We know what you’re thinking about Google+. Really, we do. You’re thinking, “Do we really need one more social profile to manage?” “Is anyone even using Google+?”

Yes. And Yes. Whether Google+ is popular or not, don’t ignore it. Google loves for you to play with them, their way. They have said of Google+ that is “really the unification of all of Google’s services, with a common social layer.”

Enough said. Let’s move on.

If creating a Google+ page for your client is on your to-do list, here is are the steps for getting started.

For those of you already on the Google+ train, you need to know that Google+ isn’t just a social media platform. It’s a powerful weapon in your SEO arsenal. In fact, in Moz’s 2013 The Future of Search report [they publish the report every 2 years], they list the top factor most correlated with search engine success is Google+1’s.
The truth here is, this is one element of the SEO puzzle that can be fairly easy to manage. Technical SEO, with its keyword research, algorithms, and logic, is sometimes better handled by professionals. But not Social SEO. You can do this.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your Google+ page for better Google search rankings:

  • Regularly publish content. You already created it, and you may have already shared it via other social networks. Now, share it to Google+. Exposure on Google+ helps Google index more of your content faster.
  • Pay attention to headline and the first 45-50 words of your post, as that’s what Google uses for display on the SERPs. Consider using one of your targeted keywords in your heading, and do the same for the beginning of your post.
  • Utilize Google+’s Links. Be sure to link to your website and add links that are important to your site [in the Links section].
  • Include visuals in your posts versus a plain text update. It’s best to upload your own photo, for optimal viewability. Run your own tests, but we bet you see better engagement with posts that include visuals.

Now that you’re doing all the right things, let’s work on growing your following:

  • You are probably already using hashtags on Facebook or Twitter. You can [and should] use them for Google+ as well. But Google+ uses them in entirely different ways to organize and recommend content. Google uses them to create relationships between topics. Help them connect the dots.
  • Ask for followers. But do so with a clear value proposition. A strong call to action will help your cause. For example, instead of a generic “Please follow us on Google+,” try letting them know what they’ll get if they do. “Please follow this page for more great marathon training tips!” – much more persuasive.
  • Add a Google+ Badge to your site. Here’s how.

In terms of SEO tools in your toolbox [or arsenal, as mentioned earlier], this is a good one to sharpen. Take this opportunity, and make sure your Google+ page is amplifying all of your SEO efforts.