Second of four parts
Now that we’ve answered the question “Why do I need Google Plus?” let’s talk about profiles. An effective Google Plus profile improves search visibility and encourages engagement for the author and his or her business. Reaching those two goals requires an approach to transparency and sharing that users should put into practice even as they set up their profiles. Following 10 easy steps will help maximize the effectiveness of your new Google Plus profile.
Google Plus synchronizes with the other Google tools. So if you have a Gmail account, you can sign into Google Plus with that information. If you don’t have a Google account, go to Google and click on “Create an Account.” Remember to create this Google Plus profile as yourself and not your company. This is important because you are the author of your content, not your company.
Once you’ve reached your profile, click on the About tab. There you can edit information such as Work, Education, Basic Information, Links, Contact Information and your Story. Google will favor your profile over those that are missing fields of information, so display as much information as you are comfortable sharing. A complete profile says, “I’m an active and transparent user.” Here’s how to create one:
1. Show Us That Friendly Face
Your Profile Picture is the image that will display in search results, so it’s important that you use a professional, high-resolution photo. You’ll be prompted when to upload your photo. If at any time you’d like to change your picture, simply click the thumbnail picture when you’re logged into Google Plus and you’ll be given the option to replace your photo.
2. Use Imagery
Google Plus provides a gallery of different cover images from which to choose. If you’d like to upload one of your own photos, you can do that by clicking Change Cover located on the current cover image. Once you’ve been redirected, you’ll notice an Upload tab in the main navigation. Select this option and you will be able to select an image from your computer.
3. Show Your Connections
Google Plus gives you the option to show or hide your connections. We recommend allowing people to view everyone who is in your circles.
Click Edit in the People section and select “Show People in.” You’ll notice a drop down menu where you can select which circles will display. Go ahead and keep it on All Circles. Unless you have reservations about making this information public, we recommend being completely transparent in this section.
4. Define Yourself
The Tagline is where you can describe yourself in a sentence or two. This should be lighthearted in nature, but at the same time depict a clear picture of who you are and what you do. Here’s a great area to include some keywords people use to search for topics related in your industry.
5. Make an Introduction
An Introduction helps people make sure they’ve found the right person. This area doesn’t have to be business-oriented. Add differentiating details about yourself such as hobbies and interests to show your personality. By giving people an informal but direct introduction, people will easily be able to decide if they want to follow you.
6. Go Ahead and Brag
The Bragging Rights section is where you should unleash your accomplishments. Maybe your initiatives resulted in an increase in revenue last quarter. Perhaps one of your articles was published in a highly respected and competitive industry publication. These are the types of accomplishments you should share.
7. Work It
By including what you do in the Occupation section, people will be more apt to understand you and what they can expect. The Skills section is a great area to add some keywords. Consider what keywords people would use to search for someone with your expertise, and add them here. For example, being the business development manager for our Dallas content marketing firm, I’ve added skills such as strategic communications, media relations, and marketing.
8. Share Your History
Showcase your employment history and current company in the Employment section. Add your company name and the date range you’ve been working there. Include a concise description about your responsibilities.
9. Link It
You are able to add links to your Twitter, LinkedIn, blog or company website in the Other Links section. Links you can provide to your other platforms should be added here. You also have an option to add links to pages that interest you. This is beneficial to update if you have particular articles or videos that best portray your business, philosophy or examples of work.
10. Showcase Your Authorship
The “Contributor to” section is imperative to keep updated because it’s one step toward establishing authorship to the content you share. Click Edit and within the pop-up window you’ll see fields under the Contributor to section. Under Label type in the name of the website to which you’re contributing. For example, since I’m a writer for Idea Grove, I’ve added Idea Grove to this section. Under URL, add the URL to that website. You’re able to add multiple websites by clicking Add Custom Link.
If you’re unsure what to write for any of the fields, just remember to keep it interesting but straightforward. You only have a few sentences to grab your audience’s attention and compel them to add you to circles. So make an impression.