Latest posts by Jay Dillon (see all)
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Google+ business pages help make your site more SEO friendly in the eyes of Google. But taking it a step further and creating a Google+ community page (or pages) will also help you promote your content and become the authority in your niche.
Google+ still feels like relatively new marketing terrain, so it’s a good time to get ahead of the game, establish a strong foothold and boost your business with Google+ communities.
This article will explain why Google+ communities are so convenient for SEO in 2015 and how to get started with your own community page.
What Are Google+ Communities?
Google+ communities are proving to be one of the best SEO boosting elements of Google+ for business, bringing together brands and professionals alike.
Every digital marketer knows well by now that Google+ helps and improves the positioning of your site. If you link any content to your Google+ profile then Google is likely to look upon your site favourably. Keep in mind that part of Google’s success is due to the simplicity of the platform and its seamless integration with many Google apps (including search feature).
Although Google+ helps SEO in general, this article is here to inspire those who have already created a Google+ business page to strategically create a Google+ community page, focusing on its potential and on how to squeeze the most SEO juice out of it.
For those who have yet to create a community, it’s important to know that these communities are basically branch pages created from within your Google+ business page account, mainly used to bring together other Google+ users to interact and comment with posts, likes, and shares. It can be a private community (where people request to join) or public community, about any topic.
Posts from these communities can then be set to be defined as discussions, updates, new products, etc. Communities are somewhat similar to Facebook groups in that it helps other users interact with each other about a brand or business.
When it comes to these community pages, the navigation/management of the platform is the same as your Google+ profile.
Benefits of Using Google+ Communities for Your Business
The main benefits of community pages are as follows:
- Content will attract users who want to learn (remember to get visual and interactive as much as possible)
- Source of inspiration for future web content (community posts or suggestions can inspire blog articles or FAQ pages, etc.)
- Source of traffic to your website when you post/comment in communities
- Engagement with others that have similar interests to better exchange opinion/views
- Google tends to like you better for it!
When it comes to Google+ communities, the number of members can fall into a wide range. There can be 100 member communities right up to communities 100,000 members or more. If you create and share content that is relevant enough to these communities then you’re bound to acquire traffic. Plus, Google+ users are known to frequent their communities more and reward/credit the work.
How to Create Your Google+ Community Page
Access your Google+ business page. If you manage several, you most likely access them via Google+Business and you’ll be able to see an overview dashboard of all your accounts, click on the desired page and view it as yourself. Below is an example of a Google+ business page for a site called My Style Furniture, focused on selling furniture online:
Then hover over to the left drop down and click on Communities:
It’ll take you to a stream of all the communities you’ve joined and/or manage. Along with the option to Create a Community. Click on that:
Once you hit create, you have to choose what kind of community you’re creating. Is it public or private (only invited members can join)? For this example, we created a public community page to enhance furniture sales:
After you click on Create community it takes you to a list of the final steps (boxed in red) to be taken before you can fully launch your new community (add an optional tagline, pick a photo at least 960 pixels wide and 540 pixels tall, fill in About section, and finally add discussion categories) I suggest extracting some of this information from your Google+business page:
By scrolling further down the page shown above you’ll see the sections to be filled. As you can see and given that it’s My Style Furniture’s google+ account, we filled out this info accordingly. When you’re done, it’s time to hit DONE at the top right:
Finally, after hitting the DONE button, an automatic post to promote your recently created community to your users pops up. Fill out the description to sell it and voila – you’ve created and announced your new community to all your followers:
Advanced Tips For Using Google+ Communities
For better results, here are a couple of tips and guidelines to follow when participating in or using Google+ communities:
- When you create a post in your Google+ business page, the more efficient thing to do would be to share and reshare from the same original post on to other community pages and avoid just copying and pasting the same post on each of the other communities.
- Just like you can create them, you can join them. A good selection of communities to join can help boost your own community page. These are the communities you’re aiming to repost (share) to. The better the quality and reputation of these communities, the more your content will be viewed by those you’re targeting. So if you’re creating a site to sell furniture, you might want to join communities that fall under Interior Design.
- Avoid over-posting. A double-edged sword for marketers in Google+ is that it forces its members to avoid and identify spammy accounts. If you post to 10 different communities, each of those posts shows up on your profile. So people can see how many communities you’ve spammed with the same post. It kind of forces you to use new images, rephrase text and be original in your posts to different communities if you want to gain credibility in Google+.
- Within each community there are subtopics and it’s important to ensure that your content fits within those dynamics (new product, discussion, etc.).
- It’s ideal to publish in 5 or 6 communities and leave a few days in-between before reposting similar publications.
As stated above, Google+ has become increasingly beneficial for business and online marketing. Creating a Google+ community page (or several) with the right strategy and consistency can bring in a lot of traffic. Now try it out yourself.