I have been an active user on Google+ for the past year, and I have grown to love it! There are advantages to every social media, which means that you should try to utilize them all, if you can!
I remember when I first started using Google+, I was so confused by the circles and communities, that I ignored G+ for a while. However, now I use it all the time! But I also see other bloggers frequently say, “I don’t know what I am doing over there, and I’m too busy right now, so I’m sticking with what I know.” And I understand that! But let me try to lay out a few posts for you that will help you learn the importance of using Google+ and information that will make it a little less confusing.
First, let me say that I had been thinking about writing on Google+ for a while when a LinkedIn group that I am in (Social Media Marketing Networking Club, started and managed by Social Media Examiner) posed the question,
Like Google+? Tell us why.
There’s a lot who say Google+ is not for them. But then there’s a few who swear by it.
Please share with us what is it that you do with G+ and what are your strategies? Why do you like it?
This topic is specially for Google+ supporters who have seen growth from there.
I commented in the group that I loved G+ and was going to write a post about it and use some of the comments in the post. So some of the following bullet points are ideas taken from that group with some extra explanation or expounding on the topic.
- SEO benefits — SEO Hackers says,
Google will really try to integrate the social signals they can extract from Google plus into their search engine rankings. Here are some of the reasons why:
–It’s easier to measure social signals from Google Plus because they own it.
–It’s easier to tweak stuff in Google Plus in order for them to get better social signals to integrate into their ranking factors.
–People would be driven to use Google Plus due to the fact that it will have more bearing in search engine social signals factor.
Basically, every time your post gets +1’d on Google+, it moves your post up higher in Google search. There are other ways to optimize your Google+ page and/or profile to help with SEO, which we can get into in another post.
- Link to your YouTube channel in your profile/page and your YouTube channel links to your G+ account as Google owns YouTube.
- Claim Authorship of your content — HERE Google shows how to claim Authorship.
- Unique circles for different niches or topics or interaction — When you post, you can share your posts or messages to just one circle. You can even send an email to a certain circle. Be careful not to send emails too often though or it will be considered spam. I never send emails to my circles. You can customize how much you want to see of a certain circle’s content in your feed. I will show you how in another post.
- Relevant communities for your business and interests — When I first joined Google+, I joined a WordPress community. Any question I had about WordPress, I could ask there and actually get some answers! There are foodie communities for bloggers, mommy blogging communities, sharing communities, and even communities just for Google+. I love the format of Google+ communities more than the format of Facebook groups, even though I am in great Facebook groups. I’ll discuss communities in a later post.
- Google hangouts — These are great! Some are only viewable at the time that the hangout is live. Most of them can be watched live or later on YouTube. This past weekend, there was the great Second Annual Virtual Bloggers Conference headed up by +Chef Dennis Littley. There were 12 great Hangout on Air sessions with experts on the various subjects. I only managed to catch parts of two of them, but they can be watched later on YouTube. I’ll share some of my favorite HOA (Hangout on Air) hosts in a later post. You can learn so much information for free plus network with other bigger bloggers by asking questions and leaving comments while the Hangout is live.
- The ability to plan events easily — I love this feature and will share how it is different from Facebook and how I use it for my parties in a later post
- Hashtag friendly — I love this feature for the Google+ parties that I run.
- Google Docs can be used on Google+. I use them in my communities. I’ll share how I do this on a future post.
- Google+ search is awesome! You can search by hashtag or by topic; therefore, posts are much easier to find on G+ than on Facebook.
- Ads do not cover up your posts like they do on Facebook posts.
- Engagement — bloggers seem more engaged on Google+. I think this is because they actually see your posts!
- Traffic to your website — at first, it may not look like you get traffic, but as you get into more communities and grow your circles, traffic will come.
- Free — your post on Google+ is delivered to all the followers that you direct it to (to the public or to you individual circles).