Are you struggling to get your website to show up in Google? Wondering why your website analytics show little-to-no traffic, month after month?
It might be because you need more powerful titles and descriptions and customer reviews. Or perhaps your blog posts lack behind-the-scenes copy to tell search engines what your page is about. Or maybe you’ve tried to “trick” search engines in the past by overstuffing pages with keywords, and still have some cleaning up to do.
Or it could just be that you’re facing a highly competitive industry in a digital world with nearly a billion websites.
There is a legit way to get ahead.
One that doesn’t involve tricks, shady tactics or special tools.
It’s 100% free. And yet it’s still greatly underused, even in marketing circles.
What is it? Google+.
Whether for your company or personal brand, this growing social platform offers plenty of opportunities for attracting and connecting with dream customers and clients. Once you start expanding your circles, all you need to do is offer content that’s useful and engaging.
Now that Facebook is making it harder than ever to reach audiences without paying for advertising, it’s a great time to get on Google+.
#1 reason to be active on Google+
There are a lot of great reasons to use Google+. For now, I’m going to focus on one of my favorites. This one is particularly useful for businesses struggling to increase quality website traffic:
It can help your website stand out in search.
From location-based mobile apps to personalized email marketing, the digital experience has become more personalized. This is true of search engines as well.
When someone uses Google to find something, the search engine’s algorithm takes location, past searches and internet activity into account before spitting out results.
And now, it takes Google+ into account, too. Take a look at what appears on page one of my search results when I type “SEO copywriting” into Google:
As you can see, if someone’s following you on Google+, there’s a greater chance they’ll see your web pages and posts in personalized search results. In this case, SuccessWorks, a brand page in my circles, appears twice on page one of results when I’m logged into Google.
Even when someone uses Google without signing in, the search engine may just take into account the +1’s your content is getting on Google+.
How to get started on Google+
Getting started is easy. For your personal profile, just upload a headshot and cover photo, and fill out all business-relevant details in your profile. Then start circling people you know and brands you like. (Not sure where to start? Sign in to Google, then look in the top right for your “+[username]” link.)
Keep in mind you’ll need to treat Google+ like you should any social media. Circle others in the hopes they’ll circle back, but make sure you’re engaging with real people, and not just trying to bloat your numbers in a way that’s unauthentic.
For your company, you’ll want to use Google+ Business. Unless you’re a local business, in which case I recommend starting with Places for Business, since a Places account gives you more ways to connect with local customers. Once you follow the steps for verification—it takes about two weeks—your Google+ page will be generated automatically.