Google+ is eventually going to be as big, or bigger, than Facebook and Twitter. How do I know? Because Google wants it to be big, and they have the power to make it happen. This year, we’ve already seen several algorithm updates aimed at driving traffic to Google+, and next year we’ll see even more. Bottom line: if you don’t already have a +1 Button on your website, you should put one in immediately.
How is a +1 Button Different from a Like Button?
The +1 Button is designed specifically to improve the browsing experience of Google Plus users. Unlike Facebook Likes or other social media recommendation systems, +1 is integrated with Google’s SERPs. When Google Plus users are searching within Google, they will see their friend’s recommendations directly beside the results. Occasionally, Google+ recommendations will even appear alongside Google ads.
In addition, Google crawls pages more often if they regularly receive +1 recommendations. This keeps the most updated version of your website in Google’s index.
As more Internet users sign up for Plus, +1 is going to become its own SEO metric.
Tips to Maximize your +1’s
Put +1 Buttons Everywhere
Put buttons on the top and bottom of all your content.
In addition, you can set up multiple +1 Buttons on a single page that all recommend different URLs by editing the href attribute. You can use this to set up buttons next to your content’s navigation links.
Use the Callback Function.
The +1 button has a callback function that generates a signal whenever it is pushed. Using this, you can build your website to react to someone giving you a +1. You could give a personalized thank-you message, or even offer access to exclusive content. Please note, though, that rewards for +1 clicks with any monetary value are forbidden by Google’s user agreement.
Alternatively, you can use callbacks to track when someone un-recommends your website. You could use a pop-up to ask why they chose to un-recommend you so you can avoid losing more recommendations. You could also try offering some additional content to try to get them to reconsider.
Track your +1’s
Google analytics now offers data tracking for +1 Buttons. You can check who is recommending and un-recommending your website, where they live, how old they are, and other demographic indicators. Pay attention and you will be able to figure out who is giving you +1’s and why.
Display your Aggregates
A lot of people like things that are liked by a lot of other people. Use a bubble button to display the aggregate number of +1’s your page has received. This will help people feel correct and justified in choosing to recommend your content.
Write Good Content
Recommending a page is an emotional investment. It requires a willingness to put your name beside content that isn`t your own, and let your friends judge you for it. As developers, we should make it as easy as possible to recommend content by making it great. If your content is strong, recommendations will follow.
This guest post was submitted by Steve who is a Social Media Manager and Google AdWords Certified Individual at TechWyse, an internet marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada. TechWyse specializes in SEO, PPC and Social Media Marketing. You can read more of Steve’s writing at TechWyse.com/blog.