, but also to include keywords when applicable. Finally, don’t forget to tag your photos to increase their visibility.
To the right of the introduction you will find the recommended links section. This is your opportunity to connect people to your other social profiles such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This is also a great place to insert a link to your blog, if you haven’t done so yet. As far as anchor text optimization, a simple link with the anchor text of “Blog” will have more success with click-throughs than if you were to keyword stuff it and confuse people about where the link actually leads.
Keep it Active
By now, we all know Google loves fresh content. Updating your Google+ profile with new content daily is necessary to sustain and increase your profile’s visibility in the search engine rankings. Don’t worry though; it is not necessary to post a new update every day. You can also keep your profile up to date by updating your profile’s About section, adding new people to your circles, and uploading new photos or videos.
Promotion and Social links
Take advantage of your other social accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, to get the word out about your new Google+ profile. If people follow you on twitter and like you on Facebook, there’s a good chance they will also be interested in adding you to their Google+ circles. Updates like “Have you added us to your Google+ circle yet?” can get the ball rolling. On top of all of this new exposure, you will also be creating social back links to your Google+ profile. You may also want to consider adding a link to your Google+ Profile in your email signature.
Badges, Buttons, and Authorization
In addition to promoting your profile on your social networks, you should also add a Google+ badge to your website. The best place for it is right next to your other social badges, preferably on your homepage. The badge has two important purposes. The first is to allow your fans to navigate easily from your website to your Google+ profile. The secondary purpose of this badge is to let Google know that this is your official Google+ profile page. Follow the directions from Google on their badge page. You will also need to paste the following HTML code on your site.
This goes in the header:
Next, the code generated when you create your badge can be placed anywhere on your site.
Last but not least, you will also want to include a button on your blog for people to give you a +1 directly from the post.
Expand your Circles
As a business, you cannot add people to your circles unless they add you first. This is where the badge and social promotion mentioned above will come in handy. You can, however, add other businesses to your circle. Try to add businesses that are related to your own. For example, if you are like us and your business is related to internet marketing, Point Blank recently did a post on their recommendations of the top 50 people and pages to add to your circles. This will not only build authority for your page, but will also expose you to new networks.
With social search in place and here to stay, it is clear that +1′s will have an effect on ranking factors. Asking your Twitter followers to give you a +1 on Google Plus if they like your latest post is one example of how to encourage people in your circle to engage with your posts. Another way to encourage +1′s is by simply giving +1′s out to posts you think deserve them. Many people will follow the rule of reciprocity. If you are writing about similar topics and give them enough +1′s, they will most likely return the favor. Speaking of that, we would appreciate you giving this post a +1 below if it helped you optimize your Google Plus Profile.