Google+ Guide for brands
When Google launched its social network, G+, we all knew that having a social presence there would be a valuable asset in our social portfolios. But with recent advances in Google’s search algorithm that are including social as a major factor, G+ just became an even bigger player. Let me explain.
Where your site appears in search rankings is determined by the way in which Google and other search engines “read” your site. They look at a variety of factors from what works appear on your site to how many links your site receives to how often you update your content. But now, they are also looking to see what kind of social activity your site generates. In other words, does anyone care?
A major factor in the social discussion is how many Google Plus users have shared your site.
Overview of Google+
Google+ has several factors that you need to understand.
Circles: Circles is the terminology that Google+ uses to organize your contacts. Via Circles, you can organize your contacts into different tranches such as employees, customers of different product lines or associated with different projects, vendors, and other allies of your business.
Updates: Updates work similarly to status updates on Facebook. You can type a short (or longer) update on new products, an upcoming sale, a big event, a new hire, and more.
Shares: Shares allow you to bookmark great content and push it out to your network. This is a good way to disseminate information that you think will be of interest to your target market.
Hangouts: Hangouts is a feature that works like a group chat, except that there is a video component and you can see everyone that participates at the same time. If you work in coaching or are doing a teleconference to promote a new product, this can be a way to make a virtual event feel very in-person.
How Do I Get Started on Google+?
Getting started on Google+ is easy. Here is your step by step guide to getting things started:
1. Visit the Google+ for business page at http://www.google.com/+/business/ and click the Create Your Google+ Page button.
2. You will then be prompted to sign into your Google account.
3. Once you are logged in, you’ll be taken through the steps of creating a public profile including your first and last name, gender, and a photo if you choose. Once you’ve filled out everything, click the “Upgrade” button.
4. If you don’t have an existing Google+ account associated with that Google log-in, you’ll need to go through the process of adding existing contacts to your circles, selecting interests, and filling out your profile. Just push through, and bear in mind that your customers can see this information so choose accordingly.
5. You will eventually be taken to the Create a Page section. Begin by choosing what category of business you own or want to promote.
6. You’ll then fill out a page name, include your website, choose a subcategory if appropriate, and set any access restrictions (anyone can see it, over 18, over 21, or alcohol related). Make sure to agree to the terms & services, and then click create.
7. You’ll then have the chance to add a tagline and icon photo.
8. Invite people from your circles, and then you’ll have a created page with the options to make posts, add photos, videos, and more.
Interested people will be able to follow your work on Google+, which will not only help you reach new audiences but will make a positive impact on your search rankings as well.
Written by Elizabeth Hooper.
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