As a new page owner, I’ve been studying hundreds of Google+ brand profiles to keep track of how pages engage people. I’ve also been studying everything from page photo strips to how brands are utilizing hangouts and seeking to circle subscribers.
Here is my growing list of optimization strategies I’m using on the Google+ circled.us page:
1. Keep your page tag line under 21 characters if you don’t want words getting cut
When people roll their mouse over your page icon when searching for pages, they will see your page name and the first 31 characters of your page tag line/description. Google’s tag line gets cut . . .
And if people click to view all pages in common with another page (or see who circled who), you’ll notice that less than 21 characters of the tag line are visible. Make sure to review how your tag line appears in all these instances.
It’s obviously okay to add more or less words, but make sure you’re happy with how it appears when done. I’ve kept the circled.us page description deliberately under 21 characters so that nothing will get cut, and I know exactly what people will see.
2. Sell your page in under 56 characters in your “About” section
When people see your page listed in a “people and pages” query in Google+, they will see your page name along with a snippet of text (pulled from your “About” section). Google pulls the first 56 characters from your page “About” section, so choose these words carefully . I’ve tried to briefly summarize my page and used “Add” as my call-to-action (next to the “Add to circles” button). Think carefully about these words because this is like a free text ad to sell your page in a Google+ search.
3. Incorporate important keywords to your about section
If you want to have more opportunities for your page to show up for relevant keywords in a Google+ search, make sure to add those keywords in your about section, tag line, and anchor text. Using keywords doesn’t guarantee internal ranking, but it’s still important to help you become potentially more relevant for those keyword topics. Even though I don’t think it’s intentional, it’s amusing how many times Google for Nonprofits uses the word “nonprofits” in their About section:
And yes, they rank number 1 for “Nonprofit” in a Google+ search query.
4. Add Google+ Page Code to Your Site
To inform Google that your page is legitimately tied to a certain brand or website, you should add the Google+ page code to your site. This also gives Google information they will use to determine the relevancy of your site to a user query in Google.
By adding code to your site means that you will become eligible for Google+ Direct Connect and will give you the ability to add the Google+ badge to your site or blog:
5. Link your Google+ Page with your AdWords campaign
By connecting your AdWords campaign to your Google+ business page means that any +1s you receive on ads will get added to the +1 count on your page and vice versa. This an excellent way to build up your +1 counts on your page and across the Google ecosystem.
6. Link to Your Site from Your Google+ Page
Make sure you link to your main site in your “About” section. Linking to your site from your Google+ page will also help you become eligible for Google+ Direct Connect. The Google Students’ page links to their main site in both the recommended links area and website section.
7. Try to Send a “Thank You” Message to People Who Circle You
Once you get circled by someone, try to thank them by sending them a private message and ask them what type of content they are interested in. This can be difficult for brands getting hundreds of followers, but manageable if slowly growing your circle count. This can also help you circle new subscribers appropriately, which can help you provide them with content they are interested in. For example, if I owned a small business, I might send subscribers a message like this:
You could also create a Google Form to quickly survey everyone that circles you. If you’re getting into many circles each day, this is more difficult to manage since you might not know who recently circled you and when. I’m fairly certain Google will give you deeper insight into who is circling you when Google+ analytics gets introduced to pages. At that point, you might want to automatically drop everyone into a month/year circle to keep track of how long they’ve been a subscriber.
8. Update regularly to show potential subscribers that you’re active
It’s important to stay active by providing questions and updates to your circles to show that you are actively trying to engage people. Nothing is worse than visiting a profile or page that hasn’t been updated recently. It seems like you aren’t active or listening to what people are saying if they leave a comment. So keep active and post public updates at least once a week so that everyone can see what you’re doing.
Let me know of other optimization tips that should get added here (and I’ll credit you for your ideas) within this post.