Google Plus Is The Place To Be, Green Acre’s For Your Marketing
I know your singing the Green Acre’s theme song in your head. To tell you the honest truth, how in heck my mind associated Google Plus in Marketing with that song I have no idea. But it was fun and catchy none the less.
I have done a couple different posts about Plus and how its going to effect your marketing now and in the future. I did one covering the topic of Plus and SEO. I even did one or two on the value of the service as a social media site.
But truthfully I think I missed the boat when it came to actually giving you some tips you can put in your toolbox.
It’s one thing to write a blog post about a subject.
It’s something completely different to offer some high quality sound advice on implementation of a marketing plan that you can into use today.
So what I have done is compile some great resources of information for you.
I don’t suggest you hang out here and try to consume everything on one visit.
There is way too much for that.
Bookmark this page and come back.
And make sure you share it while your here using the social buttons your friends might be into social media marketing too and will thank you for it.
Google Plus In Marketing – AuthorRank
I have previously wrote about Google+ for your business before so I won’t go too crazy about the whole concept here. But I don’t want to miss the good stuff either. So I am going to add a bunch of different stuff.
Plus is a great system and for the best user experience I highly recommend that you use Google Chrome when your surfing the site.
Google authorship has been the rage of the marketing world for a while now. There have been tons of products, plugin’s, and general information published and promoted since the social network began.
But for those that don’t know its really simple.
Authorship is where you link the content you write on the web with your Plus account. Its a way to be able to put a face to your content in the search results.
Here is an example of one of my pages and how it the picture shows up.
Why is this important to know?
Well I am glad you asked.
You see when Google Plus was first launched there were many smart marketers and people involved in SEO who knew that Google would soon integrate their new social network with everything that they do.
And that is exactly what they did.
If you were just using YouTube for example. You now have a Google+ account.
It was sort of automatic after a while because they found a better way to manage all the accounts in their system.
As a side note, when they did that people were all up in arms about privacy issues. But the truth is that Google already had their information. Now they were just optimizing their own workflow. This ultimately made it easier for users to navigate from one Google service to another without have to log in at ten different places.
Back to authorship.
Ok so when Google announced authorship to the whole world there was a lot of speculation.
First it was really all about getting your picture to display on the search results. And there were a bunch of marketers who released a lot of data on how having a picture actually increased your search engine click through rate. Which of course meant more traffic for you.
But in the background Google actually had much bigger plans.
You see Google is about giving you the information you want the first time. And when there are tons of sites out there spamming the internet with junk that can be pretty hard to do. So with authorship, Google officially started the war against the spammers within their search results.
Now, with AuthorRank implemented into the search results. Google users are seeing more and more high quality content showing up. This is a good thing for you and me.
Its good because we no longer have to compete with the cheats. High quality content is getting ranked faster and higher. And our sites are content is getting indexed a lot faster.
So lets get your authorship set up on your site if you haven’t done it already.
You will find a great tutorial on how to do that here on the Quicksprout blog. (It will open in another window so if you want to get that set up now and come back don’t worry I’ll wait)
One other benefit is that you can use Google Analytics to track how your authorship “rank” is doing for you. And if you look inside Google Webmaster Tool you will see an section entitled Author stats that shows you all the content that is created where your authorship has been verified. Pretty cool display actually because this means that you can work with other webmasters who have it set up on their sites and really brand yourself in that particular field.
(This video is courtesy of Zane Miller and Joe Stone. Here is the free 5 day course if you want it – not an affiliate link – its really basic and I am going to give you just as much here. I thought it only fair to make it available to you since I used their video)
Your profile on Plus is really where all the magic happens.
Not really actually. More then likely you will set it up and never look at it again. But that’s ok really because once you do it you won’t need to look again.
Unless of course you reinvent yourself either surgically or virtually. But that’s a whole other post.
Ok so the first think that you should do is actually set up your profile.
Now if you plan on using authorship then your doing to need to use a real name.
When Google first came out with this new network they deleted profiles left and right if they were in the form an organization or business. This is actually a good thing because you actually get to link a face with content.
The next thing you need to do is get a cool looking cover photo.
Here is mine, I’m the devilishly handsome one on the bottom left.
Don’t think that your going to get away with putting some type of ad up there. Or some other type of call to action. Google will shut you down quick. Which will completely destroy your plans of world domination using Google Plus in marketing.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t get your account back. But take it from me, if they shut down your Google Plus account, all your other Google accounts are right behind it. So play it safe.
Branding is ok, like I did with mine here, but don’t be putting stuff up like “click my link”, “visit my website”, or any other stuff like that. Be smart.
Next we have to get the information in the About tab set up.
Now there are a couple schools of thought here.
1) You can go the spam, self indulgent route, and put a bunch of stuff about your latest and great business that you making thousands a week at.
2) You can actually tell people about who you are and what you can do to actually help them.
I went with number two as you can see from the image below. The image is also linked to my about tab on my profile so you can take my format and copy it. Use that as a template to create your own.
Couple things I want to point out in that image.
Do you see the line that says “Tagline”?
Well other than your picture, this is the first chance people get to learn more about what you do.
There are some people who put things like “Wife” or “Mother” or “Day Trader Making Millions”.
Then there are others who put something along the lines of “Making money online with X and X program let me show you how.”
The latter are the people I choose to ignore.
And most other people will as well when they see it as they hover over your picture like so.
Have fun with your tagline and let people know who you are. Not what your trying to shove down their throat.
As a note, when we get into circles and how to make them bigger and better for you. I tell you to avoid those people who market in their taglines. If you don’t, your inbox is going to get filled with trash. So don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The next thing I want to talk about is the work section in your profile.
The most important part of this whole section is your current occupation.
This is where you set yourself in the niche. Now this not as important as the tagline, which is used to help when searching for people in a market. But it does increase the likelyhood of your profile being found if searches are done for professions.
Below is what I put in. You see that I not only highlighted my areas of marketing expertise.
But I also had some fun with it. I suggest you do the same.
You can fill in as much or as little as you want in the rest. I put a few of places I have to worked. But didn’t really get into too much detail with the types of jobs there. You’ll also notice that I had a little fun in that section too, there is nothing wrong with letting your personality come out a bit.
The contact us section is just that. This is the way you want people to find you offline. In the real world.
Your going to have to make a decision here as to how much info you want to give.
I have my email and phone calls screened so it doesn’t matter if I give out my business number.
And more to the point, I want people to call, so why wouldn’t I want to give it out?
One thing you probably noticed is the little circle with the check marks in it.
This is notifying you that you have verified your email addresses as yours.
Its actually a good thing and something you will need to do if your going to create Google Local listings and other stuff. So go ahead and do it. I did it with both of those accounts and have not once received unwanted mail from the system so its safe.
Ok the last section I want to go over is the links section.
As you can see Google Plus allows you, rather encourages you, to link to all your other social profiles.
So do it.
This will allow people who prefer one of the other social mediums to contact you there as well.
Plus it will begin to show a pattern to your readers that, yes indeed, you are in the field that you say your in.
This part, the Contributor To, is the most important when we are talking about Authorship.
Every site that you write for should be listed here.
Its your content after all and you should get credit for it.
So when you do a guest post make sure you come back to your profile and add the site to this list. If the webmaster at that site is any good, authorship should already be set up, and then all you have to do is link your byline to your profile and your good to go.
Now on to Circles!!
When Facebook came out with the friends option this really wasn’t something new. But what about trying to manage a few thousand people by interest. I have only just over 1000 and trying to get them all added to the right list was just a pain. I worked on it for two days, and I can tell you now, what a complete waste of time.
And because of the Google Plus vs Facebook showdown things are getting better for users and Google Circles is really the answer to that.
And to tell you the truth, when I first started creating them I had a Facebook mindset.
But there are some things you can do to leverage circles right now that you’ll love me for telling you.
First, make sure you put people with like interests in the same circle. This is a no brainer, but most people I have added are bulked into a single circle I call internet marketing.
I did this because in the beginning I was getting a lot of requests and since I didn’t know their personalities or what they liked it seemed like the natural choice.
The problem with that was that 90% of what I was seeing in my stream was, well, garbage.
At least in my opinion.
This isn’t to say that they were not sharing some pretty neat stuff. It just wasn’t my flavor.
So I created a few circles about specific topics that I was interested in.
This allowed me to have a stream that I could use, not only to interact with people in my niche. But as well as a pretty good resource for information when writing about a topic. And, I searched out circles from other people who were being shared. This is pretty cool feature that you’ll get a lot of use out of.
Let me show you how.[leadplayer_vid id="51C459FB88FF5"]
A couple other things to note.
One, if you keep your circles below 50 people, when you share something with that circle you have the option of having the system send them an Google Gmail. This is pretty neat, but can be abused, so if you decide to take advantage of it make sure you actually sharing something they would be interested in. Not some landing page or offer which seems to be the norm for my inbox these days.
Two, keep your posting down to low roar. You don’t have to post 90 things a day. Two or three bits of information spread out over the whole day is fine. More often then not I might share some links or ask some questions one day. And then leave it alone for a couple days. Like Facebook, if you share too much and people don’t engage with you. They will most likely never see your content.
This feature was long awaited when Plus was launched. People, specifically marketers, where enjoying a lot of money and traffic coming from their Facebook pages. And they wanted to leverage that same power in the Plus network.
But Google did a really good job of making sure that people were the ones creating profiles. Not businesses so they took their time and thought out their page system.
One of the first things that they did was ensure that pages could not just add people to their circles.
I rather like this feature because it forces a business to go out and advertise their business. So that when that business page is added to someone’s circle you know that they truly do want the information that is provided. Thus a lot higher engagement and higher conversions to a website or sale.
In short make sure that you take advantage of this feature.
Another thing that you can do now it indicate publishers of a website.
For instance, this website is tied to my page. So not only do I get the authorship credit, but my brand as represented by my page gets publisher credit. Pretty cool huh?
If your in business in a local area then you really should be making sure that you use the Google Local service to highlight your business. Now that its directly integrated into not only search, but Google Plus you will see a rise in traffic and conversions depending on your market.
Of course just being in the listing won’t guarantee success.
But if your not in you’ll be guarantee’d your competition will be.
One of the cool things about this is that you get to integrate with the their maps system. I know you have seen on some of your searches where businesses where highlighted on a map. Well this is how you get your business on there. I did it for my local SEO service and it works out pretty well.
Commenting System On Your Blog
The most recent innotavtion from Google Plus is the ability to add their commenting system right on your blogs. Now the folks who are using the Blogger system have been able to take advantage for quite a while now. And some have seen some pretty good results from integrating it. And they have also reported an increase in traffic from Google Plus as well.
But until a while ago everyone else was sort of left out in the cold when it comes to leveraging them. Until now.
An pretty good developer came up with the Google+ Comments for WordPress plugin.
Of course in the beginning it was a bit of a pain to get running correctly on sites. But through trial and error and a lot of beta testing she runs pretty well.
You can do a couple things with this if you like.
One you can disable the built in commenting system on your site and just use the Google Plus comments. Or two, you can have both of the running that way those people who would like to seek a backlink from your site can use the native commenting system. Its really up to you. I like to have both on.
Facebook and LinkedIN have had groups for a long time. And if you use them correctly you can actually see tons of traffic coming in to your site from them alone.
But Google Plus certainly took its time in getting this feature set up.
Google Plus communities work just like Facebook groups. So if you find a couple that are right up your alley you should join and try to get some extra traffic.
I will tell you though, like Facebook groups, your going to have to qualify them for activity. There are tons of them out there and people started creating and joining them left and right. But the problem is that many of them are really low on the activity side. So, by looking for groups where people are actually talking to each other is best here.
It would be nice if Google Plus started a system where you would receive a daily digest email from the community like LinkedIN does. If they did that I am sure you will see a dramatic improvement in traffic.
Ok, I have saved the absolute best for last.
And if you made it this far you definitely deserve this section.
Have you ever attended a webinar? I am sure you have. Or how about watched some live streaming from a site like UStream? I have watched tons of those.
How would you like to have your own platform, for free, that you can do your own webinars or live streaming shows? And the best part is that you can leverage this system and put these up on your own website!! I don’t know about you but I am so excited about Hangout’s I just might pee myself LOL. <no peeing actually took place>
Tip: The first time you use Hangout’s your going to be asked to allow a Google Plus download. Allow it, it lets you use the system to its full potential and you will only have to do it once.
In order to provide you the most value I am passing this one off to my friend Ronnie Bincer. He is the absolute MAN when it comes to Hangout’s and how to use them. And the crazy thing is that he does all this for free. Now I am sure one day some joker will tell him that he should charge for his stuff. And I have no doubt that one day he will. But for today, we get his expertise right here free of charge. So watch both of these video’s and I know your going to be just as excited about Hangout’s as I am!!!
In this first video Ronnie and the gang will be calling out the parts and pieces that make up the new Google Plus Hangouts and giving them names.
They also discuss how the parts and pieces interact with each other and how things work now since the changes happened Mid-May 2013.[leadplayer_vid id="51C437D88A226"]
This second video is all about presentation. I know your going to love it.
One of the best ways to master the Google Plus Hangouts tool is to watch others use it and learn from what they do right and what they do wrong. The hangouts experts in this event have seen many shows and can tell you what works well and what does not.
It is a good idea to be a part of other people’s HOA shows before you host your own, and one way to do that is to be a filmstrip guest. Learn what it takes to be a great guest & you will get invited into live shows again and again. Doing many shows will get you used to the HOA structure and ready to run your own or simply be the best guest you can be to make a great impression.[leadplayer_vid id="51C438FEDE58D"]
Well that just about covers it.
By no means have I given you everything you need to know about Google Plus. But with the information you have now you certainly can get your account up and running and working for you properly.
Marketing inside this system is a really easy process. And once you get the hang of it I am sure your going to be able to leverage it for everything that its worth. Just remember a couple key points.
1) Don’t spam the site. People don’t want to read about how great your latest offer it. And quite frankly, they really don’t care. On this platform its all about sharing quality stuff. So do that, create video’s or blog posts about a problem they are having. Once you identify that, then show them how to solve it and perhaps how your offer might make that solution a whole lot easier.
2) Have fun, show a personality there. Your human (unless your a zombie) and so are the other people there. They live some very interesting lives just like you do. Don’t make it all about marketing.
Just remember, this service is not a Facebook killer. But Google Plus certainly does add to the every growing ways you can drive good solid traffic to your site through the host of tools that are offered today. Using Google Plus in marketing is surely here to stay and if you ignore it, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
P.S. If You Need A System to Help You Get in Front of More Prospects (and even profit from people that DON’T want to Join. Click Here to See What I Mean