Katy Young's Guide to Google+. Three sections for basics, bloggers and businesses.


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I have identified two key groups that stand to gain a lot by joining Google+. These are bloggers and small business owners.

I have designed this guide in four sections. The first section, ‘The Basics’, gives explanations of the simplest functions of Google+. It includes handy ‘Key Tips’, things I really wish I had known from the beginning when I was setting up my account.

The second section is a ‘Blogger’s Guide’. It covers the topic of ‘Authorship’ and how utilising it can be a real asset.

The third section is a ‘Businesses’ Guide’. This refers to the process of creating a Google+ Business Account and tips for small business owners to integrate their profile with Google searches.

My guide finishes with perhaps the biggest advantage of Google+, the fourth section on ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. This is an advantage for bloggers and business owners alike because Google recognises your Google+ page high up in its own searches.

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Katy Young's Guide to Google+. Three sections for basics, bloggers and businesses.

  1. 1. Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ Three guides: Basics, bloggers and business owners.21/08/13
  2. 2. Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ INTRODUCTION Google+ combines features from Facebook and Twitter plus some unique ones. The tone of Google+ is more professional than Facebook but more personal than LinkedIn. At this point, with it’s current level of functionality and lack of traffic, I wouldn’t advise individuals to bother maintaining a Google+ account alongside all their other social media sites. However given its integration with Google searches, if you are a blogger or a small business owner, Google+ has serious advantages.
  3. 3. Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ CONTENTS The Basics Page Number Setting up an account 5 Your profile 6 Circles 7 Posts 9 Communities 10 Hangouts 11 Blogger’s Guide Page Number Authorship 13 Businesses’ Guide Page Number Local businesses 17 Search engine optimisation
  4. 4. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 4 THE BASICS BASICS To begin with I will explain briefly how to set up your account and some of the key functions Google+ offers.
  5. 5. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 5 . SETTING UP AN ACCOUNT In order to set up a Google+ account you need to have a Gmail account. Then set up a Google+ Personal Account. If you are a business owner you need to set up your own Personal account to act as the owner of the Google+ Business account (however the owner may remain anonymous). KEY TIPS • You have to use your real name on Google+ otherwise you risk your account being closed down. Google+ prides itself on ‘authenticity’.
  6. 6. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 6 . YOUR PROFILE When designing/editing your profile, make your photos (both your profile photo and cover photo) and your ‘story’ interesting and attention-grabbing. These are the elements of your profile that people will view most often, base their judgements of you on and arguably the elements that reveal the most about you. Hovering over the icon in the top left hand corner reveals the drop down menu to navigate your account. KEY TIPS • Think of your ‘Tagline’ as your personal elevator pitch. • For the ‘Bragging rights’ section, be restrained! Try being humorous (but not sarcastic). • Make sure your profile photo shows you face and is a reasonably tight shot (zoomed in).
  7. 7. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 7 . CIRCLES ‘Circling’ a user on Google+ is similar to ‘Following’ someone on Twitter: - It does not require someone’s permission to circle them - Their posts will appear in your feed but your posts won’t appear in theirs unless they ‘circle’ you back. To circle someone is to add them to one of your circles. Circles are a way to organise your connected users in to categories for receiving and releasing posts. You create your own circles under the ‘People’ tab of the side menu. KEY TIPS • A circle is not the same as a group. Members of a circle do not know they have been added and cannot see the title of the circle or a list of fellow members.
  8. 8. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 8 NOTES: - A user can be part of more than one circle. - Circles are a way of organising your newsfeed in to content from different interest groups. - When posting you can choose to share content only with certain groups, thus keeping your posts relevant to their target audience. For example sharing a newly discovered blog only with fellow economics bloggers rather than all of your connected users.
  9. 9. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 9 . POSTS In order to get noticed on Google+ you need to be sharing content often, around 3 to 5 posts per day is recommended. Like with Twitter you can include #Hashtags in your posts and mention other people using +mention. You can also write in different formats by putting specific punctuation either side of the text. For bold text use the star key (*the*) and for italics use underscores (_the_). KEY TIPS • Google+ content works best if shared with a photo embeded so it’s eye-catching when it appears on feeds. • You are allowed to edit posts after you’ve shared them.
  10. 10. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 10 . COMMUNITIES Communities are the equivalent of groups. You can join existing communities as a way to increase interactions with others and learn more about a subject that interests you. It is also possible to create your own community for sharing content.
  11. 11. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 11 . HANGOUTS Hangouts are a unique feature of Google+. They are essentially video calls, similar to Skype, but integrated in to social media. ‘Standard Hangouts’ are private calls of up to 10 people which are free. (Bear in mind that Skype charges for multiple user calls.) ‘Hangouts on Air’ are public videos with unlimited members. Unlike other video uploads they can be up to 3 hours long. Examples: - A product demonstration - Professional workshop or presentation - Giving a cooking lesson - Concerts or performances
  12. 12. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 12 BLOGGER’S GUIDE BLOGGERS Google+ doesn’t have a character limit for posts so can become an instant blogging platform.
  13. 13. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 13 . AUTHORSHIP This function allows you to connect all your online content to your Google+ profile. As a blogger this is perhaps the best reason to create a Google+ account. It enables your authorship information to appear in search results for your content. Your Google+ profile photo, name and the number of people who’ve added you to their circles (followers) will all appear alongside the webpage containing your content.
  14. 14. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 14 The simplest way to do this is if each page of your online content already contains a byline containing your name and is hosted on a website linked to an email address of the same name. Otherwise you will have to copy and paste the appropriate HTML with a link to your Google+ under the header section of your content. You should then add in all your various content webpages to the ‘Contributor to’ section of your Google+ profile so that Google knows where to look for this HTML. This is located in the ‘About’ tab of your profile, under ‘Links’. (NOTE: This is also the section where you should add in any other social media profiles to integrate Google+ with your other pages.) Follow the Google+ online help guides for more information.
  15. 15. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 15 BUSINESSES’ GUIDE BUSINESSES With a Google+ Business account your business has a ‘Page’ which is equivalent to the ‘Profile’ of a Personal account. Users then ‘Follow’ business pages.
  16. 16. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 16 When you click ‘Create a Page’ you get the option of choosing which type of business your page is for. At this point you can create a special type of Page designed for local businesses.
  17. 17. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 17 . LOCAL BUSINESSES For local businesses such as restaurants and hotels, Google+ is a fantastic resource. A local Google+ page still allows you to create Circles, Hangouts and share posts however it has the added interaction with consumers of location. It displays a map, address, opening times and reviews.
  18. 18. CONTENTS Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 18 . SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION Whether you are a blogger or a small business owner, having a Google+ account will undoubtedly increase your search engine favourability. Having a Google+ profile will increase your visibility to those who have circled you. Then whenever they perform a Google search for content that is related to yours, your Google+ profile will appear much higher in the rankings than it would have done otherwise. For example, if you have 500 ‘follower’s on Google+, they may not all actively engage in your content but when they search for a blog similar to yours, your name will appear reminding them they have already connected with someone who may be useful. Search engines use social media sites to collate information. Google+ values it’s own site so highly that it uses your Google+ profile to authenticate your online content. Therefore Google gives a blogger or small business with a verified Google + account preferential treatment above a comparable search result for someone without an account. SEARCHES
  19. 19. Katy Young’s Guide to... Google+ 19 . WITH THANKS TO... Guy Kawasaki, Reflect Digital, Lynette Young, Lisa Myers and Tom Ewer for the use of their resources.