8 Ways to Boost Search Rankings with Google+
Google is constantly updating its search algorithm and it’s challenging to stay current on developments while preparing for changes that are yet to come. Google recently announced that the company has plans to give ranking boosts to sites that are experts in certain industries or channels. One space where we can speculate Google will focus is its own Google+.
How can your brand gain authority on Google+ and receive potential ranking boosts?
Build Your Circles
In a world dominated by Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, building an audience on a less-adopted channel, like Google+, is still a strong social strategy. Google+ popularity is growing and some of its most active enthusiasts could become your brand’s biggest proponents. Similar to how you built your Twitter following, spend time in Google+ adding users to your Circles. While follow-back rate won’t be 100 percent, this is still a helpful method in raising brand awareness.
Share Strong Content
Google+ posts should align with Google’s bread and butter – relevant and timely content. Show that you are an expert by posting content that is useful to your followers. The best way to reach high engagement is when your followers are motivated to share your content with their circles.
Engage with Your Audience
Google+ is no longer the new kid on the block, but its user base is constantly changing. Your brand’s Google+ followers will not be the same as your Facebook fans. This provides you with an opportunity to create content that resonates with this specific audience and drives +1s or comments. With such an evolving community, brands have the unique opportunity to ask Google+ users what types of content they’d like to see from the brand. Posts with photos, videos or links make content richer and asking questions to start the discussion will lead to more engagement.
Once you’ve built a follower base on Google+, segment these audiences to target them with the right messages. Google+ allows custom creation of Circles for segmentation. For example, your brand could have one Circle that is just for employees and another for customers. You can use Google+ Hangouts to engage with your community in a unique way and increase brand engagement. Hosting a Hangout with your company’s CEO or other interesting spokesperson could drive significant interest and show authority.
Extend Your Reach
Interacting with your audience and engaging with other relevant brands will help you extend your network. When someone in your audience comments on one of your posts, offer a response in your brand voice. You are showing that you are interested in your audience and care about what they have to say. Additionally, if one of your followers or another brand shares a piece of content that you find interesting, provide a simple +1 or comment to engage from your brand’s perspective.
Encourage Site Visits
Place a Google+ Badge on your website that redirects users to your Google+ page. In cases where you say, “Like us on Facebook,” also say, “Find us on Google+.” If your brand sends out a newsletter or email, include a call-to-action inviting customers to follow you on Google+.
Take Advantage of Content You Publish
Every time your brand publishes content, link back to that content on Google+. Google+ offers clear instructions to ensure that you’re getting the most out of published content.
Google Analytics track social engagement through Social Sources reports, allowing you to determine what types of interactions are taking place on your brand page. Tracking engagement metrics with Google+ will give you perspective into what content strategies are working best.
The jury may still be out on the value of Google+, but we think it is here to stay and will only become more important to Google search rankings. With updated capabilities and a seamless integration into Google’s other functionalities, new users will keep joining the platform and engaging with brand content.