All marketers know that building quality traffic to your blog or site requires constant effort. Unique and engaging content is certainly one of the key ingredients. Gone are the days of relying purely on traffic from SERP, we all know now that we should dedicate time and effort to attracting usage from SM networks. So, how about Google+? For many professionals this platform is a mystery at best or the “spare wheel” of the SM world at worst.

Here are 5 tips that will actually show you that there is considerable mileage in Google+ and you should take advantage of them to promote your site or blog.

1. Communities of enthusiasts

One of the key benefits of being on Google+ is that you can target specific communities that have interests matching your content and objectives. Find the right community (popularity and relevance are important), ask to join, provide value and post but don’t spam. If you are interesting and engaging, you will awaken genuine interest, which will result in more traffic and shares to your pages.

2. Take care when setting up your Business Page

Similarly to a Facebook Page, you’ll need to set up one on Google+. You will need a personal profile to be able to do that. To make the most of it add:

  • Your business category, location, tagline, custom profile image and intro
  • Large cover photo (2120×1192 pixels)
  • Blog or site URL in the intro section together with a catch call to action (CTA) to encourage users to visit
  • Links to your blog or site in the “Links” section
  • A profile photo with a clear CTA  – bigger is better here (minimum size 250×250 pixels)

3. Influencers

Google+ is no different than any other “network”, whether it is in the digital or real world. So the simple rule of networking and engaging with real people who are influencers in their field applies here too. Use the “Find people” tool to connect with them – share their updates, follow up on communication and you will gradually get noticed and your content shared.

4. Hashtags

You can use hashtags on Google+ like in other SM platforms. 3 is the golden rule here and if you really think them through, you will stand out as most people overlook the importance of hashtags on Google+.

5. Optimize

Yes, it is important to optimize your content on Google+ just like you do on your blog or website.  Here is some useful advice on what you should focus on:

  • Formatting – use bullets and numbers for lists, italics and bold
  • Create captivating headlines and unambiguous CTA
  • Use rich media, great visuals to maximize engagement and reach (YouTube videos, animated gifs, audio, infographics, etc)
  • As with all content – quality and uniqueness are paramount

If you follow these tips and do some additional research about Google+ you can make the platform a very valuable asset in your overall SM marketing mix. Like with any other channels, there are no “ready-made” formulas, you need to be creative and find out what works for you and your business, as this will vary greatly.