Google Plus

Last Update September 12th, 2014

As you know, Google Plus is now too important to ignore. It’s deeply linked to SEO, local business listings, and the second largest network of people on the internet.

We gotta be on it. I’m right here.

And with all that in mind I went to one of the most active Communities on Google Plus and asked the experts for some of their top tips. What followed was pure gold that I just had to share in a post. What you’ll find below is a list of tips and tricks from those experts as well as some others that I’ve found useful.

Let’s check it out.

Who you calling “geek”, geek?

As I mentioned, I got a lot of these tips from the Google+ Discuss Community which is full of incredible people who seem to be online all day talking about G+. They’re not really geeks. Well, not all of them.

I’ve tried to credit everyone in the right places. If there isn’t a name with the tip it’s one I added. Or I made a mistake – quite likely.

I’ll just get to the tips now…

1. Tag people
David Iwanow said that one of his best tips is to “โ€ฆ tag people who created or originally shared the content when you can.” This ensures they see your post and will often lead to them interacting with you as a result. Any time you tag someone they get a notification (unless they have them turned off) so it’s a good way to get in front of people.

2. Use the rel=author tag on your blog
This is called setting up Google Authorship and means you can have your photo next to your articles in Google search results. I’ve written about this before (and made a video) because it is extremely important for SEO and increasing your click through rate in the search results.

NOTE: This is feature is no longer operational.

This and the next five tips are all from Thanh Pham.

3. Use the rel=author tag on your guest posts
Just like you did on your blog, you can also set this up on guest posts in your little bio section. Not every website will let you do this but most are now getting into the idea. This is a fantastic idea because it associates your name with some really big blogs.

4. Post valuable content on Community pages
This is something a lot of G+ users really don’t understand. You don’t get a lot of traction from just posting “public” unless you already have a lot of followers. What you need to do is find relevant communities and share content there. They are full of people interested in your topics. This helps you tap into group of people that might otherwise never know you existed.

5. If something is popular on Twitter and Facebook, cross post it to G+
Another tip by Thanh Pham here. I’m not sure I entirely agree with this because sometimes people will get sick of seeing your content three times if they are following you on all platforms. Maybe just use this one sparingly. Personally, I try to something a little bit different around the place because I want to avoid making people feel like I’m just syndicating my content.

6. Write long messages in G+ and then Tweet the link
If you want to share a longer message on Twitter you can always write the post in G+ and then share the link to that post on Twitter. That has the dual effect of giving you more room as well as showing your Twitter peeps that you are on Google Plus as well.

7. Launch products with Google+ Events
I’ve never done this myself so I can’t really comment on it but Thanh tells us that this function will automatically email your circles about the launch as well as adding the event to their calendars. Interesting.

8. Use saved searches
You can search for your name or brand in the event that someone mentions you without using the “+” function. This means that you have a page open on the home screen to monitor what’s being said about your work. Massive thanks to Thanh for all those awesome tips!

9. Devote serious attention to your profile
Our friend Jimmie Lanley reckons it is extremely important to ensure your profile section is filled up with useful information so people know who you are and what you’re about. Spend a lot of time on this just like you would on your actual website About page.

10. Use a well-lit headshot
This is another tip from Jimmie that I wanted to expand on further. I think you should actually go so far as to have a professional photo done, especially if you are using social media to promote a business. It really helps take your stuff to the next level. At a minimum, however, select a friendly photo that isn’t out of focus.

11. Use keywords you want to be associated with
Another good tip from Jimmie is that you should use keywords in your profile page if you want to be associated with them for your blog or business. I have a feeling this will become more important as Google emphasises G+ material in search in the future.

12. Be nice
This tip is so simple but I had to share it. We all love communities like Reddit and imgur where people are generally pretty nice as opposed to YouTube where it seems like everyone is mean. If you want to grow your reach on these networks do as Nick Purcell recommends and just “be nice”.

13. Use images for more attention
A really good tip from NewRayCom is to grab the image from a post when you are sharing it and upload it separately. It comes up much bigger and gets more attention. You can then write a new title and tag the person who wrote the post for maximum exposure.

14. Send feedback
Google seems to be really interested in receiving feedback so if you have a problem just shake your iPhone to send them a message. Pretty cool tip from Kamal Tailor.

15. Treat it like a dedicated blog
A really nice tip from Eros Peterson is to use Google Plus as if it was your own blog. There is lots of room for writing articles which means you can post quality content and images. A lot of people find this leads to more shares and interactions. Darren Rowse does this really well.

16. Use the same email address for email campaigns
When you send out an email from Aweber for your mail campaign your Gmail subscribers will see your photo and Google+ profile on the right hand side of their window.

Google Plus Aweber

This can lead to a lot more followers on G+. If you use a different email address for your campaigns you miss out on this free promotion.

17. Start a Community
You don’t have to join a Community if you don’t really feel like you fit with the ones out there. If you have a blog about a special interest you can always start your own Community and invite people along to it. This has the dual effect of giving your readers a place to hang as well as helping them create content that further exposes your brand.

18. Make your posts consistent
Probably the biggest user on Google+ is Guy Kawasaki. In his profile he has this message:

I publish approximately five-ten posts per day. The topics that I focus on are marketing, enchantment, social media, entrepreneurship, innovation, venture capital, science, and photography.

It’s a really important thing to do because it sets expectations. If you weren’t aware of this you might find his constant updates way too much to handle. But by letting us know in advance it really shifts it to being something valuable.

19. Use bold and italics
A lot of people were really excited when I shared this tip on the Google Plus community. It’s pretty basic but a very nice tip from Amy Lynn Andrews.

Google Plus format text
Here’s a little image I made. Feel free to share it with your Google+ circles.

Just *do this* for do this. Just _do this_ for do this. Good way to add some more emphasis to parts of your posts and updates.

20. Remember that you don’t own it
Google+ is a social network owned by Google. It is not your asset. I know you probably think that I harp on about this a lot but it’s important to remember that you need to use it to build up your brand or blog, not just build up G+ and forget about the rest. Always focus on the things you own.

21. Comment on your hero’s posts
One of the most simple things you can do that will help you get in front of the right people is to just comment on their posts in an engaging way. A lot of times people just say “nice post” or “ha ha ha” but if you engage the person, often politely criticising or complimenting their ideas, you’ll find you often get a response or a circle.

22. Write compelling titles
It’s important to remember that Google+ is not Facebook or Twitter. We’re not just making a quick status update about our dinner – we’ve actually got room to write some pretty cool things and that includes titles.

Google Plus Titles

Here’s a shot of a post I did on Google+ that got quite a bit of attention and interaction, partly, I assume, due to the title that grabbed attention. You can also use the bold command above to make it stand out even more.

23. Emphasize Google+ on your blog or website
I often visit blogs and notice that the Google+ link is hard to find or not even present at all. I think the time has come for blogs to put a little bit more emphasis on G+, especially given how important it is becoming for SEO. Make sure you are linking to your G+ profile in a prominent place on your blog, and make sure you also do it when you mention the site in your blog posts.

24. Track, test and tweak
Another really important habit to get into is the idea of tracking and testing the different things that you try on these social networks. You can do this by setting a goal for your posts and then seeing if you can improve that goal by trying various approaches.

For example, if your goal is to drive traffic to your website you can post pictures, videos, articles, long form articles, etc. and see which one results in the most shares or new follows. It’s a good idea not to just blindly post publicly and hope that people see it.

25. Mix your email campaigns with your Google+ posts
Something that you can try once in a while is to mix your email campaigns with your Google+ posts. This is a great way to get new followers to your Google+ accounts.

The way it works is that you write a nice long and helpful post on Google+ as you would on your own blog. You then send out an email to your mailing list letting them know that there’s a new post up but this time it’s over on Google+. The result is usually a lot more followers.

Of course, you don’t want to try this too often because, as mentioned, you don’t want to write too much long form stuff on an asset that doesn’t fully belong to you.

26. Ask for help regularly
I am still struck at how complicated Google+ can be. There is no way, for example, my mum could start an account and figure out how to use it. It’s especially so since all your Google products can be integrated together.

The great thing is that the Google+ Discuss Community is very active and has constant streams of people ready and waiting to answer your questions. Get on there regularly, make friends, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

27. Use a Chrome incognito window for multiple accounts
A lot of people have one or more Google Accounts. This means that you might not have your Google+ account assigned to the same Google Account that you use for things like Gmail or your main YouTube account. If you want to be logged in to two accounts at once you can just use Chrome’s incognito function. There are other ways to do it but I quite like the separation the two windows create.

28. Write for search engines
You know how bloggers always tell you to write for people and not for search engines? Well, it’s not true. Okay, it’s true, but it’s only half true. In actual fact, writing for search engines is extremely important and it is even more relevant on Google Plus.


Because when you are logged in to Google+ you get shown completely different search results to the ones you are shown when you are logged out.

Google plus appearing in Google

Those logged-in searches are based on what your friends and circles recommend. So if you’ve got the right followers and write about the right things using the right keywords you’ll be more visible more often. The screen shot above even shows some Google+ results getting indexed in Google search.

29. Don’t forget to #hashtag
Use hashtags the same way you use them in Twitter. People talk about this quite a lot but I’m still not entirely sure it’s taken off as much as it has on Twitter. But, the idea is that Google+ acts like it’s own little search engine the idea being that one day people won’t leave it at all. Hashtagging your posts helps to get them noticed.

What have I missed?

Alright guys and gals – what have I missed? I’m really loving Google+ at the moment and would love to add a few more tips to this list. Please leave a comment below and let me know whether you’ve got any other goodies to pass on.

Photo: ยฉ Bowie15


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  1. Andi the Minion on June 4, 2013

    Hi Ramsay, some excellent tips here with some great little tools like the incognito extension. Very handy, I didn’t know you could do that, I generally have different browsers open.

    I realised that you could make words bold by accident, funny thing is, I didn’t know what I had done, I had just thought it was a fluke or a mess up, I had shared a post to a group saying **No Selling Post** as I was fed up of groups becoming nothing more than dumping grounds for Empowered Network or affiliate spam posts.

    I wanted to share a post I had written and was amazed to see the bold writing appear. I never did try it again with other words… so how stupid do I feel right now? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Andi the Minion on June 4, 2013

      … and have finally managed to spell your name right! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Ha ha. Accidental discoveries! You are like the Newton of G+ Andi! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I was wondering how to find people with similar interests to my own beyond just searching keywords – and then I discovered Communities – now my news stream is full of what I’m interested in by people I’d never heard of before!

    1. Yep, you got it! They really are awesome. I’m often surprised at how active they can be.

  3. Great stuff! Thanks, Ramsay!

    Google+ doesn’t seem to be that big in Sweden yet, but I suppose we’re just a bit behind the curve…

    1. Maybe I should add, at least not what I’ve noticed in my niches during the 15 minutes that I’ve looked…

      1. Yeah I feel like that a bit in Australia too. I think the USA seems to adopt really early and then the rest of us follow.

    2. Gabriele on June 6, 2013

      You are right! I was amazed by Ramsay’s lesson. G+ hasn’t hit Germany either much Ramsey (Isle of Man), so we still have time to catch up and digest!

  4. Larry Lourcey on June 4, 2013

    Great stuff- I’m definitely going to be trying out a few of these. I like how you are using it with Twitter.

    1. Thanks Larry. Hope it helps.

  5. Frederik Jorgensen on June 4, 2013

    Currently I’m not using Google+ as a marketing tool but I can see I really should! Especially when you have created this well written guide helping me ๐Ÿ™‚ The only thing I’m currently using is rel=author from my blog so I get my picture in Google results.

    1. It’s worth taking a bit of a deeper look I think Frederik. There really is a lot going on there for marketers and SEOs.

      1. Kirsten McCulloch on June 5, 2013

        Yeah, I haven’t used it much either, aside from using the rel=author tag, partly because my niche doesn’t seem well represented, especially in Australia.

        But am I right in thinking that the number of followers I have on G+ affects how often my photo appears in search results, and possibly even the ranking of pages I’ve authored? In which case I guess I do need to start working it more…

        1. There is no evidence/proof for that yet but a lot of people (myself included) reckon that a G+ account with strong authority can influence the rankings of posts. I’ve seen experiments where a post with a +1 from a strong account rocketed to the top.

  6. Hunter Boyle on June 4, 2013

    Thanks, Ramsay. Great tips in here. I especially like #6, 13, 15 and 27. I’ll be trying them as well as dipping into the community for more help on the ins and outs. See you around G+ (still sporadically).

    Cheers — Hunter

    1. Sporadically is good when it comes to social networking. Very good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Stephanie on June 4, 2013

    Hi Ramsay!
    Great post–I’ve been using G+ a little but I feel like I stumble around there because I don’t totally know how to use it. This is good inspiration to dig in and get cracking.

    It seems like G+ is a bit more cultured and smart(?)for lack of a better word. I like the tone better there than any other social network–it just seems like people put more thought into their posts and it’s quite refreshing.

    I have 2 gmail accounts, do you suggest combining the profiles to be more inclusive? (And use more reachable contacts?) Or is it better to keep them separate?


    1. I agree about the culture of G+. It seems a bit more sophisticated than the others at times. Could be me projecting though.

      In terms of the merging of accounts, I’m not really sure. I have a personal Gmail that I don’t connect up to G+ just because I want some privacy, somewhere, but I’m not sure if it’s the best approach in the end.

      I think the main thing is to make sure your blog email, email list email, etc. is all hooked up with the one G+ account.

      1. Stephanie on June 4, 2013

        Good point, thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hey Ramsay !
    This is so helpful , thank you so much! Unfortunately, I’m like your mother when it comes to google+. …can’t figure it out to save my life!

    But you’ve motivated my to put some more effort into it, and you made it seem a lot simpler than it appears to be.

    Off to google+ I go!

    You rock! Thanks so much!

    1. Glad it helped Tawny!

      Let me know if you have any troubles. I’ll try to figure it out with you.

  9. I like this Rams.

    I think just like Twitter it’s important to put care into what you blast out there. It’s difficult to because we feel like we’re competing against a monstrous amount of messages, but 5-10 careful tweets will produce a lot more traction than 100 link spams where all you say is “read this.”

    What do you think?

    1. Totally agree. I see heaps of people just post stuff public all the time and nothing changes for them. Needs a strategy behind it.

  10. Hey Ramsay! My subscriber count is up to 2000 people on aweber and growing pretty quickly, however a downfall I kept finding was that the community I created didn’t really have anywhere cool to hangout. Ends up being a little quiet and me answering several emails a day. I was tossing up putting a forum on my site, but after a lot of research I decided it wasn’t for me. You’ve just inspired me to create a community and use it as a place for Lauren’s Fitness Legion to chat amongst each other and provide additional support for their fitness journeys. Thanks for the idea!

    1. I’ll be your first member! Come back and drop the link when you’re all set up.

      1. Awesome will do!

        1. Lauren Bertolacci on June 4, 2013

          Here you go Ramsay! I suspect it will be a little bit of a desert for a while. I will invite new subscribers to join it as part of their program BUT I do know it takes a while to get a lot of discussion going. Thanks for the idea!

          1. Hope it goes well!

  11. Thanks Ramsay! I’ve been mapping how to approach a G+ practice for clients. Great steps here to model after. Incognito, huh? Fantastic! – Matt

    1. Thank Matt. Glad some of it helped.

  12. Ramsay! Thanks so much for including me in your G+ post here. It’s by far my favorite platform. Besides the functionality it offers, I love the perks of authorship and SEO.

    I gleaned a few tips here. My wheels are spinning on the Aweber nugget. That is a good one.

    PS I guess the measure of a true geek holds true for me — I am flattered to be called one.

    1. Ha ha. I’m glad no one has been insulted by being called a geek, yet.

  13. Ian Tomlinson on June 4, 2013

    Thanks very much for this post Ramsay. I’m new to Google+ and reading as much as I can to learn how to use it better. Your post has several good tips I will use.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ian.

  14. Good read Ramsay, I’m not that active on Google+, and you made a learning fun here.

    Thanks for sharing all the great tips from those G+ geeks.

  15. Do you have any numbers that give an idea as to how much of an increase in traffic your blog gets as a result of your G+ activity?

    1. A little bit. You’ll need to use something other than Google Analytics because they are notoriously bad for this traffic.

      1. So, without any numbers to quantify the benefits of utilising G+ how do you know it’s not just another social media ‘time suck’?

        I’m not being critical ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m just trying to get a handle on which, if any, of the social media strategies actually has evidential proof of actually working.

        1. Hey Dave.

          Good response!

          I do have some stats about how it is working. For example, I think some of my posts are ranking better since creating Google Authorship and growing an account that is able to drive traffic.

          You’re right though – we all need to measure the places we spend our time online to see what works.

  16. jamie flexman on June 4, 2013

    Hey great post.. I just shared it on my Google Plus page.

    One question that troubles me though – say I have 1000 Twitter followers (I don’t), 1000 Facebook likes (Not yet) and 1000 People in my G+ circles (I wish). If I had something cool to post, how would I choose which one to go with?

    Would I post to all three and potentially have several hundred people seeing something three times, or should I prioritise one over the other?

    1. Thanks for sharing Jamie.

      It’s a really good question. I’m still not sure. I think the most important thing is to be consistent and track what works. For example, I know people like to sort of talk about photos a little bit more on Facebook. Facebook seems to be a bit more personal. So many you pick a network to do your more individual updates about your life and then keep the business discussion elsewhere? Even that isn’t perfect though.

      I try to just be across the main three ones and then when I have a big post or event put it everywhere.

  17. My head is really spinning on this one because, as you know from my email, I’m working through some serious Google SERP issues – as in my Google impressions/clicks are down by 45%. I have made a few on-site tweaks, had a site owner add “original article” links back to my content that I allowed them to syndicate, and I’m now looking how I can get some more link love for related sites. Hopefully Google will redo their algo this week and things will settle down.

    I was rambling again, sorry.

    The rel=author tip will help a lot. Any time you can put your face in the SERPS, that will help draw attention to your article.

    As far as focusing on G+, I get what you are saying but I have to wonder if, for small niche sites, if being too many places is, indeed, just duplicating the same stuff to the same people. The best I can think for creating content would be…
    1. Use g+ to post detailed long-form stuff (how-to type stuff)
    2. Use FB for posting personal stuff related to the topic – on your Brand page.
    3. Use twitter for telling people about your g+ posts, maybe a longer FB post.
    4. Post site updates to Twitter and maybe FB, possibly G+, I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE!!!!!!

    1. Sorry to hear you are still having issues, Chris. Seems like such a strange thing for Google to penalize someone over. Usually they get that stuff right. It will be interesting to see, actually, whether the authorship can turn it around.

      I get your frustration about the whole multiple accounts deal. It’s hard. I still don’t have the answer. Generally, though, I have a “feeling” about what works on which site and try to keep adding that type of content. I get it wrong regularly though.

      One good thing about G+ I think is that if you post into communities you aren’t really bothering your followers too much. It’s kind of “away” from them. So you can be active without worrying about overdoing it.

      Twitter – people are used to constant updates and, in fact, studies have shown that about 20-30 tweets a day is optimal for growing an account. So you don’t have to worry about it there.

      Facebook – that’s the main one where you run the risk of overdoing it so just keep it to a few times a week there.

      That’s the way I think about it anyway.

  18. Rashelle on June 4, 2013

    Hi Ramsay,

    Fantastic post. This one is definitely going to be bookmarked. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I joined G+ not too long ago. I agree with the sentiment of some of the commenters above; it’s great to be on G+, but it can be a bit confusing trying to find one’s way around. I had several “aha” moments reading through your tips and am super eager to try them out.

    Thanks again!

    1. Thanks Rashelle. Glad something here helped! Let us know how you go.

  19. Great tip for #6! No need to worry about cramming something into 140 characters anymore on Twitter. I love the idea of cross promotion as well.

    I’m kind of half and half on #18 though. While I agree that you should be consistent, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to write 5-10 posts/day as Mr. Kawasaki does in order to have a successful Google+ page. As long as you write good, quality content consistently (once a day, once a week, etc.), your followers will come back. You just have to give them a good reason to return (hence your great content!).

    1. Hi Mike.

      Sorry, what I meant with #18 was just that you should try to be predictable. Perhaps that’s a better word. So one post or 40 is fine as long as you aren’t changing it up too often.

  20. Suresh RM on June 5, 2013

    Superb post. This must be going to be bookmarked.
    Thanks a lot for sharing all the great tips from those G+ geeks.You have created, this is written guide helping people.

    1. Thanks Suresh.

  21. Annette on June 5, 2013

    Hi Ramsay,

    I knew your tweet about an awesome upcoming post wouldn’t disappoint! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve been really lax about learning about G+ and its benefits. I have an account of course, but its been pretty much left dormant. This post has mega valuable information and will help me get it in gear.

    Thanks so much…greatly appreciated!

    1. Thanks Annette. Let us know how you go.

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  23. Patrick on June 5, 2013

    Great post Ramsay!

    As a newly converted G+ lover, i’m still looking for ways to really get traction and interaction on the platform – this’ll really help!

    1. Thanks Patrick. Glad it was of some use.

  24. Patti Hale on June 5, 2013

    I can certainly attest to the fact that search results for my Google+ page ranks far above search results for my website! I have a Google+ community of the same name as my website that is helping me establish authority with Google where I post and share other people’s post quite often. I hardly ever post public or to my followers–some of whom are in my community– because I don’t want to be constantly promoting or sharing the same things to the same people or to those followers who have opted out of joining the community and are not interested in the same subject matter. In short, I’m confused as to who sees what posts and not engaging all of my followers. I do have my community members in one circle and non community members in another so it makes sense that if I just post to my non community members I will not be overlapping but what happens when I post public? Does it go to all of my followers? (Sorry for such a looong comment!)

    1. Public posts are visible to all of your circles but they don’t get notified about the post. They’ll just see it in their stream of updates.

  25. Hi, Ramsay.

    Pretty good list unfortunately google+ in the Philippines is not as popular as that in the united states. But I’m gonna start moving around google+ and hangout with some blogger. Thanks for this list.

    1. I’m sure it will grow soon. Chris Ducker is working on it!

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  27. Kuldeep Kumar on June 7, 2013

    Very Informative post, I like your post, i didn’t know before that How much importance have Google + in SEO, its really great tips for the improvement visiblity in Search engine..I am glad to read your post.


    1. Thanks Kuldeep.

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  33. Samuel Jeffery on June 19, 2013

    These are some great tips on how to use Google+. In the travel blogging niche the ‘community’ groups have really allowed some bloggers to obtain a following fast – especially those who focus on photography.

    1. Wow! Nomadic Sam! I’ve read your blog quite a bit bro. Some great stories there.

  34. Jesse Janson on June 20, 2013

    Nice post Ramsay! I just posted an article about why people should get back on the Google+ train. Here it is if you want a quick read:

    1. Thanks Jesse. I’ll take a look.

  35. Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing on June 25, 2013

    Google+ really has some great features to take advantage of for business. It might not have the user base of other social networks but the fact that it is a Google product is important. Google will favor Google+ social content in the SERP.

    1. Yep, totally agree. Google is just growing and growing.

  36. Hi Ramsay,this work of yours is really splendid.Got a way to proceed but had a doubt.I am concerned with the Digital Marketing of my company and I’m not really sure if I should start by creating my own profile or my company’s and then creating communities or posting the links to LinkedIn or any other social media.Please help me with this so that I can kickstart with the work ,build i gateway and continue following up with you.

  37. Amy Lynn Andrews on July 3, 2013

    Thanks so much for the shout-out, Ramsay! What an excellent compilation of tips. Love it.

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