Google Plus

We all want more Google+ shares, comments and +1s right?

Well, two weeks ago I sent out a message to my mailing list about some upcoming Google+ fun.

And that was where the magic began. What followed was a week of excellent discussion, increased shares and a lot of new relationships. It wasn’t all successful (I’ll talk about that later) but for the most part it went pretty well.

The most popular graphic I posted received 59 plusses, 39 comments and 59 shares.

Not bad.

In this post I’m going to be talking about how to get more Google+ shares, comments and +1s as well as giving you a little freebie that might help you do just that.

Getting more shares, comments and +1s: a quick breakdown

Let’s take a look at that Google+ post that received all those shares and likes and then dissect some of the more interesting elements.

Notice that the above Google+ post is interactive?

In case you’re wondering how I got the Google+ post itself to appear in my blog post it’s called embedding. Just click the arrow on the top right corner of the G+ post you want to embed and copy the code that is shown in “Embed Post”.

Here is why I think this particular one got shared so much:

  • There was a reward
    Most of the people sharing it probably had seen my email about getting a mention on my site for participating in the Google+ fun.
  • It solved problems
    Most of my followers on Google+ have an interest in using Google+ to grow their blog and the SEO aspects might be something that they haven’t really dived in to.
  • It was easy to read
    I made these graphics to be as simple and eye-catching as possible so that people would share them without thinking too much about it. Most infographics (IMHO) are way too complicated.
  • They were all the same
    Each post that I did that week used the same template (but with different photos). I think this helped people to recognize that it was one of mine and thus get in on the action. This is an important message about branding in general.
  • It asked for shares
    There is nothing wrong with asking for people to plus or share your post. Don’t do it all the time but feel free to do it when you have something quality to put out there.
  • It posed a question
    Getting people talking is a good way to get shares because often you’ll find that people want to share the conversation, not just the post itself. That happens a lot here on Blog Tyrant as the Tyrant Troops have a tendency to write comments longer than the posts themselves!
  • It fits
    A really big part of images on Google+ is making sure they fit and display correctly. I uploaded this template privately about four or five times before I was happy with the sizing. I could tell you the dimensions here now but as soon as I hit publish they would have changed again.
  • My email list knew about it
    This is one of the most important elements of the whole week – I told my mailing list about it. Email still trumps social media when it comes to creating engagement with an online audience. The great thing about Google+ is that you can get into the inbox of people who follow you without needing to get them to sign up to your list.

Of course, you were the ones sharing the post so if there was a different reason please leave a comment and let me know. I’d be very curious to know your motivations and whether you have any more Google+ tips.

Rewarding people for sharing Google+ content

When I sent an email to my subscribers I mentioned that I’d give a shout out to one person per Google+ post as a kind of “thank you” for being involved and sharing my content around. I deliberately didn’t give any criteria for how I’d select these people as I wanted to see how creative you’d get.

A mildly disappointing trend
It was a little disappointing to see that most people just hit the share button and didn’t add any other text or explanation. This is not disappointing for me, but rather for those sharing because it is not a very good way to curate content on Google+ (or any social network, really).

By adding your own comments and thoughts you give the post context for your own followers. Just hitting re-share doesn’t really do anything for them. I also spent about 10 minutes looking around and noticed that 99% of people who just hit re-share had no further interaction on those posts.

All of the big Google+ names like Martin Shervington and Michael B add their own thoughts to the information that they share. And it works.

The shout outs
That being said, some people did a really good job of sharing the content during the week and I’m very happy to give them a mention now.

  • Chris Rice A super nice guy who shared the content but also got on the comment threads and started some really interesting discussions.
  • Martin Rice No relation to Chris (I don’t think!) but was the only person to create a lively discussion and then also call my content “wrong-minded and naive” when he shared it with his own followers. Really enjoyed his input, although I still think he missed the point of the video. 😉
  • Kimberly Holman Got involved by asking some wonderful “clarification” questions that spawned some massively useful discussions. Really helped to make the sharing come alive.
  • Meg Bertini As far as I can tell Meg was the only person to actually talk about the reward that I was offering. This seemed smart to me as it was a way to get my attention (to score her a mention) as well as get more of her readers involved on her own posts.

Thank you so much to everyone who commented and shared these posts. It was a lot of fun and I learned some clever new things.

The free template for my Google+ posts

As promised, here is the PSD template that I used to create those Google+ posts. Obviously you’re going to want to use different photos and match your logo and typeface to your own branding so that it looks like it comes from you and not me.

Click here to download from Google Drive.

More free stuff you can actually use

In the next few days I’m going to be giving away some free stuff that I know almost every blogger will be interested in. I’m hoping that this will really solve a common problems for you all so make sure you’re subscribed to the email list to be notified when it happens.

How are you going with Google+? Leave a comment.


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  1. Michael B. on December 2, 2013

    First things first. Thank you for the shoutout Ramsey.
    I only G+ (it IS a verb now) just for the fun of it. No commercial interests, no blog post whatsoever.

    I consider re-sharing without adding some thoughts of my own or at least a reason why I shared it again pretty “lame” it just increases the number of posts you are sending to someones stream, but does not do anything to the communication with the ones that are following you. Of course there are exceptions .. but only very few.
    Thanks again for the great tips !


    1. Thanks for stopping by Michael!

      It’s 1am here and I’m thinking about hitting the coffee!


  2. Hi Ramsay

    Thanks for the post – interesting as usual.

    One thing I found interesting is that this is a post on Google plus but your name doesn’t link to a google profile. Have you decided not to use Google authorship or are you using it in a different way?


    1. Hi James.

      Which name do you mean, sorry?

  3. The only thing I find Google+ useful for is for SEO (Google authorship)

    Do you get a lot of traffic from Google+?

    1. I agree that is the best thing. But what’s the point of Google Authorship if it’s not driving traffic to your site?

  4. Where it says Ramsay at the top.



    1. Ah, got ya. I left that as plain text as I don’t want to send people off-site when they are about to read my posts. Does that make sense?

  5. Yes, I guess it is all a balancing act between having google identify you as a writer in your field and the danger of losing readers! Will have to look at the number of clicks on my blog.

  6. Actually, it would be an interesting test to do, Ramsay, add in the profile link and then measure how many people click off the site (not sure if it would be possible to see how many then come back?). One for your next post on G+, maybe 😉

    1. It’s quite a micro-test (not sure how I’d track it) but could be fun!

      1. I use StatCounter (WP plugin) on my sites, mainly because it is free and I had an inclination to avoid setting up with Google Analytics a couple of years back, when several of my sites were specifically set up to target Adsense clicks which Google didn’t like – I’ve now moved away from all that, honest 🙂

        Anyway, StatCounter shows someone’s path into and out of site, which exit link they clicked and if they return. With the large number of visitors you get it wouldn’t be practical to check this other than for a single test.

        I guess if you wished to add a link to your Google+ from your name, you could set it so that a click opens in a new window, nearly always a good thing to do as it keeps the original page open for your visitor.

        Interesting article, I’m going to read again at my leisure over a cup of coffee, as I’ve only just skimmed through so far.

        Thanks, as always 🙂

  7. Kirsten Oliphant on December 2, 2013

    Missed out on the sharing last week (have my head under water with sick kids and an advent blog project), but glad to see this info. Very interesting and I think it’s such a nice breakdown for those of us trying to get moving on G+. Thanks for sharing what worked AND what didn’t.

    1. Thanks Kirsten. Hope the kids get well soon.

  8. Martin Rice on December 2, 2013

    Thanks for the shoutout, Ramsey. No, I’m not related to Chris Rice (as far as I know).


    1. Ha ha. Thanks for stopping by Martin.

  9. liz@lifedreaming on December 2, 2013

    Hi Ramsay
    I went across to Google+ only because you were there.

    It took me a while to work out how it all worked and one guy in your chat stream was really helpful.

    I spent quite a few hours having a wander; joining some communities and introducing myself and just getting a handle on it all.

    As a result I doubled the number of people who chose to be in my circle; got 2 new subscribers to my Life Dreaming site and connected with some really interesting new people.

    And that wouldn’t have happened without the series on G+ that you ran last week.

    Well done Ramsay.

    p.s After 4 years in production I launched the Life Dreaming Expedition yesterday and drank bubbles in my pj’s! Pretty exciting when a dream becomes a reality and already had my first sale!!

    I’ve learnt (and still learn) a lot from you Ramsay and it has directly affected how I designed my site; how I write blog posts; and deper level stuff like creating really good About pages; Sign up boxes and much more.

    I’m emailing you a gift of an Expedition as a big thank you. Couldn’t have done it without the very thoughtful and practical advice you put in every blog post.

    Thanks mate

    1. Salman Ravoof on December 2, 2013

      Just checked out your website Lizzy (can I call you that?). It has a simple and elegant design; good for the product you;re selling.

      However, the features page is a bit jarring from a user interface point of view.

      While the list of features on the left is a great addition, having the text appear on the right when you hover your mouse over the feature is not optimal considering your feature list goes below the fold (i.e. all the features don’t fit into the screen, at least on my monitor).

      So, if I want to read something about a feature which is down in the list, I would have to scroll down the page, hover over the feature, scroll up while carefully making sure that I don’t hover over any other feature, and then read the text.

      Just my $0.02

      I’m not an expert in this field, but I though you should know 🙂

      1. liz@lifedreaming on December 2, 2013

        Dear Salman
        This is one of the reasons I love the Blog Tyrant site. The people who leave comments are so helpful.

        Thanks so much for taking the time to explore the site and your lovely comments about the elegant design.

        I will see what I can do about the features page and maybe not have a drop down but a more simple structure that has the details without the drop down.

        I’ll work on that tomorrow.

        And your 2 cents worth was worth a lot more than that – thanks again.


        1. liz@lifedreaming on December 2, 2013

          took your advice and have re worked the Features page.

          Thanks again for taking the time to give me feedback. That’s how we can all make our sites even better.


          1. Liz, thank you so much! You’re far too kind.

            And you’re right, this is why the Tyrant Troops rock so much!

  10. I’m reading, sharing and highly intrigued with everything you are posting about Google+. I still feel like it’s a bit of a foreign language to me. I have a business page and a personal page. My personal page has way more action on it. I guess I’m just not sure which direction to go with these two pages. My ultimate intention is to get more readers to my blog.

    Thanks so much Ramsay and I hope you will keep the advice coming!


    1. Hi Beth.

      Yeah I don’t really use the Pages at all.

  11. Salman Ravoof on December 2, 2013

    Thanks for the PSD templates Ramsay. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now, and being a newbie in this field, your insights are of great help.

    For me, Google+ is a bit confusing to use as compared to
    Facebook. It has the potential, but I don’t see too many interactions going on there.

    P.S. Can’t wait to see what the other freebies are 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by and lending your expertise as well. Appreciate it.

  12. Thanks for the post and the psd. They’re really helpful in getting the hang of G+.
    Seems like getting older doesn’t help in getting used to the new stuff. So this is a great resource.


    1. Thanks Eric. Sounds strange, I’m sure, but I’m feeling the same way. In my late twenties now and I literally don’t have the interest in keeping up with changes that I used to.

  13. Melissa Wilson on December 2, 2013

    Thanks for the tips, Ramsay. I recently created an account, mostly for authorship purposes, and am still learning about different ways to use the platform. I find that it’s not as easy to use right from the start as others, so I appreciate a post like this. Looking forward to the other freebies this week as well!

    1. Yep, I still think they have a lot to do when it comes to simplifying things.

  14. Really enjoyed the discussion with new friends over at G+. Looking forward to the next series!

    : )

    1. Thanks for all your awesome input bro.

  15. Thanks for this I’m fairly new to G+
    I have a profile (which I hardly use) and a business page which I have trouble getting followers on! I’m wondering whether I’d be better off just using my profile for my business. hmm

    1. I think G+ is much more about the person than anything else. It’s trying to get us to grow our personal brands.

      1. Yes, Naomi this is what I’m trying to figure out too. Ramsay, I really like your answer and it totally makes sense.

  16. Hi Ramsey, thank you for your follow up post on this. Your experiment (or what to call it!) really reminded me to try to learn and understand Google+ better, because I truly believe it could be a much better place to hang out (spend my time) than i.e. FB, but I keep forgetting about it. First, I find it a little bit confusing, and second I am not totally sure what to do there. I am now on a mission to go deeper into G+ = Thanks for your hard work, helping us all figure these things out!

    1. Glad it’s helping Christine!

  17. Lewis LaLanne on December 3, 2013

    Hey Ramsay,

    I love point #5 on your infographic as we’ve noticed that posting to (hyper-active) communities has worked wonderfully well for us. It is SO IMPORTANT to be in front of the right people for your message and to, as Jay Abraham says, “Communicate with impact or don’t communicate at all.”

    And that last point speaks beautifully to what you pointed out about sharing and not adding context to the share with your own thoughts about why you’re sharing and what you think the gold to be had is (another thing we’ve noticed doesn’t work on Facebook).

    I’m completely neglecting Google + now but keeping up this habit of paying attention to you here is bound to get me from devoting 100% of my attention to Facebook and giving Google some love.

    If you’ve got a tutorial here or know of one you’d recommend to someone starting out from scratch (the right way) on that Google +, I’d be extraordinarily grateful to you for directing me (and others here) to it.

    Thank you Ramsay for the gentle reminders to get my butt moving and for reinforcing solid social media fundamentals in this post. 🙂

    1. Hey Lewis! Nice to see you here.

      I have this post on Google Plus tips which might help:

      Let me know how you go!

  18. I Love this Post. It makes me want to incorporate a good Google+ profile for my company.

    1. Glad it helped Zac.

  19. Eros Peterson on December 4, 2013

    Hi Ramsay!

    I too have been under the radar for a bit with lots of life events (newborns take up a lot of your time LOL!) and so I missed out on the commenting and sharing for a bit. If you want to do some link tracking to see where people have clicked from and possibly where things are shared, check out the link shortener I use it for my social media sharing when I want to see where and if my posts are shared in other places. It’s not perfect but it helps. G+ will figure prominently within a new project I am undertaking for the Google SEO weight it carries and authorship. Cant say much now about my project but it’s gonna be great when I launch!

    Cheers from Canada,

    1. Great suggestion Eros! Hope the little one is well!

  20. Vinny Polston on December 4, 2013

    I’ve only really found Google+ helpful for SEO purposes. I honestly can’t stand using it a normal social media sit, is it just me? It just doesn’t flow as well as Facebook.. Anywho, thanks for the great write-up! Always enjoy reading your articles.

    1. Interesting. I have found the opposite. Wonder why that is?

      1. Vinny Polston on December 5, 2013

        I don’t know?

        Also don’t know why I had so many typos on that comment, lol. I meant to say that I don’t like using it as a normal social media site. I just haven’t taken the time to really go through it to utilize it, I guess.

        I’ve just always used it for the SEO benefits and Google authoriship for articles I write.

        Shoot, I didn’t even know you could join “communities” before just now when viewing your post about authorship not always showing up in search results..

        Maybe it’s worth me going into a bit more, eh?

  21. Thanks for this article Ramsay. G+ is really good for SEO.
    I think the most important is that people liked your content and that’s the key

    1. Thanks Tamar.

  22. Kiran Sulebhavi on December 10, 2013

    Thanks for this helpful info Ramsay. I am handling a google+ page for my business. Your tips will surely help me in postings. I like that “asking to share” & “questioning” points.

  23. such a nice information for increasing Google+ shares, comments and 1s. Thanks

  24. Sohil Memon on December 11, 2013

    Hey Ramsey,

    I am following your tips since few days, but I am not getting much traffic to my blog that’s on technology but the another one which is my personal getting much valuable comments. Yeah! Google+ is rising man. Thanks for the awesome tips!

    1. just following tips will not work you have to implement for your website.

  25. With all of the other social competing for our time, Google+ has had a difficult time in the past breaking through the clutter. I personally believe Google+ will become more and more integrated and valuable in 2014. For now, Google believes in it, therefore those wishing to get ranked higher on Google must also believe in it.

  26. I really like your website …Is it made in blogengine…

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