The fact is that Google+ is heavily integrated with the rest of the Google product suite; Google Places, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Maps and most importantly Google Search. Even though it is not admitting it openly yet, Google+ has an impact on search rankings and click-through rates in the SERP’s. Here I outline some of the ways you can prime your Google+ business page for SEO and secure followers and increase click-through rates online.

Brand and Build your Page

Google plus allows you to create both a page banner and an avatar. The page banner is an important canvas for marketing creative – it is the first visual potential followers see when they land on your page and it is important to get your message across effectively. Tell followers clearly what your business does so there is no ambiguity. Your avatar should represent your logo; make sure it is resized to fit alongside posts clearly in the news stream. Make sure to fill out your about section in as much detail as possible and embed anchor text links in the description section; a value added process for search engine optimisation.

Verify your Page

It is important to link your Google+ page to your website. Although the effects are speculative, it can only add value to your marketing activities. Online testing I undertook shows that when you verify your page not only does a grey tick appear beside your page profile in the SERP’s and within the Google+ platform, your page also appears higher in predictive search when using the +Page search function. One can only guess that it has an impact on search rankings and credibility as well.

Google+ your People

Get your commercial and marketing staff on Google+. Get each staff member to optimise and build their G+ profile and spend 10 minutes per day researching and posting a news story or commentary relevant to their area of expertise or function. This content will allow Google to profile people though their posted content and in turn as the profiles are linked to your webpage; this expertise profiling will translate to your business.

Claim Authorship

A revolutionary feature of Google+ is the ability to claim authorship of online content. Content posted on websites containing the embedded <rel=”author”> tag will inform Google that authorship of this content is associated with the relevant Google+ profile. The profile avatar and name is then displayed alongside content in the search engines; increasing rankings and click-through rates.

Get your Page Circled

Building followers for a business page can be difficult because you are not permitted to add profiles to your circles unless that person has circled you first; this is a major obstacle in adoption of Google+ pages for business. The secret is to get your page into any number of shared circles in the network. Start by circling other relevant and similar Google+ pages and then start to build content on your page consistently. When you engage with circle sharers they are more likely to accept your request and add your page to their shared circle.

Interlink your expert content

The Google Search Algorithm is highly complex; however it is known that it is moving towards a more semantic-based search in the future. Linking content from your website to Google+ and vice-versa will build an expertise profile in the search algorithm. This will then increase SEO value and rankings for your linked content and website based on your posting behaviour. For example, if you want to rank for ‘Digital Marketing’ and your Google+ posts focus on this subject and your website content also focuses on this subject and they are periodically interlinked, Google will associate your Google+ page, and hence your website, with higher authority for the term Digital Marketing.

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