What is a ‘+1’?
With Google+, people who see your brand’s content – be it your website, a blog post, a video, your Adwords ads, your Google+ page, or a Google+ post, photo or comment, even a Google search result* – can click to ‘+1′, or endorse it, and share it with their Google+ circles.
How can I make +1’ing work for my brand?
Link & verify your Google+ Page and your website Add your website URL (and your social media links), link and verify the website. Here’s a video on how to do it, and Google’s own advice. Google reckon you’ll start seeing an uplift in traffic straight away.
Put a Google + badge on your site. Then people can either visit your Google+ Page from your site – or actually add it to their circles without leaving your site. Visit the Google+ badge configuration tool to customize your badge and generate the code snippet to add to your page. Google claims that brands who do this are seeing a 38% increase in followers.
Add ‘+1′ as part of your social sharing options on content
Add social extensions to your Adwords campaigns. Once you’ve built a Google+ Page, you can link your page to your AdWords account using social extensions. By default, AdWords ads that appear on Google or the Google Display Network all have a +1 button. A web user +1’ing your ad endorses your specific landing page, and vice versa. If you add ‘social extensions’ to your Adwords campaigns, then a +1 on your ad applies to your Google+ Page, and all the +1’s from your Google+ Page are also applied to your AdWords ad.
This creates a larger social web presence for both your ads and your Google+ Page, making it more likely that someone who sees them will see an annotation.
In this highly recommended video of a recent presentation to PR companies, Google claims a search performance uplift of between 5 and 10%. Since these ‘endorsements’ make your ads more relevant, they may also improve your click through rate (CTR) and save you money.
To do this, go to your Adwords account and select a campaign. Then choose Add extensions > View social extensions > Add new.When prompted, paste in the ID (URL) of your Google+ page, ignoring anything after the number. Example: https://plus.google.com/101408157362052603690 . It may well say ‘pending’ in the status for a while before it changes to ‘eligible’. If you want to see what kind of impact this has on the CTR, then
- Click in to one of your campaigns that has enabled social extensions
- Click on the “ads” tab
- Click on the “segment” drop down and select “+1 Annotations”. Your ad should look like this now:
Link your YouTube account to your Google+ page. If you produce videos, make sure that a) you upload the video to YouTube and b) that your YouTube account is also linked to your Google+ account. Here’s some help on this from UpYourPlus.
*A note on Search
It used to be that people could ‘+1′ a post or a website straight from the search page, giving their endorsement to the content.
… the idea being, of course, that you are much more likely to click on the content recommended by people you know.
However, that option of ‘passively endorsing’ content, and seeing a tally of how many in your circles had recommended it has now been removed (much to the ire of some, who would like to be able to recommend content without spamming it as ‘news’ in their Google newsfeeds, and appreciated the ‘scoring’ element of seeing how many +1’d it). The option now is only to ‘share’ the content with those who have you in their Google circles, which in my opinion, really isn’t the same thing at all.
This post forms part of a series on social media for SMEs, and originally appeared in Social Media Today. Many thanks for the editors’ permission to republish them here. Other posts in the series: