But, while Google does not command as large a slice of the social media pie, it does have a lot more elements that provide your business more value than say Twitter or Facebook, especially when it comes to increasing a website’s organic SEO traffic.
Here are a bunch of ways you can use Google+ for an SEO boost for your business.
#1: Personalised Searches
One of the most individual ways that Google+ helps businesses with their organic rankings is through a personalised search. Simply put, personalised search takes place when a user is logged into their Google account and as a result they see different results compared to what people would see when they are not signed in. This is because Google logs a user’s preferences when they sign into a Google account and tries to rework search results based on these preferences.
There was a study researched by Eric Enge in 2013 who found that some webpage results can be lifted higher for individuals that follow a user or business on Google+. This is because Google recognises a user’s preference for that particular business, or author and wants to display those subsistence higher when a query is typed into Google that already was answered or discussed by that business or individual.
#2: Google+ Local
Google+ local is Google’s social integration of a businesses into it’s social media platform. It can be very useful to set up a Google+ local profile page so you can get added exposure. When a user types in the name of the business or the services that the company offers, it triggers a knowledge graph that pulls data from the Google+ local page and adds it to the search results.
When a user types in the name of a service that is viewed to be geographically important to the user, Google will implement knowledge graph listings below search advertisements in the results page. If you hover over a particular business, it will set off an additional knowledge graph that overlays in the right trail of the search result page.
Brand Search Results
When a user types in the specific name of a company it triggers another knowledge graph. The information that is shown in a brand knowledge graph is more detailed than a service/product knowledge graph.
With brand knowledge graphs, the user will be able to see a Google+ profile picture of the company, or, if Google already has a picture of your picture in its database, it will show a map of where the business is, reviews from users, and business details like address and a phone number. All of this is all pulled from information on the Google+ business page.
Unlike other social networks like Twitter and Facebook, Google+ has their search bots crawl through each article / post in Google+. This keeps for content that has been posted on here to be discovered very quickly. In the same study by Eric mentions how he has witnessed his content being indexed faster by Google when he posts it into Google+.
Sometimes Google will index content 1-3 days more quickly if it is posted in Google+ right after launching the article on my client’s websites, but other times it doesn’t work.
#4: Google+ Ranks Your Social Media Posts
Not only is every post on Google+ crawled by it’s bots, but it is also indexed and then ranked into the search results pages. This helps in extending the value of each of your posts, and then makes it more important to get right. Google has ranked other social networking pages previously in the past but these are mainly just community and profile pages, not actual posts.
One advantage is there is no character limit on Google+ posts, so you can easily re-post your current website content, then post it on your Google+ profile page under a related keyword, and have the ability to rank twice on the same topic. How great is that!
#5: Gets Your Web Content Viral Quickly
Google+ may not be the biggest social media platform yet, but it’s network has some of the best engagement on the world wide web. This is true for webmasters and content writers that use Google+ communities to heighten their work and network with professionals.
Connecting with people and using Google’s advanced capabilities to share posts to certain audiences could be your best shot at using social media to market content to contributors, bloggers, and webmasters who then pick up and share the content on their websites.
#6: Keeping Up with SEO Best Practices
The world of SEO is always changing and it’s real important to keep up-to-date as best as you can on the latest news, trends and tools. Although Google+ may not have as many users as other social networks, it does have one of the most active communities on the web for SEO professionals, so do we need to say more.
From social communities like Technical SEO that has SEO pros and webmasters actively helping each other through optimisation issues, to Google’s own John Mueller, who is in charge of webmaster relations at Google, doing regular Google+ Hangouts to answer webmaster questions is one of the best ways to keep track of SEO best practices.
#7: Google+ Hangouts
Online videos have become very valuable to SEO these days. With Google+ Hangouts, recording and uploading an online video has never been so easier. Google+ Hangouts is a live video streaming utility and recording service where you and other Google+ users can get together to talk about topics, or have meetings. Best of all, it’s a completely free tool! Although the actual videos do not show up in the search results, you can still rank the actual post containing the video and automatically transfer your Hangout video to YouTube to get it ranked that way.
#8: Author Rank
Last year Matt Cutts, head of Google’s search spam team, mentioned of an intention for Google to start recognising authorities on certain subjects. In a video Matt recapped that intent and even added that Google will begin to rank pages based on that authority. Though it is unlikely that Google+ will be the only way that Google determines authority based on a user’s popularity within the social network, it is very likely Google+ will be tied into the algorithm somehow based on its current features and capabilities.
#9: Rich snippets
Another way to get recognised by Google+ is impacting search results via Authorship and Publisher rich snippet markups. By entering code to your website then linking to a website on your Google+ page, webmasters and writers have the capacity to integrate Google+ information like author name, Google+ follower count, and profile picture into the search engine results page.
As you can see that it is really important all businesses make the time and effort to register a Google+ page, it adds value to your online marketing and helps boost SEO. At DesignLab we now offer creating Google+ pages for all our customers, because we feel it is an important step to getting more hits.