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How To Flawlessly Execute Strategic Blogging

By | Content Marketing, Useful Tips | No Comments

“Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. A great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling.” – Naveen Jain

Jain is a business executive, entrepreneur and the founder of InfoSpace. As someone who successfully led a company that was, for a time, one of the largest internet companies in the American Northwest, he’s established himself as someone who knows what it takes to win at entrepreneurship.

InfoSpace was a company that provided information content, like maps, phone directories, and so on, and through Jain’s leadership, they used a co-branded strategy to drive consumption and revenue. Rather than try to get people to come to InfoSpace, they worked with the major websites of the time, like Lycos and Excite, and embedded their InfoSpace branded content onto those sites, receiving a percentage of revenue.

While that sounds brilliant, think about what it took to achieve that co-branded strategy. Jain no doubt had to work closely with the CEOs of those respective sites, explaining to them what InfoSpace had to offer and how that could work to benefit both brands.

And then, InfoSpace had to deliver. Day in and day out. Can you imagine how quickly Excite would have dropped InfoSpace if there’d been service outages?

Basic blocking and tackling. Making sure that the company delivered on expectations and executed flawlessly what their customers demanded.

The Blocking and Tackling of Blogging

That’s not to suggest that blocking and tackling is easy. Or even obvious. To further explore that analogy, because it’s a good one, let’s take a moment to consider what blocking and tackling means, and then we’ll be in a better position to relate the idea to blogging.

Blocking is what the players in the offensive line in a football game do, while tackling is what the defensive players do. Linemen are permitted to position themselves in front of defending players and try to “block” them from getting to whomever is carrying the football at that moment. On the other hand, the defenders are doing everything they can to get their arms around the offensive player who happens to have the football and bring them to the ground in a tackle.

Blocking and tackling requires physical skill, to be sure, as well as practice of technique, and awareness of the game around them. Players need to know who to block or tackle, and to execute those maneuvers well in order to succeed in each play.

And that’s repeated play after play after play, for four quarters of a game, sixteen games a season, year after year.

Note though that we’re not talking about running or breathing or other basic aspects of athleticism. While those skills are needed and used, they’re so basic they’re assumed. Football players must be fast and strong and have stamina, or they’ll never play past middle school flag football (which is about where I stopped, in fact).

When it comes to blogging then, when we say “blocking and tackling” we’re not referring to being able to write, or use grammar, or some of the other fundamentals of blogging. Rather, we’re talking about several key aspects which, if not executed flawlessly, there cannot possibly be a successful blogging strategy.

Who Are You Blogging For

It’s therefore not enough to create a strategy for your blog that focuses on a few topics. You have to have a very specific audience in mind. A few audiences, actually.

Small business owners? Too vague.

Small business owners who want to have a stronger online presence, and are unfamiliar with Google+ and Google My Business? A lot more refined.

The more targeted you get with your audience definition, the better you will be able to hone your writing and topic selection.

More importantly, as Kevan Lee at Buffer puts it, “Building personas for your core audience can help improve the way you solve problems for your customers.”

So take the time to work up personas for your ideal customers. You can see many examples from Hubspot.

But there’s a second dimension to defining your audience and the execution of your blog content, and that is Funnel Analysis.

Funnel Analysis simply refers to understanding what the different stages are for your buyer’s sales cycle, and making sure that you have content appropriate for each stage. They’re typically broken out into:

TOFU – Top Of Funnel

MOFU – Middle Of Funnel

BOFU – Bottom Of Funnel

Top Of Funnel prospects are just finding out about your brand and services, and often don’t even realize that they have a problem which you can solve. Someone catching one of your blog posts on social media and clicking through to read it because it interested them is likely at this stage.

Middle Of Funnel prospects are actively looking for a solution to a known problem, but likely haven’t yet identified what that solution looks like, let alone potential providers. While you might get their attention on social media, it’s more likely that they’ll have found you via search.

Bottom Of Funnel prospects are familiar with you and what you have to offer, and are likely considering you alongside other competitors. They’re probably following one or more of your social media accounts, as well as having subscribed to your email list.

If you are only creating content that’s interesting and relevant to top of funnel prospects, you will find it extremely challenging to see positive results from your content marketing efforts.

At every stage of your sales cycle, your prospects have questions. Some questions may be about you in particular, of course, and your website or a sales representative doubtless does an adequate job of answering those questions.

But what about the questions that are very specific to your solution, but not specific to your brand? Are you addressing those in your content? And if you are, are you making sure that prospects are able to easily move from one piece of content to another, funneling them through your site appropriately?

Think about who you’re blogging for, and the kind of funnel you’re creating for your prospects. That is the first step that we must take to be more strategic with our blogs.

What Are You Blogging About

The second step to flawlessly executing a more strategic blog is to more carefully consider what it is that we’re blogging about.

We mentioned a moment ago the need to create content for our target audiences, and to identify what the sales cycle looks like for our solutions so that the content can assist with each level. Now it’s time to figure out what that is, exactly.

The good news is, there’s no need to guess. You likely already have a lot of positive indicators already as to what you should be writing about.

Sales Team

Whether you have a full sales team, or it’s just you doing all the sales, either way, make sure that there’s a strong relationship and communication between Sales and Marketing. Your marketing needs to understand what questions are being asked by prospects.

Some questions from prospects are great, and demonstrate not only interest in the product, but opportunities for salespeople to do their thing. If they have no questions to answer then they cannot highlight specific features and benefits that they know will resonate with the prospect.

On the other hand, there are no doubt questions you’re getting from prospects which are real barriers to moving forward. The kinds of questions that many prospects run into and decide not to take the time to ask.

Those are the kinds of questions you should consider answering, either on your landing pages themselves, or in blog posts.

Social Media

Another great source of feedback on blog post topics is your online community. You can look at what your followers have been interested in from your past posts, as well as what people are talking about in other communities and on other brand pages.

If I wanted to get a better understanding of where people were struggling with Google+, I’d need only to spend some time in the Plus Your Business Community and get involved in some of the discussions.

Trending topics on Google+, Twitter and Facebook may also provide insight into what your target audience is interested in, assuming such mainstream subjects are appropriate for your business. Most are news and pop culture, but there’s always the possibility for some newsjacking.

Google Analytics

Using Google Analytics, you can review how your existing content has and is performing, and take note of what works and what doesn’t.

Ideally, you would set up your Google Analytics so that you have clear Events and Goals throughout your site so that you can actually track what people do.

Events can be used to monitor activities on specific pages, like whether someone clicked a specific link.

Goals can be used to monitor a specific set of tasks that your site visitors can accomplish, like signing up for a newsletter.

The difference lies in what you wish to measure. While it’s nice to see from your Goal report that you had 20 newsletter signups yesterday, what it can’t tell you is which link or widget those signups came from. Was it the content upgrade form you put at the top of the article, or the sidebar widget?

Events can help us to understand how effective specific tactics are, while Goals help us track overall performance of our content marketing efforts.

With that in mind, and a proper setup of Events and Goals, you can begin to get a sense for how individual pieces of content perform – beyond traffic and social shares, which are not necessarily tied to actual business goals.

If you can see that certain topics are really resonating and driving more leads than others, it may provide you with insight into what additional content to create.

Note that businesses with longer sales cycles will need a more robust set of content marketing tools to accurately gauge the effectiveness of content, like Curata or Percolate.

Keyword Research

But what if you don’t have a wealth of existing content to analyze and get inspired from?

That’s where Keyword Research comes into play. Some of you have never done keyword research in your lives, while others have only done rudimentary searches using Google Suggest or Google’s Keyword Planner.

It’s time to get serious about this, folks.

Keyword Research is how you’ll know, before you write an article, that there’s going to be actual interest in that topic.

If you’ve been following me online for a while, you’re no doubt familiar with my reputation. But for those of you whom I haven’t met, perhaps it’s time to pause for a moment and introduce myself.

I’m Mike Allton, and I love to blog. I have a real gift and passion for writing, and love to blog about content marketing in particular. Over the years, I have particularly enjoyed writing about breaking news topics in the social media space, and have also used my blog to share and talk about live video events.

Once I was on a Hangout with Jeff Sieh, Stephan Hovnanian, Les Dossey and Wade Harman. During the broadcast I was taking notes in Evernote and so, shortly after it was over, I was able to publish a blog post that had the HOA embedded along with show notes.

My reputation for being able to blog, even during a live interview, was born.

Now that you know a little more about me, let’s get back to keyword research and why it’s critical for your blogging strategy that you flawlessly execute this tactic.

Unless you love to blog, like me, you are not going to be interested in wasting your time writing about topics that your audience might not be interested in.

You need to make sure that virtually every post your write, every piece of content that you create, has a real purpose that has been researched and identified. Is it solving a problem? Are there people actively looking for this information?

How do you know?

Keyword Research.

Keyword research is the study of which keywords are being used in search engines to find information, and the subsequent analysis of that data.

In other words, it’s our attempt to predict whether a piece of content will gain interest and traffic from search engines based on what people have been looking for in the past.

Before deciding on a particular topic to write about, it’s therefore smart to do some digging and see what kinds of topics are getting a good volume of searches each and every month. At the same time, we’ll want to look at how much competition there is for those keywords, and avoid those that are too competitive.

Facebook, for instance, gets tons of searches every month, but also is mentioned on a gazillion sites, so there’s virtually no chance your blog about “Facebook” is going to rank. “Facebook Authorship” on the other hand, is far less competitive (as evidenced by me being able to get not one but two articles ranked in the top spots for that term). But is anyone searching on that phrase? Not a lot.

Therefore there needs to be a balance between interest and competition. Over at SiteSell where I’m the CMO, we talk about this a lot because we have a tool specifically designed to help identify the potential for a specific keyword based on the level of interest and competition it faces.

Keyword research is about more than just looking up specific phrases though, since that’s inherently limited by your own imagination. It also needs to have an element of discoverability. A way for you to explore other keyword possibilities beyond what you can think of and research yourself.

Google Suggest is a fun place to start. Just head over to google.com and start typing in a phrase like “How to” and let Google’s autocomplete finish the sentence. (Not sure why “How to get away with murder” was so prominently suggested, Google.)

To get serious about keyword research though, you’re going to need tools to help you measure, explore, and track keywords over time. I’ve assembled a list of the best keyword research tools that you can review.

Where Are You Blogging

Once you’ve identified your target audience, the stages of your sales cycle, and the topics of interest to your audience, it’s time to consider your blogging platform.

Back in the 1800’s, when the United States was developing what we now have as modern day political campaigning, candidates for office recognized the need to travel to different communities and speak to large groups of people, but there were no theatres or auditoriums or stadiums. Candidates literally had to bring their stage with them, usually just a flatbed wagon drawn by horses.

That’s why, to this day, the issues and positions that define a candidate are referred to as his or her platform.

But fast forward to the 21st century, and now everyone has access to a virtual stage and microphone. Their platforms consist of contacts and followers.

As Michael Hyatt, bestselling author of “Platform, Get Noticed In A Noisy World” explains, “In other words, a platform is your tribe. People who share your passion and want to hear from like-minded people.”

That means that today, your blogging platform doesn’t refer to what CMS your blog is running on. It refers to the community that you’re building around your blog.

Oh, your website and blog and certainly a key component of that. But so are your social profiles, email lists, and the online groups you choose to build and engage with.

Martin Shervington has been saying for years how important it is to build community, and he’s right. Content is King, and Community is your Kingdom. It’s where you develop relationships and authority.

And since that is true, it therefore follows that you must craft your content to support that platform. It requires awareness of intent, and awareness of consumption. Both of which I’ll explain.

Awareness of intent refers to making sure that you are constantly mindful of the community that you’re building around your brand and business.

A great example of this is blogging frequency. How often and how regular are you blogging? If you have been publishing a blog post every Sunday (as David Amerland does so well with his Sunday Reads), you instill in your community an expectation that you will continue to publish content on that same weekly schedule indefinitely. It becomes something many will look forward to, and feel real abandonment should you ever miss a date.

I, on the other hand, have never held to a specific publishing schedule for more than two weeks, so I have set no expectations which could be left unmet. But that also means I miss out on the potential for some followers to be actively looking for my content on a scheduled basis.

Other examples of being aware of intent include being mindful of the topics you write about, the style of your writing, and other elements which make you and your content uniquely you.

Change one of those elements, and you risk jarring your audience and community, like removing a support from your platform. If carefully considered, the results might prove to be overwhelmingly positive. But if done without care, it could be devastating.

Awareness of consumption refers to how and where your audience gets your content. This could refer to your blog, literally, or to other platforms you might use to communicate like LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, or Facebook Notes. It might refer to your social media profiles, email lists, or online groups and communities.

It can also refer to devices and presentation. Mobile usage is growing daily, so that’s an excellent example of an area where businesses and bloggers need to be aware of consumption and respond accordingly.

Beyond the technical aspects of something like mobile friendliness, I’m interested in the content itself that you’re writing. While you can write articles and content that are for everyone, regardless of where they’re consuming them or where the articles are written, having that keen awareness and insight into your audience has the potential to make your content that much more rich and effective.

Take this post, for instance. I wrote it knowing full well that it was to be published on the PlusYourBusiness.com blog, and not my own, and that it would be shared most prominently with and for the Plus Your Business! Community. If you go back and look through the examples and comments above, you’ll no doubt note references to this site, community and platform that are intended to make the post more relatable to the reader.

The targeted reader. A reader of the Plus Your Business! site and member of the Google+ community.

You see, clearly “blogging” doesn’t have to refer to the creation of content for your own blog. It can be writing for other people’s blogs, writing on third-party “outposts” like LinkedIn, or even writing long-form posts on social media.

You can blog wherever your audience is and wherever you feel that particular piece of content, that voice, can have the most impact.
That’s Strategic Blogging. And it’s a been a pleasure to share with you the blocking and tackling needed to make your blogging effective. I hope you’ve gained further insight into how to improve your blog, and I certainly welcome your questions and comments. Please consider joining any of the conversations already taking place on Google+ and elsewhere around shares of this post.

How to create a list on Twitter

By | Twitter, Useful Tips | No Comments

Here are the simple steps on how to create your own list on Twitter and how it is a great tool for engagement.

1. Enter the account from which you want to have the list ‘owned’
2. Click on the account to bring up the drop down
3. Choose ‘list’ from the menu
4. Scroll down to the area that says ‘create list’
5. Then you will see a pop up – you can name, and give a description
6. Choose ‘Public’ or ‘Private’ and click ‘Save’

When you add someone to a Public list, they will (most likely) receive a message saying the name of the list they’ve been added to.
This is a great additional engagement tool.

Note: no-one else can see a ‘private list’ so will not be able to follow it.

More on Twitter lists here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/76460

How to create a list on Twitter

The Art of Managing a Google+ Brand Page

By | Google Plus, Useful Tips | No Comments

I’m just going to be up front with all of you: Managing a page on Google+ is both an art and a skill that takes a lot of time and a lot of energy. It’s not about simply broadcasting a message and then going about your day as planned. No. Google+ page management is about engagement, finding those who appreciate your content and interacting with them regularly. People love following and interacting with other people and many times are willing to take a chance on a person just to see if they drum up some interesting content. Pages are not so lucky.

People have gained over the years a certain expectation of brands… And I can tell you as a page manager, it’s not a good one. This isn’t to discourage you from managing a page. It’s to prepare you for the environment you’re entering and to give a context as to why my “dos and don’ts” of page management consist of what they do. Just know that every engager you get as a page means that you have potentially changed one more mind about the authenticity and humanness of brands everywhere, but more importantly you have changed one more mind about your brand.

Reveal the Voices behind your Brand1. Do announce the voice(s) behind the brand

As I mentioned, people like to talk to other people more than they like to talk to brands. Therefore, make it very clear on a regular basis who is behind the brand. Most of the people who follow SEOWiSE are well aware that am the one posting on behalf of the brand. In fact, many of the SEOWiSE followers have come from first interaction with me as a person and then have moved to interacting with the brand page. Be open with your audience who they are talking to. You’ll build trust faster and your openness will invite the audience in.

2. Do Listen, listen, listen.

Brands over the years have come to be known as broadcasters… A.K.A. brands are known to send out messages, not listen to them. The more listening you do (to potential customers and your biggest competitors) the more you’ll understand how to best send your own message. The first step to creating a message is understanding your audience. To understand your audience you must first listen.

3. Do engage every day.

You don’t have to share an original post every day (unless you’re in the blogging industry then you may want to consider it). But you should show a presence every day. If you don’t find a post you’d like to share, then comment on the posts of others and plus posts you find interesting that still fit into your brand’s objectives. Note: Always follow up on responses to your comments! Which leads me to…

4. Don’t drop a comment and dash. Create conversations.

The best way to humanize a brand is to stop broadcasting and start conversing. Sure, feel free to share your blog posts but make sure to stimulate conversation around them. When you don’t have a blogpost of your own to share, share posts of others or comment on their posts to have a discussion as the brand. If someone responds to your comments, respond back as you would with any regular conversation.

Focus on individuals, not numbers

5. Do focus on individuals, not numbers.

As a brand people are going to expect you to be obsessed with follower counts, not the individual behind the follower. Show people that you care about your followers. In the NOD3x Community for example, John Dietrich makes it a point to recognize the new members every few weeks to make them each feel welcome and show appreciation for their interest in NOD3x. Show each person that to your brand they’re important, even if they are just one person.

6. Do engage in relevant communities

It’s amazing how much easier your audience is to find when you join relevant communities. But don’t just join the communities, participate in them. And I am not saying drop all of your posts into a community. Engage on other community posts first, get a feel for the community, and then begin sharing your community relevant content.

7. Don’t bash others.

Do as you like with your personal profile but do not get negative on your brand page. That’s exactly what people want you to do. If you’re dealing with a spammer then delete their comment and send them a private message as to why their comment was deleted. If you’re dealing with a negative Nancy I like to probe them publicly as to why they feel such negativity toward the post, ideas, or brand itself. They usually don’t have an answer for me (but always be prepared for one just in case). Sometimes having an intelligent conversation with someone who initially openly hates your brand (an upset customer, someone who just hates you for your brand name, someone who dislikes your marketing tactics) can end up not only converting that individual but is a fantastic trust builder for those others who see the conversation.

A great recent example of this is Hootsuite’s use of negative feedback to make a hilarious video introducing their new User Interface. They took the format of Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” segment and made an engaging video that showed both a sense of humor AND that they’re listening to ALL forms of feedback.

8. Do help others.

I realize we’re all extremely busy but any time you or your brand can lend a helping hand to others, you’ll better solidify a relationship. SEOWiSE has worked numerous times with BIG FUN Education because we believe in what they do and what they stand for. Establishing relationships with nonprofits that align with your brand is a win-win-win: The nonprofit gets the help it needs, you feel good about what you’re doing, and your brand gets more positive exposure.

9. Stop reading, start doing!

Stop reading this blogpost and get out there and try it! I can’t tell you all the secrets because as with any communication, there are going to be differences for each and every brand. There are huge differences between the pages I manage, each requiring a slightly unique approach. So make mistakes… It’s okay! I went through, and still continue to go through a ton of trial and error to figure out what works for our brand and what doesn’t. People actually appreciate seeing my mistakes as long as I share with them what I’ve learned.

So stop reading, start doing!

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

Your First 9 SEO Tasks

By | Google SEO, SEO, Useful Tips | No Comments

Your First 9 SEO Tasks2

SEO can be bewildering for people who are not familiar with it. Even if you are knowledgeable about it, it can be a large time commitment. If you are just beginning to work on SEO for a web site what are the first things you should plan to do? Here is a list of 9 areas that are a must do:

1. Setup Google Analytics: Or, if you prefer, some other anayltics package. Don’t rely on the analytics your web hosting company provides you, because these are usually pretty primitive and as your knowledge of how to use analytics grows and expands you will find this very limiting. Setup your analytics software right away because that way it can collect history over time which you won’t have if you install it later. Google Analytics is a great choice because it’s free, and actually pretty powerful as well.

Once you have your analytics setup, make sure you learn how to check your organic search traffic volume, and specifically, the traffic from Google. Just open your analytics for your web site and click on the links in the order shown in this screen shot:

Google Analytics Google Organic Traffic

This is the first step. You should also setup conversion tracking as you want to see how much business you are getting from organic search traffic. You can see a great guide to setting up Google Analytics Conversion Tracking here.

This is a must do because it helps you measure the bottom line, and that’s a really good thing. Note that if you don’t sell products directly off your site, measure contact requests, or visits to key pages, or other metrics that will help you see if that organic search traffic is benefitting your business!

2. Setup Google Webmaster Tools: What does Webmaster Tools get you? Plain and simple, think of it as a report from Google on some of the things they observe about your site. You should want that. In fact, you should want that badly! Some of the more interesting data they provide includes:

  1. Backlink Data
  2. Rankings Data
  3. Most Common Keywords on Your Site
  4. Crawl Data
  5. and, a whole lot more!

Just for example, here is a screen shot of a crawl report:

Webmaster Tools Crawl Report

3. Check Your Indexing Status: This is one of the basics, and it’s easy to do, as it requires only two steps. The first step is to write down on a sheet of paper how many pages you think your site has. If you have a blog or an e-commerce site, you need to remember all the category pages or archive pages. You don’t need an exact count for this, but you do need to hvae a sense as to whether or not its dozens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands or more.

For your second step, go to Google and type in the following search query: “site:yourdomain.com” (quotes not needed). The result you will get will look something like this:

Example Site Query Search Result

This result shows how many pages has in their index for your site. Did the number Google returned shock you? Did you think you had 10,000 pages and Google showed only 132? If so, you probably have a problem. Or, did the reverse happen? You thought you had 123 and Google shows more than 10,000? This would also indicated a problem (which may be a duplicate content problem!).

If either of those things happens, its time to get yourself some SEO help. Unless you are very technical you probably will not be able to figure this out on your own, but I have included this step in here because its better to know you have a problem if you do.

4. Run a Crawler on Your Site These are tools that will read your site in the same mechanical way that Google does. Here are two good ones to use: Xenu or Screaming Frog. Xenu is more of a general purpose crawler and Screaming Frog is more targeted at SEO. Whichever you use, make sure to fix all the “Page Not Found” errors.

These are also known as 404 errors as this is the status code returned by a web page when someone tries to access a web page that does not exist. When Google sees a lot of these it can lead them to believe your site is of poor quality. You don’t want that! If you use Screaming Frog you can spot other problems, such as the presence of missing or duplicate title tags, but more on that in points 6 and 7 below!

5. Pull keyword volume data Find out what keywords related to your business are most searched on by users. There are several tools that can do this, including Google’s Keyword Planner (requires that you have an AdWords account), and Wordtracker.

Keyword Research for iPhone Cases

This data is invaluable for many reasons. One of those we will discuss in the next tip, which focuses on the title tags you use for your pages. But, it is also extremely valuable to understand the language your prospects use when they think about what needs they have related to your product, or products like yours. Marketers 30 years ago would have fallen all over themselves to get data like this. It should impact the language you use on your web site, not just in the title tags of your pages, but also in the content itself.

If you are speaking in the language of your customer, this will inevitably lead to good results for you, not just for SEO, but also for conversion. Important note: Don’t slather these words all over your pages with reckless abandon (sometimes aka “keyword stuffing”)! You still want to create pages that look good, and intelligent, when your prospective customers are viewing it.

6. Optimize the Title Tags of Your Site: I wrote an in-depth article called: 3 Golden Rules of Title Tags on Search Engine Watch. The shor summary is that you should try to have a separate page on your site for each major user need you help address. The keyword research you did in the last step can help you address that, but it is also critical that you draw on other information sources as well.

What user needs do you think you address? Can you do some surveys of people or run some tests to ask those prospects that needs they think they have? This is an important step – it is very hard to close a customer if you don’t bring them to page that speaks to their need. Once you have the list of pages you want, use your keyword research to help you pick out your title tags, as well as help you understand how to structure the content on the page.

7. Eliminate Duplicate Content: The great majority of web sites have some problem with duplicate content. You can read more about the Duplicate Content Problem and Its Solutions here. There are countless sites that Stone Temple Consulting has worked on where we increased their search engine traffic just be addressing duplicate content problems.

How do you find it? Look for duplicate (or near-duplicate) title tags – this can often be a hint that a page is a duplicate page. Where can you get that data? Remember the crawl of your site we did in Step 1 above? Now you get to use that data again. Here is an example of some of the output from the Xenu crawler:

Xenu Title Analysis

Scan the title tag column and find the pages that look like they have the same title. Once you have identified the problem pages you will need to bring your developer in to help resolve the issue, but at least you will know what to tell them. This may sound a bit painful, but it is definitely worth it!

8. Create Remarkable Content: One of the big problems with the world of SEO it that there is so much disinformation out there. Article after article will talk about some trick someone learned that “drives SEO”. Much of this advice will lead you to do things with your site and content that is only for search engines, and most of that advice is bad.

Focus instead on creating non-commercial content that differentiates you from your competition. This is actually what the search engines want you to do as well. How to do this is a long story, but the basics are that you need to truly be an expert in your space (or employ one), and have them write content that solves problems for others, in novel ways that other people have not done it.

May not be simple to do, but it’s how businesses make it, or not, in today’s digital world.

9. Tell the World About it:

Last, but not least, you need to let people know what you have done. We don’t live in a “build it and they will come” world. You do have to get out there and promote your business, and more importantly the great content you have created. The ways to do this are many and varied, but include building up a strong social media presence, publishing columns in journals/blogs that cover your industry, speaking at conferences, and concepts like these. If you have completed the first 8 steps, this last one will turn out to be easier than you think!

Summary

So there you have it – 9 steps to launching a web site that is search engine optimized. No doubt that there is a lot of work here, but the upside is well worth it.

Google Plus – Frequently Asked Questions!

By | Google Plus, Useful Tips | No Comments

We felt the time had come to release this into the wild as so many people have questions that can be easily answered with a quick scan of this content. We hope it helps with your Google+ adventures for business and individuals too.

All uncredited questions are answered by Martin Shervington.

Profile

Q. What tools are available to Google+ users to boost their productivity and profile management?

Circlecount.com and GplusData.com provide excellent intelligence on your posts & profile engagement (and that of the pages & communities you manage). Friends+Me (post from G+ to other social accounts). Sprout Social and Hootsuite also offer the ability to post to your Google+ Page (these are commercial products)

Bufferapp is my favourite tool for scheduling and posting, works on Google+: The +mentions can be added via typing + and immediately the G+ ID number of a page or a profile. From JaanaNyström

Q. If I add my URL in text onto my cover photo, is it clickable?

No, however, if you add the full URL (including the http://) in the photo description, users who click on your cover photo will be able to navigate to your web page from there. Stephan Hovnanian

Circles

Q. How many people can you have in your circles on a Profile or a Page?

5000

Q. How many people can you add to circles in one day?

It depends, but work on a few hundred (maximum of 500) as a principle. If there has been a lot of activity e.g. rearranging your circles by adding and deleting then it may well flag up that you cannot add any more, saying something like ‘Error changing circle memberships’.

Q. What does extended circles mean?

Extended circles means your circles + who ‘your circles’ have in their circles.

Q. If I share to public and to a circle, will people get notified?

People won’t get notified unless you ‘check’ the box to notify a circle. If you +mention they they get notifications though; and if people have notifications switched ‘on’ for your Page in their own settings.

Pages

Q. Can you set up a Google+ Page as ‘private’?

No. You can however set it up and only share the content privately e.g. individuals or circles. Stephan Hovnanian

Q. Is it better to have a Profile or a Page?

There are a number of reasons to have one or both. You will have to make that decision based on your business goals. However, a Profile is critical if you wish to use Authorship. And if you decide to use a Page, you will get the most out of the Page if you set a password for it or have it connected to its own Google Account. Stephan Hovnanian

Q. What does Google mean by ‘verified Page’?

Google use the word verified in relation to Pages for at least 5 different reasons

1. A verified Local business listing (done via a pin to verify the address is correct).

2. A website is verified as connected to a Google+ Page.

3. An email address has to be verified when displayed on a Google+ Page.

4. A verified Google+ Page for big brands to show they are genuine.

5. A website has to be verified when added to Google Webmaster tools.

If your just trying to verify a standard Google+ Page The verified you need is just as simple as adding your site in your Google+ Page and linking back to your Google+ page from your site using a publisher tag.

If your trying to verify a Local listing this has to be done via a pin number they will send you. Terry Simmonds

Q. On a Google+ Page, there is the a number of +1s – how does this ‘get accumulated’?

A. Thomas Morffew says: +1 count is officially called the “Google+ Social Number”

“The Google+ social number is a quick summary of a brand’s or article’s social engagement. The social number includes Google+ activities across the web, such as +1′s, shares and follows, and can be seen on Google+ pages and anywhere Google+ plugins appear.”

And Mark Traphagen adds: If your Page owns a community, the number of members in the community are added to the Page’s displayed +1 count. Also, Page owners/managers will see a different displayed count if they are logged in or out.

Google Hangouts

Q. How many people can join a Google Hangout?

Hangouts are both text and video call. You can have up to 99 people in the text aspect and 10 in the video call at one time. BUT really, it is not people in the video call but ‘devices’ and as such you could have a room of people just take up one slot a person normally would. Also, you can have up to 15 devices attached on a corporate/enterprise account using Google Apps for Business.

Q. I heard Hangouts On Air are “Public”, does that mean that anyone can join them?

No, only the people or circles you invite can join your Hangout On Air. But anyone can view the video stream.  You can’t invite “public” to a Hangout On Air.

You can, however, invite “public” to a regular Hangout Video Call. In that case anyone (whether they are in your circles or not) can join that Hangout Video Call Paulino Brener

Q. I did a Hangout On Air but I want to add an intro/outro or delete some parts from the video, can I do that?

For some simple edits (and if your video is under two hours) you can use YouTube’s Video Editor – Paulino Brener

For videos longer than two hours you need to download them, edit with your own software and upload again to your YouTube channel. To download a video just go to your Video Manager page  click on the arrow next to “edit” on the video you want to

Q. How do I delete someone from the list of people on ‘hangouts’?

If you ‘block’ the person, then after a few days you will probably find they have been removed from the hangout list.You can then ‘unblock’ them.

Q. How do I delete a person from a hangout?

You cannot delete a person, but you can delete a hangout.

Q. How can I share the screen to a ‘Powerpoint’ presentation?

Go to your presentation and click Slide Show>Set Up Show…

You then get a pop up box called ‘Set up slide show’

You have to tick ‘Browsed by an individual (window)’ which then presents your presentation in a window, not as a full screen. Now you can share your presentation without all the notes and next slides on show – problem solved! Answer from Graham Todd.

Hangouts on Air

Q. Is there a way to help ‘bulletproof’ my Company HOA show? How can I be sure ‘the show must go on’? Can I insure that my HOA will continue even if there are Internet problems during the show?

If a PAGE is running the HOA, then having multiple Page Managers in the filmstrip will allow the original HOST to automatically pass over the Hosting functions to other Managers if they were to be kicked off or loose connection to the show for any reason. Think backup host. Ronnie Bincer

Etiquette

Q. What does h/t mean when you see it on a post?

It means ‘Hat/Tip’ or ‘Thanks’ – people do it to acknowledge where they found the content they are sharing. It is especially used when you share a post someone else has already shared.

Managing Notifications

Q. How can I adjust my setting for notifications I receive?

You can do that here: http://google.com/settings/plus

Q. What’s the difference between the types of notifications?

Various activities across Google+ that interact with your profile will trigger a notification to display in the upper right corner of your Google+ page (and elsewhere on Google properties, like YouTube or Gmail, when you’re logged into your Google Account). You will see a number next to the “bell” icon indicating a new notification. In your Settings page, however, you can also specify which of these activities will send an email to you, or a “push” notification to your phone. – Stephan Hovnanian

Images

Q. What is the size of a cover photo on a Profile or a Page?

The optimal size is 2120 x 1192 pixels

Q. What is the size of image for a community?

250×250 pixels, with only 200×250 showing in the community (the side get cut down to size but you can see that when you add them in).

Q. What is the size of a banner for an event?

1200×300 is the minimum size permitted. (repeated below)

Q. What size image should you use to get a ‘big picture’ appear in people’s streams?

This is not a size thing as Google determines how some images are ‘made larger’ in the streams.

Google+ Posts

Q. How many people can you notify by email when you do a Google+ post?

It depends on the algorithm. Sometimes you may be able to notify by email as many as 150 people (or more) but a rough guide is around 100. So think about circles about that size if you want to do so.

Q. Why do I get a message saying I “cannot notify that many people” when it is only a small circle e.g. 20 people?

It depends on the algorithm. If for instance you have notified many people that day already, your account could well be restricted for around 24 hours.

Q. How do I save posts on Google+?

My favourite new way to save posts, articles and ideas!

I have started a very secret and private community. Members: Me + my Pages as moderators, all can share with community

Use: Storing data (posts) from Google+ and using the +1 button also from the Interwebz

Categories: Several. From Drafts to tips to Google tools, only part of the topics is visible in the screenshot.

Alerts & post visibility in streams: Off.

Benefit: All pages can save good stuff in one place, inside Google+

Resharing: Easy between pages and profile.

Works also from tablets and mobile phones!

Using a private community for saving posts is a matter of taste, there are many ways of saving data. Pocket, Evernote, empty circles…

I’m a bit wary about the starring extensions because the older ones lost all posts when Google+ UI changed. Perhaps this +Favorite Posts works better: Version 2.0 – goo.gl/4werF

I have many places where I collect data from the Interwebz:

http://www.scoop.it/t/googleplus-help

http://paper.li/JaanaNystrom/1308772803

https://www.rebelmouse.com/JaanaNystrom/

http://pinterest.com/jaananystrom/boards/

I’ve been using the empty circles but with the Community I can share good stuff when browsing the posts on all my Pages, too. They all had their empty circles but now I can have everything in one place.

There is a problem every time major updates happen on Google+: The empty circles seem to lose posts!

Why using general hashtags is not a good idea: Other people use them too, also shared posts come up in search.

Resharing between the community, profile and pages

When you share a post to your private community there are 2 ways to do it: Regular sharing via the Share arrow button OR left clicking the posts’ timestamp and copypasting the URL of the post as a link.

In the first case there is always a link “originally shared this post” and clicking that opens up the original which you can share in Public.

But sharing first to public and then to your private community works better.

If you share something to the community from your profile, you can reshare it from the community as your page as I explained above.

Sharing from your profile to your page or vice versa

You can also reshare anything from your own profile by sharing the post with your page or by +mentioning the page in the comments of the post thus creating a notification. Then the page can reshare the post. However if your page and profile have same followers, sharing the same post simultaneously everywhere is not a good idea.

That’s when the community becomes useful: You can create a “Later” category and share posts from there – well later. Perhaps deleting them from the community after the resharing.

Public Community as landing stage

I have hidden the community posts from my personal profile.

Thus when I share a post first in Public perhaps and then later to the Google+ Helper Community there aren’t any double posts visible on my profile. (All my pages are moderators / owners.)

Then I can later reshare that post directly from the community to my Page, as my Page.

The Public community works as a landing stage between profile and Page getting the maximum visibility for the post.

Private communities in business use

A similar community is a great method of messaging within a company or a project.

If you wish to use a Public community just for sharing information without all the people in your enterprise being able to post there, appoint your key people as members / moderators and just share the link to the community with others. They cannot comment or share the posts, only read and +1 them.

But the content may be visible to anyone, when a private community’s posts are only visible to members.

– Jaana Nystrom

Google+ Events

Q. What size is the ‘image’ in an event (if I want to upload my own)?

The minimum size that works if 1200 x 300.

Communities

Q. What is the maximum number of categories you can currently have in a community?

20

Q. Can I change my community from public to private or from private to public?

No. You chose the community’s privacy settings when you create it and, currently, you can’t change it afterwards. – Paulino Brener

Q. There is already a community about my “topic”, “niche”, “product”, can I still create a community about my “topic”, “niche”, “product”?

You can create a new community with the same name of a “topic”, “niche”, “product”, etc.  Names are not unique. – Paulino Brener

Q. What’s the main difference between the abilities of a moderator and an owner of a community?

A moderator will be able to do everything an owner can do to manage the community, except add additional moderators and delete the community. Answer from: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/2870379?hl=en-GB

Chrome Extensions

Q. What Chrome extensions would you recommend?

Chrome extensions worth adding include DoShare (scheduled posts from profile),  Favorite Posts for Google+ (for Bookmarking), CircleCount (added stats of users on their hovercards), and Circloscope Premium (complete circle management tool, $47). – Stephan Hovnanian

Google Hovercard

Q. What parts of my profile show up on my hovercard?

In addition to the cover photo, profile image, and name the following fields from your “About” tab will appear: for Pages, your URL. If your business is a Local page, the location will also appear. For Profiles, your name, tagline, current employer, current education, and location will be shown. You might want to experiment with different information and lengths of text to “optimize” your hovercard to encourage people to add you to their circles when they see your information. – Stephan Hovnanian

Google+ Search

Q. Can I search Google+ by date of posts?

Yes, you can search using keywords and dates e.g. ‘Shervington 7th July’ and that will get you close.

Q. Will hashtags used in comments show up when people search within Google+

No, hashtags in comments will not show up.

Google Local and Google+ Business Pages

Q. Can you merge Google Local and Google+ Business Pages?

You cannot merge Google Local and Google+ business pages!
https://plus.google.com/u/0/109164280656499025716/posts/ZcWRjz6Mgz5
One can only transfer circles.
Google+ Local is very different from Google+ Business Pages – both are different from Google Places (business listing)!
From Jaana Nyström

Your Account

Q. How do I make sure my account is secure?

Kamal Tailor gives this information…

Set up 2-step login here, and ensure you follow All the steps.

http://www.google.com/landing/2step/

If you are concerned someone may have your account information…

Go here and change your password immediately

https://security.google.com/settings/security/activity

Check your recovery options here and change them to your details

https://security.google.com/settings/security

Read the following information in full

http://www.google.com/goodtoknow/

Q. Where can I review permissions I have given to access my account?

You will find the link here: https://security.google.com/settings/security?pli=1

Q. What should be the way to handle the Google account when someone dies?

Google Inactive Account Manager is HERE!

If you want to have a ‘back-up person’ to be able to access your account, then add in their phone number as an alternative in recovery options.https://support.google.com/mail/answer/183723?hl=en

Custom URLs

Q. Can I choose my own custom URL for a Page?

No, Google will suggest options, usually when you have at least 10 followers (i.e. people in circles) and a linked website.

Troubleshooting

Q. Why can’t I see someone’s profile or page when other people can?

If someone hasn’t shared anything with you, or hasn’t shared ‘publicly’ then you may not see the content. Alternatively you have probably been ‘blocked’ and that is the reason.

Q. I keep getting a message that I can’t share someone’s post that has already been shared by someone. Why is that?

Most probably because you have been blocked by that person.

Q. The owner of a Google+ Page has left my business? I am a manager, but would like to take up ownership. What can I do?

You need to contact that person, be nice to them and ask for them to transfer the ownership to you. You will need to be a moderator for at least 2 weeks for the transfer to happen.

Recovery of an account

Q. How can you recover a Page you if lose all log in information?

The best way to recover the page is by providing an email address on the company’s domain. This path is the least likely though.

The best thing to do is get in touch with the former media manager who was in charge of the pages and ask them for the login access or for the page ownership to be transferred to you.

The best thing to do is this.

Create an email address on the company domain. Name it something like

[email protected] or [email protected]

Then create a Google account without Gmail, using that email address, via this link:

https://accounts.google.com/SignUpWithoutGmail

This creates a higher level of trust between yourself and Google apparently, because no one else can create email addresses on that domain.

Next activate Google+ using your name as you are currently in charge of Social Media. You can abbreviate it to C. Warsh or Charles W. or even Charlie W. to differentiate between your personal profile and this one.

For all Google products make sure that this account owns them. That way if someone does leave the company recovery of the login is simply a matter of changing the password and the name of the profile to the new social media manager.
Provided by John Skeats.

Kamal Tailor adds:  To create pages you need a profile, you can upgrade and downgrade at will, so long as no YT channels are connected to the profile. To create pages you need a profile, you can upgrade and downgrade at will, so long as no YT channels are connected to the profile.

Help

Q. Where can I find the official help community on Google+?

A. The official help community in Google+ is called ‘Google+ Help’

Q. My legal name may look unusual but I have evidence it is my real name. How can I use it on Google+?

Kaleh Kohler gave this answer to a similar question…

A. When you attempt to change the name on your Google+ Profile, place a dot [.] in the last name field.  There should be a sentence (in red) that asks if Google made a mistake, and it provides a link to a form for submitting more information about your name.

Mononyms require submission of a copy of something like your driver’s license or passport.  I have never heard of anyone getting approval for a mononym without that type of documentation.

https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1228271

If you actually have a single-part name, then you should enter it as your first name, and a simple dot (“.”) as your last name, then go through the appeals process.

Google+ and YouTube comment integration

By | Google Plus, Useful Tips, YouTube | No Comments

So, one of my closest friends on here George Sepich and I just ran a test…

He commented on a video on my channel: ‘Great info’

He had the ‘share on Google+’ box checked (note: for the comment only)

This video then appeared on Google+ as a publicly shared post with the comment at the top. He then commented on his thread on Google+ and plusses my name.

This comment shows up under the original one on YouTube. I reply on YouTube and it pulls in his name (as you may expect) and this comment appears on YouTube and Google+ i.e. a comment can lead to a share and that starts a new post on G+, replicating comments back on the thread.

Google+ and YouTube are now fully integration and we can share content without using the usual share methods. p.s. if you only share to ‘circles’, then this is a post just to them.

Google and YouTube integration

Google Plus Tips Guide

By | Google Plus, Useful Tips | No Comments

Over 30 Tips to help navigate Google+

Here are an excellent collection of tips in .gif format to make it easy for you to quickly see what you need to do.

As YouTube is increasingly becoming connected with Google+ you will want to stay on top of managing your connections and the flow of information your receive in your email.
There should be something here for everyone!

Circles

Adding people to circles from ripples

Do you want to connect with likeminded, content loving people in the Plus? Well, with Google Ripples you can do exactly that. As soon as a post has had one share you will find them following the process below. And this is a great way to find influencers too as you can do so from yours and from other people’s posts too.

Adding people to circles from ripples

 

How to change the flow of content from circles in your stream

Want to adjust the flow of content in your stream from circles? It is easy when you know how!

How to change the flow of content from circles in your stream

 

Communities

Create a private community with categories for future posts

Do you ever see content and think “Hey! I’d love to save that for later…”? Well, one great tip is to create a private community just for you, with the categories you want, and then simply share the post into that category when you see something you want to return to later on.

Create a private community with categories for future posts

 

How to turn notifications on or off

Here is a quick tip on how to turn notifications on or off – this is the same approach for circles as well as communities.

How to turn notifications on or off

 

How to change the flow of content from communities in your stream

Do you want to see more content from some communities and less from others in your Stream? Well, simply adjust the settings one community at a time (well, for the ones to which you belong, of course!) And you can also stop showing the content in your stream all together.

How to change the flow of content from communities in your stream

 

How to resume from a position ‘down stream’ and receive more content too

The further you go ‘down stream’ the more hand this little feature will be! Just click and you will see the resume tab ‘near’ the last place you were reading.

How to 'resume' on the Home stream

 

Profile

Showing or hiding posts to communities on your Profile or Page

If you don’t want people to see your posts into communities then simply hide them as follows. Visit: https://www.google.com/settings/plus and uncheck the box, as you can see below.

Showing or hiding posts to communities on your Profile or Page

 

Changing your profile circle settings

Here is a brilliant tip if you want to manage ‘who can see what’ on your profile. When people arrive on Google+, they will often add in circle that could lead to a showing larger number of people they are following than are following them. As such, from a psychological perspective it may be a good idea to hide ‘how many people have you in circles’ just for a little while. You can do this by ‘unchecking’ the box below.

Changing your profile circle settings

 

Viewing the profile as if from other’s perspectives

On Google+ it is easy to ‘flip’ between views and check out who can see what content on your profile. If you look at public first, then change to yourself or a person’s name, you will see what content they too can see. It is a great way to understand the flexibility of sharing different content to different people on Google+.

Viewing the profile as if from other's perspectives

Managing your G+ experience

Customise your hangout settings (part 1)

You will want to tailor your Google hangout experience by changing which circles can a) send you a request, and b) hangout with you. Follow the process below, and then press ‘save’ when you are ready.

Customise your hangout settings (part 1)

 

Customise your hangout settings (part 2)

If you really want control over hangouts, then you will want to make sure you set ‘everyone else’ to be able to ‘send invite’ and not ‘hangout’.

Customise your hangout settings (part 2)

 

Mute posts you no longer want to hear from

Do you ever want to walk away from a conversation and just leave people to it? Well now you can do this online by ‘muting’ a post straight from your notifications.

Mute posts you no longer want to hear from.

 

Where to mute or block a profile

If you decide you not longer want a person/Page to be able to notify you then you can ‘mute, and if you don’t want them to be able to see your Profile and interact with you on those posts, you can ‘block’ following the process below…

Where to mute or block a profile

 

How to submit feedback on Google+

Sometimes you will want to send your thoughts to Google, and you can do so following the process below!

Where to submit feedback on Google+

 

Photos

Changing your photo settings

Let’s say you upload some photos and then want to show them to some more people. It may be to a circle or two, or ‘public’ – whichever way, you can follow the process below and do just that. Very flexible and in your control.

Changing your photo settings

 

Posts

Change settings on who can interact with you

Your settings on Google+ are very much within your control. As such you can choose ‘who’ and ‘where’ people can interact.

Change settings on who can interact with you

 

Choosing to notify a circle by email

Use this very cautiously (and I recommend building opt in lists to do so) but you can check the box and send an email to a circle on Google+. If people LOVE your content then this can really help people receive the message, but if they didn’t ask for it then they make think it is spam…

Choosing to notify a circle by email

 

Flipping the card

Make sure you ‘flip the card’ of Google+ posts to see great related content. And you can click on the hashtags to be taken to a dedicated stream for those posts too.

Flipping the card

 

How to create a new circle from activity on a post

When people are interacting on yours or other people’s content, you may like to add them to a new circle. You can do this straight from a post, even creating a whole new circle.
Note: this circle will ‘sit’ at the bottom of your circles list and on the ‘People’ section of Google+ too, but in the latter you can drag it about to reorganise.

How to create a new circle from actvity on a post

 

How to disable comments and reshares before you post

If you know you don’t want people to either a) comment, or b) share, or both then you can click and prevent those actions even before you’ve shared. Simple.

How to disable comments and reshares before you post

 

How to embed a Google Plus post into a website

If you want to embed a public Google+ post into a website, all you need to do is click the upper right corner and select ’embed post’ as you can see below; then grab the complete text. Then you head to the website, in this case WordPress, and add the same complete text into the ‘text’ editor of a post or a page.

How to embed a Google Plus post into a website

 

How to reply to a foreign name

Here is a great tip for you. If you copy a foreign name (you know what I mean, foreign if you are not used to the characters!) and then add the + front of it once you’ve pasted, you will see the G+ details appear. This is great when then ‘reply’ button is nowhere where you want to paste e.g on another comment thread you want to ping the person into.

How to reply to a foreign name

 

Share public for maximum reach

This is a really simple tip and a reminder to share to ‘public’ if you want maximum reach for your content.

If you don’t, and people try to share, they will get a message saying the original post was ‘shared to a limited audience’.

Share public for maximum reach

 

Search

Use an incognito window to check on search results

Do you like to check for your ‘Search’ results? Well, just a quick tip on using an incognito window, especially as Search is increasingly personalised.

Use an incognito window to check on search results

 

How to filter searches on Google Plus

If you want to find the most appropriate content for you on Google+ then search in the top bar, using a hashtag or not, and then you can choose the most recent, or the best of, and then filter by e.g. people and pages, communities, and even go across to choose from e.g. you and your circles. Enjoy exploring!

How to filter searches on Google Plus

 

Shortcuts!

If you are looking for a quick resource of extra tips then you won’t get much better than these shortcuts. To access them on a desktop then just click the ‘?’ (i.e. shift and the / key on most keyboards). Should be useful to navigate around more easily.

Bringing up shortcuts on desktop

 

Youtube

How to find channel settings and monetization on Youtube

Here is a great tip that won’t seem so obvious at all…
If you want to add thumbnails of your choice to your uploaded YouTube videos, you will need to monetize at least one video in order to unlock this capability. Well worth doing. (I believe you can even un-monetize it later on).

How to find channel settings and montization on Youtube

 

How to subscribe and receive emails of new content

If you are looking at ways to have your finger on the pulse then you will want to subscribe to your favourite YouTube channels AND receive an email when they upload new content. It is very easy to do, but may not be that obvious until you know.

How to subscribe and receive emails of new content

 

Top fans on YouTube –circles

Once you have a few people subscribe to your channel you can bring your Google+ and YouTube experience together even more through adding your top fans to a circle using the process below…

Top fans on YouTube -circles

 

Circlecount

Use circlecount to say thank you when people add you to circles

People love to be added to relevant circles, but so often we miss it when it happens on Google+. Luckily we can use tools like circlecount.com to find out who has added us and shared them publicly. We can then go straight to the circle’s thread and say ‘thanks!’

Use circlecount to say thank you when people add you to circles

 

Extra tips

How to open a new link by dragging and dropping

This is not just Google+ but it really helps there too. Just drag and drop a link into e.g. a new tab to open it up. This can really speed things up as you move about the place.

How to open a new link by dragging and dropping

Shortcuts!

By | Google Plus, Useful Tips | No Comments

If you are looking for a quick resource of extra tips then you won’t get much better than these shortcuts. To access them on a desktop then just click the ‘?’ (i.e. shift and the / key on most keyboards). Should be useful to navigate around more easily.

Bringing up shortcuts on desktop