Ask me the most underrated source of traffic for bloggers and I would say Google plus. Ask me the most potential source of quality traffic for bloggers, and I would happily repeat Google plus. Google plus has 343 million active users as of January 2015. Did you know it is second social network next to Facebook in terms of active users? It’s high time to utilize this highly popular social network to drive traffic to our blogs.
If you want to increase your traffic using Google plus, this post will walk you through the process precisely.
1. Use Google plus to rank in the first page of search results
Google, the search giant appears biased when it comes to ranking sites in SERPs. You can although use this in your favor. If you perform a Google search with your Google account logged in (which many readers do) you will see 2 out of 10 results in the first page are relevant posts which are shared by users in your Google plus circles.
This means the more the number of circles people have you in the more chances are that you will appear for results your friends search for.
The larger the numbers of people have you in circles the larger are your chances of appearing on search engines.
Now that you are intrigued what circles actually are, allow me to explain them in the next point.
2. Get people to circle you, in large numbers
Circles in Google plus are like lists on twitter or friend list on Facebook. You can circle people based on your way of remembering that contact. You can divide people in circles based on family, office, bloggers, football fans, you name it.
Similarly when you have large number of people circling you on Google plus means they are following you just like twitter. Now when these people search for something on Google and you have a related post on Google plus, that link shows up.
You can use circle count to manage your circles and calculate the influence you have in Google plus based on the circles you are in.
3. Be resourceful
On Google plus, where everyone is tech-savvy and resource-savvy, you have to appear helpful with various resources you have. You can share curated content to help your audiences and appear as a one stop news center.
You can also share your ideas with hangouts and live chat sessions. This will make you feel like a pro on the social network and increase your follower count. And the more the followers, the more eyes on your blog content.
4. Share your blog posts with Google plus communities
Google plus communities are highly professional and lively. They are super active and would give you 100s of plus ones (similar to Facebook likes but much powerful) in just few hours of sharing the content.
Communities can be reached from the menu dropdown on top left. It’s important to participate in the community by exploring content of others. You can increase your reach by adding yourself in communities in your niche.
The more the plus ones the more important and valuable your post is in terms of Google.
5. Use SEO optimized headlines to the posts you share
Google plus takes the first line of your shared summary as your post title and it would appear for any search results. Suppose you have the first line of your Google plus post as top ten mobiles, you are going to appear in the search results of people when they search for “top ten mobiles”. The only condition required is they must be following you on Google plus.
If you optimize your posts’ headlines with proper titles then chances are you will rank far higher than blog posts by authority blogs (when a follower of yours performs the search). See the image below for example, Moz’spost ranks on first place not from the blog but from Rand Fishkin’s Google plus shares.
6. Use Google plus as mini version of your blog post
Google plus has not set a small limit on your post size so write till your heart is satisfied. You can use various formatting to make your posts more engaging and interesting. Google plus allows you to have your posts typed in bold, italic, strike through and also numbered lists.
Here is a summary of those formats:
*BOLD* = BOLD
_Italic_ = italic
*1.* Number one will appear as
1. Number one.
And so on.
It is advisable to write a little longer post than the ones you do while sharing your blog post. This will make your audience interested to see what is in the post and they will click on the link.
7. Use hashtags
Google plus is a huge fan of hashtags. Hashtags tend to increase the age and reach of your posts. Using a post with no hashtags make it visible to only people who follow you, but using a post with a #hashtag will make it visible to all those who search for the #hashtag.
This is huge. A simple image can get hundreds of +1s just because you use a popular hashtag like #motivation #quoteofthedayetc with it. Imagine what using a powerful professional hashtag like #bloggingtips #seoproffesional can do to your post.
Please note: Google plus adds hashtags automatically to your posts (in case you haven’t done them manually) based on the content it has.
8. Add images
Google plus is a huge center for .gif image lovers. They share huge quantities of images both motivational and animate gif images on Google plus. If you want to drive users to your sites, share posts with gif images related to the post. In other words, if you use gifs and other motivational quotes in your blog posts. Your readers will share them on Google plus. This will increase your share count and also referral traffic.
9. Add Google plus comment systems on your site
One way of leveraging Google plus users is encouraging users to use Google plus comments system on your site. This will allow users to show activity on your Google plus feeds. If you are using word press, then you can use this plugin to set up Google plus commenting system on your blog.
Moreover comments on Google plus commenting system have a facility that lets users automatically share the post on which they are commenting to their Google plus profile. This is huge when you want to get referral traffic from Google plus.
CAUTION: Google plus comments means you don’t own the comments, Google plus does. It means, whenever Google plus takes down their platform all your comments will be gone.
Here is a guide to set up Google plus comments on your blog.
Over to you
These were the secrets to earn huge referral traffic from Google plus. These tips will help you to increase your traffic using Google plus. What tricks do you use to increase traffic to Google plus? Do write them in the comments below.