Welcome to part 3 of my informative series on Google+ (G+). In this part of the series, I will explain how using G+ can help you, the blogger, increase the growth of your blog. I will cover four topics: SEO and the +1 button, G+ integration with Blogger and Gmail, Google events and Google hangouts.
You can refer to the first two parts of this series by clicking below:
Part 1 - Introduction to G+ and Setting Up a Profile
Part 2 - Understanding and creating G+ Circles
SEO and the +1 Button
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is a HUGE factor in growing your blog. We all know how popular Google Search is. Google will recommend and rank your blog based on how well people trust your blog or recommend it's content. That information will affect your position in the search engine's result page. What can you do to increase your potential rank in Google search results (i.e. search engine optimization)?
Remember, in part 2 of this series, when I told you to add the +1 button to your blog? Now I'll tell you why this is so important. The +1 button for G+ is similar to Facebook's "like button". When somebody reads your content on G+ and gives it a +1, they are essentially recommending it to others. The same thing happens when someone reads a post on your blog. By clicking on +1 at the end of your blog post, your reader is recommending it to others.
The +1 has an indirect effect on your site’s search rank. And it's all related to how much your site (blog) is recommended!
The +1 button is a very popular tool on G+. The more content that you post to G+, the greater chance of someone "+1 'ing" you. The more contacts in your circles, the greater chance of your content being read and "+1 'd".
Sharing your blog posts to G+ is very easy in Blogger. If your blog is connected to your G+ page, you will automatically receive a prompt to share the post on G+ as soon as the content is published. If you want to learn more about connecting your blog to G+, click here. To share your WordPress blog post, simply copy/paste the post URL into the "share what's new..." box.
I defer to this source to bring up a very important point.
"(G+) pages have the +1 button which can be integrated with your website. This means if someone +1's your Google+ page, your website automatically gets a +1 and vice-versa. This can substantially increase the number of +1's of your website's home page and as a consequence, indirectly impact your home page's rank in Google."
G+ Integration with Blogger and Gmail
Do you use Blogger and/or Gmail (both Google products)? In Part 2, I mentioned how easy it is to add the +1 button to your blog on the Blogger platform. It is easily accessible in the "add a gadget" window...in fact it's the first "gadget" that you will see.
Also, when your blog or blog post appears in the Google Search results page, your G+ profile stats will often appear with it. For example, if I do a Google search for azaleas, this is what I see on the Google Search results page:
In the search result for my blog post about azaleas is my G+ information....my profile picture and how many G+ connections that I have. Notice that it's not how many people I have in my circles but how many people have me in their circles. Remember that...it's important. It all goes back to how many people recommend you or your blog.
This brings me to something Google calls "personalized search". The best explanation for this can be found here.
- You publish a page on your site.
- You +1 it, or share it on Google+. (Note that you cannot +1 your site's page via your Google+ page as it is not allowed by Google+. In fact Google+ pages cannot +1 anything on the Internet except for Google+ posts.)
- A person who has circled you on Google+ signs into a Google product. (This Google product need not to be only Google+ but any other Google product like Blogger, Gmail etc.)
- That person searches for a keyword on Google that is related to your published post.
G+ is also incorporated into Gmail. You can use G+ circles as search filters in Gmail. For example, let's say that you want see only the emails from your DIY/craft blog friends (assuming that you have a circle labeled with that name), then just type circle: DIY/craft blog friends into the search bar at the top of the Gmail page. You will then see only the emails from that group.
Also, if you search for an email and that person has a G+ profile, then his/her G+ information will pop up...and it will be automatically updated.
One of the newest applications available on G+ is "Events". Events allow you to invite your friends, family, blog readers, etc. to a certain "event". It's an online invitation! The best part is that you can design it yourself using the provided templates or make one of your own. You can even add your own photos to enhance the information about your event.
Bloggers can use this in many ways. Let me give you an example. One of my favorite bloggers, Debbie from Debbiedoos.com, recently used G+ Events to invite bloggers to her next Copycat Challenge Link Party. Here is a snippet of what it looks like:
|Debbiedoo's Copycat Challenge August 1, 2012|
Cool, huh? Just think of all of the possibilities that this can have in the blogging world...you can invite people to link parties, blog hops, giveaways, sponsorships, etc. You can invite anyone, even people that don't use G+! To find out how to set up your own "event" invitation in G+, click here.
Another very useful G+ tool for bloggers is called "Hangouts". Hangouts are simply video chat sessions that you can have with up to 9 people at one time. This application can also be very useful to bloggers. For example, you can participate in a "hands-on" tutorial on DIY, craft, cooking, sewing, etc. and then share that video on your blog. Or hold a visual "meeting" with some of your blogger groups or team members.
If you made it to the end of this post...thank you! I know today's post was long but I wanted to tell you about all the great benefits of using G+ in your blogging endeavors. And, once again, I will remind you about the multi-hosted Google+ Blog Hop that is happening on August 4th.
Hopefully, you will want to start using G+ or be more involved in your current account. If you join us for the G+ blog hop, make sure that your G+ account is ready for lots of traffic! If you need an update on how to prepare your G+ profile and circles for the hop, you can refer to Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Also, please feel free to email me if you have any questions :)