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.
When I search for “wedding photographer,” I see Neal Urban appearing consistently in top positions (even though he has half the followers of Scott Jarvie). And what’s interesting is that Neal Urban is not even a photographer that I follow. This shows the power of Google+ to bring attention to people and pages that you might not be aware of when conducting a generic search. And this also reveals that even though Neal has half the followers as Scott, he can still achieve top position for a very competitive keyword.
I then decided to test similar queries when logged-out of Google+. I searched for “wedding photography” and this time Neal Urban appeared in top position along with Ben Godkin. And what’s really interesting here is that Ben Godkin’s is in 8,839 circles, compared with Scott Jarvie (64,000+) and Neal Urban (32,000+) circle counts. This shows that even with a comparably low circle count, Ben has achieved a top position in Google+. And I’m still amazed that Google+ gives Ben and Neal top position when I’m not even logged-in.
Since Neal Urban kept appearing in various “wedding photographer” queries, I reviewed his Google+ profile and noticed how he optimized his about page with “wedding photographer” keywords in practically every possible area. He also incorporated city-based terms, which I think is really important especially for locally-based businesses.
I also reviewed Ben Godkin’s profile and noticed that he also listed “wedding photographer” all throughout his “about” page.
The lesson here is that incorporating important relevant keywords in each area of our profile can help you become more relevant for those queries in Google+. Now, I don’t think simply stuffing keywords into your tag line and about section will get you into top positions because that is only part of the algorithm. These people are also active in Google+ and getting added into “wedding” and “photography” circles.
2. Personalized Results
My Dad is a plumber and recently moved to Huntington Beach about 3-months ago. I set-up a Google+ page for him and added his business into Google Places, but he hasn’t had time to update his Google+ page at all. In fact, he has no posts. Even though he has no involvement, his website and Google+ page ranks in the top 3 positions for “huntington beach plumber” in my personalized results. He could get into even more of my personalized results if he was posting regularly on different subjects, but by just having a page in Google+ he has achieved top positions.
Now, you probably won’t see these same results because you’re not following his page – but as my dad starts posting content and getting followed more — he could start becoming more relevant and soon appear in the “people and pages” spotlight area for plumbing keywords.
3. Sharing Content
Simply by sharing content you can help you or your company gain top positions in Google+ for relevant keywords. I searched for “social media consultant” and noticed right away that Jay Baer shared his company’s website (convinceandconvert.com) and Jason Falls had shared his site (socialmediaexplorer.com). Since I follow and read Jay Baer and Jason Falls, those two results are very relevant to me. And further down the page, Google+ reminded me about one of my Google+ posts where I shared my circle of influential small business peeps (where I include Jason Falls, Jay Baer and many others). This shows how important Google+ posts and shares are in the algorithm.
Action Items for Your Business
If you’d like to become more relevant in Google+ for important keywords, here are some suggestions:
- Complete your “about” page on your personal profile and business site with relevant keywords
- Start networking and following other businesses and people in your niche
- Start networking with potential customers (and try to get followed by them)
- Share lots of useful content in your niche
- Be cool