The Google+ social network is Google’s “Social layer.”
Every action and interaction we make on Google+ is captured and indexed by Google. With every passing day it becomes more and more obvious that Google is using events within Google+ as ranking factors in Google Search.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram all have minimal social signal impact on search engine ranking position (SERP)… the social network with most impact on SERP’s today is Google+.
Yet we neglect Google+ for “Likes” on Instagram.
I get that certain brands are able to build large followings and drastically increase their brand equity using Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest but are these social networks helping you put your message in front of consumers when they MOST need your product or service?
I would argue no.
I would argue that we capture consumers in their greatest time of need through Google Search.
Why then do we use some perceived lack of engagement as reason to not adopt Google+ as part of our content marketing strategy?
Google+ allows us, through sharing, commenting and networking to tell Google exactly what topics we’re an authority in and subsequently what topics we want our websites to rank for.
Doesn’t that sounds good? You bet your ass it does.
So today I’m going to share with you 9 ways to integrate your blog with Google+ . Not all these tools will fit perfectly with your goals for Google+. But if you can, I encourage you to implement as many as possible.
1- Plus One Button
The +1 button is the Google+ equivalent to a Facebook “Like.” This is how your audience share’s your posts to Google+. The best part? Each +1 creates a new link pointing directly to your website. More links… higher search ranking.
2- Profile and Community Badges
Google+ badges provide your web visitors an easy way to follow your personal profile, business pages and community pages without ever having to leave your website. For an example, see Francisco’s Google+ badge in the sidebar. These badges are easy to customize, look nice on just about any site, are super simple to implement and don’t slow your website down. If you’d like to place a Google+ badge on your website click here.
3- Google Authorship
The secret is out on Google Authorship. You should be adding Authorship to every piece of content you create. Google is efforting to track every piece of content ever created on the web all the way down to the human being that created it.
Though technically Authorship is not impacting search results in a direct manner, the image Authorship adds in search results has a 47% higher click-through rate than search results without Authorship.
You can learn how to claim Google Authorship here. If you use WordPress there are free plugins which can easily add Authorship to your site.
Once you have Authorship setup, you can verify by using the Rich Snippets Testing Tool.
The Google+ share button is similar to “Reshare” feature within Google+. When someone clicks the share button they are NOT giving your article a +1. They are simply sharing your article with their network on Google+. I would test with your own audience which button, the +1 versus the share receives more engagement. If it’s even close use the +1 button.
5- Embedded Posts
I haven’t found a great use case for embedded Google+ posts yet, but in the right scenario I think you can gain incredible reach. As you can see from the example below all the functionality contained on a Google+ post within the social network follows the embedded post.
This means that comments, +1′s and reshares all carry the same weight and relevancy. In addition you get an active follow button where visitors can connect with you without leaving your site similar to badges. Learn more about embedded Google+ posts here.
6- Google Sign-In
Google Sign-in is geared more towards application and SAAS developers than traditional bloggers. But if you live in that world then Google Sign-in allows you provide Google+ users with additional value and ease of use. Google Sign-in also gives your application the ability to communicate with their connections.
7- Google+ Comments
Google+ Comments are technically NOT an approved Google product for WordPress blogs. On the Blogger platform (owned by Google) Google+ Comments are approved. However, you can add Google+ Comments and their functionality via several different WordPress plugins.
The most popular and powerful Google+ Comment plugin is Comments Evolved for WordPress. Comments Evolved integrates with traditional WordPress comments seamlessly.
If you would like to separate Google+ Comments from Traditional comments then Google+ Comments Box is the plugin for you.
8- Content Recommendations (Mobile)
Add Google+ content recommendations to your mobile website with Google+ Content Recommendations. This tool adds some additional functionality to your mobile visitors. This feature is not going to make or break your success online but does provide more opportunities for engagement on Google+.
9- Hangout Button
The Google Hangout Button provides one-click functionality for web visitors to start a hangout using a web application included inside it. An example of this functionality is Slideshare Hangout Button, which allows you to view Slideshare slides while conducting a Google Hangout.
As you can see the Google+ social platform can integrate in many different ways with your blog, with more integrations coming every day. Remember Google’s goal, “Match every problem with the best possible solution.”
These integrations provide Google with the most accurate representation of our authority online and which encourages Google to place our resources online in front of more qualified leads. Avoiding these tools, especially adding +1 button to articles and Google+ badges to your sidebar, will cause you to pay an unfortunate price down the line.
If you’d like to become proficient at Google+ get the Google+ Starter Kit today! This free course will teach the basic Google+ skills needed to succeed using Google’s social network.
Thank you and Good luck,