Optimizing your G+ Profile – SEO How-to
Add Joshua on G+
Optimizing your G+ profile is quite possibly the best use of your time on social networks at the moment. Here is the ‘how and why’ of what we recommend you do to take advantage of things.
Why it’s important
Your G+ profile is displayed when one of a few things happens. The most common being that someone searches for something in Google and results are returned from their G+ network (in the way of profiles or shared content), when you as an author have a ‘rich snippet’ tied to an article you wrote, or when someone simply searches for your name. With this latest change, all of these things are increasingly important to your SEO efforts. Remember, with G+, you really do have to treat yourself as a brand.
G+ Profile in Search Results
Metadata still counts
Google+ uses the following formula to generate the meta name=”description” tag:
Your Name + Headline + Position + Company + Current City + Introduction
Here are the steps you should take in order to make the most of G+:
- Decide where (and what) you’d like to rank for
- Do you do most of your business in your hometown, or the large city where your office is? This makes a difference when you add a current location.
- Are you looking for freelance work, a job, or aiming to promote your company page? Keep this in mind when looking for keywords and job titles to use in your profile
- Do a little research
- Just like traditional keyword research, look for higher volume, lower competition words and phrases
- Pay attention to one variable – the fact that people are probably more likely to click through personal profiles when seeking to expand their network (that means city searches, and occupational searches may be much more valuable than generic phrases), and business pages are more likely to be clicked on when someone is looking for a service.
- Complete your Profile
- It may sound ridiculous, but when we say “complete”, we mean it. G+ uses bits and pieces of your entire profile to determine the best way to display you and your content in search results.
- Pay attention to your length of text – especially in your headline, as it appears that hidden information isn’t so relevant when searching inside of G+, although it’s all used in the meta tag for public searches
- Make sure to add the proper URLs to your profile. There are (2) types of links that affect search results for someone in your network:
- The ‘Other profiles’ will give Google a clue as to where your Twitter account and Facebook profile or pages live, and will affect subsequent search results
- The ‘Contributor to’ field will let Google know where you publish content.
NOTE: Make sure you link to an actual author profile page, and not just the blog or publication page. This along with some optimization and rel=”me” and rel=”author” tagging on that linked profile page is required for Google to display rich snippets
Rich Snippets in Google Search
Other Important Steps
- Optimize outside of G+
- Connect your other profiles to your G+ profile by adding links where possible
- Although Google may or may not take it into account for individuals, make sure to be consistent – there is no sense in telling Facebook you live in Monaco and G+ that you live in Arkansas and in the case of a business profile this is likely to have a negative effect
- Engage, engage, engage
- Lastly, there is no point to any of this if you don’t build your personal network on G+, so start building circles and contributing to conversations.
- Try building location or interest specific circles so you can build influence in your own area or the area you do most of your business. For example, for a freelance PHP developer doing mostly local work you might start engaging with people you know are closely related to small business associations in the area and adding their members to your own segmented circles. As more and more business people in the area add you to a circle, you are more likely to be returned as a search result that magic day when they go to Google and type in “freelance PHP developers”.
With G+ and Google Search plus your world being so new, I’m sure I’m missing a lot – leave me your comments and feedback and I’ll keep this little guide updated for all to use!