It's a sad, sad week on the eZanga blog if you enjoy social media optimization. This week is the concluding post of our social media optimization series. But don't fret, we'll definitely be touching on it now and then in the future.
In my opinion, we saved the most interesting social network for last. Obviously, optimization and Google+ is going to be an interesting topic, given that most of the SEO industry is most focused on Google+'s owner, Google.
Out of all the social networks, Google+ doubtlessly has the most influence over your business's SEO. (Tweet this)
For this reason alone, you should have a Google+ page, and you should optimize it. Optimization is an important key to success on any social network, but it reaps so many more rewards on Google+ in particular.
If you've tried your hand at Google SEO and found it extremely complicated, don't worry. It's not as complex on the company's social network. Complete the below steps, and you're well on your way.
Add links to website pages and social profiles
One of the great things about Google+ pages is that you can add lots of links to your 'About' section. Not only is there an entire 'Links' section, you can also add links to your 'Story' section. And get this: anchor text is enabled in your introduction! While anchor text doesn't carry as much SEO weight as it used to, I highly, highly doubt linking to some of your website's most important pages using anchor text on your Google+ page will negatively impact your SEO.
In your 'About' section, you can use all of this link space to highlight important landing pages, special offers (ebooks, webinars, etc.), and other important pages. For example, HubSpot links to a specific YouTube video, their online "gear" shop, and their Marketing Grader, which isn't found on HubSpot.com, but at a separate URL. You can also use the 'Links' section to cross-promote your other social profiles for some extra SEO juice. Cross-promoting on social media is always a good practice, but even more so on Google+.
Link your page to your website and enable Authorship
Similar to Pinterest, Google allows you to link your social page to your website. Not only does this verify that the page is actually being run by your business, and not someone pretending to be you, but it also has SEO benefit. Google recommends verifying your website by linking to your Google+ page and adding a 'rel="publisher"' tag to one of the most significant pages of your site, like your homepage.
This will give the link to your website a check mark next to it in your 'About' section, showing the site is linked to the page. It will also mean your page might come up as Knowledge Graph information when someone searches for certain things related to your business.
In addition to the rel="publisher" tag, you should also start using the rel="author" tag, also known as Google Authorship. This doesn't specifically help your Google+ Business page, since the "author" must be a personal profile belonging to the author of the content, but it has several benefits. It draws more attention to your links in the search results and studies have shown higher click-through rates on search results with Google Authorship.
Brick and mortars: Merge your page with Google+ Local
Google Places was recently replaced with a different solution that's integrated with Google+: Google+ Local. Similar to Facebook, your location listing will remain separate from your business page unless you manually link them. This also integrates with Google Maps and search results, so it's definitely something you need to do.
Google+ Local has some optimization requirements of its own, but it's well worthwhile. At the bare minimum, make sure all information is correct and up-to-date, choose accurate categories to describe your business, and use keywords in your description and content.
That wraps up our social media optimization series! What do you think we should devote one post per week to next month? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting to @eZangaInc!