A G+ profile is central to AuthorRank and your site’s SEO. And, having a Google Account offers multiple apps and services that are beneficial to your site, like Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. Plus, G+ has quickly risen to the #2 slot of popularity in social media, right behind Facebook. If you’re not already active there, you need to be. But first, you have to get both accounts set up. This tutorial takes you through the basics of getting a Google Account and a G+ Profile and will help you avoid common mistakes.
Understand the Terminology
There is some lingo associated with this process. A Google Account and a Google+ Profile are two different things.
Google Account – This is an account that gives you access to multiple services that are offered by Google. If you use any of the following services, then you have a Google Account. You may already be using many of these services, and they may be under different email addresses. The services are:
- Google Analytics
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Google Apps
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive
- Google Docs
Google + Profile – This is a personal profile that provides a digital signature for you that can be verified by Google as authentically you.
Do You Already Have a Google Account?
If you already use any of the services above, you already have a Google Account. But, you may not have a G+ Profile set up that is associated with that account.
It’s super easy to create multiple Google Accounts with multiple email addresses. It’s super hard to combine them all back under one email address. So, be sure to check which email address you are using if you already have a Google Account and consider sticking with that one through this tutorial.
The nice thing is that you can add more email addresses to that account, and sign in using any one of them. Read more about that in the next section.
Do not use a Google Account that is associated with a job or business that is not solely yours! If you use any of the Google services listed above via a Google Account that is not entirely yours, establish a new Account that is for you alone. This is very important for AuthorRank.
A Word about Your Email Address
Setting up a Google Account and your Google+ Profile requires that you input an email address. Of course, your Google Account will require something other than a Gmail account. But, once you have the Account setup, you can get your Gmail address and use that for your Google+ Profile. However, that may not be the best email to use for SEO purposes.
The beauty is that you can associate multiple email addresses with your Google Account and your Google+ Profile. I strongly recommend that you do just that. I suggest that you associate at least three email addresses with both your Google Account and your Google+ Profile. Use a personal one, use a Gmail one, and use one that includes your site’s domain (e.g. email@example.com). (After you establish your Google Account, you can then get a Gmail account and associate that email address with your Google Account.) You will be able to sign into your Google Account or any of its services with any of those email addresses.
There are several reasons for using all three email addresses, not the least of which is having to suddenly get rid of an email address that has been hacked, or transferring your domain to another registrar during which time it will be inactive and so will any email address associated with it. Using all three email addresses ensures that you will always be able to log into your Google Account.
Get a Google Account
If you do not already use any of the services listed above, you need to first get a Google Account. Go here to establish one. https://accounts.google.com/SignUp
If you do already have a Google Account, then add your additional email addresses to it if necessary, and move on to the next step.
Tips for editing your Google Account settings can be found here http://support.google.com/accounts/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=27442
Get a Google+ Profile
If you do not already have a profile associated with your Google Account, go here to establish it. https://plus.google.com/up/start/
Basic Google+ Profile Setup
If you are setting up your profile for the first time, Google will invite you to find your friends on G+ via your email addresses and contacts list. You can actually skip this step for now, if you like.
Use your real name. AuthorRank is all about you as the author of your online content. Google must be able to connect your name to all of your online presences.
Upload an easily recognizable headshot of yourself. Do not get too artistic with it. No cartoonish type drawings or such. You want to ensure that Google knows exactly who you are. (For maximum benefit, you should use the same headshot on all of your profiles including Gravatar and your social media sites.)
Add people to your Circles. You can add me to your Circles to get you started. Here’s the link to my Google+ Profile https://plus.google.com/116816557257681654233/
Add your profile info. Include your basic profile information with a description about yourself, where you live, where you work, and such. Keep in mind that you will have the opportunity to select who sees this information, but it’s best to mark it as public, so include the information you want folks to know about you.
Make a few posts. These are called Status Updates on G+. Make sure to include posts from your site. You’ll eventually want to invite folks to follow you on G+ and you want them to have something to read right away.
Folks tend not to follow those who have not filled in the basics of their profile or made any posts yet. So, be sure to do at least that much before you invite people to follow you there.
Get your Google+ Profile URL
This is very important. Be sure you get the correct URL. You’ll want to use it on your site and lots of other places later as you learn more about optimizing your G+ Profile.
To find your URL, click the Profile icon.
Look in your browser’s address bar. It will contain your profile URL.
It’s likely that it will have /posts at the end. That URL will send folks directly to your posts on G+. But, it’s not the best URL for AuthorRank and other SEO factors.
The URL you want is without /posts at the end. It will look like this: https://plus.google.com/116816557257681654233/
You can also get a vanity URL for G+, but you’ll likely want to only use it on printed materials or where you are displaying the actual URL. Do not use it for anything related to AuthorRank or your site’s SEO.
Now you’re ready to get started on G+. You might want to visit your favorite websites and look for their G+ icon so you can follow them there. And be sure to put a G+ icon on your social follow widget as well. (Here’s a video tutorial on the plugin I use for that.) If you haven’t done so yet, you might want to include a G+ share button on your posts too. (Here’s the plugin I use for that.)
You can also find new Communities to join. (I’m in several very active ones that I really enjoy!) And, you can attend a Hangout.
Getting your G+ Profile and getting started with using G+ are the first steps. AuthorRank is the next step. If you don’t know why everyone is jumping on the AuthorRank bandwagon, read Why You Need AuthorRank for SEO. It is the must-do for 2013.
There are up to 14 connections that need to be made to setup AuthorRank with your site and other online profiles and to properly close the loopholes.
The SEO & AuthorRank Video Course will take you step-by-step through it, including every setting on your G+ Profile and every setting on your site and the WordPress SEO plugin.