Google Plus – If You Want More Online Visibility, It’s Time to Get On Board

Google-Plus-256When Google+ (also written as Google Plus) launched in June 2011, most people who pay attention to these things figured it would flop. And while it’s not as popular and doesn’t have as many active users as Facebook, Google+ has become a site you must not ignore anymore.

As with most online sites, I jumped on Google+ as soon as invitations were available. I soon realized I really didn’t have the bandwidth to really go deep with it. However, I set up my profile, optimized it, uploaded a cover image and started posting my blog articles. I set up Circles, found people to follow, and occasionally shared and  +1’d posts I liked.

Now, nearly two years later, I’m turning more of my attention to Google+. After all, Google = Search and Google favors its own sites.  So if you’re an active user and create and share great content, Google views you as having more authority and relevance. This can translate to better results on search engine result pages (SERPs).

There are a lot of complexities to Google+ and I want you to understand why it’s important to get on board. Recent changes and enhancements may convince you.

Your Google+ Profile

You have an opportunity to really shine and leverage your profile. You can include links to your sites, products and services.  Include information about where you work and live and links to your other social profiles. While you can make any info private, the more you share publicly, the better you’ll be able to connect with others with similar interests.

As MaAnna Stephenson of also advises in her thorough Google+ Profile tutorial:

Use your real name. AuthorRank is all about you as the author of your online content. Google must be able to connect your name to all of your online presences.

Upload an easily recognizable headshot of yourself. Do not get too artistic with it. No cartoonish type drawings or such. You want to ensure that Google knows exactly who you are. (For maximum benefit, you should use the same headshot on all of your profiles including Gravatar and your social media sites.)

If you haven’t set up a Google+ Profile yet, take a few minutes to go through MaAnna’s tutorial and get set up now.

Optimize Your Cover Image for Marketing and Conversion

Not long ago Google surprised everyone and totally changed up the cover image. They made it HUGE! What they didn’t do though is provide a design template or warn you that it appears differently depending on the platform you’re viewing a profile on, i.e., when looking at a profile on your smartphone, you see one area of the image, while on a monitor you see another part, and when you hover over a profile photo, it looks different yet again. How the heck do you design for that?

Luckily, I had the good fortune to be introduced to Stephan Hovnanian of Shovi Websites by way of a Hangout hosted by Chris Lang.

As soon as I heard Stephan explain how to design for the new image dimensions and demonstrate how to use the image for conversion (moving people to take action on something like adding you to one of their Circles or a landing page to opt in to your email list), I contacted him right away. After exchanging a few emails, I contracted him to design a new G+ cover image for me and then repurpose it for all my social profiles: Facebook page, LinkedIn Business page, Twitter, and YouTube‘s new channel design.

Here’s a quick, two minute video of Stephan reviewing the image and the design decisions:

Hangouts On Air

Hangouts On Air are a feature you can’t ignore for boosting your visibility big time: live streaming video on your Google+ Profile AND on your YouTube channel, automatically recorded and posted to YouTube. Free. The possibilities are vast.

I recently heard a big name online marketer say he canceled his multiple GoToWebinar accounts and is now using Google Hangouts exclusively for all his online webinar-style presentations, group coaching, and private coaching. If you have a GTW account, you know how much you can save by going to a free model!

In the last month I’ve done several On Air Hangouts, a couple for The Future of Ink, a live video version of Brag About Your Blog Day, and on one I was a guest for a Q&A about business blogging. I’m now planning a series of free monthly Hangouts called “Adventures in Visibility” (stay tuned for more on that!).

You can do a Hangout with one person or thousands.  They can be private (not recorded) or On Air (public and automatically recorded and posted on YouTube).

Your Google+ profile and activity helps you get found in search results

Your Google+ cover image can help you convert followers to leads and prospects

Hangouts On Air help you automatically create content that amplifies your visibility on YouTube. And those videos can be shared and embedded on your blog and around the Web.

What’s not to like about that?!

Not convinced yet?

gplus-panel5OK. I’m hosting a free webinar on March 28 on 3 Ways to Boost Your Visibility and Business with Google+: Why Every Online Entrepreneur Needs to Get Onboard with Google+ Now. [Update: you can get the webinar replay on demand now.]

I’ve invited MaAnna Stephenson and Stephan Hovnanian to join me and share their expertise with you as well.  We’ll go into more detail about your Google+ Profile and setting up AuthorRank on your blog, as well as how to optimize your cover image, and how you can use Hangouts for your business.

Join us!

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  1. says

    I didnt think Google plus would take off the same way facebook has but having read this post, it makes alot of sense that google will favour there own before others. Im definitely going set up a profile and start pushing it. Great post thanks

  2. says

    No doubt that Google plus is very important social media site and it is great source of marketing and advertising any brand or business in social media world. There are a lot of business owners and webmasters who are still neglecting Google plus but they don’t know how it is helpful in search engine ranking. In this scenario your shared points and arguments are very helpful to understand the real importance of Google plus.

    • says

      Hi Lynne, thanks for stopping by. If you’re creating content, then I recommend you look at Google+ so you can maximize your visibility on Google. Hope to see you on the webinar.

  3. says

    Dear Denise, I LOVE my Google profile. Some days, I get to the first page of Google for my niches of alternative and holistic healing by just making an update on my profile. Google Plus rocks because it has a search engine; Facebook and the other social platforms don’t. I’m looking forward to learning more about the other features of Google Plus like the hangouts.

    • says

      Nancy, thanks for sharing your success using Google+. Sounds like you’re quite savvy about using the site. Look forward to connecting with you on the webinar.

  4. says

    I would say that the “digital set” has wisened up to the benefits of Google + but the laymen is still currently overtaken by Facebook posts and updates. It should have happened sooner but there will be a time when G+ is the better of the two networks to be on.

  5. says

    well – so far with each of the social media as well as business networks – including RYZE – Facebook – Ning – Twitter – Linkedin as well as Google+ I tend to wait a bit before jumping in right away to both be really comfortable with my use of the previously tackled networking tools in the previous networking system that I have focused and to feel that perhaps the system that I am about to join has gone through enough scrutiny and possible major changes before I step in the water so to speak – it is funny that with my space I never really got the hang of it and to tell you the truth I am not even quite sure if they even exist? –

    Well – where I am with google plus is – that it is still just forming and I am just now getting more acquainted with linkedIn – perhaps I have had enough with Facebook to last a lifetime and well once I make the more in-depth exploration into linkedIn (where I first saw the link to this post by the way) then I will perhaps begin to delve a little at a time into the google+ arena –

    In fact come to think of it there is still the Manta world to explore as well – which from a certain perspective sounds like an interesting venture to explore as well –

  6. says

    My mastermind group has been using private Hangouts for our meetings every week. Very cool features. We use the screen share function all the time! I didn’t realize they get automatically posted to YouTube if we go public. I see how this can be awesome for visibility if you broadcast a tutorial or something.

    • says

      Hi Matthew, thanks for letting me know how you’re using Hangouts. Do you record them? The public hangouts are only auto recorded if you choose the Hangouts On Air option when you set it up. Very powerful feature.