Category

Social SEO

Google Plus and Social SEO Facts and Evidence

By | Google Plus, Google SEO, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Social SEO | No Comments

Introduction:

Two and a half years ago I began building my personal blog in relation to Google+ marketing; then from September 2013, I focused all of my attention on building Plus Your Business. For both sites I’ve created content, had great guest bloggers, and shared content via my profile and the PYB page. Everything achieved has been due to the support and engagement of the Google+ community; the social visits have largely come from this source within the first month, and then the engagement with that content has signaled to search that “hey maybe other people who like to see this too!” and it then shows up for a) personalized results (inc. G+ posts), and b) incognito too.

This post is shows you the facts, the results, the evidence that the way we work with clients and train people in the Academy really does work. We are building a number of client case studies which will also be released by early 2015 as well.

How Social SEO using Google+ ‘works’

There is a load more information available on the PYB website, but here are a few keys to the process:

  • Create content that deserves to re-surface
  • Do your best to make that content ‘ever green’
  • Build relationships on Google+ with people who are already authorities on the subjects for which you want to rank
  • Build a community of people around you who regularly share your content ‘around this subject’
  • Look to have a considerable number of pieces of content produced and distributed prior to the more challenging terms/phrases for which you wish to rank
  • Look to use opt-in ‘niche circles’, and be prepared to run community driven campaigns which will amplify your content
  • Re-amplify when the content becomes ‘stuck’ in Search and doesn’t seem to move

This is the approach we have consistently taken, and as you will see, the results can be outstanding.

Here is a full blog post on this for y’all: Google+ and Social SEO

A few things:

The ‘pretty’ graphs are sketches, i.e. not to scale – but the numbers reflect the posts to which they relate.

We have called the first month ‘Social’ and named the entire life of a post ‘Social and Search’: the reality is that, often, we have achieved a first page, incognito result within a few days, meaning that the first month’s stats may well include ‘Search’ too. Also, when content is re-shared on Google+ after this initial month, the stats are blurred as there is a Social element there too.In addition, the ‘spikes’ you see in the screenshots are reamplification of orginal posts.
All of that being said, however, you will have a good idea of what we have achieved by putting the Google+ community first, and how Search and Social can work hand in hand.

What to see how quickly this post made it into Search?

Yep, personalized and incognito results – Number 1 after 2 days.
(Which is why I say I am generalizing that Social is the first month – it can be very quick indeed for some terms, and personalized search even more so.)

MartinShervington.com

To begin, this graph is for my blog, and here is an overview of total visitors for the past 12 months:

MS overview

MS Overview

Next, let’s take a look at the total number of Page Views for the site:

MS.com

Total Number of pageview: 504,707

Average time on page: 00:05:23 mins

MS

Plusyourbusiness.com

Ok, so now let’s move onto the Plus Your Business website, which launched early September 2013.

And here is an overview of activity for the past 12 months, starting with total number of visitors:

PYB overview

PYB Overview

And next you can see total Page Views:

PYB

Total Number of visits: 306,826

Average time on page: 00:02:54 mins

PYB

Ok, so that is the website overview. Let’s next move into taking a look at individual posts on the sites…

What is Google Plus

Update! Now this is over 300,000 unique vistors:

2015-03-25_09-19-20

Here is the first month of activity on the most popular post to date:

What is googleplus_Month one

Total visits in first month: 25,142

Average time on page: 00:05:20 mins

What is Google Plus_Month_OneNEW

Social activity was great, but as it secured the desired position in search to answer the query ‘What is Google Plus?’ (and variants of it), what happened next was very cool..

Here is an overview of the last 15 months:

What is googleplus_Whole duration

Total Number of visits: 258,789

Average time on page: 00:05:10 mins

What is Google Plus_WholeDuration NEW

Yes, that is 250,000 who have been introduced to Google+ through our training materials, just from this one post.

Social = 9.7%
Search = 90.3%

Ok, so what next? Well, Google+ is great for marketing, so here is a blog post just on that…

A complete guide to Google+ Marketing

Here is the first month of activity:

A complete guide to Google+ Marketing_Month One

Total visits in first month: 6,338

Average time on page: 00:04:43 mins

A complete guide to Google+ Marketing_Month One NEW

Here is an overview:

A complete guide to Google+ Marketing_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 11,369

Average time on page: 00:04:48 mins

A complete guide to Google+ Marketing_Whole duration NEW

I know what you are thinking…that is not quite so impressive! But hold on, look at the dates…this only launched in July 2014, and we are able to targeting a value nice phrase that is converting attention into leads. Search for ‘Google Plus Marketing’ in an incognito window and you’ll see it is rockin’ Search results.

So, what next…

Social = 55.7%
Search = 45.3%

Google Plus For Business and Individuals

This post is one that is aiming to capture the eye of everyone looking at Google+ for business application.

Here is the first month of activity:

Google Plus For Business and Individuals_Month One

Total visits in first month: 7,890

Average time on page: 00:05:18 mins

Google Plus For Business and Individuals_Month One

Here is an overview:

Google Plus For Business and Individuals_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 15,525

Average time on page: 00:04:38 mins

Google Plus For Business and Individuals_Whole Duration

So, Search is delivering double the initial social activity.

Social = 50.8%
Search = 49.2%

Beginners Guide to Google Plus

Here is the first month of activity:

Beginners Guide to Google Plus_Month one

Total visits in first month: 2,482

Average time on page: 00:03:52 mins

Beginners Guide to Google Plus_Month One

Here is an overview:

Beginners Guide to Google Plus_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 8,868

Average time on page: 00:03:29 mins

Beginners Guide to Google Plus_Whole Duration

Where social drops off, Search picks up the slack! Next…

Social = 28%
Search = 72%

Complete User Guide: Google Plus Pages for business and brands

Here is the first month of activity:

Google Plus Pages for business and brands_Month One

Total visits in first month: 3,140

Average time on page: 00:12:33 mins

Google Plus Pages for business and brands_Month One NEW

And here is an overview of the entire duration:

Google Plus Pages for business and brands_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 38,826

Average time on page: 00:09:22 mins

Google Plus Pages for business and brands_Whole Duration NEW

Yes, we went from 3,000 people in social to 38,000 including Search over the duration of the post.
And we could refresh the content, re-amplify and give it a lift too.

Social = 8%
Search = 92%

The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts

Here is the first month of activity:

The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts_Month One

Total visits in first month: 4,797

Average time on page: 00:10:10 mins

The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts_Month one NEW

Here is an overview:

The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 44,244

Average time on page: 00:07:37 mins

The Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts_Whole Duration NEW

So, 4,000 lead to 44,000 on this one. Building communities around your content really can get you Search results!

Note: the spike was due to re-amplification of the content, which often gives it a lift in Search.

Social = 10.8%
Search = 89.2%

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts

Here is the first month of activity:

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts_Month One

Total visits in first month: 9,089

Average time on page: 00:10:19 mins

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts_Month One  NEW

Here is an overview:

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts_Whole Duration

Total Number of visits: 110,337

Average time on page: 00:09:35 mins

Ultimate Guide to Google Hangouts_Whole Duration NEW

And yes, on this one too – 9,000 Social turns into 110,000 Social and Search combined!

Social = 8.2%
Search =
91.8%

To conclude:

Google really has changed over the past few years, especially as the default setting is now personalized/private results. Social really matters. And by Social I am really talking about Google+
You may like to think about it this way, after the ‘news’ i.e. the first wave of activity in Social, it will often be down to Google Search to sustain the visitor volumes to your website.
The key though is this: think about building community around your content. This will enable them to amplify it, and signal to Search your content should be seen by more people.

When it is new, people say “read all about it!” (i.e. engage with it) which turns into a piece of content becoming ‘authoritative’ in Search. Then people pop to the library, i.e. Search, and access the content, even if they did not see/engage with it themselves in Social.
Google+ enables publishers, bloggers and content creators to level the playing field in terms of ‘size’ of business – now it is about being unique, and producing high quality which enables people to feel we are answering the questions, solving their problems, in the best way for them. So, does Google+ tilt the ‘Search’ field toward you? Yes it does.

Google Plus Marketing Case Study Teaser

By | Case Studies, Google Plus, Google SEO, SEO, Social SEO | No Comments

This post is a ‘teaser’ for a full report on the visitor levels for PYB related content, as we want to show you want can be achieved using content marketing and Google+

As you will see from the information below, this single blog post has had over 250,000 visitors in less than 15 months.
With an average time on the page of over 5 minutes, we can safely say that myself and PYB have already helped hundreds of thousands of people learn about Google+. Cool, huh?

So, this is how we did it…

  • Using Google+ for Social SEO – full article here.
  • Well targeted outcome as a desired Search position i.e. ‘What is Google Plus?’, with a back up of ‘What is Google+?’
  • Secondary benefit of ranking for ‘What is Google?’
  • Giving away content that people would have been willing to pay for!
  • Refreshing content when it gets outdated
  • Building community excitement around new releases within that blog post e.g. new videos
  • Consistent branding on images and expectations
  • Relationship building with existing authorities in that area e.g. Guy Kawasaki, and Vic Gundotra (who both shared it)
  • And generally providing one of the best solutions for newbies curious in learning Google+

Note: The post featured was released about 3 months prior to the launch of this PYB website on my personal blog, and now contains embedded PYB videos. I’ve applied the same approach time and time again for this site as well, and have a full case study in Level 4 of the Academy for the post on ‘Google Plus Marketing’. Also, included within the ‘full chart’ is social activity, ongoing too e.g. re-sharing the content, but the main thrust is from Search.

What about you?

It is not often that I say “Look what we did!” but I thought a little transparency on our stats may be appreciated.

So, can you do the same for your niche? Well, of course it will depend on the number of people searching, but the principles will be the same.
Be helpful. Create rockin’ content. And build a community of people around you who appreciate what you do.

It may only really engaging around 100 of the ‘right’ people (with networks) to create this type of result, and then you have 249,900 additional visitors.
(And please note, there is always more to it ‘happening in the background’ of course, but the headlines give you some idea of what we do here at Plus Your Business.)

Here is a screen shot of month one:
What is googleplus_Month one

This is mainly ‘Social’ activity i.e. not secure in Search as yet:

What is Google Plus_Month_OneNEW

Then you see the overview of the duration of the post:
What is googleplus_Whole duration

And here is a pretty ‘sketch’ version for you too:

What is Google Plus_WholeDuration NEW

What does this all mean? Well as the full case study will reveal for about seven Plus Your Business and MartinShervington.com posts, you will see how building community on Social i.e. Google+, will enable you to achieve long term Search results.
Interested in knowing more?
Click that big button below and we’ll get right back to ya!

Streamline your Social Media with Friends+Me and Google+

By | Google Plus, Google SEO, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Social SEO, Useful Tips | No Comments

Friends+Me will help you to save a lot of time dealing with social media. Keep reading!

Every small and mid-sized business owner know that social media presence is a necessity these days. Time does not grow on trees and helpful tool can come in handy. That’s where Friends+Me as a cross-promotion service comes to play.

You can spend all day long on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and so on but it will not matter next day because people tend to forget really fast so the only strategy viable in a long term is consistency and focus. You have to publish new content on a regular basis to multiple social networks and that can be extremely time consuming.

I’ve prepared 8 tips that will help you to start with Friends+Me and to focus on Google+ and on creation and reshare of a great content.

Don’t forget to follow Friends+Me on Google+ to get the latest updates, tips and tricks!

 

1. Publish once and let Friends+Me assist you with the rest

Google+ is a great source of a high quality content, you should take advantage of that and reshare to your Google+ profile or your client’s Google+ page. Friends+Me promotes all new posts to other social networks for you.

Just GET STARTED with our free plan.

Friends+Me

2. Improve your SEO while having fun with people on Google+

You may think that SEO is dead and social media is all that matters these days. You would be right because publishing on Google+ is the best SEO technique there is.

Social media matters these days more than ever. So the best strategy is to customize message for every single social network to get the most out of it BUT what if you don’t have the resources needed for such a massive task?

With Friends+Me and Google+ you’ll get the power of social media marketing, FOCUS and SEO almost for free.

Oh, and I cannot forget to mention Google+ Authorship, which will help Google search engine to help your potential customers to find you. Amazing feature!

 

3. How to control reposts destination

There are basically two ways Friends+Me handle reposts of new Google+ posts.

Friends+Me reposts all your new publicly published Google+ posts to accounts assigned to the default destination accounts group unless your post contains one or more control hashtags. In that case, reposts are published only to accounts assigned to control hashtags used within your post message.

Short version is that Friends+Me reposts to accounts assigned to control hashtags found in Google+ post otherwise to default destination accounts.

Friends+Me -  Account Routing

Friends+Me – Account Routing

 

Repost to a default destination accounts

See the left column Default destination accounts on the screenshot.

Friends+Me skip all posts that contain #ns, #noshare or #plusonly hashtag. It is possible to create your own “noshare” hashtags.

Hashtags controlled reposts

See the right column Control hashtag groups on the screenshot.

There is a predefined group of control hashtags and you can create your own custom control hashtag with destination accounts of your choosing.

 

4. Schedule reposts to other social networks

Repost scheduling feature allows you to predefine times at which you’d like Friends+Me to publish new reposts to your destination social accounts (Twitter, Facebook, …).

That’s a great feature because by specifying times at which the biggest number of your followers is online on other networks you’ll be able to increase overall engagement and the count of actions such as favorite, like, retweet and so on.

All you have to do is to go to detail of your destination accounts and enable repost scheduling feature. The best post times, which you can of course customize to your needs, are used for every type of social network.

Friends+Me - Account Scheduling

Friends+Me – Account Scheduling

 

HOT TIP !

Do you need some time to be able to fix mistypes that may appear in your newly published Google+ posts before they are reposted to your other social accounts?

Enable delayed repost scheduling for your destination accounts (Twitter, Facebook, …). Once you enable this feature Friends+Me will delay publishing of new reposts to other social accounts for a specified amount of time which you may use to fix any mistypes or just to update your Google+ post message.

Friends+Me - Delayed Account Scheduling

Friends+Me – Delayed Account Scheduling

 

5. Schedule posts for your Google+ pages

There are times when you’re kissed by a muse and create more than just one great post. What you should do once you have one or more posts prepared is to schedule those posts to be published automatically at times you pick so you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Post scheduling is also great for times you decide to finally go on vacation because you deserve a really long one 🙂

Friends+Me allows you to schedule posts for Google+ pages. Every post published this way is reposted to other social accounts in case the routing is configured properly.

All you have to take care of is to pick the right time and Friends+Me will do the rest for you.

Friends Me  - Account Publish

Friends Me – Account Publish

 

6. Invite team members to help you manage your social accounts

Everybody needs a helping hand from time to time. You can invite your co-workers and friends to help you manage your accounts and publish great content.

To invite a team member you’ll have to visit your Friends+Me profile.

Friends+Me - Profile

Friends+Me – Profile

There select the Team menu.

Friends Me -  Team Members

Friends Me – Team Members

You can pick one of two roles for your new team member.

A team member with role Profile Manager can manage your entire Friends+Me profile as the owner does. For example, to connect/disconnect social accounts, change configurations, subscribe to a premium plan, invite other team members and so on.

Team member with role Account Manager is able to manage only selected subset of accounts. For example, they will be able to schedule or publish new posts, update account’s link shortener, update repost schedules and so on.

All you’ll have to do to invite a team member is to input your team member’s email address, pick a role and Friends+Me will send your new team member an email invitation.

 

7. Master your Google+ post title not just for Twitter reposts

You should use a proper format for your Google+ posts, the most important thing is to use title, because Friends+Me will use only the title for Twitter reposts in case your post contains more than one line.

What Makes a Good Headline? https://plus.google.com/+dustntv/posts/BRRifvc7wXX

Here’s an example of Google+ post with title and how the Twitter repost looks like.

Google+ post - All premium features FREE for EVERYONE

Google+ post with title

Twitter repost - All premium features FREE for EVERYONE

Twitter repost of Google+ post with title

 

8. Track your Google+ accounts insights

Friends+Me partnered with CircleCount recently and thanks to this partnership Friends+Me is able to provide you with an important insights for your connected Google+ accounts.

Google+ account insights offers these metrics:

  • How many times your Google+ profile/page and its content were viewed.
  • How many new people follow your page/profile.
  • Comments, shares and +1s on your last 50 public posts within the last 4 weeks.
  • CircleRank index tells you how your account stands against all other Google+ accounts indexed by +CircleCount service, for more info check http://www.circlecount.com/faq
Friends+Me - Google+ Account Insights

Friends+Me – Google+ Account Insights

Google Plus SEO: Trust, Reputation and Authority

By | Google Plus, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Social SEO | No Comments

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is changing. Once a “dark art” you could outsource and forget or buy-in as needed every time you noticed your website traffic dropping or your competitors’ websites doing better than yours, it has now become an integral part of your business practices and is closely integrated in your business structure.” David Amerland

Introduction

For the past 10+ years, SEO has become paramount for marketing but as the online world is undergoing such a radical change you will need to rethink it all.

In the future you want to make sure you are helping people get the best/right information at the right time – then people will be delighted with their search results, and guess what? You will be rewarded by getting great search/social traffic over a long period of time.

No longer can you simply ‘buy links’ and think of that as your SEO strategy. The world is now much more ‘social’.

Here is a quick list of ways to show if you are at risk of being left behind:

[list-arrow]

  • Are you still thinking just in terms of keywords?
  • Is your view of your success just based on search results for those terms?
  • Is ‘link building’ still your main SEO tactic?
  • Are you focused on spreadsheets when it comes to SEO?
  • Is the number one spot on Google how you get most of your online business?
  • Do you consider ‘anchor text’ to be crucial?
  • Is SEO seen as a ‘silo’ of marketing?
  • Do you assume your SEO approach can be ‘left to it’ whilst you put new marketing energies elsewhere?

[end-list]

If so, you need to rethink.

The first thing to know is that a technical audit is an easy way to sort out issue within your site itself. That is essential for SEO. But you need to change to catch this next wave…

How SEO Is Changing Business Practices

In the past so many people used to buy links to increase their ranking on Google. You would employ a company, or staff member, to lead the SEO push and they would target keywords. Then you would squeeze a load of those keywords into your content’s text and hope you would get some visibility. You would use social like you would send spammy emails to people, and you would sit back and hope customers would simply arrive.

Well, this is no longer good enough, instead you need to look at:

[list-arrow]

  • Creating quality content
  • Have a website that people find easy to get around with content relevant to the user
  • Reaching beyond your site so people begin to talk about you and your business – creating a buzz
  • Have advocates who ‘love your content’ and want to spread the word
  • Have ways to engage the customer in conversation
  • Stay ahead of the rest – be the one people want to include in the latest conversations.

[end-list]

All the way, content is King. (And engagement is Queen, as consultant Mari Smith says; and Community is Kingdom, as we say here at PYB!).

20 years ago marketing was taught using the Jerome McCarthy model of the 4Ps: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion (distribution).

This is, however, outdated.

Now, it is more like global advertising and marketing firm Ogilvy & Mather’s 4Es: Experience, Exchange, Everyplace, and Evangelism.

In 2008 Kevin Kelly, founder and former editor of Wired, talked about “1,000 True Fans.” These are the ones who spread the word; amplifying your message.

And just like we looked at in module 2, David Amerland says we need to focus on three things: trust, reputation, authority – which are gained in that order.

David Amerland says “The absence of a central authority creates a currency out of perceived trust, which then acquires monetary value that translates into increased eCommerce and Internet services activity.”

Trust and Author Rank

“Trust is one of those qualities that you cannot easily define but is worth its weight in gold.” David Amerland

When it comes to ‘trust’ what you used to go can only go so far in this new world of the semantic web. You can no longer ‘buy’ trust with an expensive website. Instead, every time you reach a potential customers you have a touchpoint that will determine whether you build trust, especially through your social activities.

Trust online will stem from two experiences:

1. Direct experience – e.g. having already been a customer of your company, and

2. No direct experience – this is where a third party comes in.

In this way, on web as David Amerland says is “the most popular third-party “suggestion engine” is search.”

Creating an Identity in a Connected World

“The Web is more a social creation than a technical one. I designed it for a social effect—to help people work together—and not as a technical toy. The ultimate goal of the Web is to support and improve our weblike existence in the world. We clump into families, associations, and companies. We develop trust across the miles and distrust around the corner.” From, In Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web, by Tim Berners-Lee.

It is Google+ that leads the way in making people want to use their real name, photograph and information. Before Google+ there was not really an incentive to do so; you could create a twitter handle and ‘burn it’ if you wanted to come back ‘as another person.’ But Google+ is different.

Trust and Authority

Until recently, ‘Page Rank’ (named after Larry Page) determined authority and trust online.

Image2

In this example, the larger the circle, the more importance is would be given in Google Search.

The information attributed to links themselves would include:

  1. Relevance of the website linking

  2. The location of the link on the webpage itself

  3. Anchor text used to link

  4. The ‘importance’ of the linking website

  5. The age of the website, the page and the link

Ranking and Reputation Scores

As David Amerland says, “having an algorithm judge your reputation is no easy thing.”
This leads us to ‘Author Rank’ which considers the following in relation to a piece of content:

[list-arrow]

  • Who created it
  • What else they’ve created
  • The content creator’s connections on social media platforms
  • Their online activity
  • The content’s quality e.g. originality
  • The nature of the content e.g. type of words (relating to level in a subject), the paragraph length etc.
  • The use of multimedia on a site etc.

[end-list]

As such, trust can now be determined by an algorithm and businesses need to take note.
All of this has been made possible by Google being about to attribute content to its right owners.

As you can see below, the article has been attributed to me and my Google+ profile image is displayed alongside.

Note: since August 2014 this will only happen for Google+ posts

What to check what you have linked up?

Google: ‘Structured Data Testing Tool’ and from that page you will be able to drop in a URL and see what has been connected.

Conclusion

Search is changing and you really want to be ready. And we can help, of course.

Social, Search and Site – how to use Google+ to make it all work together

By | Google Plus, SEO, Social SEO | No Comments

If you are on Google+ you are most probably very aware of being Social. But what do you want to get out of your activity? Well, in this quick post I want to get you focused on what you can achieve…

Social

I think of this as having several levels…

Level 1

On Google+ you can build up ‘touch points’ over and over. Every +1, comment and share starts to build up touchpoints, connecting. This in turn leads to people ‘knowing who you are’ – this gives brand recognition. And when the time comes for someone to make a purchase decision, you are the one who comes to mind.

Level 2

With social you can convert attention into clicks. Recently this came in from a client: “Two more conversions yesterday! We’ve only had 68 click throughs in the last 30 days but with a 7% conversion rate. Unreal! Looks like Google+ might be the ticket!” This was just from a selection of well crafted posts using a Plus Your Business system. Now, you may think that 4 people converting to business is not that WOW, but this was a secondary benefit build into our work as it was really about ‘Search’ and ‘Level 1 of Social’, and the ticket value was darn good to. Also, we are running spreadsheets on the entire process to show that the methodology works over time.

Level 3

This is all about relationships and building a network and a community around you, that loves what you do, which in turn leads to amplification of your key messages.

Search

Using Google+ you can build a following of relevant engagers who will amplify your message into Google Search. Whether is it personalized results, or global, this is SERIOUSLY powerful for both content and product pages. You know we talk about this area A LOT so you can check out more on using Google+ for Social Seo here.

I really must emphasis this – the Google+ community, your connections, will give you Search results. They are the ones who will make you an authority and who tell the world ‘your content rocks’. Social and Search are now working hand-in-hand.

Site

So, here is the third aspect of the triangle, the site itself. It is all well and good having great Search results, and an amazing social presence but if your site is converting people to business you may well be on a long term brand building exercise. This has its place but many people want results NOW. As such, think in terms of ‘Site’ enabling your social and search presence to turn into fruit. If your site is not converting then you may like to consider a revamp. Think about your business outcomes – sales, leads.

Also, on your site, makes sure you add the social sharing buttons – make it easy for people to share your content, flowing it back from search into social. Think of the main networks for your business, but Google+, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are probably a must!

Working social-search-site together

With Google+ you will be able to flow information from your site, have the community engage with your incredible content, and this will give the signals to Google Search that your content would be great for other people to see in the future.
So much of what you want for your business can be achieved when you build your Google+ presence and community – it really will help you build up trust, reputation and authority. In turn you will be able to transform you business, enabling more of the right people to visit your website and engage with your brand at every step of the way.

Conclusion

Think Social-Search-Site and flow content in a way that enable people to fall in love with you and your brand. It does need to be approached from a strategic viewpoint though, and many people tend to look at each element independently. Don’t. Think about the information flowing through each of the areas, and reinforcing its relevance along the way.
Want to know more? Get in touch with us here.

Google Plus For Business and Individuals

By | Google Plus, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Social SEO | One Comment

Welcome to Google+

2014 is going to be an incredible year to build up your Google Plus presence.

It really is going to be excellent for Google+ Marketing.

And as such, this complete video and blog guide you will be taking you on a tour of many of the main features of Google+, the social destination, that you need to really get to grips with it all.

Not a business? Don’t worry! It is a perfect place to start for both businesses and individuals alike.

The videos are step-by-step guides through just about every feature of the platform, and beyond.

Why should businesses consider using Google+?

Well, Google+ is Google!

Google’s Vic Gundotra (update: now ex-Google, but this holds strong!) says that Google have put a social layer over Google’s products and services, and this seems to be the best way to describe to people what Google+ is about. It is not just a social destination, although that is a part of it, but it reaches into everything Google is doing. Check out this video from earlier this year to get a ‘view’ of how it all fits together.

Consider this an entrée before the main course! You may also like this podcast from Social Media Examiner as it will help you to see the bigger picture.

So, if Google+ is Google then ignoring Google+ would be like ignoring Google!

The benefits for an individual include:

  • Smart social experience in the Stream
  • A vibrant community for global networking
  • Google+ communities for finding likeminded people with similar passions

And for businesses they include:

  • Quality Social Engagement
  • Super-powered surfacing of content in Google Search (Social SEO)
  • Authority building
  • Awesome collaborative tools and cloud storage
  • Free video conferencing
  • Integration with YouTube – ideal for content creation and extending reach
  • Integration with Google Adwords – perfect for producing measurable results (BETA)

And much more…(click to see a quick video)

As Google+ extends across Google’s products and services, there can be rather a lot to grasp to be able to apply it well.

But don’t worry, we are here to quick start you, and even get you on the fast track as well.

“Yes, but I am so used to other platforms!”

Well, here is a free 2500 Word PDF guide that will help you get used to this incredible new experience if you are already using Facebook and want to understand the different language used. Please contact Mary Stovall if you need any more guidance.

[gview file=”https://plusyourbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/QuickstarterguideforFacebookerswhowanttogetgoingonGooglePlus1.pdf”]

Feel free to download and send it to your friends to help them over to the Plus side of life!

Note: the links in the download are also clickable.

Google+ Course – learn just about everything you’ll need, for free

If you are an individual looking to find their way around a little better, then the first set of videos are perfect.

As a business, you may well like to read on and learn about Google+ in relation to SEO and advertising through adwords too.

So, why are we doing this for free?

Well, here at Plus Your Business we are committed to supporting the community in learning and utilizing Google+ in the most effective way possible. And if you want to know more, we are here to help so just get in touch.

Index to VIDEOS in this post:

  • Introduction to Google+
  • How to set up a Google+ Page (more for businesses)
  • Google+ Posts and Photos
  • Google Circles and Communities
  • Exploring Google+
  • Google Hangouts and Hangouts-On-Air

And then…

  • How to start a private Hangout-On-Air
  • +Post Ads explored!
  • Adding social extensions to Google Adwords
  • Google Drive
  • Using Google Drive and Hangouts together (awesomeness)

The first steps…

This overview video covers everything you’ll need to get started on Google+, and is ideal for even the most seasoned Plussers to brush up on their skills as the platform does change over time.

More on Google Authorship

(note this has now changed: only G+ posts show people/pages alongside)

Google Authorship connects your Google+ profile to content you create.

To find out more about Google Authorship then check out this blog post.

When Authorship is set up it correctly it enables your image to appear alongside your content in Google Search.

Your name and the number of people who have you in circles may also appear, but note that there are no guarantees.

Google+ for Business Search Result

Google+ Pages

If you are acting as a business then you will probably want to set up a ‘Google+ Page’.

There are 5 options, as you can see below:

Google+ Pages overview

The video below will take you through the set up process.

One key point to stress though: if you have a ‘Local business’ you will want to choose that option – you will not be able to change it later.

A Local Page is for business when people come to visit you (i.e. you have hours when you are open), and/or when you visit people in a local area (e.g. as a plumber).

If you are considering setting up a Local Page then check out this article.

Then, when you are ready, check out how to create your Page:

Google Pages don’t have ‘Google Authorship’ but there is something known as rel=publisher mark up.

This connects a Google+ Page to your website. Again, this article will cover just about everything you need. 

You can even add some handy, attractive buttons like the ones below.

Website plugins

Click the links below to access:

Then simply add the ones you choose to your website.

Google+ Insights

The analytics on Google+ are starting to really come together now (which is great!) – here is an example of the analytics on a Google Local Page:

Google Local Insights

This will help you keep track on how much ‘traction’ your content is getting when you post…

You are also going to want to look at setting up your Google Analytics too.

Google Plus Posts and Photos

On Google+ you can send an array of messages, including:

1. Comments/text, including formatting:

*Bold*

_Italtics_

-Strikethrough-

2. Adding an image, multiple images, web links, Google Drive documents, YouTube videos, and events.

3. You can then easily select your audience, including being able to notify a select group by email (go easy on this!)

Google+ post box

That last point re: notifying by email is very powerful, especially when you build niche lists and ask their permission to notify them in this way. Full instructions on that here.

There is a lot to Google+ posts and photos, but this video will take you into the detail.

More on Google Ripples

Google Ripples are a great way to find influencers. You will find them on any public post that has at least one share.

Kawasaki circles with border
As a business, you will want to have a strategy relating to building relationships with the influencers in your niche.

You can use tools such as CircleCount and CircloScope to really help you discover, and then manage this process.

Note: make sure you return back to this section. I will publish a full process on using Google+ to find your ‘One Hundred Brand Evangelists’ within the month!

Google Circles and Communities

Here is a complete overview of managing your circles, as well as managing the flow of content in your stream from all sources including Google+ communities.

Here is a quick tip:

1. Click on a circle name at the top or the screen, and then…

2. Click to either receive notifications, choose whether to see that content in your Home Stream, and how much you want to see.

Altering the flow in your stream

Then there is Google+ communities which are a brilliant way to meet like minded people. With tens of thousands of vibrant communities on Google+, you will find something that works for you; and if you don’t you can always create one.

Check out  this video so you can master the flow in your stream from circles and communities, as well as connecting with influencers.

Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, you may like to ‘get your circles in order’.

This is the system I’ve used for the incoming stream.

And check out the course here for the way to really use circles to get engagement!

Exploring Google+

Google+ is a powerful search engine in its own right.
Simply:

1. Search in the top bar for content, e.g. using a hashtag, and then…

2. Filter using the tabs on the top or under the ‘more’ option.

You can use the tabs to filter your results.

This video will show you where you can ‘click’ to explore and filter your Google+ experience even more…

Google Hangouts and an introduction to Hangouts-on-air

Google Hangouts are a phenomenal tool! It allows group chat (up to 100 people) and video call (up to 10 devices; 15 with an Apps account). Here is a pic of hangout interview I did with Chris Brogan:

Chris Brogan Hangout

When you consider that with ‘Hangouts-on-air’ (HOA) everyone has their own broadcast station you will see this as a content marketing dream.

Check out this video for a step-by-step guide to it all…

The main course is complete!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, that should give you a basic idea of how to use Google+.
There is a lot more to really leveraging it as a business, large or small, and as such we thought it would be useful to include some more free content that you may find of use. Consider this to be moving on to the dessert. Sticky toffee pudding, or chocky cake anyone?

More on Google Hangouts-on-air

As you can see from the last video, Hangouts-on-air (HOAs) are seriously cool.
One little know feature is that you can use them for private meetings, recorded on YouTube.
You cannot start this from with Google+, however, but the video below will show you how you can from within YouTube.
(It is very easy to do, but this feature may still be rolling out…)

Google+ and Social SEO

The world of Search Engine Optimization has been turned on its head by Google+.
Now the world is social. It is also highly personalized and increasingly mobile.
Google+ has all this covered.

The key point is to build your network, connect to the people who you/others consider to be influencers in your field, and produce quality content for the community which you serve.

Here is a really fun example of what can be achieved using Google+…

What is Google

If you would like to know more on how this result was achieved then check out this article. 

The key is this: the role of community combined with serving them the best content you possible can.
They will give you Search as they give you authority on a subject and that content then emerges in the future as people’s Search results on Google. First people build up trust through every interaction, then you begin to develop a reputation as they amplify your messages. Then you have a ‘reputation’ form over time. This then allows that content to emerge in Google Search, increasing your reach far beyond the original community.

As you will read in this article on ‘Trust’: “Think of it this way: you are the best baker of apple pies in your community. People pop by and you gift them a tasty pastry dessert, and they had back to the edge of the village. The people who have eaten the pie just have to tell others about it. They love it that much. In turn, the pie gets the attention of people outside of your village and people ask the recipient what they think of it (think ‘network’, ‘sharing’ and ‘Google Search’). They give it a rave review and say that you are the best pie maker in the area (which you are). And where should they go if they want to buy a pie for themselves? To you of course! As such, there is never a need to knock on doors and sell to the villagers, to your community, when you have them as your best evangelists.”

This is when you really start to enter the world of Google Semantic Search, so check out this article with the man who who wrote the book, David Amerland.

Advertising: Google+ and Google Adwords

Recently Google has been rolling out this feature. It is AWESOME. As you will see in this blog post and from the video below.
In brief, it enables an advertiser to increase exposure to their content (i.e. a Google+ post) as it enters Google’s Display Network.
This interview with PYBer Mark Traphagen will tell you why we are so excited about this…

You can also connect you Google Adwords account to your Google+ Page using social extensions.
This enables social information to appear in connection with your adverts.
This video will take you through the process.

And, you may like to look at using a simple version of Adwords called Adwords Express.
Plus Your Business clients are finding this especially useful on Google Local pages.

Google Drive – a Complete User Guide.

Google+ and Google Drive work hand-in-hand. This video will take you through just about everything you need to know to make it work for you and your team. Trust me, it will transform how you communicate. When you combine this with setting up a private community for project working, you will be flying in no time. Click here for instructions on how you can set one up.

Then you will want to bring in using Google Hangouts…

How to use Google Hangouts to collaborate even more effectively!

In this final video in the series for ‘Google Plus for Business’ we bring it all together  – using Google Drive and Google Hangouts with teams. It is a quick video but once you see how easy it is, we hope you will get started and embrace this new way of working.
It is incredible how efficiently we can community when we have the right tools.

And finally…

As you can see, there is a lot to learning Google+, but we are here to help. This site has free resources that are updated regularly to keep you smart! We also have an awesome team here to help if you want to go on the fast track, as well as a thriving community which we hope you will join. See you soon!

 

How to use Google+ for Social SEO

By | Google Plus, Google SEO, SEO, Social SEO | One Comment

Since Google+ came on the scene back in July 2011, there has increasingly been the term ‘Social SEO’ floating about. Well, as Google+ has now settled into itself it really is starting to be the name of the game. What really is it? And how can you use Google+ to do ‘more’ of it? Well, this article has you covered. Let’s begin…

What is Social SEO?

Very often Social SEO is seen as the use of ‘social platforms’ in order to obtain Search results. But actually, this it is the wrong way to think about it all. Here at PYB we like to think about it differently:
Social SEO is what happens naturally when you have the right content for the right people to see for them at a particular point in time.
In order for this to happen, however, you may well need to ‘do something’ to optimize the chances that your content will be seen as opposed to someone else’s.

What makes something social?

Well, ‘social’ in this context means using sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. As we focus on Google+ for Search results, we can see that that platform is really the one that can make your content rise – when, of course, you use it well.

What are the aims and outcome of Social SEO?

Let’s look first at what social activity does:

  • You get more people visiting your website via social sites/posts/tweets
  • You get more engagement on your content e.g. more people +1, comment and share it
  • You get more results appear in Google Search that are relevant for people to whom your are connected
  • You get more results appear in Google Search for people who are not in your network
  • You get brand awareness that enables people to simply ‘go direct’ as they bipass Search.

As such, the aim of Social SEO is to a) increase the volume visitors to your website from social activity, and b) have this volume sustained over time by people re-discovering your content in the future. One of the ways this will happen is through ‘Search’ itself, but as Google+ is a powerful Search Engine in its own right, when you use it wisely you will find a very long life to your posts.

So, all in all, this means that you get more people to your website.

Does this approach work?

Put simply, ‘Plus Your Business’ is built on this approach. There is no paid advertising to generate traffic to the site and here you are right now reading this article. I say ‘traffic’ but that really doesn’t do justice to the process – this is about people and in fact it is about community.

The role of community

When people really connect with your content they will start to form a community around you and it is this community activity that makes the difference in Search. It depends on the nature of the members of the community, the authority they carry on subject matters and the engagement you get, but if you put people first you will find more people will start to connect with you and your brand’s content.This means you will need to start building your network and when you need to consider the role of Google+ in your overall approach to SEO, and to do that we need to think about how Google+ has changed Google Search, including the advent of increasingly personalized results, including ‘Search Plus Your World’ for Google.com – to whom you are connected influences the results which you receive.
So, why is ‘community’ so important? Well, with community comes engagement and it is engagement with content by the ‘right’ people that makes the biggest difference in social SEO.

Is this going to work for everything?

Well, firstly, Social SEO is best for ‘content’ more than it is for Pages in my view. So if you are looking to sell a pair of trainers, unless you want to right the story of those trainers and how they will change the world when you wear them, then you will still need to be looking at traditional nuts and bolts SEO. In fact, with many PYB clients we tend to use both approaches for different aspects of their website.

Does this mean that traditional SEO is dead?

Yes, and no. The general consensus  is that we will need to think differently about ‘Search’ to be successful. David Amerland leads the way on this with his book on Google Semantic Search.
Here is an article and interview that will take help your grasp this from a more strategic perspective.

And no discussion on SEO would be complete without a quick look at PageRank…

Here is a broader discussion on Social SEO that was hosted by Ben Hanlin and included PYBers such as myself and Mark Traphagen for the “myCMGR Worldwide Edition”:

 So, how can you increase your Search results?

Here is what you need to do:

  • Build a strategy as to how it fits into your overall SEO plans
  • Set outcomes as to what you are seeking to achieve from a Social SEO perspective. And I mean, put numbers on it all!
  • Get started on Google+
  • Create a network of people who are authoritative in your subject areas
  • Build a community of people around you who are engaging on your content
  • Create engaging content and post on a regular basis
  • Track the results you are getting from social direct and from Google Search
  • Scale and continue.

Simple.
The reality is there is a lot of planning to make this work well for you. If you just ‘throw content out there’ you won’t find that it makes much difference at all. Be patient and plan well.

Here is a quick video that gives you some tips on point 4…

As here at PYB we want to give you as much as we can to help your improve your results using Google+ we thought we would lay out some key methods we recommend using to achieve excellent results.

How to build up your Google+ page

Next let’s look at how to promote your Google+ page in a way that gets attention from the right audience for your brand or your business. And let’s face it, that is what many of you want from activity on Google+!

I’m going to use the example ‘Plus Your Business!’ page and the associated PYB community, as a way of showing you some of the different aspects that you have to build up your own company page, or your brand page, or it could be a special course, or what have you.

Why do you want to build up a Google Plus Page?

One of the key metrics that people tend to use when looking at success of a brand page is how many people have circled that page.

Now the reason this is important is that the more people who have circled, the more likely that that’s going to increase your audience, all other things being equal. So you want to have enough people that are going to receive the information that allow a certain number, then to be interacting on it.

Now, really important to point out that quality is going to be better than quantity, though. So keep that in mind that the nature of people you interact with is going to be very important because when they add you into circles, you want them to relate to what you are doing.

The other metric that a lot of people would use is the number of +1’s on a page. Now the +1’s are constituted from the number of people in communities, the number of people in circles, and the number of people who have +1’ed the page and +1’ed your site when the page is linked to your site etc. It is called the social number and gives some indication as to social value, but there is no an exact formula to it (well, not known outside of Google.)

There are other ways to approach measuring success, and one of which is going to be engagement. And in particular, engagement in a way which moves people through a sales funnel to a point of buying whatever it is that you’re selling, even when what you’re selling is ideas.

Just focusing now on the +1’s and the number of people to have in your circles, it’s really important that you have the following button on your website that allows people to automatically opt in when they have a Google+ account. Once they’ve opted in, you receive a notification to say that a person has added you to circles. So this is a phenomenal way of finding out who has interest in what you have on your website. The same will be when people add you to circles for that particular page as well.

Add in circles to your Google Plus Page

It’s worth noting that the page can add in circles. It doesn’t, however, appear that people receive notifications that you’ve added them in. So even though you can add an entire circle, you can go to www.circlecount.com, or find them within Google+ or elsewhere, people don’t know that you’ve added them in unless they are already following you.

Adding in circles, however, might well help you to target certain individuals by being able to go to their content. And having a stream of content which you +1, comment on, share, on a regular basis in order to get their attention so that they do follow you. So it could be useful for you to add in circles.
Then you will want to start thinking about your content.Using your own circles to track who is engaging the most with you.

If you want to use this system of increasing levels of engagement resulting in increase in interactions from you as well, then you might want to set one up which tracks e.g. people who engage through +1s, comment and shares. There is a lot to circle management but think about appropriately sharing niche circles publicly as people tend to like that (see below for more on that).

Giving people shout outs

Also, another good tip, even when a person isn’t following the page, you can still + their name. And this will bring up the list. You choose the person, and they will receive a notification that you have +’ed them into a post. So this is a very useful way of gaining someone’s attention even when they haven’t followed the page yet.

This method, you want to use a little carefully because if you use it inappropriately, people are likely to mute or even block the page. And then you can’t get in touch with them in the future.

Sharing circles publicly

On Google+, people generally like to be put into circles. And a circle is a way of bringing people together around a particular theme, location, business type, or whatever you want it to be. Now, with the Plus Your Life and Plus Your Business communities, I tend to ask people if they would like to join circles. If you also ask people if they would like to receive a notification by email for key content them this is a great way to build up opt in lists. More on that here.
And yes, adding the Page into such a circle is fine on this occasion (as I know you will ask that at some point!)

So by engaging people around a theme, bringing them together into a circle, adding your page into that circle, sharing that circle publicly, it is likely you’ll have more followers.

Using hashtags to find the right people

The next step is to use hashtags when you search, or you can use keywords in order to find people that are talking about the subjects that your page is all about, or your business is all about. When you do this, you’ll find a potential audience for what you are posting. You can then engage with them and start building a relationship.

How to think about your content scheduling.

This has to be one of the best kept secrets to using Google+ well: plan, and plan, and plan your delivery of content.

You can have the best content in the world but if people don’t get excited about it, well then it will fall flat. I’ve seen this time and time again on Google+. In fact, I have taken on corporate clients and shown them how to adjust a few things, whilst keeping the same content, and move it from no engagement to, well, through the roof. Simply Business are one example of this.

So, think about running campaigns on Google+ more than just sending out content.
Then, when you are ready to go you will want to create posts that have the best chance of engagement from the right people.

How to create engaging Google Plus posts

So, if engagement appears to be one of the key factors in Social SEO, then you will want to make sure your content is as engaging as possible. As such, there is no better way to show this than by PYBer Dustin Stout’s image below. The original article is here and thank you for his permission to use it.

anatomy-of-a-perfect-google-plus-post

 

Note, here at PYB we tend to look at a mix of ‘picture posts’ and using ’embedded links’ as part of the overall Social SEO approach. If you want to know more on that then please do get in touch.

Here is a quick video for you in the meantime:

Sharing content via a Google+ profile

Next, going from your profile, you can visit the page, and instead of saying that you’d like to use Google+ as that page, you simply share the content from that page to the people with whom you’re interacting from your profile. Now if you do this, it’s likely you’re going to have more people that will start following the page. Particularly if you say, this is where you’ll be putting certain content and you won’t necessarily be sharing it to your profile. So if they relate to that content, they’re likely then to follow that page.
Note: the more you and people within your organisation have built their personal networks, then the more this method works.

Using communities to gain engagement

The next tip, if you’re working again as your page, and you share to a specific community, you can do that just in the same way as you share to ‘Publi’c but you choose a community to which you are a member, then that content will appear from that page. And this way, people will see the content that that page is promoting, that page is sharing. And if they relate to it, again, they may well add you in.

And another quick word of caution, if people find that that content is not relatable for the specific community in which you’re sharing it, then it’s likely you’re going to get removed or even banned because people may feel it’s a little bit too much like spam. But if the content is relatable, then you’ll probably be fine.

Making your content go viral

Another tip is to get your content onto the What’s Hot and Recommended list. Now this will happen when posts regularly get a certain number of +1’s, a certain number of shares, a certain number of comments. And it becomes important from a followers’ ie. a circler’s point of view – by being on that list, you will have more people potentially follow the page just because your post has been seen by more people. Now, how you do that is another story. But in essence, look to get as many +1’s, comments, and shares as you can on your post, and it’s likely at some point, it will then go over to that list.
Note: from a true Social SEO point of view it is more important that people with authority on a subject know and support your content than simply trying to get ‘a load of shares’.

Using Google Hangouts

Google+ is a community of people who have been doing ‘this’ for a while. There is a general culture of mutual collaboration and support, and countless sub-cultures as the world displays itself in a digital space. As such, you can connect to people using the tools you have available, and one of the best are Google Hangouts. Think about interviewing people to whom you want to connect and build a relationship. The more you make it about ‘them’ the better you will do. And guess what? You will find that the more you do this, the more people will start to engage with you too.

Paying for attention (in a good way)

If your Google+ page relates to a business, and that business has a physical location, then you’ll also have the opportunity to use Google Express. Google Express is a paid promotion of your page or your website within a certain radius from your business. Now this can be incredibly useful to get the right people looking for what you have to your doorstep at the right time.

People know your name

This also relates to the Google concept of ZMOT. ZMOT means Zero Moment Of Truth. If you’d like to know more, go to www.zeromomenofftruth.com and you can download a handbook there. In essence, it’s about having touch points with people who are going to make a decision at a point in time to purchase online. And the more touch points you have in a positive fashion, the more likely they will choose you over and above someone else. Why would they go to anyone else when they have had 5, 10 or 20 positive experiences with you and your brand already? This is the real power of social.

Conclusion

Now putting it into my words and making it a little more simple than it is – but in essence, everything you’re doing on Google+ will really help you to build the relationships, build up those multiple touch points, and enable that decision to be you as opposed to another competitor, brand, or idea. And guess what, this is really what Social SEO is all about. Being there at the right time for that person.
The world of SEO really has changed. The world is now Social.