All posts in Tips

Small Business Guide to Finding Locals on Google+

My dad is a plumber and starting up his own plumbing business in Huntington Beach, California.

He’d like to use his Google+ page to promote his business, but he’s not sure if his target market is there.
He also doesn’t know how to find them.

So how can he find and connect with locals?  And how can he best use his time in Google+?

First, let’s address the problems of finding people based on location:

The Problem of  Finding People by Location

There isn’t a surefire way to find out where people are living simply by doing a city search in Google.  Sometimes people list their location in their about page, but not always. Many people share a variety of places they have lived, and it’s not always clear where they live now.

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How Google+ Helps Businesses Achieve Top Ranking for High Traffic Keywords

Google+ can help you rank for keywords you never thought possible – and place your business page and/or profile in top positions organically.

Let me show you how . . .

1. People and Pages Spotlight Area

Depending on the query, relevant Google+ businesses and profiles appear in a “people and pages” spotlight area right area above the ads on the right side.  Here are some examples:

Scott Jarvie is one of the most popular wedding photographers on Google+. He shares amazing photos from his shoots, and is followed by over 64,000+ people. Since he has the most followers out of all the photographers that I follow, he ranks #1 for “wedding photography” when I’m logged-in. I’ve tested this query many times over the last week and he consistently ranks in this top position.

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The Muppets Guide to Getting More Shares, Comments and +1s in Google Plus

I thought it would be interesting to analyze the Google+ Muppets page to see if I could learn what types of posts received more engagement than others.

I was curious if videos, pictures, hangouts, text, or outbound links received more or less engagement.

As I started to analyze the posts, I realized quickly that there are too many factors that make this study completely unscientific.

I couldn’t take into account outside promotion, shares from popular people, time-of-day, day-of-week, number of posts within a certain time-frame, or even have enough data to work with.

That said, I still wanted to quantify comments, +1s, and shares – and then study average engagement by post type — just to see if anything could be learned.

And here is what I found …

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59 Thanksgiving Day Meal Tips from Google+ Chefs & Foodies

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I thought it would be fun to reach out to my Google+ circle of chefs and foodies to get some advice for preparing my turkey and side dishes.

It was amazing to see the power of Google+ circles because I received an abundance of tips for everything from preparing my turkey and side dishes to choosing wines and beers.

If you’re looking to circle some engaging Google+ chefs and foodies, these are some great people to follow.

Check out these Thanksgiving meal tips …
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How to Find Fascinating People in Google Plus

When you’re first starting in Google+, you’ll get recommendations from Google on people to circle based on contacts in your Gmail account.

The trouble for me is that most of my Gmail contacts don’t have Google Plus profiles, and my close friends who did have profiles weren’t active or posting anything. And that’s the reason why I quit Google+ for three months because I wasn’t sure the value of joining another social network without friends already there.

Well, as I began spending a bit more time in Google+, I realized that the network wasn’t built around friendships (like Facebook), it was built about subscribing to people and pages that you think are interesting (similar to subscribing to blog feeds in Google Reader or following Twitter accounts). I also realized quickly that public posts from a “nobody” like me got much more interaction within a few minutes than on Twitter.

This led to my desire to start finding interesting people to follow, so here are some various ways that I’ve used . . .

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Google+ Text Formatting Shortkeys & Shortcuts You Should Know

Here are a few ways to change your text formatting in a Google+ update or message:

Use asterisks to bold words.
*Bold* will become Bold

Use _ to make words in italics.
_italics_ will become italics

Use – to make words in strikethrough
-strikethrough- will become strikethrough

You can also use all formatting together
*-_BoldStrikethroughItalics_-* will become BoldStrikethroughItalics

Add bullets by holding down ALT then 8.

  • ALT+8 makes a bullet
Mention Google+ members by using either + or @
+UserName or @UserName allows you to link to a specific person in a post (and they may be notified of the post depending on their settings).

You can add symbols and other special characters with copy/paste:
  • ☺ ☻ ♥ ♦ ♣ ☾ ♖ ✄ ☮ ♬ ► ◄ ㋡ ♪ ☼  ★ ☛ ☜
Check out this spreadsheet with a complete list of symbol codes.

How to Avoid Getting Uncircled in Google Plus

One of my favorite scenes from “Meet the Parents” is when Jack Byrns has a talk with Greg Focker about “the Byrnes family circle of trust” and warns  him that “once you’re out, you’re out. There’s no coming back.”

And in the world of Google+, getting uncircled can often mean just that: once you’re out, you’re out.

Now, getting uncircled doesn’t mean you’ve done something spammy or offensive. People get uncircled for dozens of reasons; for example: (1) it could be accidental (e.g. someone deleted an entire circle and you were removed unknowingly); (2)  you were deleted when someone was using an Uncircling plugin improperly; (3) you were removed because you weren’t active enough, etc.

Often times, getting uncircled for the above reasons means that those people probably weren’t reading your posts anyway so don’t worry about getting uncircled by them. You didn’t do anything wrong.

This article is concerned with helping you avoid getting uncircled intentionally, and I’ll share some tips to help you stay inside a follower’s “circle of trust.”

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How to Get Circled: 8 Ways to Get Added Into More Relevant Circles Today

Google+ is a lot more fun when you’ve been added into relevant circles.

Sure, it’s great to be added into hundreds of circles because you’ll get more visibility for your posts, but it’s more important (in the long run) to get added into relevant circles by people who care about what you’re posting.

You see, by networking with people who share your interests will lead to more meaningful interactions for you inside Google+.

Here are 8 tips to help you get into relevant circles today  . . .

1. Optimize your profile to inform others about you.

If you want to get added into relevant circles, you need to introduce yourself in the “About” section of your profile. What do you do?  What are your interests? What type of content do you write or share?  If you don’t tell others about yourself, it’s difficult for people to circle you — or even know what type of circle to add you into.

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How to Optimize Your Google+ Post: 8 Simple Ways to Get More Visibility & Interaction

There are no guarantees what posts you write will get shared, commented on, or +1’d.

Sure, if you’re in thousands of circles, you’ll probably get more interaction faster – but what about those of us who don’t have a big following and want to get the most out of our posts.

Well, here are 7 tips to help you stand-out in the stream or G+ search result (days or even weeks after you’ve posted something).

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10 Circle Management Tips to Save Your Time and Sanity in Google+

The more time I spend in Google+, the more people I’m adding into circles.

The benefit of adding more people into my stream means that I get exposed to more and more interesting people.  The difficulty is making sure not to miss the important updates by the people I really admire.

Here are some strategies that I’m using to optimize my time in Google+ . . .

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