Google recently announced a makeover to their Google Profiles display. It looks a lot like the recently overhauled personal profiles on Facebook. That was not by accident. As a site owner, Google and Facebook can be your most powerful allies. Here’s what you need to know to create and benefit from an optimized Google Profile.
One of the best ways to gain visibility and drive traffic to your site is to engage with folks by leaving a comment on their blog. You gain visibility to the blog host and their viewers. Many blogs offer you the option to sign in using an online profile. Two of the most popular ones are Google Profile and Gravatar. (Read Boost Your Site Traffic with a Gravatar.)
To create a Google profile, you first need a Google Account. You can do so much more with it than Gmail. (Read Why You Need a Google Account.) And, you may want to have several Google Accounts for different uses.
For this public profile account, you’ll want to use an email address that is appropriate for making comments on blog posts and such. It won’t be shown to the public. But, if you elect to track other comments left on that post, they will come to the email address you use for the profile.
How To Get a New Account
Important! Before you start this process, be prepared to be called on the phone or receive a text message from Google immediately after you fill out your profile info. Google is doing everything they can to verify you are who you say you are these days to cut down on spammers and SEO cheaters.
Go to the Google Accounts page. On the right side you’ll find two boxes to either sign in or create an account. After you complete the confirmation process, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can setup your profile. (It’s on the top left with the goofy face image.)
If you entered your mobile phone number, you can elect to have a text message sent to it with your PIN info. Or, you can elect to be called. (You can also contact tech support to have the PIN info snail mailed to you via postcard, but that takes weeks.)
Important! Be prepared to write down or save your code as soon as you click the button to complete the process. You’ll receive a call or text instantly.
Input your confirmation info. You will be redirected to a page where you can create your profile.
How to Optimize Profile on Existing Account
Go to the Google Profile page. (If you were following the New Account steps above, this is the next page you would have come to in the process after entering your PIN info.)
Input your name and upload a picture then click the blue button to continue to the second page where you can include the following information about yourself:
- Scrapbook of images
- Bragging Rights
- Places You’ve Lived
- Personal info – home, work and relationship status
You’ll want to optimize as many of these areas as are appropriate for your business. Generally, sharing personal info is not preferred. But, if you’re business is coaching work-at-home moms, which is popular right now, then saying you have kids is appropriate. And, you wouldn’t believe how many pet lovers you will endear yourself to if you mention your furry family members too.
Don’t put anything in this public profile that you wouldn’t tell to a perspective client.
Be sure to include links to your website. You’ll find the input box for that to the right of the general info list.
You can include business-related images in the scrapbook, much as folks have done successfully on their Facebook business pages.
At the bottom you’ll find the URL for your profile. You can also elect to enter your Gmail username, if you have that account setup.
At the very top of the page, just under your name, you’ll find a little section where you can enter the ten words that describe you best.
Help and Examples
Making the most of all that Google offers you for free will help you become a more successful site owner without spending a lot of time and money on it. Easy and free is good.
Google has recently announced their own flavor of Facebook’s Like button. It’s called Google +1. Reviews are mixed on whether or not this will be a boom or bust feature. For one, you have to be logged into your Google Account for it to work. Do you browse while signed in? Me either. We’ll see where this goes and if it brings any SEO benefit.