How To: Optimize Your Google+ Profile and Page (and why)

Meredith Darling | @merdar Search Engine Optimization. If you don't know what it is, you should. SEO is critical in online marketing efforts, and Google+ profiles are beginning to play a big part in searches. In January, Google added related people and places, profiles, and personal results (tips, photos, posts, etc. from friends) to search when you are logged in to your Google account. It's all about building your brand, both your personal brand and your company.

Optimize your Google+ profile

Similar to LinkedIn, certain fields of your Google+ profile feed into search results. The best way to be found is to repeat relevant keywords that apply to you or your industry. It should be noted that queries seem to favor the verified, which is only possible if Google reaches out to you directly (if you've been added in a large number of circles).

    • Introduction
    • Employment
    • Education
    • Places

Eve Mayer Orsburn, Social Media Delivered, social media, Google Plus, Google+

While it is important to repeat these keywords in the above fields, don't spam! Not only will Google label your profile as spam, but you will annoy those of us that abide by the rules. We are not fooled: your nickname isn't SEO, you did not graduate with an SEO degree in 1971, and you don't live in a town called SEO, USA.

The +1 Button

The elusive button you see at the bottom of blogs and in Google search actually does have meaning. The more people click the button, the higher the URL shows up in Google+ search results. Note: the number reflected above the +1 button does not account for +1's that were clicked IN Google+, only ones that were clicked from that URL. Google+, Social Media Delivered

Optimizing Your Google+ Brand Page

If you think managing your Facebook brand page takes a lot of time then Google+ brand pages are probably not for you. Don't let this discourage you though, because, again, it all feeds into Google searches. As with profile pages, your brand must be in 1,000+ circles to qualify for verification. The following fields affect your brand page optimization:

  • Name (biggest factor)
  • Tagline
  • Introduction

Social Media Delivered, social media, Google Plus, Google+

Other things of note

  • If you have to choose between spending time on your Google+ profile vs. your Google+ brand page, pick your profile. Brand pages are second rate citizens in the G+ world.
  • Post at least every 72 hours or forget about showing up in search results.
  • Comments and reshares matter, but not as much as +1's.
  • Be sure to circle people with big circle membership.

More on Google+ and SEO:

Facebook Brand Cover Photos: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Social Media Tip Tuesday: "We know we're cute, but..."