ORLANDO, FLORIDA-Google+ is one of the latest tools the search engine uses to determine the popularity and relevancy of a page which in turn influences where it places in search results, but is your business taking advantage of it?
“Google measures popularity by how well the information matched the person’s search query and arguably how often pages are viewed or shared, which includes Likes, Tweets and +1′s,” says our CEO Ali Husayni. “Tapping into that information for Google+ can be a valuable resource to find out what is reaching your audience and what isn’t, so you can adjust your search engine optimization marketing accordingly.”
Businesses that have created a Google+ Page and added the +1 button on their websites have set the stage for client interaction and ranking higher on Google. They will also be able to glean information about how clients are viewing, sharing and searching for the companies’ content. The button also shows up in search results and display ads, signaling to other searchers that the information is useful.
But you have to know what parts of your website are getting the audience’s attention, the +1′s, to know what is working and why. Finding that out is fairly simple according to our Manager of Operations Saeed Khosravi, who says you need to sign up on Google Webmaster Tools then add and verify your site to see what pages have been +1′d.
“After you have signed up and verified your site, you will get to see detailed information about how your site is performing on Google search results,” he says.
There is a treasure trove of helpful data, including your site’s impressions for different search queries, the number of clicks you had for each search query, the crawler errors, the number of back-links to your site and other useful information like the +1 Metrics.
Follow these steps to get a list of pages and the number of times they have been +1′d:
1. Login to your webmaster tools account.
2. Click on the website you want to see the +1 activity for, which will open up the Dashboard for the site.
3. In the left-hand menu, click on the link to the +1 Metrics and select Activity.
From there you can opt to see the data for the number of times your site was +1′d during a particular date range or all of the +1 activity for the URL. It can also show how users are +1′ing content, whether it was on one of the website’s pages or from a page that showed up in search results or advertisements.
“This data is very helpful for seeing how the investment of your time and money is paying off,” says Husayni.
You can find out if you are reaching your target demographic by looking at the Audience option under +1 Metrics in the left-hand menu. That shows you more about the people who have +1′d your website’s pages, including the total number of unique users, their location, and their age and gender. Although, Google will not display that data until a certain number of people have +1′d your content because they need enough data to provide aggregated and anonymous information. But once your site has received enough impressions with and without +1 annotation, you can look at the Search Impact data that shows how +1′s are affecting search results‘ clickthrough rates and compare them to reports on non-Google+ traffic to your site.
If you need help setting up Google Analytics for your website, you can check out our posts about getting started with Google Analytics. You also can read a more in depth explanation of the tool and get SEO tips on how to use the statistics it provides.