Earlier this summer, Google announced their newest version of social networking — The Google+ Project. It is similar to other social networks out there — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – but it’s designed to help people consume the world’s information and share it in a unique way via the Web. It’s goal is to put control in users’ hands and allow them to decide what they want to share and with whom. Naturally, Google+ represents a great opportunity for marketers to leverage it to maximize their exposure across the Internet.
There are five core elements to this new social network, and the +Profiles portion is the one that will help you the most with your online visibility. It is basically where you keep information about you, posts shared by you, biographical information, photos, videos, and web pages/websites that you have +1’d. Below are a few quick and easy ways to increase your visibility and promote yourself within Google+:
1. Where You Work & What You Do
In your profile under the employment section, there are two areas that can be edited: Employer Name and Job Title. Both have substantial effects in Google+ as well as in the search engines.
Employer Name: Of course your natural instinct is to simply enter your employer name here. However, keep in mind that what you see is what you get. In other words, if that’s all you enter, that’s all anyone will see. But if you add more details to the Employer Section, you can let people know not only what company you work for, but also what the company does.
For example, my friend Ross runs a company called CraftJack. If you hover over his name, that’s the only information you’ll know about him. But if he beefs-up the Employer Section, you can find out much more.
Job Title: The content in this section appears to affect what shows up in the SERP. Be it a future employer, professional contact, or even a client, this is the first thing they will see when they do a search on your name.
Google+ profiles tend to rank well in the search engines, hence the need for a clear and descriptive title. Remember, you only get one shot at a first impression. As you consider developing your job title, keep the following in mind:
- Limit its length to about 55 characters
- Abbreviate your city name if necessary
- If you don’t provide enough information for the Job Title section, Google+ will automatically pull information from the Employer Name section and that will appear in the SERP.
2. Who You Are
You can add your own tagline in your profile (just under your name) and it will show up prominently , right below the Job Tiitle line we just discussed above. This could arguably be the most important section of the profiles component as it represents a prime opportunity for you to grab your audience’s attention and position yourself however you’d like. Be sure to limit your tagline to about 70 characters — any longer and you’ll be truncating your message. Keep it short and sweet.
3. Where to Find You
In SEO, anchor text is the visible and clickable text of a hyperlink. When Google+ profiles show up within the SERP, they display “site links” which allow users to link to someone’s additional content. You can also edit this. Here is my profile before I edited these vague links:
In the link section, you can change the appearance of these names and reorder them to be more detailed and make more sense to your reader. This change happens instantly within the SERP. Here is my profile with edited links:
Implementing these changes will take just minutes. The real challenge is determining the content associated with how you position yourself. These small changes in your profile will have a profound impact on how your audience views you, finds you, and ultimately interacts with you. Who knows, it could help you land your next job.