“After all, Google+ is Google, Google is Search, and Search is where people go to buy stuff.” Stephan Hovnanian had me captured with this quote. The importance of Google+ cannot be understated, and the importance of Google+ Pro Tips: Strategies for Posting and Sharing on Google+ can’t either.
I approached this book with some skepticism; I always feel healthy skepticism is important, because I wondered what could be said that I hadn’t already heard. This is not to say that I think I know it all, but I am very active on Google+ and have heard many pro tips and strategies.
Having said that, Stephan’s eBook impressed me from the start by being uniquely well organized. As I continued through I found many pro tips, real world examples and strategies. Reading these I found that the implementation was totally within reach.
The book begins with an explanation of why intent is important to the success of our posts. Intent should be backed up by solid goals, and Stephan points out that high engagement in and of itself is not a goal. “Without intent, you can’t hope to say, ‘This was a great post; let’s do more like these.’”
Once your goals are in place, choose the appropriate type of post to match your goal. The example given here is if you want clickthroughs, the post type to choose would be embedding a link into your post. Stephan outlines several other goal/post type matches.
This may seem like a basic tip to many, but the pros use these basic techniques on every post. An introduction to post formatting fits well into this eBook of Google+ pro tips. Not only does Stephan outline the basics of how to format posts, but he also goes over best practices associated with post formatting.
For example, bold your titles, and as the book points out, this is important because each Google+ post is basically a stand alone webpage. Bold titles are what Google uses to help understand what web pages to rank. There are several other tips, examples and strategies in this section as well. To round things out Stephan recommends that you test to see what works best for your audience.
Pages and Profiles: Best Practices
The book now goes into a discussion of how to use pages and profiles together for overall brand success. For example, profiles are important so that you can set-up Google Authorship. Pages are good for building subject matter authority. Stephan recommends that we keep posts on our business pages focused and on topic to build subject specific authority.
Company news, blog posts as well as industry and keyword centric news should all originate from your company page. Personal profiles, on the other hand, are more free to be fun and social. The associated personal profiles should be supportive of the brand page. Stephan recommends that personal profiles be used to amplify brand message when possible.
No book on Google+ would be complete without mentioning etiquette, and this eBook does not disappoint. From citing sources, to using post formatting properly and introducing content in your own words, Stephan captures what it means to have good etiquette on Google+.
Another feature of Google+, brought out in this book, is the use of the +mention feature. This feature brings other people into the conversation, and can be a great tool for connecting with those influential people creating great content. Stephan cautions that we shouldn’t overuse this feature as you may get muted by the very people you’re trying to reach.
Let’s Get Advanced!
After fully covering the basics, which again are part of what make the pros successful, Stephan goes into some more advanced Google+ techniques. For example, he mentions what’s called the timezone reshare. This technique simply involves resharing popular content a few hours after the initial share, and gives that content broader exposure.
Another advanced feature covered is how to use posts for the promotion of Google+ communities. Here Stephan outlines that when a post is shared to a community, and then reshared, the reshare of that post is connected (via a textual link) back to the community. In this way you can promote communities directly in your own stream.
I felt that this advanced techniques section was well developed. Here I found techniques with which I was already familiar, but explained in such a way that my understanding of them was improved. I also was introduced to some techniques that I was unaware of before. At every turn Stephan provided actionable, real world examples to backup and enhance the information being presented.
Again, I was impressed with this eBook. With its layout, with its examples, with the techniques covered, with the mix of basic and advanced tips. For anyone serious about using Google+ for business I suggest that you buy this book. The value here is well beyond the sticker price, and I know Stephan on Google+; he’s happy to help with any questions you may have.