Tag Archives: Google Plus

Our Recommended Strategy for Google+

Dear Friend,

Our February 2012 newsletter issue, is an important newsletter about my thoughts on Google+ and the strategic actions that I feel you should take now. Although my firm does not offer client services yet for Google+ account updates or business page updates, what you should do about Google+ should not wait for our services to be rolled out.

I feel that Google+ and +1’s will be extremely important to your organic search placement and warrant careful and close consideration now. In fact, there are several actions you should take within the next 30 days.

If I can help you implement these early steps, just let me know.

Best Regards,

Nancy McCord

What You Should Strategically Do About Google+ Now and In the Near Term

Much has happened just in the last month on Google.com and specifically with Google+. In fact so much so, that I wanted to make sure that all of our newsletter subscribers and clients knew my feelings about how to use Google+ and its importance for organic placement for the future.

First, let’s talk about the actions you should take immediately:

  1. Tie your preferred Google account with Google+.
  2. Lock down your business name as a Google+ Business page.
  3. Lock down a business page with your most important short keyword phrase.
  4. Link your Google AdWords program to your Google+ account user name.
  5. Implement Google +1 on your blog and your website.

These important first steps can easily be done by you or by us. If you need help, please ask us for it as what will be happening with Google+ in the near future is very important to your online visibility.

Second, let’s talk about what Google+ and +1’s are:

Google+ is a social platform. It is not like Facebook but more like Facebook and Twitter combined. However, is it much more important than any of the social networks we know and use now.

You could consider Google+ like a voting and popularity network but one that has the ear of Google. Anything you do on Google+ will most certainly impact your website’s organic placement and Web Visibility in the future. Google has said as much in their releases. Google has additionally stated just this past month that it will be showing social results from your Google+ network in their personalized search results.

What this means is that for people and businesses that embrace Google+ early and start building their network now, there will be strong benefits for their updates and links. This activity will be shown in your own personal and expanded network’s search/social results.

+1’s are Google’s versions of votes. If you like a page, like an ad, like a blog post, like a Google+ comment, you vote it up using a +1. What is crucial to understand is that a +1 is tied to your Google+ activity. These +1 votes will impact your visibility and placement on Google in the new Google Search Plus Your World results.

Third, let’s talk about Google Search Plus Your World:

In mid January, Google rolled out an important change to their search index. They named it Google Search Plus Your World. In my industry we call it Search Plus. Google stated that they will be using activity, updates, Google+ activity, and +1 activity in the search results that they deliver to your personally and to those in your Google+ network.

What is interesting is that even if you are logged out of your Google account, Google is still tracking your activity. Of additional importance is the announcement that the social related results that will be shown in the Google.com index are personally selected for you and WILL contain Google+ activity across your Google+ social network.

That means if you start building your network now, your information and website could be appearing in search results for a very broad network of readers and potential prospects. As this activity comes from your personal network, just like a word of mouth referral, links to you and your profile will most likely carry more authority and legitimacy in the eyes of potential clients. Everyone weights a reference by a friend about a business more than a written review found randomly on the Web. This will be the real impact of Google+ and +1’s in the very near future.

Fourth, why should you take the actions mentioned on this page now:

Based on this new focus for Google, you need to start flowing through search and social activity into your Google+ and +1 bank. If you don’t have accounts, Google can’t tie the activity to you specifically.

If you wait to tie up your business page and top keyword phrase named Google+ Business page, you may find that someone else has tagged it; locking you out of words and phrasing that will be very important to your Google presence in the very near future. Even if you do nothing yet with these new accounts, they will be tied to you so that when you do want to use them you can.

Fifth, why is this so important?

All of these actions to take and the information in this newsletter are important is because the business that is driving this action is Google. As Google owns 65% of the online search market, to be positioned well on Google means taking full advantage of what Google considers important. It is very important to understand that Google+ is not Facebook. Google considers Google+ and +1’s integral to the new face of search and how search results are shaped and delivered. Do not be fooled into thinking that this is just a social network. These new Google offerings are very important and should be embraced quickly and completely for your future organic placement benefit.

Don’t wait beyond 30 days to take the actions we recommend. When Twitter first came out many clients did not move into the platform as they considered it just a time drain. For the clients we work with that embraced Twitter early, many have networks of followers well over 2,500 active users; allowing for some serious marketing action and site promotion. Our recommendation is that Google+ is by far the most important new technology to have come out in the last three years. Don’t miss your opportunity to start now so that you can take full advantage of the future possibilities.

About Our Future Services

My firm does not offer Google+ updating services yet, but will when Google allows for the scheduling of status updates. For now keeping your Google+ page updated is done manually without any automation tools – by Google’s design.

We do however offer Google+ account set up and Google+ Business page set up as well as +1 implementation on your blog and website at our hourly rates of $80 per hour. If you have done set up yourself and we manage your Google AdWords advertising account, make sure to send us your Google+ information so we can tie your accounts together.

To get into our work schedule for set up, implementation or our Google+ services waiting list please contact me today.

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What About Google+?

If you are involved in marketing your products and services do you need to keep a Google+ page updated along with Facebook and Twitter? If you have the time, you should consider setting up and maintaining at least a minimal profile and business page at Google+. Am I recommending that you spend the same amount of time and money on Google+ as you invest in exposure on Facebook and Twitter – no I am not. At least not at this time.

I am watching Google+ carefully, but have not rolled out a service offering on the program yet. Although I think that Google+ and Google+ Pages may be good for businesses, for now there is not enough mainstream consumer or business to business activity there yet to warrant a strong financial investment in maintaining your presence. I am mostly seeing professionals such as myself in the Google+ world. There is simply not a strong vibrant consumer or business selling presence on Google+ yet…

What I do see is that Google is integrating Google+ into nearly all of their properties as they continue to roll out enhancements and improvements to the application. The next hurdle will be the authorization of third party API apps that will allow scheduling of status updates. HootSuite is just one of the companies that Google has selected for testing. With the ability to schedule updates and manage multiple accounts Google+ will grow quickly.

I recommend that for many businesses starting now on Google+ to build a presence for the future is a very smart move. I have several clients who started using Twitter right when it came out and now have follower bases of over 2,500. These high follower bases have given these accounts an unusual amount of clout in their industry. Their updates are routinely retweeted reaching an astronomical number of readers. I expect in the long run Google+ will follow this same growth trend.

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Now You Can Create a Badge for Your Google+ Business Page

Just this past week Google rolled out a badge maker for your Google+ Business page. You can find the creator here: https://developers.google.com/+/plugins/badge/config With the free creator you can make a badge for your Business Google+ page just make sure to insert the correct ID that you can find in your page’s URL.

For example, here is my Google+ Business page address: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/111658254454469926987/#

See this number 111658254454469926987 right in the middle of the URL, that’s the number you grab and put in the badge creator tool in the spot it asks for it. Then you can select your size icon like the one at the top right of our post that is red. You would then insert your code into your website in two places or send the code to your webmaster to install for you.

Now you can let the world know where to connect with you on Google+. For me, connect with my business here:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/111658254454469926987/#

I’ve been taking another careful look at Google+ and I feel that you should too. There is just too much money behind this site to discount it too early in the rollout. Google+ is also testing scheduled updates with one of the tools we love HootSuite. Stay tuned on that topic!

 

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Google+ Requires Another Look

I was an early embracer of the Google+ platform, and then I grew tired of it. Google simply did not move fast enough to engage me in the long run. Issues were that I could not schedule my updates, the people who I wanted to connect with were not on Google+, it seemed like just another attempt to coral my time on a social platform, and there were no tools for businesses.

I have to say that Google+ is winning me back bit by bit. First, just this past week Google+ released the ability for businesses to set up Google+ Business Pages. Then AdWords has allowed the integration of Google+ Business Pages to your AdWords account.

Wow, those are very important new and exciting features. Additionally now on many websites and blogs, you can click the Google+ button and Google allows you to post an immediate post to your Google+ page making social interaction more immediate. These are all very good things! In fact so good that I am taking a much more careful look at Google+ again and how I can use it to connect with others, improve my organic placement, and promote my business.

First, here are a few articles you may also want to review about these new changes on Google+

Connect your Google+ Page to your AdWords campaigns
This article gives a screen shot and information on how to connect your Google AdWords program to your Google+ account for your business. You use the new ad extension called “Social Extensions” and enter the URL of your Google+ Business Page.

Get closer to your customers with Google+
This article gives you the information about how you can promote your business on Google+ and a link to go to set up your own Google+ Business page. It is very simple and is tied to your own personal Google+ account.

What is important to know is that first, by connecting your Business page to your AdWords account, you will be able to benefit from all your Google+ activity and likes both from your ads and your website. You will also be able to review your statistic of engagement in one location.

Google has been very clear that this social activity (clicks on your +1 button) will be factored into their organic search algorithm. It behooves all business owners to keep a very careful eye on what Google is doing with Google+. Just like early embracers of Twitter are reaping organic benefits from Google and Bing’s new SocialRank metric, Google+ activity, although seemingly unimportant right now, may translate into big gains and improved search placement for those businesses that are working the Google system now. We’ll be one of those businesses working the “Google System” for sure! What about you?

 

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Is Google+ a Facebook Killer?

To remain current and grab market share of the social networking phenomena, Google has rolled out as a beta test Google+, which is touted to be Twitter and Facebook all rolled into one application. So will it be a Facebook Killer or just another failed attempt by Google to get into the social game?

Google+ Screen Shot

What exactly is Google+

More than the +1 button, Google+ is a new online social networking application. Reviews so far have been good, but not everyone has seen it yet. I received my invitation in the middle of July and am heavily testing the application. For now, only a few users are in the game, but the press so far has been tentative based on Google’s other tries in social media.

With Google+ you are able to friend anyone, like on Twitter, and read their updates without getting an approval to friend someone as you may have to do on Facebook. Users will have to group followers into circles. Permissions can be given to your own personal circles to allow certain types of updates or posts to be seen selectively by the people you desire.

Google has banned businesses so far and is only allowing individual users access. Additionally no third party tools for post scheduling have been allowed API access to the platform.

Here are a few of the key features you will find in Google+:

Hangouts – allow up to ten people to video conference together or share live video feeds. Facebook only allows you to see one person at a time with their video application that is using the Skype backbone. Google+ seems to be adding in the “fun” factor with this but will it really be used?

Huddle – connects all your friends via desktop, SMS, iPhones, and Androids. It is a group messaging application that allows you to connect with the circles you select. Want to meet everyone for drinks after work? Do a quick huddle and get your friends connected at your favorite spot.

Sparks – are topics which are a Google determined compilation of sites on a topic you select such as sports, technology, or other keyword. Google calls this a “sharing engine”. There is no way to add a specific feed to follow or link, so Sparks is not really a XML feed aggregator. For now you have to read what Google supplies in that topic without a way to customize the sites you want to see in that topic. This has the biggest potential for website owners to get inbound traffic as if your site is picked up in a Sparks link you could drive literally thousands of visitors to your site to read an interesting article, blog post, or web page.

The Google+1 button is like the Facebook Like button. Clicking the button allows you to vote up in the organic search results things you like as well as to tag a like, website, and even AdWords ads and share them with your friends or Google+ Circles.

What is the feedback so far on Google+?

So far the feedback from pros using it has been good. The comments have ranged far and wide:

“As of Thursday [7/14/11], he writes, Google+ was 66.4 percent male and 33.6 percent female, according to his sampling.” More…

“What he proceeds to show me is a product that in many ways is so well designed that it doesn’t really even look like a Google product. ” More…

“A big feature of Google+ is the toolbar that exists across the top of all Google sites (yes, the aforementioned black one). Once your Circles are set, sharing with any of them from any Google site is simple thanks to this toolbar.” More…

Now Google has built “it” will people come?

That will be the real key once more people start to get access to Google+. Can users be convinced to leave Facebook and move their connection and activities to Google+? And Google is really banking on that action.

My feeling is that once people like something hate to change, and people like Facebook. If all your friends don’t move to Google+ you would still have to manage both applications which would be very problematic and potentially leading to a failure for Google.

Ease of use will also be key. If it is hard to connect or hard to keep your information private Google+ will go the way of Google Buzz and Orkut. I think that the big carrot to move to Google+ for business people and website owners will be that they will be able to capture SEO/organic juice from the Google+1 activity which will be integrated into Google.com. I am not sure that mainstream America will embrace Google+. Facebook is comfortable, easy and able to be locked down for privacy. Although Google+ looks cool, and there’s lots of buzz about the product, if your friends aren’t there you won’t be there either!

Another late breaking note is that Google+ has now banned business profiles which I feel is a very big mistake, but they are not asking my advice – at this point. 🙂

In conclusion, it is from my own view point, that it is simply too soon to say if Google+ is a Facebook killer. From the press and previews it appears that Google has really worked outside the box to try to shape the future of social media with their new Google+ application. Google’s got a lot riding on the success of the application too, as they really need a win to retain relevancy in the search market that is becoming more personalized and keep their dominance in online advertising which they deliver on their properties. If Google+ is received well expect aggressive competition to happen with Facebook for users.

Get in the queue for an invitation.

If you think you want to be an early tester and possible advocate for Google+, here’s the link to sign up to get an early invitation. Or, you can just contact me with your GMail or Google account user name and I will send you an invitation now. My personal reaction so far is that Google+ is fun, kind of like Facebook, but more link and information driven for now than Facebook.

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