As a whitehat SEO consultant, I’m a big proponent of playing by Google’s rules and leveraging the tools they provide (as long as they’re decent tools). If they give me a protocol for getting my client’s videos into search results, I’ll use it. If they give me a console to monitor sites for minor to devastating SEO performance issues, I’ll check it. And if they give me a way to absolutely dominate my client’s competition in organic search, I’m all over that.
But hold on.
I’m finding that, many clients don’t want to take advantage of that last one: the game changing golden opportunity. There’s a great deal of resistance to the idea of implementing it. Some of which I can understand and some of which I don’t. However, I take full responsibility not effectively selling the value and assuaging the fears. I hope that I can accomplish that here.
The recommendation I’m referencing here is adding Google +1 buttons to your website. The hesitation is easy to understand; Google+ is portrayed as either A) a complete ghost town, and utter failure of a social network, or B) a place where technology geeks and Google employees go to have their own secret clubs. I feel like that perception is incorrect and even though I’ve been seeing an dramatic infusion of all kinds of demographics this year, I’ll try not to argue with that perception here.
That’s the hesitation and it manifests as site owners and marketing managers not wanting to add +1 buttons to their sites because their target audience is not on the network.
The Missed Opportunity
The missed opportunity here is huge. For logged in users, anyone logged into a Google+ account OR any other Google account (like for basic Gmail), +1s and shares on Google+ have a direct impact on where a site appears in search results. If one person gives a +1 to a site, that site will rank better in the results of anyone they’re connected with (out to 2nd degree connections).
Let me reiterate that: If a customer/reader/visitor gives a +1 to your website, your website will rank higher in the search results of anyone that is connected to them or anyone connected to any of those connections.
For an example, let’s say I give a +1 to your website. Google attributes about 700 connections to me: I have 200+ people that I email through Gmail and 500+ people who follow me on Google+. Let’s say that between Google+ and Gmail, each of those people are themselves connected to just 100 others. The site I +1ed now gets preferential treatment in the search results of 70,000 users.
Am I kidding? I am absolutely not.
Your brand may be too cool for most of the geeks on Google+, but if you have one potential customer who uses it, you’re missing out on upwards of 70,000 chances to directly impact where you appear in organic search.
The solution is simple: learn to love the Google +1 button. Fast Action Social Sharing buttons for Google+ should appear on every page on your website. Implementing these is sickeningly easy; you can implement Google +1 buttons only or you can implement the big three in one go with a social sharing plugin.
There’s actually another point of hesitancy that I didn’t cover before. It’s the hesitation to implement +1 buttons because you don’t want to add the management of one more social network to your Social Media Manager’s workload.
Good news! Having +1 buttons on your website and having a Google+ page for your brand are completely separate. Using one does not require you to use the other.
Regardless of what you think of Google+ as a social network, you cannot deny that +1s and shares directly impact where your site ranks in search (it’s an undisputable fact). If there is one member of your target audience that is connected to someone who uses Google+ to +1 and share things on the web, you are going to benefit.
It only makes sense to add Google +1 buttons to your website. The development cost is minimal (if your developer wants to charge you more than two hours, be suspicious), there’s virtually no downside, and it doesn’t require you to do anything else on Google+.
Still feeling hesitant about using +1 buttons on your website? Please, please let me know why in the comments (completely serious).
Like this post? Follow Mike Arnesen on Google+
please recommend it for me below.