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Why Google+ Matters and Where it Fits in Your Social Strategy

 

Google+ has over 90 million users. While some marketers consider Google+ small or inconsequential, marketers at the top of their game know that’s not the case. Google+ is one of the largest social networks on the planet. And with Google’s new “Search Plus” features, Google+ has truly become a force to reckon with.

Google+’s “Search Plus” feature essentially uses Google+’s data to help change how your search engine results are weighed. For example, if you’re in someone’s circle and you publish a piece of content, they’re more likely to see that piece of content ranked. If several of someone’s friends like a piece of content, that piece of content is more likely to rank higher.

What’s astounding about “Search Plus” is just how much weight is being placed on these ranking factors. A page that would otherwise never show up on the front page can beat out much more credible sources. As an SEO tool, Google+ now holds unprecedented power.

Now that Google+ is a significant player, how can you harmonize your Google+ efforts with your SEO, your Facebook and your Twitter strategies?

 

Start by Focusing on SEO Fundamentals

The best Google+ optimization in the world won’t make a difference if your website isn’t properly optimized. Google+ can get you a long way, but you still need to handle at least the basics first.

Start by carefully choosing what you’re targeting with your keywords. Use tools like the Google Keyword Tool to figure out the best keywords to target.

Optimize your title tags. This is by far the most important tag on your site. It tells Google what keywords you’re trying to rank for. It’s also your “headline” in the search engine listings.

Write a compelling meta description tag. This tag is what tells the search engines what to put below your title tag. It won’t help your rankings, but it’ll help you get clicks.

Tag all your alt tags in your images. This helps your images rank in Google Images, which in turn helps your rankings in organic Google. It also helps your Google SEO independently.

Develop a strong internal linking structure. Put copious links from your own content to other pages on your site.

Finally, make sure you link to your social media pages from your home page. This helps tell Google that these social media pages are legitimate. That they’re your official page.

 

Develop a Comprehensive Social Media Strategy

Assess both your own social media strategy and your competitors’. Look at:

  • Where are your social media pages ranking right now?
  • Where are your competitors’ social media pages ranking right now?
  • How many fans do they have?
  • How many Twitter followers do they have?
  • How many people do they have in their Google+ circles?
  • How many comments, likes and shares are they getting? What percentage of their followers actively engage with their posts?

This will help give you a sense for where your competitors stand in the social sphere right now. In addition to looking at your competitors, you should also spend a bit of time looking at your own in depth stats.

This will help pinpoint what’s working and what’s not working in your own social media strategy. Take a look at:

  • What kind of content gets the highest virality rating in your posts?
  • What kind of tweets get retweeted?
  • Who’s in your audience? Is it different than the audience of your primary site? Do they vary from Facebook to Twitter to Google+?

Once you have all this information at your fingertips, it’s time to reformulate your strategy. Figure out a purpose for each and every social media platform you’re engaged in.

For example, Facebook may be used for virality and for having two-way conversations with your fans. You can also use Facebook ads’ connection targeting to remind your Facebook fans of your offers.

Twitter on the other hand may be used to answer questions and to build a connection with your audience with quick and fun tips.

Google+ on the other hand should be used with an eye towards SEO. Google+ doesn’t have the same kind of audience that Twitter and Facebook have, but has enormous power in terms of ranking. Take advantage of this power.

 

Making the Most of All Networks

Learning to merge your Google+ strategy with your Facebook and Twitter strategy is essential for your long term success in the social sphere.

In order to do this, you need to know how each network is performing for you. You also need to know the strengths and weaknesses that each network offers you. Then you can effectively form your own unique and tailored social media strategy.

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May 11th, 2012 by admin