Google first introduced its social network, Google+, in June 2011. Just six months later it reportedly had 62 million users and is on track for 400 million users by the end of 2012. That will be half of Facebook’s total current user base in a fraction of the time, and double Twitter’s!
Just recently, Google announced Search, plus Your World, which is Google+ content appearing with traditional organic search results. This is proof that the lines between social networking, social media and SEO are indeed thinning and that social networking and social signals are becoming more important to the practice of SEO.
Google+ is a social networking force to be reckoned with and it is forcing marketers’ hands. I guarantee you that Google+ is not a fad. It is here to stay.
So why is it important to incorporate Google+ into your web presence, how do you do it, and how will it positively impact your organic search strategy?
With the introduction of Search, plus Your World, when your prospects search in Google for the keywords you want to be found for, relevant results will be returned in that searcher’s “Personal Results” from their “Google+ Circles”, as well as related “People and Pages from Google+”. Think about how this impacts your findability and the Page One search results for everything.
Here’s an example – when I was logged in to Google+ and searched for “community management tips”, the #8 ranking was a blog post by Acquisio because they are in my Google+ circles:
When I logged out of Google+, and all other Google properties, Acquisio did not appear in my top 50 Google search results for the same keyword phrase.
Moral of the story: start building your circles and sharing your business content via a Google+ Page.
Search, plus Your World makes a lot of sense. Let’s revisit three facts about organic search and Google search that support the concepts of Google+:
1.A lot of people use and trust Google’s search results. Really. The proof – according to comScore.com, in December 2011 there were 12 billion Google searches performed (up 3% over November 2011). Compare this to the second busiest search engine, Bing, with just 2.7 billion searches in December. #bigdifference
- Everybody looks at the organic side of search, and 80% to 90% of searchers will click on organic search results (the left-hand side) over paid search results (AdWords, PPC). Your web presence needs to be found on the organic side of search through your SEO efforts or you’re missing out on a lot of eye balls, prospects and business.
- Google is fanatical about search relevance. That is, fanatical about providing relevant search results to every searcher for every search. Since Google+ is a social network and social networks are about relationships it only makes sense that search results include relevant content from your relationships (your circles) in Google+.
6 Reasons to Add Google+ to Your Web Presence & SEO Strategy
1. Let them socialize.
Your prospects, customers and employees want to socialize with your organization. So let them – on the most visited search engine on the planet.
By embracing Google+ you have one more presence point to socialize your content, control your message for SEO and get found. It’s also one more presence point to initiate social engagement.
Since Google+ allows your content to be socialized with those who are interested in your brand, it helps prove relevance to Google and therefore impacts your organic search rank. As you grow your circles, social engagement with your organization will increase as well. This all leads to higher organic search results throughSearch, plus Your World.
So let the socializing and findability begin: Set up a Google+ Page for your business (https://www.google.com/+/business) and start publishing content, building circles, and getting +1 recommendations.
SEO Impact: The broader and stronger your web presence is, the better you will perform organically in the search engines. Adopting Google+ will broaden and strengthen your web presence.
2. Fresh content.
Fresh content is the key to dominating in organic search. This is true now more than ever before. Yes, the fundamentals of SEO are still valid – build a technically great website and have a strong backlinking strategy – but sharing excellent, fresh, consistent and optimized content via social networks is also key.
Google+ is just one more place to publish your press releases, blogs, testimonials, case studies and news. The difference with Google+ is that your content, if found, will be listed at the top of Google personal results mixed in with traditional search results (so long as it has been shared in the searcher’s circles).
Getting serious about producing fresh, optimized content and having it socialized in Google+ will really pay off.
SEO Impact: Publishing fresh content produces backlinks, social signals and authority. This increases the likelihood of being found. Google+ is just one more presence point to accomplish this.
3. Google+ produces social signals.
Social signals are now factored into Google’s organic search algorithm. A social signal can come from a Facebook Like, Share or a Google +1. Social signals prove that a piece of content is relevant. The more people who like, share or +1 it, the more relevant it is.
Now more than ever it’s important to integrate page-level social icons on your website, email marketing, press releases and blogs. Give any visitor to your web presence, at any time, the ability to provide your content with a social signal.
If you haven’t already done so, add the Google +1 button to all pages on your website.
SEO Impact: Social signals will continue to weigh into Google’s search algorithm. Social signals are like the “new age backlink.” Start building your social signals strategy today.
4. Your competitors.
If your competitors have not already rolled out a Google+ strategy then look at this as a stroke of good luck to capitalize on. This could be your chance to shine and dominate in organic search results.
But get moving and get paranoid about executing on a Google+ strategy. It will impact your organic search rankings, findability and traffic to your website.
SEO Impact: Just like you have an SEO backlink strategy to out-backlink your competitors, now you need to think about your social signals strategy to out-signal your competitors.
5. Google, Google+ and Search plus Your World aren’t going away.
My recommendation to marketers is to not ignore Google+. It isn’t going away any time soon and I predict traction throughout 2012.
According to Google, “We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships.” And, “[Google+] is a platform which allows us to bring social elements into all the services and products that we offer.” (Source: The Telegraph)
(Note: Google has changed its compensation system so that all Google employees think about Google+ opportunities every day.)
Google will continue to incorporate Google+ into more and more Google properties including their Android efforts. According to Google, “Most importantly, 700,000 Android devices are activated daily and this will become a very significant source of new users for Google+. That number will also grow next year.”
Think seriously about how your organization is going to incorporate Google+ into its web presence. It’s one more presence point through which your prospects are expecting to engage with you, and it provides your business with one more opportunity to produce and publish controlled content for your circles to consume.
SEO Impact: Google Search, plus Your World will be everywhere.
6. The Social Network War: Google versus Facebook.
Who will win? Up until now, Facebook has been the dominant force in terms of social networking and having marketers leverage social networking to reach prospects and customers. But what will transpire over the next 12 months? Will Facebook continue its dominance and keep marching along or will Google+ surpass their progress?
Which social network will dominate for business and marketing purposes?
Which social network will dominate for SEO?
The answer to all of these questions is, “no one knows.” Because of this, organizations should hedge their bets, fire bullets at both and grow their web presence to include both Google+ and Facebook.
If you have any questions on any of the strategies and topics covered, feel free to contact us, and will help you resolve all your issues.
Be Sociable, Share!
Just when you thought you had your social media strategyand web presence under control, yet another social networking site is becoming mainstream. Seven months ago it was Google+, now it’s Pinterest and it is gaining momentum in popularity as well as relevance in organic search.
Pinterest is a social photo sharing website that has also been described as an online pin board. Its more than 10 million registered users, over 2 million of whom log in every day, “pin” photos, graphics, and videos into categories they create based on their own personal interests. Pinterest users also share their pins on Facebook and Tweet them.
“Their own interests” may indeed include images that represent your brand. Pinning images is how your visitors, prospects, clients and fans want to visually socialize your organization.
The likes of GE and IBM are using Pinterest, proving that it is relevant to both B2C and B2B.
Here are eight SEO reasons to add Pinterest to your web presence and how to get started.
Pinterest content is being crawled and indexed by Google, therefore it will impact your SEO rankings. Think of it as an opportunity to outrank a competitor for a keyword. If you are pinning on behalf of your organization, take the time to optimize Pinterest photo comments with important keyword phrases. If you have control over image file names when originally published, take the time to optimize photo descriptions for keywords as well.
2. Backlinks & Referrals
Every image pinned to a Board has a link back to its original published source. These are valuable backlinks and can provide referral traffic as well. Capitalize on this. Posting your product and service images and videos is a great place to start. However, keep in mind that it’s important to avoid being blatantly self-promotional – remember to provide value to your audience by sharing quality content that is relevant to their interests and worth liking, commenting on, and re-pinning.
3. The Pinterest Search Box
With millions of visitors to Pinterest every day, people are looking for brands via the Pinterest search box. Is your brand available? Does your Pinterest presence represent and reinforce your brand to a prospect who might be searching?
4. Web Presence
Pinterest is yet another web presence point. Simple as that. Just like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, Pinterest has gained enough momentum and significance that excluding it any longer may negatively impact your web presence compared to your competitors.
Pinterest is unique because it is the only social networking site focused solely on sharing images. You likely do not have to go far to find an inventory of photos, graphics and videos in your organization. For example, design and architecture firms have projects, real estate agents have listings, product companies have products, services companies such as vacation and leisure have snap shots of places, artists have art, sports-related companies have action shots, non-profits have people and places and event pictures, technology companies have conferences and infographics, and so on.
Get creative and start thinking about how to build your inventory of photos.
6. Social Signals
We know that social signals are factored into Google’s and Bing’s organic search algorithms. Pinterest provides yet another opportunity for your visitors, prospects and customers to generate social signals (Tweets, Likes, Shares, Google +1’s, and now Pins). Social signals indicate to Google that people want to socialize your content with people they have relationships with, which signals that your content is relevant.
Your competitors are likely using Pinterest already. This is a grand enough reason to get started. But better yet, if they are not, you can take advantage of the situation and start building out your Pinterest presence before they do.
8. Pinterest is not going away in the near future.
In December 2011, the site became one of the top 10 largest social networking sites, according to Hitwisedata, with 11 million total visits per week – this number increased to 21.5 million visits for the week ending January 28, 2012. According to Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report,Pinterest is now the third most popular social network in the U.S. behind Facebook and Twitter, having surpassed LinkedIn. And the Pinterest team is serious about their business. Recently they raised an additional $100 million from some noteworthy investors.
Getting started is rather straight-forward:
- Request an account by going to http://pinterest.com/. If you know someone who already has an account, ask for an invitation.
- Set up a Pinterest account for your business and reserve your main brand name.
- Be sure to connect your business account with your Twitter and Facebook accounts so you can share content across the social sites. When you pin an image you can also tweet it and share it.
- Add the Pinterest social icon to all your corporate web pages and blog pages.
- Add a Board and get busy pinning!
Pinterest is one of many tools you can use to optimize your internet marketing plan. Get on the right path today by contacting a knowledgeableWSI Internet Consultant to assist with your strategy.
Email marketing can and should be at the centre of many businesses’ digital marketing strategies, but unfortunately, it’s not. This is usually due to companies misunderstanding (and therefore not realizing and appreciating) the power of email marketing. But email marketing works, and our webinar, “Confessions of an Email Marketer – The Science Behind Boosting Conversions“, is going to show you how and why.
Think what you want about email (and insert curse word regarding the current state of your inbox) but the fact is that people are constantly checking and engaging with their email. Whether on the move with a phone, at the office with a laptop, or somewhere in between with a tablet, your email inbox is never far from reach. Really think about that for a second – when not on vacation, how long have you gone without checking at least one of your email inboxes? Chances are not long.
Still not convinced that email marketing can do the trick for your business? That’s okay, we don’t mind convincing you. that’s why we do these free webinars, to show you that we know what we’re talking about.
Whether you’re actively looking to leverage email marketing in your overall digital strategy or simply trying to get a feel for how email can help, our email marketing webinar is a can’t-miss session! Don’t delay in signing up as we’re going to provide key strategies to ensuring that your email marketing efforts are effectively giving your brand a competitive edge. Here’s what our “Confessions of an Email Marketer – The Science Behind Boosting Conversions” webinar will cover:
- The 5 must-have aspects of email marketing you can’t afford to ignore
- Tips and tricks to creating effective drip campaigns to engage your customers
- Best practices for nurturing your email database
Here are the details:
DATE: Thursday, October 24, 2013
TIME: 11:00AM – 12:00PM (EDT)
REGISTER: Click here to reserve your spot now
Don’t miss this opportunity to join WSI’s Director of Marketing and Communications Cheryl Baldwin for her FREE webinar! Cheryl has leveraged email marketing for everything from lead generation, to customer retention, to customer engagement for a global brand. In this session she will explore the science behind using email to boost your business’ conversions. To get full access to her tips and tricks, sign up for the “Confessions of an Email Marketer – The Science Behind Boosting Conversions” webinar now!
WSI Internet Marketing –
Solutions for the Modern Business
Are you a business owner looking to reach a new plateau in Internet marketing success? Welcome to WSI, your home for professional, results-driven digital marketing strategies. For nearly 20 years, we’ve helped clients just like you discover the power and profits of effective Internet marketing. Our approach is both time-tested and cutting-edge, incorporating proven fundamentals of marketing while taking advantage of the very latest in Internet technology.
The Internet has grown exponentially since WSI started in the mid 1990s, and the potential benefits of marketing on the web have grown just as dramatically. With the proliferation of social media platforms and the explosion of mobile marketing and tablet computing, there’s never been a better time to establish your presence online. WSI Internet Marketing Consultants have developed winning strategies for clients across a wide range of industries, and we’re ready to be a part of your own winning strategy.
The WSI Internet Marketing Approach
Great marketing positively impacts your company’s growth and your bottom line. This is true with traditional marketing, and it’s equally true for digital marketing. You expect and deserve tangible results, and that’s why we are committed to using our experience to get you those results. When you’re looking for any of the following, WSI is the right choice:
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Explore our services, and discover why so many business owners have relied on WSI for timely, effective, and affordable digital marketing strategies.
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