Published by Designzillas on September 25, 2013
In Parts I and II of this blog series, I showed you the sheer importance of Google+ for businesses and how to gain a modest following on your Google+ profile. This post, Part III and the last installment (for now…), will take you on the quest of writing great content for your already steamin’ hot Google+ profile. When it comes to writing for Google+, it’s important to remember to use it as a marketing platform for the content on your website or blog. The smart Google+ user will first, create great content on their primary website and then market it and share it on their profile. Use Google+ as a way to find your audience and reel them back to your website!
But back to writing killer content. First and foremost…
WRITE A SICK HEADLINE
If you’ve ever worked for a newspaper (yes, even your high school paper counts), the first thing they pound into your brain is the importance of writing a catchy headline. This is still important, and for obvious reasons! A post’s headline is often the first and maybe only thing that your users will see. If it’s boring, your users will consequently be bored and pass right over your potentially amazing article because the headline wasn’t enough to suck them into its majesty. You don’t want this to happen, do you? Your headline should catch attention, and fast. Make your users do a double take. Answer a question, be clever and/or witty, but still be straight to the point. You need to compel your audience to click the little “read more” button at the bottom of the post.
Be aware: headlines are a little inconspicuous when writing a Google+ post. I’ll admit, at first I didn’t even know they were there until I came across this little ditty of information. In order to make your headline stand out, make it bold and shorten it to 60 words or less; it should only be one line long. But how oh how do I bold something in a Google+ post? Put asterisks around it, like this: *Cats are great*. Your headline will now be in bold.
Some other quick formatting tricks for Google+:
-Underscores around a word or phrase italicize it: _Cats are great_
-Hyphens around the word strike it through: -Cats are great-
UTILIZE YOUR FIRST SENTENCE
Something else nifty about Google+ posts: they only show your headline and the first 3 lines of your first sentence. If your first sentence isn’t three lines long, GOOD! But it’s important to remember to just include the FIRST sentence in the space that will show to your audience. Think of your first sentence as your teaser. If your headline wasn’t that eye-catching (which if not, turn around and do it again because it should be), then your first sentence absolutely needs to be. It should be straight to the point, and like a headline, grab your user’s attention so quickly they won’t know what hit them. A tip? What is the main “hook” in your article? Use that in a quick sentence.
THE ACTUAL ARTICLE
Now to the actual article. As discussed in Parts I and II of this blog series, Google+ is Google, the search engine that you are trying to impress. Google indexes Google+ posts and uses the same guidelines for creating great posts as it does for creating great blog and website content. Some quick tips:
-Act like you care
-Don’t post redundant content
-Check. Your. Grammar.
-Don’t over-optimize for SEO
-Don’t promote yourself too much
-Separate into chunks for easy reading
-Create sub-headings for organization
It might also be a good idea to calm down with the hashtags. This isn’t twitter. And besides, Google+ usually creates some hashtags for you depending on what your content is.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE IMAGE
Images speak a thousand words, and an image may also be the reason why someone clicks on your post or skips it over for a cute picture of a kitty. Google+ has made it so that huge images can show up on your posts. Use this to your advantage! They’re great attention-grabbers. Here are some sources for finding great photos:
*A note about royalties: Always always always ask permission to use someone else’s image and give them credit! On some sites, such as Stock.xchng and Flickr’s Creative Commons, you do not have to ask for permission, but you DO have to give credit where it is due.
The whole point of using a social media platform like Google+ is to get your content out there to the public. We’ve discussed Circles before, and this is where they actually come in handy! If you’re like us, you might have a couple of different demographics and niches that you deliver to. Some of our blog posts are geared toward web developers who work primarily with code. Others are for web designers who are into Photoshop and aesthetics. And still others are for content writers, or managers, or business-owners. Not all blog posts are geared toward everyone in your audience. You can use Circles to differentiate who sees what and create a bigger following in categories.
ARE YOU AN EXPERT, YET?
The good news is, a lot of these tips and tricks for content on Google+ can also be used when writing articles and blog posts in general. It’s always important to hook your readers and give them a reason to keep reading. Reward them for taking the time to check out your article with GREAT information.
After three posts, we hope you are now a Google+ professional. Keep an eye out for future posts — we all know the internet is changing and we’re sure that Google has more up its sleeve for their social media platform. In the meantime, don’t forget to circle us! We’ll see you on Google+!