Do you want to improve your search engine optimization? Embracing Google+ should be on your short list of activities. Here are some ways your Google+ activity could potentially help with your search rankings:
Old-School SEO Applies
Be sure to fill in the information for your profile completely and by using keywords in the introduction.
Note that the first 55 characters of your introduction are important for search results within Google+ itself, so don’t clutter them with keywords – make it natural and appropriate.
Format your Google+ posts to make them look more enticing so that people will be more likely to click on them in Google search. Post about content relevant to your products and your audience.
Create titles for each post using bold formatting. You do this by placing a * at the beginning and end of what you want in bold
Do you have a +1 button on your website? The +1 button is Google’s much more powerful answer to the Facebook like because the number of +1’s a page gets will show up in search results, even if a searcher is not logged into Google+. Having the +1 button prominently available is very important for Google+ SEO optimisation, so make it easy to find and use.
Connect Your Page With Your Website
Connect your website directly to your profile. This can be done by adding some simple code in your website, which you can find in the Google help centre. This is likely to become even more important when Google Direct Connect rolls out.
Authors – Own Your Content!
If you create content on the web, one way to promote and ‘own’ that content is by claiming authorship. Simply add authorship connections from the blog post and other Web pages to your Google+ profile. This is something that is showing up in the search results, even when people are not logged into Google+.
There are two options for adding the authorship connection from your blog posts to your Google+ profile. The first is to add your email address on each page of your content and have that email address listed in your Google+ profile. Alternatively, you can link your content to your Google+ profile.
Regular Social Media Rules Apply – Create and Share Great Content
Like most things search related, Google values fresh content and this is even more important in social media, where the idea of social is also to be current. Company Google+ pages should add information, articles and posts regularly, to ensure freshness.
Growing Your Audience – It’s Not Just For Branding and Social!
Another way to keep your profile relevant and current is to participate in discussions, post to public, respond to engagement, create conversation and cultivate engagement.
This will also, hopefully, help grow the number of people in your circles – which in turn means that if they are searching for things relevant to your profile, you are more likely to turn up in their results. Search results influenced by ‘social’ like this means that your rankings can indeed be improved for relevant searches by your Google Plus audience.
Google Plus and Google Places
If possible, use the same Google Account you use for Google Places for your new Google Plus account.
Google Local Business Centre (or Google Places, whatever you like to call it), has now been merged into Google Plus – so all Local Business Listings are now Google Plus Places pages (aggh! Confusing!).
There is a bit of confusion on how to link your existing Google Places page with your Google Plus page, but Google says they will slowly be connecting them and it helps to have the same email address on both. If you don’t have them on the same address – you will have to wait for further Google advice.
Many of these tips – like growing your audience and adding the Google + button – will have limited success depending on the adoption of Google Plus by your audience, and how adept you are at interacting on the social level. But other suggestions, like the initial setting up of your profile, populating it with keywords, linking it to your website – these are all things which don’t require audience participation, and which could still help your SEO.