Social media continuous to be one excellent way to drive traffic to a blog or a website. I’ve written about Pinterest, Facebook and StumbleUpon. These three social networks / discovery engines are by far the most important for bloggers and new website owners. However there are several social networks that also play an important role for sharing your content.
Today I’ll write about one social network that is often overlooked, but can also represent an important drive for traffic, to connect, and to share ideas: Google Plus.
This is the social network associated with Google. So basically every time that you create an account on Google (Gmail), you will automatically have an account on Google Plus. Unfortunately this doesn’t translate into active profiles on Google+. Far from it.
So here you have some facts about this network:
- Total Profiles on Google+: 2.2 billion
- Active profiles on Google+: 111 million
- Profiles with 50 or more posts: 6.7 million
- Total number of unique Google+ monthly visits: 34 million
- Average time spent: 3:57
- Top Google+ followed profile with over 10 million followers: Lady Gaga
- Percent of Google+ users that are female: 26.3%
- Percent of Google+ users that are male: 73.7%
- Top Country Using Google Plus: United States (55%)
- Slogan: Get way into what you love
- Profile of the Blog Grow to Retire
Strategies to Get More of Google Plus
If you are building a brand from scratch you have to leverage your position. You can pay for it. Or if you are running a low cost budget, you should use everything that it’s free and available to increase your online presence.
Google+ can play an important role on helping you to connect with others, and to share your work to a different audience. I will write absolutely every strategy that I use and have read about Google+. Additionally I will update this post every time I have something new to add that can be useful. For that reason don’t forget to follow me and in return I’ll promise you will be the first to know about any new updates. Free of charge.
1- Complete your profile with every detail
Start with the simple tasks. Hit “Edit Profile”, and write your tag line (“Learn. Grow. Retire. (Earlier)”). Then choose two images:
- Profile Photo. Google uses a circular shape to crop the image, so keep this in mind when you select your photo. In terms of size I would go with a minimum of 500 x 500 px.
- Cover Image. Here I would recommend several things: Use keywords in your cover image filename; In terms of size make it 2120 x 1192 px. Then let your creativity work. My option was to make an universal cover image to fit all social networks. So if you go to my Facebook Page or Twitter Profile, you will see the same Cover Image with the name of the Blog, link and year where this story begun.
- Post Images. To sharing images or links, I would recommend a minimum size of 502 x 250 px if you want horizontal. If you want vertical images, like Pinterest, I would go with a minimum size of 502 x 892 px.
2- Take advantage of the “about” section on your profile
If you go to the “About” section on your profile you can add multiple sectors with information that can be valuable for your followers and friends.
- Story. Along with the tag line, you can add an Introduction where you can explain in more detail aspects about your website. Don’t forget that on Google Plus, you can use bold, underline, bullet list, and much more. Thus your information will be much more easy and fun to read.
- Links. On this section you can add all type of links related to your blog or website. This way visitors can quickly have an overview of all your online presence.
3- Get a vanity URL
If you’re new on Google Plus, you will be attributed an URL for your profile that is something like this: https://plus.google.com/33111546578766530658776. Yes I know, it’s ugly. But I have good news for you. According to the Google Plus policy once you have:
- An account with at least 30 days old;
- Ten or more followers (people who have added you to their circles)
you will be able to get a custom URL. They call it a “vanity URL”, i.e., something more personal, that you prefer, for example the name of your business. I recommend something short and easy-to-remember.
If you need help with the followers, click on my vanity URL:
Follow me, and I will happily follow you back.
4- Add more people to your circles
This is a social network. Basically this means that you should make connections. On way is to follow people, preferably, from the sector of your business. The more people you follow, the higher the probability of them following you back.
Additionally the number of people that you follow is not public data (like Twitter). But the number of followers is. The higher the number, the more people that can potential read the content that you share. Thus more traffic to your website.
If you are in your profile, go to the left sidebar and click “People“. Then you can see 3 sections “Find People”, “Following” and “Followers”. Just look for people to follow on “Find People”. (Check the first image on this post)
You can also look for something more specific on the search bar “Search Google+” on the top of the page. Try “bloggers” or something related to your business.
If you use hashtags in any social network you will increase the visibility and reach of your posts. Therefore more potential traffic coming your way.
Use hashtags relevant to the subject of your post. Also if you go to this link, you can see what are the topics trending that day. Make use of that information. Pay attention to the hashtags that they use.
Use holiday-specific hashtags.
Hashtags for this post? #GooglePlus #Followers #SocialMedia
6- Make it easy for people to share on Google Plus
There are a lot of things that you can do to make it really easy to share your content:
- Include social buttons on every post and/or page. Check out the Social Warfare, a WordPress plugin that adds beautiful and lightning-fast social share buttons to your website.
- Another thing is to include a Profile badge on your website. You can use plugins like the “New Google Plus Badge Widget” where you can add an easy to follow button.
- Build a page on your website only for your social media profiles. People that want to find out any of your new content, or updates, will surely follow you on one or more social networks.
7- Join Communities
Here’s where it gets interesting. If you enter a community that is relevant and active in your niche, you can get yourself (and your content) in front of hundreds or even thousands of other like-minded people. It can be a tremendous boost on your traffic and followers base. Be active. Participate in discussions and build relationships.
I’m starting a little experiment on my own. A community for Bloggers on Google Plus.
- Help to connect with fellow bloggers on Google+
- To bring more traffic for good content
- Increase the follower base of every member
So join now, and help to grow this community. More than a gigantic group, we want this to be active.
8- Post on Google+ frequently
As it is with any other social network, the more you post (without SPAM), the more you increase the possibility of others to see your content.
If you keep posting interesting content, you will eventually have more followers.
- Post every day (I recommend 1-2 posts per day…don’t overdo it)
- Make it public so every one can see it
- Use photos (I prefer vertical) and images to illustrate your post
- Use links and/or videos
- Share with others (directly or through communities)
- Comment on popular posts (see what’s trending)
- Share popular posts
General advice for Google Plus:
- Include a link to your Google+ Profile in your email signature
- Use circles to segment your followers
- Mention influencers in your posts (specially from your business sector)
- Include links to your Google+ profile in your blog posts where relevant (like I did right now)
- Ask for followers, friends to share and “+1” your posts
- Keep your headlines to 60 characters or less so people can quickly read what you’re sharing
- Post during weekdays (9-11 am) for optimal engagement
- Share your Google+ posts on your blog
- Leave thoughtful comments
- Pin your best post to the top of your profile. If you have a community you can do the same thing.
Google+ is still a very important part of the social media landscape. Although not as massive as Facebook, Pinterest or StumbleUpon, I believe that Google+ shouldn’t be overlooked. It can have a good effect on the traffic to your blog.
If you have any problem getting started, tell me in the comment section and I will try my best to help you.
- Optimize your Profile (including the “about” section)
- Post relevant content
- Interact with others “+1” and comment
- Connect with people and make friends
And you reader, what do you think about Google+? Do you find these suggestions useful? Tell me about your experiences on this social network.How to Get Thousands of Followers on Google Plus Click To Tweet