One-year of Google +
As we have approached one-year on since the introduction of Google+, we thought we would take it upon ourselves to publish a White Paper which explores the best methods to use the platform as marketers. We have inevitably witnessed discussions about the success, or lack of it, of Google+. By Kelvin Newman.
By Kelvin Newman
Opinions have been varied yet all have feasible arguments. It’s hard to argue though that the site is the runaway success the team at Mountain View might have hoped for. However there is no question that it is a viable service, and one which I fully expect to continue to rise in popularity with marketers - especially if you’re interested in performing better in the natural search results. I know personally that as a marketer, it’s a missed opportunity if I'm ignoring Google+.
Google+ is not only another means to expose your business to potential customers; it will also help your Marketing team achieve their SEO objectives. Marketing Directors need to consider the opportunity and act accordingly including claiming the company listing, communicating directly with the target audience, sharing content, and designing a strategy for how their CEO should engage, if at all.
Our White Paper has explored every opportunity on the platform that are available to marketers; and if these opportunities are overlooked, it could see a business fall behind its competitors who are already making the most of these growing social spaces. Tools such as Social Crawlytics enable users to get a sense of what assets are being built by your competitors and which are getting picked up socially. This provides a platform on which to learn from your successes and then work those findings into a content strategy.
So, why a White Paper on Google+? Well, the verdict is that it’s here to stay, and if that’s the case, then companies need to start investing time and effort into it with the expectation that it will influence natural search results. As more people share content on social networks, it becomes a better indicator of the ‘best’ content the search engines want to return. Building an audience on Google+ may be the smartest thing you do as a content marketer when it comes to improved search rankings. However, you still need to understand the language of your audience and reflect it back in your content, but Google will now have direct indications that you’re putting out quality stuff.
There have already been a number of studies suggesting that social signals such as ‘tweets of links or likes of a page’ are correlated with high rankings. Two well-known studies from SEOmoz and SearchMetrics point out that this correlation does not mean there is a causal relationship - i.e. just because a page has good social signals doesn’t mean it will rank highly. A way to illustrate this is the fact that Facebook ‘Likes’ have been found to correlate well with rankings despite Google having no authorised way of accessing this data. Therefore it is unlikely to be using it to determine rank. However, the relationship between the two data points is still very significant and if it’s a metric which indicates ‘high quality’, it’s one the search engines will look to integrate into their algorithm. Whether this is now or the immediate future matters little if you are trying to carry out long-term sustainable campaigns.
There are six things to do which will get you started with your Google+ strategy:
- Claim your Google+ Local listing
- Create a branded and optimised Google+ page that has the correct anchor text. This will have SEO benefits for your website.
- Follow your clients, key stakeholders and competitors.
- Ensure every page on your website has a Google+1 button to allow other Google+ users to share your content
- Promote your Google+ page by linking to it from your websites, email footer, newsletters and other social media platforms.
Google has transformed into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. This rapid evolution means that it is vital to have a profile in the new world of Google+ to help your content reach a wider and more connected audience than ever before.
About the author
In his role as Strategy Director at SiteVisibility, Kelvin Newman is responsible for iTunes most popular Internet Marketing Podcast, downloaded by over million people. On the show he’s collaborated with a number of the world’s most respected marketers including Seth Godin, Tim Ferris, Danny Sullivan & Jakob Nielsen.
Kelvin has delivered presentations across the UK & Europe at events like A4U, SMX London and SASCON, regularly contributes to State of Search & Econsultancy and is heavily involved with SiteVisibility’s innovative search marketing campaigns for clients such as Hotels.com, FindaProperty, Gala Bingo & uSwitch. He also runs the hugely oversubscribed BrightonSEO conference which sells over 1,000 tickets in less than an hour and has written a free book on link building called ‘Becoming a Clockwork Pirate’.