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Google+Tutorial

Google Plus Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Getting Started on Google+

By May 19, 2014 July 2nd, 2014 39 Comments

If you’re like me, you know you need to be on Google+. In fact, you WANT to be on Google+ but you just don’t know where to begin. Your need a Google Plus guide to help you set up your profile and circles.

Google Plus Guide Getting Started

Google Plus Guide: 5 Easy Steps To Getting Started

Let’s talk a little about getting started with Google+ and why you need to be there. At present, Facebook and Twitter are still the powerhouses of all things social media. Although that may not change anytime soon, Google+ is still a social media hub to be reckoned with. Google+ is the primary social media platform of choice for many. One reason for this is Google ties all your accounts into one; Gmail, YouTube, etc. Not only does it tie them together, but it also connects your website to your Google+ profile which gives you authorship credibility and can boost your SEO stats. And what blogger doesn’t crave more SEO, like a hormonal woman craves chocolate?

Getting started with Google+ is easier than you might think.

1) Creating a Google+ Account

Go to plus.google.com and click “Create an Account”.

At this point you can add a profile photo. I highly recommend using the same profile photo on all your social media platforms (website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), so you are easily recognizable. Once you’ve selected and adjusted your photo, click “Next Step.”

Congratulations, you now have a Google+ account!

2) Learning the Layout

Go to plus.google.com again. You should see something like this:

Google Plus Guide Layout

This is a stream where you can see all the incoming posts from others. The gray bar at the top allows you to switch between feeds from your circles (keep reading for more on Circles).

On the right is Google+ Hangouts, where you can text, voice, or video chat with your friends.

Hover your mouse over the word “Home” on the top left to reveal the navigation panel, from which you can access Home, Profile, People, Photos, Communities, Settings and more.

3) Setting up Your Profile

To navigate to your Google+ profile, click on the dropdown menu in the top left corner, and click on profile. You can also reach your Google+ profile from within Gmail or other Google services by clicking on your picture in the navigation bar, and clicking on “View Profile” in the dropdown.

Google Plus Guide Profile

When you are at your profile, click on the About tab.

Google Plus Guide About

This is where you can add information, such as an introduction, work, education, links to social media profiles and sites where you contribute, and more. The more you fill out your profile, the better!

Be especially sure to enter “Contributor To” Links, because they are essential for setting up Google Authorship.

4) Build Your Circles

The most important and useful part of Google+ is Circles. Circles allow you to categorize your friends, family, business acquaintances, and everyone else, in the most appropriate ways. When adding a friend, they go in any of the categories you want to put them.

Why set up circles?

  • Organization: As you connect with more and more people on Google Plus, it is nice to be able to remember how you connected with them. A circle called, simply, “Bloggers” will help you to do this, or a circle called “SITS Bloggers” will help you to connect with just those bloggers in the SITS community.
  • Ease of Browsing: If you want to find recipes that are being shared, you can easily choose to look at just the updates from your “Food Bloggers” circle, or if you want to be inspired to work on your photography, you could look at the updates from your “Photographers” circle. There is no limit to the ways you can organize your circles to make your Google+ experience more enjoyable.
  • Targeted Sharing: You don’t want to share vacation photos with your business contacts. Having your personal friends in a circle together makes it easy to ensure you can share your vacation photos with only those you want to see them.

As nice as it is to share with only a specific circle (like sharing those vacation photos with just your in-person friends), you mainly want to post to Public – ESPECIALLY when sharing a blog post – so you are getting the most views possible for your post.

Google Plus Guide Circles

To add people to your circles, select “People” in the left dropdown. You can connect your address book to find friends who already have G+ profiles and search for friends by entering your company or school name.

You can also just type someone’s name into the search bar. For example, I searched Tiffany Romero and this is what I found. Click Add To Circles.

Google Plus Guide Tiffany

You then have the option of adding them as Friend, Family, Following, etc. I put Tiffany in my Friends circle.

If you’ve filled out your profile info well, Google+ provides you with suggestions based on common interests. Google+ is similar to Twitter in that just because you add someone to your circles, they don’t have to add you back.

You will find Your Circles under People as well. This is where you can organize your circles. You can make new circles (like: Mom Bloggers, Book Lovers, Classmates), or delete current circles. At the top, you’ll see all the people you’ve circled; you can click on their pictures and drag them to whatever circle you desire. People can be added to more than one circle.

Google Plus Guide Organize Circles

When you add someone to a Circle:

  • You can share content with them.
  • You can chat with them if you are also in their Circle.
  • They will be notified when you add them.

There is a red bell icon in the top right corner of almost every Google service you use. This icon tells you how many notifications you have. When you click on the bell you are able to see your Google+ notifications.

5.) Posting Content

This is pretty basic and self-explanatory.

Google Plus Guide Posting Content

You can share whatever you want in the Share What’s New space: links, photos, favorite posts by other bloggers; you get the picture.

I know this is very basic getting started on Goggle+, but it really is this easy. If you haven’t taken the plunge on this user-friendly platform I hope you found this information useful to help you get started.

Now go make some friends on Google+!

KEEP READING

Looking for more information about using Google+? Here are a few posts that you’ll find helpful:

About laurielyons

Laurie has been a wife for too many years to count. She is the mother of three mostly grown children. Her last year as a homeschooling mom will come to an end in 2014. Life is changing for this entrepreneur turned blogger and author of her first E-book. She often feels like the odd man out in the blogging world because she is in her fifties, but her love of social media and writing keeps her hanging in and always learning. You can find Laurie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog, Beyond My Blue Door, where she writes about life and the many lessons learned along the way. Oh, and she can hardly wait to become a grandma!

39 Comments

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  • Jean says:

    Thanks for this… I know I should invest more time in Google+, but sometimes I question whether it’s worth it, so I get overwhelmed and push it off. Will try again!

  • Elle says:

    I like Google+ for long conversations, it seems like more of an intimate setting to get to know people. Twitter is a little too quick for building real relationships, and Facebook with their ads is a bit much, but G+ is perfect for getting to know others and share in-depth information. However, it does have major problem, a lot of people don’t seem good at using this platform and the amount of people using this platform is less than the other two social networks I mentioned. Lastly, I have yet to see the benefits of using G+ hashtags to share your content outside of your immediate follows, but we’ll see how this changes with time.

    • Laurie says:

      Like I said in the post, I’m just getting started there myself. I see what you are saying about the benefits as opposed to FB and Twitter. I will be looking into the G+ hashtag thing. So far, it seems like those who use it love it, and those of us who are sort of there don’t know exactly what to do next. That’s an exciting thing to me. We’ll see where it goes, I guess. Thanks for your input!

  • I’m unsure about the actual benefit of using Google+, but I am set up on there. The problem is that I’m set up with both my gmail addresses, so I have a personal Google + and a FitMamaLove one since I was already setup there before I started my blog. Most of my contacts are under my personal one, but I want that to be recognizable as my blog too instead of starting over with my FitMamaLove one, but then I need my fitmamalove email to be linked to that one too. I’m confused about how to do this.

    • Laurie says:

      My friend (a SITS Girl team member) who is more savvy than I am on G+ said this: It isn’t really possible to merge two emails to one Google Plus profile. If she wants to move everyone from the personal profile to the FitMamaLove personal profile, it is possible to request a transfer of circles https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1716102?hl=en&topic=2400106 but that will not transfer any authorship that she may have previously set up with the original profile. You can only transfer between personal profiles, not profiles and pages. Transfer Google+ circles & connections between accounts – Google+ Help
      support.google.com
      Not sure if this helps but hopefully you can figure something out.

  • Great information, as always, ladies! Thanks!

  • I have a question….I have a google + personal profile (set under my name) and I have a google + page (set as my blog name). Some people follow here some on the other…I really would love to have just one google+ account(let say the personal profile- It looks like every blogger use the personal profile). Is there any way to keep the followers and transfer them somehow to my personal google+? I wouldn’t want to loose those followers by deleting the google+ page. Thanks!

    • Laurie says:

      As far as I know there is not a way to transfer them over. If I wanted to move to exclusively using the profile, I would make that announcement on the page with a link to my profile, and then I would also add every person who had connected with the page to a circle so they would get a notification that my personal profile added them. I still might lose a few people in the transition, but hopefully most of them will make the move. Hope this helps. (Just so you know, I’m asking a friend who is helping me with the questions I’m not real familiar with.)

  • Nicki Lewis says:

    Great tips! I love Google + have found it most useful. Also great for sending out events to join linkups

  • Limeade Gal says:

    Thank you! This is very helpful :). I’m still trying to figure it out & this will help.

  • Dee says:

    Great article, Laurie. I love G+, and it’s helped me connect with so many different bloggers and get my content shared. I had a post get shared 70 times last week — the same post was seen by 5 people on FB. Nuff said. 🙂 After reading your article, I know I have to work on a better profile photo.

  • Ana Lynn says:

    Great guide for newcomers to Google+. I have been using it for a while and it helps drive traffic to my site.

  • viji sathya says:

    Hi friend

    good post , thank you for sharing .

  • Alex says:

    Can we talk about whether Google Plus is actually necessary or perceived? Google is the Almighty right now, and I respect many of their products — they revolutionized the internet… but Google Plus? Meh. Meh at best, and I work in Marketing and haven’t seen much use for my clients (Product, Brand) for it.

    Sometimes it’s “uncool” to speak out against what it seems like everyone is using… but is anyone out there really benefiting from Google Plus, or is it just another social media outlet? It just feels kinda crowded. I mean this comment as a discussion piece — if there are other bloggers or small business owners out there that are really benefiting from it, I’d love to hear it. I’m just not sold on it, rather feel like it was forced on us. Thanks!

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks for your opinion, Alex. I’m not on there much myself. It just seems like those who are see great benefits. It’s great to hear your side and I hope others chime in.

  • Yulunda G. says:

    Thank you sharing this as I have a lot of work to do on Google+.

    Very helpful!

  • Thank you so much for the great tuts and direction! I know I should focus on Google+ more than I should. The over day I went over and saw that I had had 1 million views and I thought “Why?” I had not done much there…but I realized at that moment the tremendous potential of the site. It is amazing!

    • I agree! I’m trying to get better at hashtags and I think that too in Google plus will be huge! Great article as it cleared up some areas for my family and for my blog. The potential here is endless!

      • You’re very right! I always hashtag, but the thing is to try to figure out the search terms people would use and use those as your hastags, THAT is the BIG thing. I keep just adding my hashtags in a hurry and I should think about them more carefully, and put those that would make great search terms. Thanks again for all the info.

  • I’ve just started my G+ page, and it was confusing at first. However, the more I use it, the more I like it. Thanks for the tips!

  • I’ve been avoiding Google + because I didn’t really understand it but this is a great overview!

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  • Stefanie says:

    Thanks very much for these tips Laurie! I know you say these are pretty basic, but for those of us that have a Google+ account and have no idea what to do with it (other than make sure whenever I publish a post, include Google+ as one of the places I’m posting to), this is a really great intro on where to start. Especially the part about Circles. I’m going to make a real effort to organize my Google+ account and create some circles. Thanks!

    • Laurie says:

      I’m glad you found it helpful. Like I said, I’m not real savvy on there myself, but I’m learning that you have to connect and not just post your links there. I’m sure you will be awesome once you get going.

  • How does your profile google account compare to your page. Right now our Savers4Life Plus page is linked to a google account that has nothing else to do with our blog. It’s actually for a different group of websites. Should we create a new Google Plus profile and transfer ownership?

    • Laurie says:

      Good question and I’m not sure I have the answer. I will ask someone who knows Google+ well and see what she says.

      • Laurie says:

        This is what my friend said:
        For ease of use, it makes sense to have the page attached to the profile/account that is connected with the blog. Once you have an account in place that you use for that specific blog, you can make it an admin of the page. A page can have multiple admins. Honestly, I think it is important that you can easily get to the page to make updates. So giving an account that you rarely use the only access to the page makes more work for yourself.
        Hope that helps and makes sense to you.

  • How does the profile compare to the page? I have my Savers page created through a google account that has nothing to do with my blog. Should I look at changing that?