We wrote a little while ago about the impact of the new Google “Search Plus Your World” will have as an on your marketing strategy, but today we wanted to look a bit closer at how Social Search in particular is affecting your longer term plan and overall affecting your potential revenue as a business.
So what is Social Search?
Well, first lets re cap the basics. We all know how the basics of Google works in terms of SEO and PPC result listings. With Social Search, if you are logged in to Google+ and using the search engine function, you will be shown “personal results”. Previously Google have returned information based on browsing history and location, but this is now tailored specifically to incorporate information and data that has been shared with you via the social network – Google+ – itself.
Are you returning social search results on your page? Click over to Google, have a go. If you see at the top “X number of Personal Results and X number of other results” found, with a blue person icon in the left hand margin of the page, then congratulations, you are one of many that have been using Social Search perhaps unknowingly!
Of course, you can de-select and re-select the globe to switch off the personalised results, however by this point, most of us (including your customers that use personalised search to find you) have already got to the end page and potentially making that vital end purchase.
The overall idea behind this strategy is that Google can of course provide super personal and super relevant results to the end user, remaining the super search engine that it is. The on set of course, is that the “+1 Button” becomes one of the most powerful tools you can have in your arsenal of social strategies.
Getting to Grips with Google +
Once you have the page running, let it be known to, well, everyone you can! Include links on email addresses, update via other social media channels (Twitter and Facebook) and encourage people to connect with you. The more circles and ‘connections’ you have within Google+, the further your reach.
The other key way of expanding the number of users who ‘circle’ you, is by appearing in Google’s very own “Related People and Pages“. The short video is a great demonstration of how this works and how it can extend your reach across Google, but to make this step, you must initially complete three areas on page:
- Complete Your Profile.
- Post about your favourite (and relevant) topics that you want to be noticed and rank for as the resident ‘expert’.
- Start appearing in results with quality content to share and +1.
As with all social media, consistency is crucial, and Social Search is no difference. In a study by Ian Lurie, pages or people who have not posted in the last 72 hours did not appear in the “Relevant People” section – ergo, lost. Post frequently with quality content that is engaging and encourages people to interact and most importantly, +1.
Become the Authority.
With this information on +1’s in mind, and the emphasis given to your circles and reach, as always, – content is key. Without it, how is anyone going to know you are the expert?
Gaining attention within the social media circles can sometimes be a struggle at first as the new face at the watering hole. But much like SEO, Social Media is an organic process, and can take a few weeks to gain a reliable, quality and interactive following.
The easiest way to gain an edge over your competitors and get noticed, is of course to create great content, and post regularly. The +1 is a powerful tool, and crucial to your appearance in the social search channels.
Don’t forget your keywords either – include these in your profile and interests, and include them in content (without over doing it of course), which can be much more generic than your long tail phrases used in your other targeted SEO strategies. With more generic terms and phrases, you will appear in more generic search terms and have a greater coverage in the Relevant Social Search boxes.
Something to Remember.
Although Google is opening up these new and improved search channels, there is one underlying fact that is worth bearing in mind whilst implementing these changes and added coverage.
As part of the Social Search launch, Google realised that although signed-in users were gaining more personalised search engine and results, the results themselves were potentially not secure, meaning that the picture of your photography holiday to Madagascar was no longer just available to your camera chums, but to the Google-world entire.
As a result, Google’s search algorithms whilst using Social Search were encrypted and locked down behind https:// ‘s and no keywords therefore linked to any analytics programs. It is here lies the double edged sword of Google SPYW/G+, as although as above, most people stay logged into their accounts indefinitely giving you ample chance to impact them with this new breed of search, this also means that the keyword data found in your analytics software (Google or otherwise) will be excluded.
Whilst this is great for user privacy, marketers and businesses focusing on organic data will be losing vital information to their ongoing Search strategy.
[image via https://www.ptsmultimedia.com]