Google Plus is a Must: You Can’t Afford to Ignore Google+ 3

+ 1Contrary to some opinions, you don’t have to make a choice between Facebook and Google+. It is not a matter of Google+ vs Facebook. You can continue to use Facebook as you always have while expanding your reach via your Google+ account.

Google’s +1 is equivalent to the Facebook likes system. Just as Facebook likes are a tally of how many people have approved of something you have published on the Internet, so too is the Google +1 a popularity indicator.

Why Use Google Plus

This post provides a Google+ guide to help you get started but before we look at the guide, it is a good idea to be sure about why we want to have a Google+ presence.

The benefits are very compelling. I don’t think anyone can afford to ignore Google+ as a social network, particularly given the immense impact it is having on search and SEO.

Here are some of those compelling reasons for becoming active on Google+:

  • You only have to look at a survey posted on the Moz Blog to see how important Google+ is with respect to ranking factors. In their survey results, they record that:

Social signals were some of our highest correlated factors, with Google+ edging out Facebook and Twitter.

  • The membership on Google+ is not to be sneezed at.
    According to the infographic below, that lists Google+ statistics, there were at least 500 million registered users by the end of 2012. In September of last year, the figure passed the 1 billion mark (Dustin Stout).
  • Google+ authorship ties you, the author, to every piece of content that you publish. Articles with a verified author, can rank higher than those without.
    In fact, Jeff Sauer, of, provides us with a very interesting case study that looks at the correlation between Google authorship and traffic.
  • The interface is so easy to use.
    As soon as you have published your latest post, you can share it on Google+ with absolute ease. There is no need to upload a relevant photo; your site is scanned and the photo found for you.
  • Google+ is included in Klout’s algorithm.
    • Klout provides a score that reflects your level of social engagement across a number of platforms.
  • Google+ provides an ideal tool for connecting with your target audience. It has many features that allow you to promote your brand and to communicate with your customers from your ‘remote office’.

Google Plus for Business

Google+ provides you with an excellent way to reach out to your target audience and thus contact both existing clients as well as many, many new potential customers. You can effectively set up a virtual office by utilizing the Google+ hangout feature for meetings and the like.

In a conventional store-front setup , businesses need to spend significant amounts to advertise their products and/or their services. Google+, which of course is free to set up, can be a very cost effective way to get the word out about your product and your brand. You can let a huge untapped audience know about the services that you offer as a business.

This is true for other social media platforms as well, however Google+ offers some unique features that specifically appeal to businesses. The hangout feature is just one of them.

Your business most likely has a presence on Twitter and/or Facebook already. If so, then you would already have a number of followers. Take advantage of this by informing them about your new business page on Google+. Let them know that this is a new way for them to follow you and to keep up-to-date with your offerings.

If you are running your own business or if you have been given the task to become Google+ savvy by your employer, then you might like to look at Google Plus Essentials

Google Plus Help

Like any new platform, it is a lot easier if you have some guidelines to follow. This Google Plus guide consists of 3 preliminary steps that can get you started; they don’t take very long.

  1. A Gmail Account
    All you need to get started is a gmail address.

    If fact, if you already have a gmail address ( then it is quite possible that you already have a Google+ account.

    Here is how to check:

    • Enter this URL in your browser window:
      Login if prompted to do so.
    • Look for the phrase ‘Share What’s New …’

      Google+ Account
      If you don’t see this phrase, then you need to join Google+ by setting up your profile.

  2. Google+ Profile
    If you already have a gmail account (an email address), then you simply update/edit your Google public profile. Your profile requires both your first and last name.

    You can edit your profile by finding it in the drop down choice of menus.

    Google+ Profile

    Fill out the About section in your profile. You will see that there are various sections that you can complete such as:
    * People
    * Story
    * Work
    * Education
    * Basic Information
    * Places
    * Links
    * Apps with Google+ Sign In
    * Contact Information

    Be sure to complete the Links section, in particular the Contributor section, as this is where you can link to your blog or website.

    You can customize your profile by either selecting a different cover image from the provided gallery or by uploading a new photo that you would like to use.

  3. Google+ Authorship
    Provide a link to your Google+ profile in your About page on your website and in the Author bio on any site that you publish to.

    To do this in WordPress, just click Users – Profile and you can add the relevant information in the About You – Biographical Info box.

    <a href=””> Google+</a>

    The URL for your google+ page or profile used to contain a lengthy series of digits such as:

    But now, you have the option of using your brand name or your blog name or your own name which makes the URL much cleaner and of course easier to remember:

    Have you noticed that some search results display a photo of the author? What better social proof can you get than that? Photos immediately attract the eye and if it is a photo of someone you recognize (and have read before) then you are much more likely to click on that link than trawl through the other picture-less descriptions looking for what you are after.

    Google+ authorship is the way to get your photo showing up with the search results.

    And if you see a little blue icon sitting to the left of the search result, it is informing you that you are looking at a post or a page from someone you know or are connected to in some way, via your social network.

Google Plus Terminology

Google Plus Profile

We have already seen that you need to set up your Google+ profile first and foremost. Everyone who sets up a Google+ account will have a profile. Not everyone will have, or will choose to have, a Google+ page.

Google Plus Page for Business

If you wish to set up a Google+ account for your business or your brand, then, in addition to your profile, you can create a Google+ page for your business.

Profiles are integral, pages are optional. If you are running a business or promoting a brand then you would definitely want to create a page.

Google Plus Posts

When you publish a new post on your blog or have new content of some description on your website, provide a brief summary on your Google+ page or profile.

This allows you to share your posts with the public or just the people in your circles or a particular circle if you prefer.

Post on Google+

There is a very interesting article here that discusses the differences between posting to a profile and posting to a page.

Formatting Your Google Plus Posts

You can use certain Google+ text formatting conventions to make your post stand out more:

  • To bold some text enclose it in asterisks:
    • *this would be bold*
  • To italicize text, enclose it in underscores:
    • _this would be in italics_
  • To strike through some text, simply enclose it in hyphens:
    • this would display a line through the text
  • To mention someone in a post, you can:
    • Use the same convention as in Twitter @username
    • Or use the + symbol.
      The person that you mention in this way will be notified that you have done so.
      If a reader holds their mouse over the + symbol, they can see who the mentioned person is and thus access their profile.
      When you type the + symbol you will be provided with a list of uses. This makes it much easier to find the username.

Google Plus Circles

Google+ circles are one of the features that differentiate Google+ from other social networks. Circles provide a way for you to regularly connect with people of like interests. And for businesses, this would mean potential customers. Circles provide a great way to promote your brand. Circles are easy to create and you can easily add any number of people to one or more of your circles.

It is a good idea to create your Google+ circles based on interests. For example, I have 1 circle devoted to WordPress another to SEO etc. So I have invited like-minded people to join the relevant circles.

When someone is in your circle, this means that you are now following them and will have access to their latest posts and/or communications on Google+.

Circles provide a way for you to funnel your content to the appropriately interested groups of people.

You can, of course, add family and friends etc. but what we are really interested in today is how you can use this to claim ownership of the content that you write on your website. And of course, how you can use it to be better noticed in the SERPs.

You can be notified every time someone in your circle publishes a new post.

Google Plus Hangout

A Google+ hangout allows you to take advantage of multimedia to communicate with your audience.

Using the hangout feature, you can connect with your customers via webinars and even hold meetings in your virtual office. It is much more customer friendly to be able to answer questions on the fly rather than wait for a paper trail or a series of emails to come in that sit waiting to be noticed in your inbox.

A hangout certainly makes it convenient to interview influential people within your niche.

Google Plus Hashtags

If you have a Twitter account then you are probably very familiar with hashtags (#), especially given that Twitter was the first social network to start using them. You can see them everywhere in tweets, indicating #keywords that can trigger searches. But they are also used on Facebook, YouTube and other social media.

And of course they are available to use in your Google+ posts. In fact, if you research their effectiveness, you can often find Google+ #hashkeywords ranking well in the search engine results.

To maximize their effectiveness it is recommended that you limit their use per post so that they are not overdone.

Some Google Plus Tips

Here are some Google+ tips and tricks that can give you some additional guidelines.

  • Respond, as soon as possible, to comments that your followers are leaving.
  • Place a link to your Google+ page from your website.
  • People who visit your website will be able to share your content with people in their own circles, simply with 1 click
  • Increase your engagement on Google+ by including a question at the end of your posts. This invites others to contribute to the discussion.
  • You can take advantage of lots of keyboard shortcuts when navigating your Google+ account.
    If you press Shift-? you will see the list of available shortcuts to make your Google+ experience even easier.
  • Use Google+ Ripples feature to find out if your post is being shared and to what extent.
  • Display a Google+ button or a Google+ badge on your blog to encourage new followers.

You can find some really good entrepreneurial tips from Sarah Hill here. In fact, I was very impressed to see that Sarah is:

the 35th most followed person on Google+

And you can find a very comprehensive list of Google+ tips and tricks by JR Raphael on here.

Google Plus Statistics

Now for a most informative infographic, courtesy of Neil Patel from QuickSprout:

How to Increase Your Google+ Engagement by 281%
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout
When it comes to big players in the social media realm, Google+ can no longer be dismissed. Are you promoting your blog or your business via Google+?

Featured Image By Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot,

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3 thoughts on “Google Plus is a Must: You Can’t Afford to Ignore Google+

  • MSI Sakib

    Hello Glenys Grob,
    Thanks for this brilliant article. This post is like a master piece for Google plus marketing. I definitely agree with your all points about Google plus. Moreover, your provided infographic agve me lots of new ideas about this powerful social media weapon. Thanks to and also to Patel sir for the infographic.

  • M-Minhaj

    Hi Glenys Grob,

    Always read your article with great interest!
    Yes, Google plus has great value on SEO. I got amazing results by sharing on Goole plus pages!

    We can get more benefits from Google+. Like as this post i also read a great post from problogger blog.
    Really Google rocks.

    Especially thanks for sharing infographic! Keep it up.

    Happy blogging.