Google+ is an amazing social media platform. It inconspicuously integrates itself across the internet and can allow businesses to meet new people, connect with potential customers, and improve relationships with current customers. However, it is overwhelming at first because of its integration and widespread capabilities. Many businesses make mistakes when they begin their Google online marketing that hurt their overall social media marketing plans. Knowing what the common mistakes are can help you avoid pitfalls and get ahead of your competition.
- An incomplete profile
You need a business page on Google+. It is an incredible asset to your SEO campaign and it is very easy to set up. Google+ has made their company pages similar to Facebook business pages, meaning you need a personal Google+ page in order to create a business one. Make sure to categorize your business and add a specific location, especially since it is integrated with Google Places.
A company page on Google+ allows you to reference it, link back to it, and do other things that help increase your results in search engines. To increase your SEO, include your business keywords in the tagline and introduction, link to all of your other social sites, and include your website and location on your profile. It also describes your business and makes you more marketable.
It is also very beneficial if you verify your page with Google. This helps you establish a link between your Google+ page and your website and supplies a copyright against people who want to make a copycat page with your brand. Verification gives you priority in search results as well.
- Keyword stuffing
Even though you want to make your profile SEO friendly, you do not want to overstuff your profile with keywords. This was an old marketing trick that no longer works due to Google’s semantic search. The semantic search ranks pages based on the quality relevancy of their content.
For example, if you sell leather wallets you will want to use that as a keyword in searches. Overusing the phrase “leather wallets” in your content, even if feel like you need to regardless of the search results, will cause Google to decline your content and it will not show in search results. Write using natural descriptions and provide details about the products and services you provide to make Google happy.
- A bad cover image
The cover image is a newer aspect of Google+ that is borrowed from Facebook. However, Google+ has higher pixel requirements than Facebook which many businesses do not factor in when uploading a cover image.
The maximum size for cover images on Google+ is 2120 x 1192 pixels. You want to upload a cover photo that is as close to this size as possible to have a clearer image. The image needs to scale to the right dimensions as well. When designing a cover image, make sure to remember where your profile image is going to be in relation to the cover image. If you have information on your image, make sure it is not going to be blocked by the profile picture.
- Ignoring circles
Circles are essentially a way to categorize the people you follow on Google+. This allows you to send out targeted posts to certain circles of connections. So, you can have circles for prospective customers, current customers, coworkers, and industry leaders. Once your circles are set up, you need to send out content that is targeted for each group’s interest. For prospective customers, send content that talks about your industry and the benefits it offers, but do not promote your products or brand directly. For current customers, send content that offers solutions to their problems.
- Spamming circles
While you need to use your circles to send targeted content to a targeted audience, you should not spam people’s pages with overly promotional or too much content. If you post content in one of your circles, do not send them an email to let them know you have a new post. That is overkill and information abuse that your circles will not appreciate. Especially avoid the email feature if the people in your circles have not asked for continual updates. Put the information out there and easily accessible, but do not bombard your circles with it.
To learn more, check out Part 2 of this series on common Google+ business mistakes.