How to Use Google+

On Monday I shared why Google+ is my new boyfriend, haha! Or, more specifically, why Google+ is a more effective sharing platform than Facebook.

Today I want to share some tips on how to use Google+ effectively, especially if you’re a blogger. If you have a business, these tips should be helpful for you too.

to Optimize Google+ for Your Blog or Business

I already told you that Google+ has SEO benefits unlike any of the other social platforms. So of course you want to know how you can make the most of Google+ for your blog or business! I’ll start with the basics and move into more detailed information. Hang tight!

10 Tips to Optimize Google+ for Your Blog or Business

1. Get a Google+ page if you don’t already have one.

Yes, this is obvious, but it’s the best place to start! You will also want to decide if you want to create a Google+ page for your blog, or if you want to use your Google+ profile for everything you do.

I do not have a separate page for my blog, as I do with Facebook. I use my Google+ profile for everything so I can maximize my reach. While Google+ has a social component like Facebook, it is all public so I don’t feel like I have to keep a personal profile for me and a public page for my businesses. I just keep it all together. If you run a business with a partner, then it might make sense to have a separate page for that, but for most bloggers, I think it makes sense to keep one Google+ profile.

2. Fill out your About page, and optimize for SEO with keywords and links.

This could be an entire post in and of itself. I attended a Google+ workshop once where we went through this process, and it took a while. But the most important thing is to fill out your profile completely and link to all your various profiles. Treat your Google+ profile like a resume. You can use links within your story, so use them wisely. Feel free to stuff it with keywords as long as they’re relevant and the copy is organic. Whatever you want to rank for on Google, use those terms and link to your blog. Take a look at my Google+ About Profile for an example.

Fill Out the About Section on Google+

Whatever you have for your most recent employer will show under Employment, and it is also what shows at the top of your Google+ profile, so I wrote mine the way I wanted it to show over my header photo.

Google+ Employment Copy

Also make sure to fill out the Links section with your various social media profiles and whatever sites you contribute to. You should connect all your accounts, and you can choose which ones show publicly. I have no idea why my YouTube link shows above the “Other Profiles” — I guess because YouTube is in bed with Google??

fill out the LINKS on your google+ profile

3. Add people to your Circles. 

Start adding to your network. Like any other platform, the more people who are connected with you on Google+, the more exposure your posts will get. And the more people you have giving your posts +1, the more SEO juice you get.

Add People to your Google+ Circles

I have circles for Friends, Family, Bloggers, PR, Philly, Fashion and Gluten Free. You can make as many circles as you want. This allows you to tailor who you send your posts to, and you can also sort what you see by Circle if you want.

4. Optimize your author pic for more traffic.

First of all, use a photo of yourself, NOT a logo. And use a good one. Evidently, it matters.

Make sure you implement Google Authorship if you haven’t already. This is something you might want to put on your “to do” list for another day. It’s not hard to do, but it takes some time and concentration, but it is super important if you want to claim your work on the internet!!

5. Use keywords and hyperlinks in your google+ posts. Also, use hashtags.

The first sentence of your Google+ post becomes part of the title tag, so when posting links to your blog posts on Google+, make the most keywords in the first sentence. See how I did that with this G+ post for my 25 Best Pumpkin Recipes blog post? I also put asterisks around my keywords — best pumpkin recipes — to make those words appear in bold type.

Optimize your Google+ posts for SEO.

Notice how I linked to the post AND THE PIN. This is a popular new Google+ trend, and I’m hopping on the band wagon. I like it as a publisher and as a reader. Pinning the post is a great way to bookmark something you want to find later, so this makes it easy for your audience to do that, while also encouraging sharing on another prominent social media platform so your posts get more exposure. Win, win!!

Also, I’ve seen a lot of people putting the hashtags below the copy, which makes it look neater, so I’ve started doing that rather than inserting them in the title as I used to do.

6. Use the +1 button liberally!

This is a fun one. When you’re on Google+ and scrolling down through other people’s posts, click that +1 button in the bottom lefthand corner beneath the photo whenever you see something you like — especially if it’s a topic within your niche. Rumor has it, when you +1 posts that are relevant to your niche, that increases your visibility in Google search results. It’s akin to the LIKE button on Facebook, but it has more weight. Also, when you have time, leave comments and tag the person you’re talking to.

Use the +1 button if the post is relevant to your niche.

7. Upload full size photos with your Google+ posts.

If you post a link to an article you’ve written, it will pull up a title and description and a little teeny thumbnail photo from the post — much like Facebook. To make your Google+ posts more visible and entice more clicks, it’s best practice to close the preview box and upload the best photo from your post instead. I’ve started doing this, and look at what a difference it makes!

This is okay:

WHAT NOT TO DO when posting to Google+

But this is MUCH better:

upload a full-size photo with your Google+ posts

8. Always share your posts with PUBLIC.

Don’t tag individual people or circles unless you want them to get an email. I do NOT recommend that. No one wants more email!!! So share your posts with PUBLIC. Also, this way you get more eyes on your posts, which means more sharing potential. YAY!

Make your Google+ Posts Public

9. Comment and interact.

Remember, Google+ is a SOCIAL network. Be social! Share others’ posts, click the +1 buttons when relevant, leave comments, and spread goodwill.

10. Write killer content.

Content is still king. The best advice for growing traffic is ALWAYS to write killer content, first and foremost. THEN use what time you have left to optimize your social networks.

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  1. says

    OK so I finally got google + and already like it better than Facebook…..BUT, I have a lot of learning to do! THank you thank you thank you for this post! Now let me scan my list of babysitters so I can buckle down one day, reread this post and learn everything I need to know!

  2. says

    Super tips! I am pinning so that I can come back later and work through each tip. I have both a Google+ profile and a Google+ page, the issue I have with the page is that you can only circle the people that has circled your page already, thus leaving me with only being able to circle people. So I have the page all prettied up but I prefer to use Google+ with my profile.

  3. says

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post. It cleared up so much for me and you have opened my eyes to the fact that I need to begin paying more attention to Google+. I am pinning for reference as well.

  4. says

    Fantastic advice, Jo-Lynne! I wish I’d had this when I started on G+, it’s such a confusing platform but your info is spot-on. I need to work on my profile for sure, thanks for the kick in the pants to get going on it.

  5. says

    Good walk through. I just saw somewhere that you can keyword optimize your cover photo. I think it was on Blogging 101. That’s on my G+ to do list along with +1-ing more. I need to set a time to pop in each day and interact.

  6. says

    Thanks for the great advice on G+ as well as taking the time to share it with all of us. I will be bookmaking this page so I can fallow the advice that you mentioned in this post. Just put this onto my blogging to-do list.

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