Social Media Best Practices Guide: Google+
Our second entry in the Social Media Best Practices Guide series walked you through the 140-character ins and outs of Twitter. This installment will focus on optimizing your brand’s Google+ account. Google+ has attracted less of a following than Twitter or Facebook, but its association with Google means that maintaining an active page can help your search ranking in unexpected ways.
Optimization Tips for Google
Establish Google authorship. This is particularly relevant if your site maintains an active blog (or if employees of your brand blog for your site on other domains). To set up Google authorship:
1) Establish Google+ profiles for all the authors that update your blog and post on behalf of your blog on third party sites.
2) Add recognizable photos to authors’ Google + profiles. These are the photos that will show up next to their posts in Google.
3) Add the sites the authors post to on their Google + profiles
- Log into profile
- Click on the “About” tab of the profile
- Under the “Links” section, click “Edit” and the URLs of the sites on which they post
- Make sure that the author’s name is present on any site to which they link, and that it matches their Google + profile name
4) Verify authorship
There are two ways to verify authorship. You can verify via email address (this only works if your blog domain is the domain of the address). To do this, follow this link to verify authorship.You can also verify by adding the following code to the sites on which the author is posting. The author must link to their Google+ profile by adding the following code to any page they contributed to:”a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Google+. Just include HTML brackets on either side of the code.
5) Check that authorship is working
- Use the Structured Data Testing Tool.
- Just have the author enter the URL for the page for which they’ve claimed authorship, and the tool will show how the page shows up in search. In addition to seeing their G+ picture and name in the result, the tool will say “Authorship is working for this webpage”.
Additional Practices for Optimizing G+
- Verify your Google+ page as a business account, which will result in Google searches for your brand name revealing an ad linking to your Google+ page. To verify your G+ page, follow this link.
- Update your Google+ page at least once a day.
- Ask your clients for positive feedback and use it to populate the “reviews” tab.
- Google+, like Twitter and now Facebook, allows the use of hashtags in posts. Include relevant hashtags where appropriate—one or two per post is fine.
- Vary your content—include videos and pictures along with text-only posts.
- Add new events (webinars, conferences, etc.) to your account as they come up.
Since Google+ has traditionally been a less active platform than Twitter or Facebook, follower interaction will require a comparatively smaller time investment. Nevertheless, a well-implemented Google+ account will be a boon to your SEO efforts.
Have any G+ tips or experiences to pass along? Leave us a comment!