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Acing Social SEO: A Brand’s Guide to Getting Started on Google+

Social search has arrived. With the release of Facebook’s Graph Search, Twitter’s keyword targeting in timelines, and LinkedIn’s recent search update, the line between SEO and social media is blurred at best.  This brings us to the realm of social SEO, where Google+ is the oldest player in the game at just 2 years old. If your brand has yet to give the platform a try, now is the time to get started.

 

How to Get Started:

Ready to build a Google+ Page? Follow our step-by-step set-up guide:

1.  First, start by creating an individual Google+ profile. If you already have a Gmail account you should be able to access your corresponding Google+ account from the top navigation bar:

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Once in your Google+ account, hover over ‘More’ on the left hand side navigation bar and select ‘Pages’:

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From here, you should be able to click the red ‘Create New Page’ in the top right corner. Congrats! You’re already on your way to creating a new Page.

2. Now, you’ll be prompted to pick a relevant Page type and category from the following options:

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Then select the corresponding subcategory:

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3.  Enter your brand name and list your company website:

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4. Finally, optimize your profile content. Create a complete, keyword-rich ‘About’ section, including links to your website, social media channels, and blog. Be sure to add a custom, eye-catching profile image and cover photo design that is consistent with your branding. Your basic Google+ profile is now complete! Now it’s time to actually do something with it. Take a look at our recommendations to build the right Google+ marketing strategy for your brand.

 

Recommendations

Building a solid Google+ presence early will give marketers a leg up on the expansion of social search. Our team recommends creating an active brand presence on Google+ to take full advantage of the social network’s impact on SEO. Now that you’ve created a Page, here are a few tips to get your Google+ marketing strategy off the ground:

  • Fresh content is important. Update your profile with pictures, videos, and links to quality, industry relevant content at least several times a week. Posting at least twice a week will earn you extra SERP real estate on branded searches within Google. Check out the example on a search for ‘Ford’:

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  • Take advantage of Google+ Circles. Decide how to best segment your audience and create a Circle for each group. Personalized content will encourage engagement with increase user relevancy.
  • Hangout with your customers and clients. Hangouts on Air are the unique feature driving users to Google+. Identify creative ways your brand can leverage this function to connect with your audience.
  • Explore Google+ Communities. Google introduced ‘Communities’ to the Google+ platform in December 2012. ‘Communities’ is Google’s answer to LinkedIn Groups. Users can gather to discuss the topics that matter most to them. Although still in the early stages, we’ve found ‘Communities’ to be a great outlet for brands to discover niche online communities that are passionate about a particular industry and/or product.
  • Link your YouTube channel to your Google+ Page. A YouTube tab will be integrated with your page where your video uploads will be synchronized with your page. Linking accounts will enable live-streaming Google+ Hangouts on Air, Google+ sharing features on YouTube, and annotation links to your Google+ Page.
  • Integrate the +1 button with your website. The more shares, +1’s, and followers you gain, the more likely your business will show up as a recommended search.
  • Implement Google Authorship markup. Google authorship essentially allows Google+ users to link their individual profiles to content they publish online, possibly resulting in a featured listing within Google search results, like the Wired example shown below:

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In addition to higher on-page SERPS placement for logged in users with relevant connections, early results have shown an increased CTR, as well.

Hopefully we’ve got you feeling inspired! Launch a Google+ Page today and add us to your circles. See you on Google+.