By adaptive - June 10th, 2014
Google+ is dripping with analytics and tools to help you measure the value of the network to your brand
Throughout the series the experts have maintained that Google+ is not a dying social network, but rather a strong platform for building a brand that’s growing, vibrant and dynamic. In this final part we are looking at how to make use of the tools Google+ gives you to push SEO and brand awareness.
One of the reasons Google+ isn’t slipping out of social consciousness is its importance in SEO and building a brand. Kath Dawson, Creative Director at Strategy Internet Marketing explains: “This is due to an increase in understanding of its value for SEO, of Google’s updates and algorithms rewarding authenticity and valuable content and the introduction of Google+ Post Ads. This is a pay-per-engagement service open to Google+ pages with more than 1000 followers and is available through the Google Adwords Display Network.”
And if you don’t know the value of those three words – Google Display Network – just take a look at the infographic below…
What Google+ Post Ads do is allow organisations to embed their posts and the +1s, comments and sharing into an advertising slot. These +Post ads can be accessed by readers across the web and are designed to encourage interaction and even access to a Hangout.
This taps into the golden medium of “audience engagement” and the more activity on a brand’s +Post ads and Google+ social network, the more the analytical tools can show you how well readers engage with your content. The latter is, of course, managed by the tools provided by the Google Display Network that include contextual targeting, demographics and affinity segments.
Zahira Kharsany, Senior Community Manager at Cerebra adds: “Give people what they want and not what everyone else is seeing, as there is no need for businesses and brands to be schizophrenic anymore by bombarding fans with every single piece of information. Be specific and allow people to engage with the right content.”
One of the primary benefits of using +Post Ads is most definitely the ability to track and control how your content is used and exposed alongside its reach and engagement. It has the added advantage of handing you all those delicious Google measurement and analytical tools on a platter.
This is why you need Google
Google+ is integrated with all other aspects of Google that include news, search, maps, Authorship and more. It’s one interconnected beast of a system that gives the brand the opportunity to spread their messages to a vast network of customers. The technology giant has worked hard to ensure that finding information within the social platform is simplified for the user and uses their advanced search algorithms to get them what they need, and it’s also very, very big…
Amanda Kouwenhoven, head of engagement at Axonn Media, offers up five ways to get your brand noticed by Google:
- Include relevant links within the “About Us” section to increase online visibility and build authority.
- Ensure the information within the tagline and first two lines are enticing – this is essentially your meta description.
- Update pages regularly with good quality, relevant content as posts are indexed by Google it’s important to make them as engaging as possible.
- Understand the difference between publisher and authorship mark-up and when using the former make sure both business and author pages engage with one another.
- Engage with communities, relevant hangouts and others on the platform. Being active on the network invites others to engage and organically boosts reach and authority and can influence visibility on SERPs.
Dawson adds: “Google+’s range of online tools are designed to help businesses make the most of the platform. Integration with YouTube optimises pre-existing video, as videos appear embedded in your Google+ feed for example. Marketers also have a useful array of analytics tools to assess the performance of their Google+ efforts that include SumAll and CircleCount.”
CircleCount will assess how well your brand is performing in Circles. Prchecker will give you an idea of your rankings and Google+ Ripples is an imperfect but rich source of information about the impact your post is making in the network. There are plenty of analytical tools provided by businesses (some are even free), but ultimately the value is derived from making and using Google+ effectively.
Francois Muscat, Internet Marketing Consultant at WSI, says: “You can make the most of the tools Google gives you by actually using them. Google has completely streamlined the process to make it as easy as possible to engage with one or two clicks from anywhere inside Google.”
A case for Google+
South African brand Yuppiechef.com has grown its Google+ following to over 200,000 followers and they found that this social platform had the quickest adoption by users out of any social media channel they had used in the past. Public posts on Yuppiechef.com’s Google+ profile receive an average of 14.3 thousand +1s, 2.7 thousand re-shares and 3.3 thousand comments.
“Circles have been helpful in targeting content, and it has been a labour of love learning which circles to put people into as they are strangers, but it has been worth it,” says Marina Pape, community manager at Yuppiechef.com. “People respond to similar content so you can be guided by their engagement to know how to circle them.”
Google+ Ripples has allowed the brand to assess how their content is received and shared among their followers with the use of interactive graphics, and they are now investigating the value of Communities with three of these now established and thriving within their Google+ platform.
“The integration of our Google+ community with our AdWords ads has given us an interesting edge over our competitors,” says Tim Price, Head of Customer Acquisition at Yuppiechef.com. “After we added the Google+ badge to our homepage we saw an increase of over 2,000 followers a day over a three month period with a significant increase in the number of people adding Yuppiechef.com to their circles and engaging in content.”
Enabling social extensions across all of the campaigns resulted in 46% uplift in click-through rates and a 32% increase in conversion rates.
“If you are just getting started on Google+ it helps to read as much as you can to get an understanding of how it differs from the social platforms you’re more accustomed to and make sure your cover and profile pictures are perfect,” concludes Pape. “Then apply your regular content strategy and monitor what your Google+ followers respond to. Replying to people and +ing their comments and posts goes a long way to show you’re grateful they are choosing to hang out with your brand.”
Image Source: Freedigitalphotos.net