If you are currently losing SERP ranking ground and website traffic on the main search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing, you should definitely consider using Google + to significantly boost your companies’ website ranking, traffic and online brand engagement, as Google + has been proven to increase organic website rankings by up to 150%. In what follows I will discuss the top 7 ways to increase your SERP rankings and brand engagement via Google +.
Google search Authorship was implemented by Google in 2011 to allow original online content authors to receive proper recognition for their online works by allowing Gmail and Google + account users to add a profile image to their account, which is then displayed next to relevant and related search results, along with some information about the author of the article.
For instance, let’s say you enter a search query to look for 7 best PHP frameworks 2014 on Google. The topmost organic result will display the popular blog post of a reputed web development and internet marketing company TIS India. Take note of the Authorship Markup displayed along with the search result i.e the author name Manmeet Anand, a small pic that shows up at the left (this is your Google+ profile picture) and the link of the post just below the large heading along with the number of Google+ social media signal indicator metrics i.e the number of Google+ circles he is present in. Clearly, Google seems to be ranking those websites or webpages higher in SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages) which have a Google+ authorship markup than those which don’t. Like you can see a post without any authorship markup just below it. Also, it is the most effective way to build reputation, connect quickly with the audience and subsequently promote content on the biggest search engine Google.
Although adding a Google + badge to your businesses website seems like a very simple and obvious way to increase Google + engagement on your Google + business page and hence, increase your SERP rankings on Google; it seems to be one simple Google + engagement tactic that is often forgotten by many business owners with a Google + page. And don’t worry there are many different styles and sizes of Google + badges that you can add to your website.
As with other types of online content marketing, such as blogs, and other social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, it is crucial that you add visually stunning multimedia content, such as photos, videos and infographics to your Google + posts in order to increase the chance of your content being shared and engaged with by other Google + users. And moreover, the text content of your Google + posts should be as relevant, useful and targeted as possible towards your core target audience.
As Megan Conley, points out in one of her latest articles, How To Grow Your Google + Engagement (2013) that business owners can strategically create different Google + circles to network with other industry experts and potential customers.
In addition to using Google’s circles to segment your different friends, colleagues and potential customers into specific groups (i.e. circles) built around specific interests, you can also use Google + Hangouts and Google + Hangouts On Air (H.O.A.) as a creative, free and fun way to interact with your businesses core target audience; as well as key influencers and thought leaders within your industry.
As Megan Conley (2013) asserts: one other key way of increasing Google + engagement is to always make sure you are proactive with your engagement on Google +, which means that you should always respond quickly to customers’ comments and questions within a reasonable amount of time (i.e. 24 hours). In addition, as Conley (2013) asserts: in order to spark further discussion from potential business customers on Google +, you can always ask further questions to keep the conversation rolling. And another important way to engage your target audience on Google + is to ask questions at the end of your posts. Some other important techniques for increasing Google + engagement are to use relevant hashtags and tag high ranking and relevant Google + users in your posts using the Google + mentions feature. For instance, say you wanted to tag Google’s Spam Team leader, Matt Cutts in one of your Google + posts about SEO, then you could just add him into the copy of your post on Google + by writing +MattCutts.
One of the simplest ways to improve your Google + engagement is to make sure that your Google + business page has a high resolution and attractive banner image (for a good example check out TIS India’s Google + profile banner image below). Also make sure that your Google + business page is completely filled out in a professional manner with all of your businesses relevant contact information, such as website URL, phone number, location; as well as a short business bio and tagline so that potential customers can contact you, find out a little bit about your business and check out your products and/or services on your website.
Clearly Google + is having an increasingly significant influence on businesses SERP rankings on Google, since Google + and Google +1’s were introduced in 2011, which has given much more power and influence to original Google + authors on Google than non-Google + users. Furthermore, as Portland, Oregon, SEO consultant and Moz associate Michael Cottam asserts,as a result of the introduction of Google’s Author Rank, Google + will play an increasingly significant factor in determining Google’s SERP rankings in 2014. Thus, in order for business owners and SEO’s to have even a fighting chance of increasing or maintaining their SERP rankings, it is crucial that their Google + pages are filled out in a complete and professional manner and optimizedto make them more visible on major search engines, such as Google and Yahoo.