Hello! Today’s post is a bit technical, but something very useful to us bloggers! Google Plus is a platform often ignored because people just don’t know enough about it, are intimidated by it, or think that since they have a presence on other social media platforms they don’t need to mess with G+. But, let’s be real, Google loves Google Plus. It can be very beneficial, help improve your search rankings, and in the future is only going to become more and more important. If you need more info, Search Engine Journal is one of my favorite blogs to follow as part of my full time job at the agency, and their Google + section has some great articles worth reading if you have time!
As a search engine savvy blogger, you want to make sure your content is easily sharable on all platforms, can easily be found, and is keeping up with industry standards.
For Google Plus, if you haven’t already, it would be a good idea to set up a page dedicated to sharing your, and other’s, blog content. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with just sharing all of your content from your personal google plus profile! Creating a dedicated blog page just keeps your branding consistent, can be linked to your website, keeps everything in one place, and is easier to direct users to.
How To Set Up a Google Plus Page For Your Blog
1. Log into your personal Gmail, and head over to Google Plus. If you do not have a Gmail account set up, get with the times, peeps! Your link to google plus appears here…
2. If you have never set up your Google Plus profile, it will pretty much do it for you at first. You will click on the same icon, then it will walk you through your google plus dashboard, which will look something like this…
It will be up to you to add your email address, and begin selecting what content you’d like to follow. You can do this several ways, including searching by hashtags, and what’s trending.
Don’t worry, #Panda has nothing to do with the cute fuzzy animal we all love, but rather a recent algorithm update from Google. More on that later, for all you nerdy bloggers like myself who keep up with these things!
3. You will now want to customize your profile.
To do this, hover over the Home menu item on the left hand side of your screen, then when the drop down appears, click on ‘Profile.’
You will be able to edit your information here, as well as add photos. Once you are done, it should look something like this:
The Links section we will work with a bit later.
Ok, I’ll let you play around with your Google Plus profile on your own, because now that you actually have a Google Plus profile setup, you’re in a position to set up a Page. (and really, you don’t HAVE to fill out your profile to set up a page, but you do need to have Google Plus set up on your gmail account.)
4. Now then, hover over the same menu on the left, except this time select ‘Pages.’
5. Select, ‘Get Your Page.’
6. You’ll see 3 options: if you’re a blogger, I’d suggest the Brand option since you probably don’t have a physical address for your blog. If you do select Storefront or Service Area, you will then be directed to Google Maps where you can basically “claim” your location on the map, using your address. The steps should be pretty self-explanatory. You know how sometimes when you search for a business on Google, their info and picture and sometimes a map shows up over on the right hand side of the search results? That info is typically pulled from their business’s google plus page or place.
7. Fill out the following info, and click Create Page.
8. Next, your page is made! Almost. You now need to fill out as much information as you can! The more the better!
(In the example I used my wedding blog from three years ago. Can’t say it’s not at least a little bit silly, but I’m glad I documented everything along the way!)
9. You’ll want to BE SURE and add a profile photo AND a cover photo. The dimensions for the cover photo are: 2120 X 1192 maximum, and 480 X 270 minimum. You will also want to be sure and verify and link your website- which you can read about in more detail HERE. I would recommend doing this yourself in Webmaster Tools. You will need to add your site to your WT’s account, and go from there. It will look like this…
Just another friendly reminder that I am a huge fan of Blue Host, and that self hosting your blog will only help you in the long run!
If you have any questions about this technical side, feel free to shoot me an email! I won’t go into it all here just to keep it simple. But, as a note, verifying my site using Google Analytics account has always been my go-to. So if you don’t have Google Analytics set up yet, you might want to consider that. Actually, just do it. Don’t break my heart and have a website without analytics, please!
10. You will also want to verify your email address. You will see a link to ‘verify’ next to your email after you enter it, and Google will then send you an email with a link to click on to confirm.
11. If you’re able to set up #9 and #10 correctly, you’ll get a fancy check mark beside your links. Here is what my page looks like:
My page is pretty straightforward, and any content I have shared is displayed under Posts, like so:
Be sure and take advantage of the Hashtags in G+. Hashtags are the best way for users to find your content!
12. Now you are the proud manager of your blog’s Google Plus page!
Don’t judge my tiny following. I love those 17 people very much.
13. One last step. This is important for Google Authorship purposes. Switch back over to your personal G+ profile, and go to your About section, then Links.
Under “Contributor to”, you will want to add your blog’s URL, as well as any other links that are important to you. Here is mine:
You can also claim your personal Google+ URL, which is detailed HERE. In mine, my Other Profile goes to my blog’s G+ page, and my Contributor link goes straight to my blog itself.
Google Authorship is an important factor for SEO purposes. It basically gives you a heads up in the competition, and shows Google that you are kind of a big deal. Brian Gardner did an excellent job at explaining how to set this up in your WordPress account, and you can read more about the benefits of establishing Google Authorship in this free e-book by Copyblogger. Definitely read through these if you are confused! Copyblogger is an excellent resource in general, so be sure to check them out on Twitter to stay updated!
Hope this helps some! I know it seems like a lot of information, but once you have your Google Plus page set up for your blog, you’re one step closer to improving those rankings and making your content more appealing to search engines!
Are you on Google Plus? Have you set up a page for your blog or do you share your posts from your personal profile? What is your favorite social media platform?