Google+ isn’t only a social network. It’s the very backbone (and future) of Google itself.
As Brian Clark wrote yesterday, authorship and the possible effects on the Google algorithm have the potential to be extremely beneficial to savvy content creators.
If you’re a writer, this is either going to be very good for your career, or you’ll risk becoming relatively invisible online.
If you’d like to land solidly in the former camp of writers, the question becomes one of how to use Google+ to further your own goals.
With that in mind, I’ve put together an infographic for you that outlines 64 strategies that every writer and content producer can put into action, and start reaping the rewards of intelligently engaging with Google+.
Before we jump into the actual infographic at the bottom of this post, I wanted to expand a little bit on a few of my favorites …
1. Link Google+ to your blog
The first step in getting results from Google+ is connecting your profile with your blog’s home page. This is the gateway step to claiming your content in the eyes of Google. It will also go far in generating incredible results, including displaying your photo next to your blog post links and a wikipedia-style profile listing in Google search results whenever anyone searches for your name. Of course, for WordPress publishers, there’s a very easy way to accomplish this.
2. Build strategic networks with circles
Circles allow you to organize connections into the groups you interact with in your life. Family, Friends, B2B, B2C, Local, Media, Influencers, Quilting (my hobby, about which I wrote an award-winning book). Not only can you view posts by Circles, you can send posts to Circles, yet another Google+ first. Circle’s biggest benefit? People who add you to their Circles see your posts higher in Google search results. Another SEO boost.
3. Look like a pro: Offer live video chat with Hangouts
Hangouts not only up your level of branding by enabling you to host webinars for free, if you do a Hangout on Air, Google+ simultaneously streams it here and on YouTube, records the video, and sends you the recording via email. Upload that Hangout to YouTube, add the link to your blog with a reader-friendly keyword-rich description, and you’ve got a powerful SEO tool that doubles as a branding resource, allowing people to see you in action.
4.Use hashtags to make your posts search-friendly
Just like Twitter, Google+ offers a hashtag ecosystem that makes searching for topics simple. It’s a great way to get found — not only inside Google+, but in the larger world of Google search. Combine your Circles strategy with hashtags, and you’ve gone a long way toward placing your blog’s SEO on steroids.
5. Link to your blog posts to rank higher in Google+ and Google search
Whenever you have a new blog post, link to it from Google+, and make that post public. By doing this, you’ve made your post publicly available both inside Google+ and in Google search results worldwide. Remember those people in your Circles? When they’re searching for your subject on Google, they’ll be served up your results first.
6. Use Ripples to add influencers to your Circles
Ripples are a little-known feature of Google+ that identify people who shared a public post, as well as how large an audience they have. It’s a great way of determining who has the power to spread your posts to the widest possible audience. You’ll definitely see a trend when you start using Ripples and you’ll notice those outliers who have the power to get your posts seen by a huge audience. Add these people to your Circles and engage with them.
7. Want engagement? Write long posts inside Google+
Google+ posts that receive the most comments are resource-type articles with a lot of links. Those covering Google+ how-to information are heavily shared, along with any tutorials. Write a killer post and link back to your own blog for additional resources. Use hashtags with relevant topics so it’s easily found, and you’ve created an outstanding resource that will get you noticed, and will increase traffic to your blog.
8. Use Direct Connect so people can add you to Circles from Google search
The most powerful feature of Google+ is Direct Connect — think the Facebook Like Box, available in Google Search. By placing code between the <head> tags on your blog, people will be able to add you to their Google+ Circles directly from Google search results. Currently, Direct Connect is available on a limited basis, and appears to be offered to those pages with a large Google+ following. To be eligible for Direct Connect, you must have that link between Google+ and your blog’s home page I referred to in tip #1.
9. Use tags to reach out to people and brands directly
Like Facebook, Google+ offers the ability to tag people and brands in your posts. This is a great way to connect with people and draw their attention to your latest resources, especially in a noisy digital culture. As an example, I attended a public relations conference and tagged the people I met at the event in my Google+ post about it.
10. Display your photo in Google search results for greater CTR to your blog
Getting your photo displayed next to your Google search results used to be extremely difficult to do. No longer. All you need is a Google+ page, and to connect it to the home page of your blog. See how important that #1 step was? Again, here’s a shortcut to getting it done. Your photo will eventually appear next to your blog posts in Google search results. I’ve made sure my photo stands out by going beyond just a black and white headshot. I’m wearing vibrant colors, which stands out against the sparse Google white background.
Give yourself time to master these tactics
Take the time to learn Google+ and engage with your community here. You’ll see results far beyond what any other social network can offer: both social engagement within Google+, and SEO in Google.
And now, here’s that infographic I promised …
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