How does Google+ boost SEO?

How does Google+ boost SEO?

Recently I chatted with Melinda Samson about all things Google+. I thought I’d share a few our our questions and answers to help YOU boost your SEO.

1. Why is  Google+ helpful for SEO?

A huge part of the SEO value of Google+ is due to the private search results.

Here’s how it works:

  • If people search while they are logged in to Google, Private search is the default setting.

Google+ Private search

  • If the person searching is logged in to Google+, is viewing Private search results and has added you to their Circles, your Google+ posts can appear in their search results. And the post will have a picture or logo and byline, so it stands out.

The screen shot below shows an example of when Kate (who has added me to her Circles) searched, while logged in, for “Google Analytics best practices’.

You can see my personal profile’s Google+ update in position 5 and where I shared it on my business page (which Kate has also added to her Circles) in position 6. The actual article is in position 7. You can also see how having my head shot and logo appear in the search results makes them stand out.

Google Analytics Best Practices

Everyone who puts time or resources, or both, into optimising their website knows how awesome it is to have a piece of content appear in the Google search results. So imagine how awesome it is that every single one of your Google+ posts has potential to appear there.

Once I’ve explained this, the next thing people ask is “What is the value of Google+ for SEO if not many people are following me on Google+?”. In this case keep in mind that when other people re-share your posts, they can help them appear in search results. For example if Kate or I re-shared your Google+ post, then everyone who has added us to their Circles potentially could see it in their Private search results.

2. What’s the difference between Google Local and Google Business?

Right now, essentially nothing! Google My Business now encompasses what used to be Google Local, Google Maps and Google Places.

To be clear, Google My Business is the platform that connects your locally targeted business across Google search, Google Maps and Google+.

There are three types of Google+ business pages:

  1. Shop Front: If you are a retail store, restaurant or have an office where clients can visit you, use this type of page.
  2. Service Area: For businesses that service people in a certain area, like plumbers, pizza delivery and taxis.
  3. Brand Page: If your address isn’t relevant, i.e. you have a blog or eCommerce business, then use a brand page.

Types of Google My Business Pages

Because a business page can interact socially on Google+ the same way that your personal profile can, your business page can build the profile and authority of your brand by:

  • Adding people to Circles
  • Sharing posts
  • +1’ing, commenting on and re-sharing other people’s posts
  • Engaging in Communities

3. Should I set up a personal or a business page?

Because people connect with people more readily than they connect with businesses, it’s recommend to start with a personal profile. Then, once your personal profile is established and you have a following, create a business page and use your personal connections to build the following.

Having said that, if you are a locally targeted (Shop Front) business then you probably already have a local Google My Business page. Make sure you’ve claimed it, and at a minimum added your logo or avatar, a cover image and have checked and updated the “about” information.

Read more in 5 Top Tips for Creating a Google+ Profile that Creates a Great First Impression and also Google My Business 3 Mistakes that Local Businesses Make Way Too Often.

4. Should a business with 4 different locations set up a local page for each?

Yes, provided that people can meet with you at each of those four locations. Each listing gives your business a chance to appear in the local search / map results. Plus, local clients can add reviews to each listing.

5. What should businesses do if they have a page set up and find another Google created local page is already ‘out there’?

I recommend contacting the Google My Business Help Centre who can work with you to verify and delete duplicate pages as needed.

Search for support.google.com/business and then click “contact us” in the top right hand corner and follow the relevant steps.

6. Do reviews on Google+ pages help your SEO?

According to a survey of experts by Moz.com found here reviews don’t influence rankings.

However, there are many other benefits of reviews including:

  • influencing buyer behaviour
  • establishing your credibility
  • and word of mouth marketing

Also, aim to get 5 reviews or more so that the orange five star rating appears next to your listing in the local results. This makes it stand out, so people are more likely to click on it.

Here’s an example of my business listing:

Google Business Listing

7. What are your five top tips for getting the most out of Google+?

  1. Google+ is a great platform to help your SEO but don’t focus on that. Instead focus on connecting with people and building engagement, then the SEO value will follow.
  2. If you want engagement, you’ve got to engage! Build engagement by +1’ing, commenting on and re-sharing other people’s posts.
  3. Use your keyword rich headline as the headline of your Google+ post to help it appear in Private search results.
  4. When new, avoid ticking the “also notify via email” box as your notifications can be seen as spam. If you’re not sure about this, share your posts to Public.
  5. If you’re auto-feeding posts to Google+ along with other social media platforms, make sure you visit Google+ regularly to reply to comments on your posts and engage with those who engage with you.

Aussie Business owner readers are invited to join my community of Awe-Inspiring Australian Businesses.

Who is Melinda Samson?

Melinda-Samson-ClickMelinda aka Mel, owner of Click-Winning Content, provides results-driven online marketing consulting, optimisation and training services to Australian businesses, specialising in Google AdWords, Analytics and Google+.

Combining her creative marketing approach, science nerd brain and in-depth knowledge of Google stuff, Mel will take your business from Search to Results. Without bamboozling you with jargon!

A regular presenter for Australian business networks, Meetup groups and at seminars and workshops, Mel loves helping businesses get more from Google.

Away from the office, she is passionate about grand slam tennis, cracked pepper and Melbourne sunsets.

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