Guest post by Francis Santos
Google+ has generated a lot of hype as a social networking tool with the potential to boost traffic, among providing other benefits that would make it useful to marketers. However, not many, if any, site owners have reported significant traffic gains in the early goings.
This is likely for two reasons: the platform is still being tested in beta phase, and Google is does not want it being used as a marketing mechanism. The search company asked brands to hold off on using the site and actually took action against those that didn’t heed its warning by closing their accounts.
When it comes to establishing a presence for your brand, the potential benefits probably are not worth the risk at this point. Especially when considering that an all-business version has already been promised for later this year. However, there are a few simple ways to you can use Google+ to drive traffic to your site right now.
Set up a Profile
First thing’s first – create a Google+ profile. Sounds simple enough, but this is where you need to be very careful. This process calls for you to create your profile as an individual, opposed to a brand or business as you would on a Facebook page. Of course you want to include links to the websites or blogs you wish to drive traffic to, but the main thing is creating a compelling profile. The more compelling you make it, the more likely Google+ users will be to want to see what you have to offer outside of the network.
Share Interesting Content
Google+ has much in common with Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. However, what many of the early adopters admire most are the qualities that distinguish it from the competition. One feature that does exactly that is a built-in component by the name of Circles.
Taking a unique and targeted approach to the friend concept, Circles allows you to keep your communications segmented by only sharing content with groups of certain people and restricting it from others. Your ability to share relevant, quality content will be key in getting the users in your circles to visit your site.
Start Making Connections
Although Google+ stands out in the way of a few exclusive features and still being a closed project, making the most of it is the same as any other social network. This simply means that in order to generate traffic, you need to get out their and network with the existing users.
Google+ already has more than 10 million users, and while this number is small in comparison to the user bases of Facebook and Twitter, it is still enough to help you boost traffic with the right approach to the process.
Google+ is just now getting ready for business, so there is nothing stopping you from setting up a page, a profile and building a presence. Play it smart, leave the aggressive advertising tactics where they belong, and this platform can help you drive quality traffic to your website.
Francis Santos is a blogger for Benchmark Email and also the executive editor for a popular news blog.