Modern business courses will tell you that the marketing landscape of business has radically changed with the rise of Social Media. Unlike traditional marketing campaigns that were ridiculously costly, social media is the free, unbiased tool that is available to industry giants and small businesses alike.
Businesses have already tapped the potential of social media by including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in their content strategy. But there’s another kid in town that will rise to power: Google+.
Since Google+’s launch in late 2011, it has been steadily growing in the number of users. As of January 2013, Google+ has outranked Twitter and was proclaimed as the #2 social network after Facebook (statistics according to Global Web Index). If Google+ isn’t a part of your content strategy yet, we’ll give you some reasons why you need to jump into the bandwagon…
You know the saying, “Love your own?” Well, it doesn’t just apply to family, because Google does it as well. As it stands, Facebook is the dominant force of social media, but Google isn’t going to concede that easily. Since Google+’s launch, Google has been using its influence to persuade more and more people to use Google+. How? By indexing/ranking results from Google+ faster than those from other social media.
Rand Fishkin said that, “Google+ is the new Google Submit URL box.” It was only rumored that new URLs with content shared on Google+ were crawled instantly, but this rumor is no myth – if you want new URLs to be indexed very quickly, share content on Google+.
Google has really leveraged Google+ by integrating into their search engine algorithm – now, when you search in Google, you can “show personal results”. These are results are content that was shared/posted in Google+. If when you are signed out of your Google+ account, it shows you the “personal results” in the sidebar categorized as People and Pages on Google+.
Google+ is great for your content strategy because Google is really working to put Google+ at the forefront of online activity – even in Google SERPs. However, getting at the top of this new kind of SERP will require SEO, which we will elaborate on next.
To rank higher as a “personal result” you can SEO your Google+ profile. With regard to keywords, you should know that there are 4 places in your profile where keywords matter for ranking: Introduction, Education, Employment and Places. So, make sure to pump in some good keywords in these key places.
Optimize your Google+ Circles. Just like link building, the way you can optimize your Circles is by getting high-quality people in your circle. How do you do this? Well, just like in blog commenting, really engage and comment often on posts that these people share. If you have high quality work, you can share this as well. The goal is for these people to notice you so that they will put you in their circle.
Search Plus Your World is again a well-played strategy by Google in order to get more people to use Google+. When you click on the Learn how you could appear here too at the end of the People and Pages on Google+, you are immediately directed to Google sign-up page – nice bait from Google eh?
As more and more people jump the Google+ bandwagon, you get bigger chances of exposure to your target market. And with Google+’s Circles, you can narrow down your prospects to harness quality leads.
Google+ Circles is a great feature. This allows you to segment people into particular groups which can help you organize your target market better. For example, you can categorize them into Customers, Prospects, VIPs etc. You can share specific posts only to a Circle so that you can track which strategies are working and which aren’t.
Though Facebook is clearly in the lead in the social media battle for dominance, Google is pulling everything in its arsenal to leverage Google+ to a closer fight with Facebook. It won’t be long when these 2 platforms will be head to head, hopefully by then, you’ve made the choice to include Google+ in your Content Strategy.
+Tony Evans is a freelance web designer, a graduate of Project Management at Upskilled Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Athena. She has a passion in Aerobics and cooking healthy recipes.