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Sunday, November 23, 2014

12 Things You Should Do on Your Personal Google+ Account Right Now

Thought of the Day: "Sun is bad for you. Everything our parents said was good is bad. Sun, milk, red meat... college." - Alvy Singer, Annie Hall

12 Things You Should Do on Your Personal Google+ Account Right Now by Neil Patel, from Kissmetrics

Like it or not, Google+ is becoming more important in the digital marketing landscape. Google+ is not just a Facebook redux. Instead, it comprises a huge part of the social milieu of your online experience. Google+ has subtly creeped into your emailing, browsing, article writing, creating Google+ business pages, and a variety of other activities across the web.

I think its more important than ever before for digital marketers to embrace the potential of Google+, and use it to its full advantage. Google+ at 540 million users now trails Facebook (1 billion users) as the second-largest social network, but its impact extends far beyond social sharing and interaction.

If you've been delaying, skeptical, or plain disgruntled with Google+, don't worry. I'm doing to share 12 tactical things that you can do to bring your Google+ existence to a new level. Even if you're an early adopter with frequent posting habits, I think you'll find this article helpful.

1. Use a headshot for your profile picture.

Don't use anything other than a headshot in your profile pic. I realize the appeal of placing a picture of your child, dog, or a cartoon image, but it's not our best choice for Google+. Google uses a circular to crop the image, so keep in mind when you select your photo. Your headshot along with basic information about you will appear all over the place in Google+. Please note, as of June 25, 2014, Google states that they are dropping author pics from search results.

2. Add a high-res cover photo.

The cover photo on your Google+ profile is important, because it covers a lot of real estate. I recommend that your create a customer Google+ cover photo, rather than simply load a scenic photo form your recent vacation. Whatever the case, please don't continue using stock cover photo provided by default. Here are some specific tips for creating a good Google+ cover photo.

  • Use keywords in your cover image filename.
  • Make the image 2120 x 1192.
  • Add a caption to the cover photo.
  • Share the image as a photo post on Google+. When you do this, the cover photo will be directly linked to your personal profile.
3. Get a vanity URL.

A Google+ vanity URL is a short and easy to remember URL. Read these detailed instructions on how to claim your custom URL.

4. Add more people to your circles.

The more people you have in your circles, the more likely it is that people will follow you back. Your number of your followers is public data. The number of people your follow is not public data (unlike Twitter). A higher follower number tends to increase your trustworthiness and reputation. To add people to your circle, just click the "Add People" icon in the top right your Google+ account.

5. Become more accessible.

If you're using Google+ as a marketing tool, and not just to update your family members, then you need to improve your accessibility. Go to your profile, then "settings." Here, you can turn on following visibility and sharing options.

6. Completely fill out your story.

The "story" section of your profile is a rich opportunity for keywords, links and information about you. Yes, Google indexes this content. Yes, it's important to have everything completely filled out. The more filled out your information, the better you'll be found and accessed in Google+ search and general online searches. Obviously, you don't want to keyword stuff your profile, but you do want to have plenty of relevant search terms and information.

  • Brief tagline - Nothing more than one line about who you are and what you do.
  • Full introduction - This is where to add the most text. Include plenty of information about where you've been and what you've done. You should include hyperlinked text, even thought the links are nofollowed. Add links to your company and your personal website, and other places where you are active. Use headings and other formatting features where appropriate.
  • Bragging rights - A line or two about everything awesome you've done. You real accomplishments should be in your "Introduction" section.
7. Share content to get it indexed.

Google indexes shared Google+ content very quickly. According to rumor and some anecdotal evidence, any new URL shared on Google+ is crawled right away. When you share your new content as a post, pages, products, articles etc. - Google will index it faster.

8. Fill out all your contributor information.

I've written elsewhere about how authorship is a big deal. Make it even bigger. Make sure you've completely filled out all the websites to which you've contributed content.

9. Be active.

The best way to maintain a strong Google+ presence is to regularly post content. But beyond just content posting, its helpful to do the following:
  • Add photos. Keep a running photo album on Google+ increases your visibility and engagement on your profile.
  • YouTube videos. One of your public profile tabs is your YouTube account. This an an excellent way to improve your personal marketing.
  • +1s. Anything that you +1 on the web can be viewed by others, provided your settings have been adjusted accordingly.
  • Create reviews. Any establishment you you review on Google+ can be seen by others. Consistently reviewing places show you are engaged and active.
10. Get noticed by others.

Anyone who is logged into Google has a notification center. They will get notifications from time to time. if yu want to get noticed by other people, specifically those who you have in your circles, you can make their notifications center light up. How? Continue reading...

Google+ is a huge tool for marketing today, and its predicted that it's going to grow in importance down the road as well. You should maintain a steady presence on Google+ just as you are active on Facebook and Twitter. What have you found to help in using Google+? Please share in your comments below.

To your success,

Social Media by Nicky