With the new changes in Google’s algorithm, Google Plus is an increasingly important part of online visibility. According to Social Media Today, under Hummingbird, failing to establish a presence on Google Plus can really hinder your content’s rank and visibility on the search engine. There are plenty of ways that Google Plus allows you to integrate the platform into your larger content strategy while also providing unique opportunities for connecting with your readers or customers. Here are ten strategies for promoting your content on Google Plus.
1. Link Google+ to your blog. It’s a simple step, but linking your blog to Google+ streamlines the process of building a presence on the social media platform. Make each post visible to the public on Google+ when it’s published and you not only make the post more searchable on Google, you also start to build the authority associated with your own name or brand as well.
2. Use hashtags. Just like on Twitter and Instagram, using hashtags with your posts helps you synch with trending topics and makes it easier for new readers to find you when they look for topics relevant to your content.
3. Write posts to encourage crossover. Longer posts within Google+ generate greater reader response and a higher SEO rank. Create better content on Google+ itself by writing posts on your profile that also encourage readers to click over to your blog or website. For example, post a review or tutorial and send readers to your blog or store for more information or resources. Not only do you encourage a better following on Google+, you also strengthen the link between your brand’s website or blog and your Google+ profile and increase the authority of your site through the linking.
4. Promote reader engagement. End posts with questions, post polls, or offer giveaways to readers who share their feedback, ideas, or tips. Promoting reader engagement can help you build your circles, authority, and crossover from Google+ to your website.
5. Use repeatable campaigns. Make use of hashtags in repeatable campaigns to create content on a schedule that readers can predict and interact with. For example, #FirstFriday and #ThrowbackThursday are popular hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram that you can crossover to Google+ too. You can also create your own hastags to suit your content and use them to promote reader engagement with your regular features.
6. Tag people and brands directly. When you respond to reader questions or comments, tag them so they know you’re following-up. If you have a question or feedback for a specific product or brand, tag the brand to make your posts more visible and linkable. Interaction on Google+ helps build your presence and your overall visibility.
7. Know your audience. Google+ provides you with tools like Ripples and Circles so you can see who your audience is. And it might not be who you’re assuming it is. Use these resources and Google Analytics to get a sense for who your followers and readers are. Knowing your audience can help you fine tune your content to better appeal to and engage your audience.
8. Make your content visually appealing. One of the biggest way to draw attention to your posts is with attention-grabbing visuals. The use of white space in Google+ makes pictures and infographics really stand out. Make sure your blog posts shared on Google+ have a vivid visual to go with them to promote readers clicking over to your site. You can also share photos on Google+ itself to draw in more engagement with your brand or personal page.
9. Take advantage of hangouts. Use a Google Hangout to really connect with your audience directly. For example, the beauty subscription service Birchbox hosted a Google Hangout with makeup artist Manna Kadar and later posted it to their YouTube channel. Nonprofits can use Hangouts to host meetings with grassroots teams or community organizations. Later, you can transform your Hangout into awesome content by embedding a recording on your blog or posting it to other social media.
10. Make sure your Google+ page is easily found. Finally, none of these strategies will work very well if your Google+ page is hard to find. Make sure your audience can find your page by using badges and banners prominently on your blog, website, and other social media pages.
For more on the basics of Google+, check out Guy Kawasaki’s Entrepreneur article on getting started or My Web Writer’s other blog posts, How Should My Business Use Google+? and Better Understanding Google Analytics.