A self-confessed Google+ geek, this week’s guest brings to the show a lot of insights on why Google+ is the social platform that you should not forgo especially because, as he would say, Google plays favourites!
Find out why for Content Warfare author and podcaster Ryan Hanley Google+ has the edge among other social media platforms as he unveils the Google advantage.
- The Google+ advantage as a social media platform
- Setting up your Google+ account
- Google+ vs. Google Pages
- Increasing Search results through Google+
- Google+ and Content Marketing
- Formatting Your Google+ posts right
- Link Sharing
- Utilizing Google+ Commenting
- Ryan’s best traffic getting secret
Show / Hide Transcript
Hello! This is James Reynolds, your host and you are tuned in to Traffic Jam episode#26 and it is the podcast show that teaches you how to get more traffic, leads and sales and build a profitable audience online. So I am going to get stuck right in to talking about my guest today and his name is Ryan Hanley. Ryan was introduced to me by Marcus Sheridan, who was a guest here at Episode #24 of Traffic Jam and the first thing that I found of Ryan’s was his Content Warfare podcast; it’s a slightly more established show than Traffic Jam, it’s being going for about 50 episodes but there was a real strong cross over in terms of the guests that Ryan has on the show. Ryan has interviewed people like Neal Shaffer, Chris Brogan, Amy Porterfield, Pat Flynn, and a whole bunch of others that you’d be very familiar with if you’re a regular listener to this show.
But the appeal of the show is really not just confined to the guests; it really revolves about Ryan’s ability to get the most out of his experts on each episode but also his way of applying what he’d learned through interviewing others to his own business. He’s got an independent insurance agency, he’s the head of marketing for that business, and Ryan provides a lot of case studies of how he’s using content marketing to grow his own company and I really like that. I think it is one of the reasons that Marcus Sheridan referred me to Ryan because I do see Marcus cut from the very same cloth- he’s one that doesn’t just teach he actually does and certainly a trait of Ryan’s too.
I spent a good amount of time going through the episodes of Content Warfare before inviting Ryan on the show and some of the episodes that picked my interest most were on the topic of Google+. Ryan’s interviewed several expert on Google+; people like Pat Pagan and Jessie Woodilow spring to mind, and Ryan really held his own in the subject and seemed to have a really good, broad level of expertise which is also packaged up to this great little starter course on Google+ called the Google+ Starter Kit. Now as it has been a little bit of time since we’ve covered the topic of Google+, in fact we’ve only covered it once and it was with Chris Brogan back on Episode#9 or so, I thought it would be a good opportunity to revisit the subject especially as there has been quite a lot of changes with the platform in recent weeks.
So Google+ is the topic of today’s interview and that’s coming right up next but don’t go anywhere after that because we do have our regular segments, the one minute traffic tip, this week’s news in traffic and the reason this podcast is called Traffic Jam, we have the musical jam to play out the show. So let’s get stuck in to today’s interview with Ryan Hanley who incidentally who incidentally since this interview is recorded became a first time dad so big congratulations to you Ryan. Here we have it, the Ryan Hanley interview – all about Google+.
James: This is Traffic Jam Episode #26 and joining me on the hot seat this week is Ryan Hanley; Ryan, welcome to Traffic Jam.
Ryan: James, it’s so good to be here, thanks for having me.
James: Well it’s kind of a little bit different for you, you spent a lot of time on the other side of the mic and asking questions so hopefully this might make a refreshing change for you to feel the view this week.
Ryan: Oh, yeah. A lot of fun – I am looking forward to it man!
James: Cool! Well you’ve got a bunch of things going on, you have got of course your content marketing focused podcast, you’ve got a Google+ mini course and of course you’ve got a bricks and mortar business where you apply a lot of what you teach to others, for those of our listeners out there who have not heard of Ryan Hanley, just give us a quick overview of you and your business.
Ryan: So basically I am the founder of Content Warfare which is just a platform or a community where business owners, marketers and kind of the solopreneurs and entrepreneur crowd can come together in many different formats, podcast, video on YouTube and on my blog and just discuss what’s going on in Content Marketing and how we tell our story, be useful, and kind of attract attention and an audience and we tied it up to a lot of different experiments and a lot of different ways to do that and everything that I talk about is drilled out of the kind of brick and mortar, independent insurance agency in which my family owns. So I am the Director of Marketing for a 15-person, single location, independent insurance agency in Alba, New York which is about 2 and a half hours from New York City and all the strategies are actually things that we are doing in our agency to attract business, it’s not just like theories that I have scraped off someone else’s website and this is the things that are working and the things that are not working, in a business that has to pay the bills, has to keep the lights on and do so in a local environment.
James: Got it! So it think it will be pretty fair to say that what we are going to talk about isn’t going to be fluffy stuff; this is stuff that you personally are using on your own business to get results.
Ryan: Yes, this is the grainy details man!
James: Love it! Cool! One of the things that you are especially passionate about, that you have been getting great results with, with your, of course say so Ryan, and I’d like to focus a lot of our attention there today-
Ryan: Fantastic man.
James: Sounds good? Cool! Okay well let me kick off this interview with what might be the most offensively basic question I have ever asked a guest about their area of expertise, what the hell is Google+?
Ryan: So Google+ is Google’s social layer and I am going to try not to geek out on you here because I have a tendency to do that when it comes to this tool. I started experimenting with Google+ and YouTube tools in general and just found an amazing return on the time spent and the energy spent, you don’t really spend too much money inside the tool but what we are giving to it, we are giving back exponentially so when I say social layer, what I mean is, at its core, Google’s mission is to provide every problem, every question that anyone has, anyone in the world on anything with the best possible solution. So at its core, that’s what it’s trying to do. And when Google realized probably a long time ago but really started to implement about three years ago, was that they knew that people were having all of the interaction inside the social space –Facebook, Twitter and all the other thousands of social networks and though Google was getting pretty good grip on websites and forums and places like that, what they were struggling with were all these interactions that were taking in the social world and they tried to form a partnership with Twitter which did not really work. Facebook has been, this is kind of a used up analogy but like a walled garden, they can see its likes, see the pages from the outside but what’s happening internally, Google can’t get a good grip on. So then Google created its own social layer. It’s more than social network because now it is starting to come in to YouTube comments, and Google Drive has now been integrated with Google+ so all their tools are starting to be connected to Google+ and the reason being is every single action we take inside of Google+ is being indexed and categorized and ultimately used to rank accounts, whether it’s a Google+ page or Google+ profile, rank authority on certain topics and we can get more on to what it is but that is what Google+ is; it is a way for Google to understand how we interact with each other as people and not just how we interact with web pages.
James: Got it! So the core of this, it wasn’t such a dumb question on my part right? This is not a typical social media platform in the way that perhaps a Facebook would be. This thing is kind of working and integrating through the entire Google ecosystem which I’m sure has an effect on other areas of what Google do.
Ryan: Yes. So basically what Google wants to understand is that they know that human interaction – so you post something inside of Google+, an article that you’ve written or one of your podcast episodes and you put some text in there and a link to your article and I listen to the podcast and I come in and I say James fantastic, I love this part and here’s something that I was thinking about and then we have this conversation inside of Google+ and then let’s say because of that conversation more people are coming in and now 20 or 30 people are interacting and what Google has seen is that, one our interaction is now linked. Google is now saying okay, what James does, Ryan was interested in and now I can start to correlate them a little more and James’ article got 30 +1s which, for people more familiar with Facebook is like clicking the like button. It’s essentially giving them a high five I guess. There is more to it than that but when you give someone a +1 now Google is saying so this article that James wrote about whatever it was has got 30 +1s and other people in this general topic that this article was written about are on average getting 15 so that tells them, and this is broad sweeping stroke, that tells Google and their algorithm that you are more of an authority on that topic than someone else who may consistently get less reshares, less +1s and now they take the kind of authority that you’re getting off your website in general and now you can add in how people interact with you do in a social space and really get a firm grip on the topics that you are most knowledgeable in and the topics that people are most engaged in you on because I could write a topic all day long but if no one cares, perfectly SEO’d out, buy tons of backlinks and traditionally that website will rank really well. Well Google said that you can do all those things but if no one is engaging with you, they’ll know that it’s really not a good resource and that’s what Google+ is allowing them to find out.
James: Got it. So this is really all about Google kind of bringing offline authority and expertise status if you want to kind of give it a label online right? It’s kind of to establish online who is an expert in a particular area and then perhaps give them favor elsewhere on the Google platform.
Ryan: A much more concise way of breaking down the diagram that I just went on.
James: Well that’s what I am here to do. Now, if our listener is not already on Google+ and I am sure there are a number of people out there who would find themselves in that situation, I think you and I can probably do them a good service by setting them out on the right track. What thing should our listener be doing when setting up their account to ensure they’re set up right the first time?
Ryan: Really all you need to have for Google+ is a Gmail account. If you have a Gmail account, then technically you are already on Google+ platform if you have a Gmail account. If you don’t have a Gmail account then signing up for Google+ is as simple as getting a Gmail account and you don’t have to use Gmail for your email but you have to have a Gmail account to get on to Google+. Some people have a problem with that but it’s kind of just the way that it is. Once you’re on there, the very first thing that you want to do is spend some time in your about page. So Google+ is a fairly simple social network. You have an About page, you have a page that lists the posts that you make and you can now actually add your YouTube videos, you can connect Google+ with YouTube which we will get to in a minute but you can now have your YouTube videos listed inside your Google+ profile page as well. These are the three main tabs, there are a couple of others but those are not really as useful. Those are the three main tabs. Here’s the beauty of Google+ versus your Facebook page, and this talks a lot to traffic which is what this podcast is all about, right?- Ranking and search and getting traffic to your page. Your profile on Google+ has rank like any other website. So if you take your Google+ profile and you stick it in to Google’s page rank checker or any other page rank oriented program online, you’re actually going to get a score for that page so your Google+ About page is an area that you should fill up with information about yourself, your contact information, what you do, you should link out to all your pertinent platforms because that page, as you build connections, as you build links to that page inside the Google+ platform, is growing in page rank like right now my Google+ profile has a page rank 4 which for people who are not familiar with that, you don’t necessarily need to know what that means other than it has a relatively decent amount of authority that I can pass through to another page by linking to it. So if I link out from my Google+ page to another website I am giving that website a nice boost in rank, so you really want to take some time and really build that out so that you’re giving Google a nice picture because all that information is categorized and indexed so you can be found in search, you really want to spend some time there. And then have a nice cover photo, a nice profile like you would anywhere else, so it is relatively simple in getting started from the set up perspective before you get to using it.
James: Great! Well we’ll come to content as kind of the next topic, but before we tackle that, I want to ask you about the Google+ profile versus the Google+ page because Google+ page for Business is still relatively new, in fact, my agency SEO Sherpa recently had its Google Places page kind of automatically converted over to a Google+ for Business. Where should our listeners be focusing their Google+ activity, profile or page, assuming that they are a business owner?
Ryan: This is a really interesting question because my answer is going to start with the worst answer you can give any question which is it depends, right? You have to think about what your goals are for the platform. If you have a business and it’s a brick and mortar business, any type of local business, you absolutely, absolutely want to have a page. A profile is a person, a page is a business or an entity of some sort, because, like what happened to your business and what is going to happen automatically to just about any business eventually, but you can actually initiate the process as well, is Google Places is now integrating with Google+ and becoming Google Local. And that for a local business is one of the most powerful tool that you can have; it’s where you collect your Google Reviews, it’s where you enter your information that is ultimately going to show up inside of Google Maps. If you want to be found in your Google search results through your Google Places page moving in to the future you need to have your Google+ profile filled out completely with good detailed information so that is an incredibly important tool for local businesses; similarly important for business that might be virtual but incredibly important, almost a necessity if you are a local business. If you are a virtual business what I would recommend is having the page and whatever business that you want to do is there is something called the Publisher tab and it is similar to Google Authorship that we have not mentioned yet, but basically it connects your Google+ page for business to your business website and it’s just a simple piece of code that you can add either through a widget or you can have if you don’t do your website stuff yourself, a very simple piece of code that your web designer or whoever can add for you and this tells Google that this website on the internet is connected to this Google+ page and over time you are building authority through your actions on your Google+ page and your actions makes authority runs back and forth between those two places so you want to make sure that you have that publisher tab installed and you want to make sure that you’ve combined your Google places and Google+ account to create a Google Local, as what they are calling it now.
James: Yeah, got it. And one thing that I had noticed when we had this rolled out which I guess might be a couple of weeks – we might be behind in some areas further in the world, this affected the actual search listing itself. If I just look up my business now and perhaps our listeners as an example, you might want to do this, SEO Sherpa, you’ll actually find now that that listing is much richer in context than it ever was before. There’s the review showing, there’s the maps listing showing right next to it and there is even a link off to a verified Google+ page which makes our results stick out from all of those around it because it is just so much richer in content and detail.
Ryan: Yeah, this is why, like I said, I can geek out on this a lot. This is why I love playing Google’s game, right? There is absolutely no doubt that Google plays favorites, they want you to use their tools, and they want you to integrate your website in to their products. That goes the same for YouTube and Google+, Google Drive, Google Calendar and all these additional tools that they have and are coming out with, they want you to use them and if they do, they are going to reward you by placing additional pieces of information in to Google Search, the most notable one was Google Authorship, we’ve explained the Publisher tab, very similar process but for people, so your Google+ profile, the human being- you, and you can add a little piece of code to every article that you write and if you do that, Google places your Google+ profile picture next to your search results and if you’ve done any searching inside of Google in the last six months to a year, you’ve seen some search result little image next to it, that’s because of authorship. By adding authorship to the articles that you write, your click through rate is 47% higher regardless in what position you are in in search. When I am talking to a group of small business owners, I push authorship very hard and the reason is because if let’s say, my small business is an insurance and I am going up against mega companies like Guy go and some of these other huge national companies that pay billions of dollars in advertising. It is very hard for me to beat them in search to get to #1. But I can get to 5 or 6 and if I get to 5 or 6 and I have authorship and they don’t, I am actually getting more clicks in the 6th position in search than they are getting in the 1st position. And that is an incredibly important tool for a local business.
James: Yeah, absolutely! I mean if I just do a search now and again, maybe an example for our listener who is by their PC right now, you go and search for content warfare podcast, you’ll see then that there’s a little authorship picture that comes up next to the result with Ryan’s image on it, terribly professional photo might I add, Ryan you’re looking rather suave in your picture there but that’s building up your own personal brand right? Not increasing click through rates but rather getting your brand out there as well.
Ryan: Well, I have my authorship transcends my kind of consulting, marketing agency brand to also my insurance agency so I write for both places and I have this really like kind of cheeky marketing guy picture which I thought was really cool and then my boss saw that and he was like, that’s a cool picture but I don’t want it on our agency results to I kind of had to change it back to this more –
James: You got the suit back out again. Awesome! Well let’s move on to content. I have heard you say that the Google+ platform forces you to create better content. Why is that the case?
Ryan: The reason that I say that is for a couple of reasons. The first is, on like Facebook right? Or maybe you quickly just dropped a LinkedIn with a tail and boom you post that out to your peeps. With Google+ every post that you make inside the platform is indexed and ranked like a web page so you have to think of every post that you make as an actual blog post. Additionally, you can draw attention to your post by formatting them. Google allows you to add bold, you can underline, you can strike out, you can add italics. There are all these different ways that you can format your Google+ post to draw attention to them so essentially these are almost becoming blog posts, and they are ranked in Google search like blog posts. Usually the first line is what will show up in the tail in Google search but you write a really well received post in Google+, let’s use as an example you post your podcast and it just kills it, let’s say 100 people +1ed that. So every time someone +1s an article, unlike Facebook where it is just like this cumulative ranking and we feel good about that, Google+ is actually creating a whole new webpage. Every time someone clicks +1 that links back to your page so if you get 30 +1’s on a post you essentially have 30 new links pointing to that post and passing their page rank and their authority on to each one of those 30 pages gets 5, 6, 10, a hundred likes, now you’re going exponentially and all that points to your profile. So I have seen Google+ posts rank in search for months! They do tend to deteriorate over time but if you have a really powerful post, it can be ranked in search and drive Google traffic to your post and really gain a lot of traction so you really take every post seriously because it has certain ramifications and if done right can certainly be a powerful tool. The second reason is the community that you find inside Google+ and link dumping like Twitter or Facebook or even LinkedIn Strategy now just popping a link in and hitting enter and hoping someone clicks on it. If you do that inside of Google+, the community will shun you and I am not just saying that because I am like a geek for the network. I had made this mistake when I first got there. I had used Twitter for 4 years to market my business and now all of a sudden I am using Google+ and you drop a link in there like nothing else and nobody clicks +1 nobody comments, nothing happens and you’re like, this place is a ghost town. it is not a ghost town, it’s just that the community actually demands that you provide more value with the content that you share there. If do take the extra step in writing a little reason why someone should click through, they are so incredibly supportive that you’ll see posts having gained incredible reach in a matter of minutes if you actually take the time to create a post that is of value.
James: Awesome! Okay, you prompted a couple of follow up questions so I’ll throw both of them at you in one go; do you think that that being the case that it’s demanding a better quality content perhaps Google might favor the longer post on Google+ because there is more indexable content? Are we putting ourselves at risk of perhaps pushing our best content on Google+? That’s question one. And the second one, is how do we attract the right people to interact with our post because I am assuming that if someone within your space who is also an expert in content marketing like yourself, Ryan, if they +1 your post I am sure that has more weight than someone else. How do we attract the right audience to view and share those posts?
Ryan: Great questions! I am going to start with the first one first because that makes sense. Are we giving away our best content on Google+? A really, really good question, a question I actually get a lot from people that go through my Google+ starter kit because it is the next question that you think to ask. I want to spend my time on my site and put my best content there, what I tell you is if you believe in guest posting at all and the power of what guest posting can do for your business. What I would think of- I would think of each Google+ post- now if you wrote a great article and you’re sharing it inside this space, you do not need to write a book when you share it. Maybe just kind of bold the headline, one or two sentences and then kind of read more here, here’s a link and then add some more hash tags, right? So it doesn’t have to be these big drawn out thing but you just don’t want to dump the link and be gone so when you’re sharing your articles you don’t have to give the whole article away inside of Google+ but your post that aren’t just sharing one of your own articles, I would think of each one of them as a guest post because what you are getting out of them is equivalent to guest posting on someone else’s website – you’re getting reach, you’re getting exposure to other audiences because people who find your articles are going to then reshare them on their own and unlike someone resharing something inside of Facebook or retweeting something inside of Twitter, you’re not just getting exposure to that new audience when you’re doing that, you’re getting all the SEO value that passes through those links so what I would encourage people to do so that you’re not just giving away your best content is if you do write a longer post inside of Google+ include a link a the bottom if people want more like I sometimes include a link to one of my landing pages to subscribe to a newsletter. So I will write a nice sized post on Google+ and then at the bottom I’ll say if you want to be a content warrior that’s what I call my audience or you want more great content marketing information, subscribe here. So now I am not just putting a post out there for the fun of it, I’m actually including a call to action at the bottom which is driving people to grow my email list, or grow my podcast list or drive people on to my Google+ starter kit or whatever. Think of them as guest posts so you’re not just giving it away, you’re helping build your brand. The second question, finding the best audience, the great place to start is in communities, communities are like LinkedIn groups to a certain extent, but you can search for communities, there is a community on absolutely anything and find a community of people who have a like mind interest. I am a moderator for a content marketing community, I own an insurance community; my two fields of expertise so I am involved in those communities and I easily connect within those two communities who have similar interests so I’d start with communities, build up connections inside communities and then those people will start to connect with you in the mainstream as well.
James: Got it! I made some notes as you just spoke there Ryan those past couple of minutes about what might make up an effective posts. I’ve got a few notes here- the first one is a headline, a reason to click through, a call to action, and hash tags, are there any other that I missed in my notes there that might be good things to include in a good post?
Ryan: Yes, so one thing you want to have if you’re not just sharing a link; if you are sharing a link then underneath the body of the content will be a thumbnail and a link to the article. So if you just put a link in, that’s what will be under there but say you are using the guest post strategy, creating a nice piece of content and you are maybe trying to drive some email subscription or something, then you want to include a nice image that captures the emotion of what you are trying to explain. A good example is, last night before I went to bed, I had something on my mind and it was about putting in the work essentially and it was meant to drive people to my podcast so the call to action at the end was driving people to my podcast page and I found on a website called photopin.com, which is a great website to find free images, a picture of a guy like really running and he was really laboring and it kind of like draws out the emotion that I am trying to pull with the article. The image captures the people’s attention. It gets them to actually read your content and if your content is well formatted using bold headline, italics to kind of draw out certain ideas and hash tags so that they can be searchable, you have a really good chance that person’s going to want to engage, click through and share your article. The only thing with photo pin is a lot of times you have to give image credit which shouldn’t be a big deal but that’s an excellent resource and I use it all the time for great photos.
James: Great and Google+ inherently is a very visually led platform, right? I mean when the images come up I’m guessing that it’s an important feature.
Ryan: Video does really well, YouTube videos do really, really well obviously because they integrate and people can watch them right from the platform so if you’re a YouTube creator Google+ is like almost a must use especially now that YouTube comments have been integrated with Google+.
James: Yup. Got it. Well, we might talk about that in a moment but I want to ask you very briefly about what I see as the distinguishing feature of Google+ and that as a publisher you can control who receives your content, it isn’t just a reach all platform like a Facebook or like a Twitter would be, how do you use that functionality in terms of who you target your content towards through your circles and your connections and what are the protocols?
Ryan: So for those who are not familiar with the Google+ platforms, everyone who you connect with you have to put in a circle, and circles are really just a way for you to categorize by topic or by their interest or by how they are affiliated to you people who follow you or who you follow. So the beauty of that is that you can really break them down in to who you want to share this piece of content with so one of my expertise is insurance industries marketing. Though many of the ideas are the same if I were to publish a post about insurance industries specific marketing and I sent it out to everyone and James you saw that article you would not be interested in that article because you don’t work in the insurance industry and it’s just not something that you are necessarily interested in. There is no reason for me to throw that in to your stream because you are going to be more likely to tune me out. That’s where we have the big issues with Facebook right? 16% of people see our content and a big part of that is Facebook trying to figure out a way to put the best content in front of people that they are most interested in. Google+ has actually allowed us to do that for our audience. So I have a circle of 500-600 insurance professionals, I will only share that post with the insurance people because I know that I don’t want to fill up the circle of my other people because those people will then skip over my other posts that I provide to them. So it really provides us a way to segment our content and be a niche publisher and really provide specific pieces of our audience with the content that they want. And this is kind of a little, I was going to say a pro tip but something that you would consider. Google+ gives you the option to email notify the people that are in your circle when you post a new article. You do not want to do this by fault ever because it is almost an immediate on follow or someone will mute you that they can’t receive notification from you ever again so never ever do that unless you have permission. What you can do though is build up. I know a lot of people, I have not really done this and I know people who are like I wish I had started an email list sooner, which you’ll hear like so many people say, I wish I started this sooner I only started this recently but at the end of your post, you can say, hey let me know in a comment below if you want to be notified of future posts on XYZ topic. So what you can start to do is build up a list of people who are okay being email notified when you post a new article on a specific topic and what this does is exponentially drive engagement to your post. You’re essentially email marketing them and it’s just an incredibly powerful feature and you have to think about it, it does take time to grow just like an email list but if you have a sizeable amount people that you email notify when you post in you Google+ posts, your engagement is like off the chain.
James: Yeah, I can imagine. Well, that’s an awesome tip. I get a notification from a guy who’s actually a respectable marketer and a good friend of mine who always adds me in on that notification to send me an email and it’s just like wait a second dude it’s like you’ve just added me to your email list without my permission and it’s nothing worse, I mean he’s just driving down his reputation; I won’t name names because you might know him but he should know better that’s what I’m trying to get at so it’s a great way to move people from a sort of a notification type scenario to where they get those emails that’s ethical and with their permission that’s going to be effective.
Ryan: We want to send that email but you really got to restrain yourself because it does, just like you said, it kills your reputation.
James: Yeah, now I have noticed Ryan that you just added Google+ commenting to your blog. Why have you chosen that over something maybe like Disqus or the inbuilt WordPress commenting? What’s your reasoning?
Ryan: I have so believed in the Google+ platform and what it can do. The traffic to my website has increased I try to stay away from Google Analytics since it’s like a crack addiction so I check once a week but I have not checked this week yet but last week I had grown 50% from 3 months ago so I had almost 50% of what my traffic was added to what was my traffic since I doubled down on Google+ and that’s seven months ago and it’s almost all from search and looking at the articles that are receiving that traffic, it’s the articles that I have focused on inside of the Google+ platform so I can say without a doubt that today there is no better way to drive up your search engine traffic than to be an active, engaged participant in the Google+ platform. My belief, I’m sure there are loopholes in it but it’s based on my experience so that being said, I believe the value of a comment like in the native WordPress system or in Disqus and I look at the value of the engagement and I look at the value that I get from Google+ and I have decided that to me capturing comments on my WordPress site, I think, though I know that it adds content to your site, from what I have read and the research I have done, comment content; it is very low in terms of what it adds to your search engine ranking and I know that the engagement I get inside of Google+ and what that activity has done for me so I just said if maybe if I get a few less comments, I am okay with that. If I can capture that engagement in conversation inside of Google+ platform and again with each new integration I just find additional boost in what’s happening inside the platform and then what Google has done to drive additional traffic to my site.
James: Got it! Awesome! Well Ryan you’ve shared a ton of value. I think we should get close to drawing things to a close but I want to first ask you a question that came up in our pre interview discussion where I ask you what is your best traffic getting secret that you’ll allow me to share, I normally get answers like Facebook page posts add to an opt in or some funky new ad network, your reply to me was, it’s not who it’s what you know, I did not get it right you might be able to say it better.
Ryan: It’s not what you know it’s who you know.
James: Exactly. There you go. You’re there to back me up this time. Explain it for us.
Ryan: Basically, look, I have tried every traffic strategy that exists online and I have done that both in my virtual business which is what Content Warfare is and I have done that in my brick and mortar business which is my insurance agency and what I found time and again is that having strong relationships is what drives traffic. And what I mean by that is if I have a friend or colleague who is an influencer inside a community that I know would be interested in my piece of content having them share that in my community drives exponentially more traffic, and really qualified traffic over just what I want to my site then any tweet five times and then retweet and then none of their gimmicks or tricks or their strategies can compare with having good, solid relationships with people who are willing to refer you to their audience when you have a piece of content that can help them so my piece of advice to everybody is build honest, transparent, strong relationships with people who service a similar audience as you and you’ll never want for traffic.
James: Got it! Well that’s a perfect place to close this out that’s exactly where I see Google+ being a strong platform so thank you for that, you have shared a real amount of gold marketing information so thank you for today’s session. Close out just by saying where our listeners should connect with you should they want to find out a bit more about Ryan Hanley.
Ryan: I would love for everyone listening, if you’re in to podcasts, Content Warfare podcast, just google that and you’ll find me. And anyone who’s interested in learning more about Google+ I have a free course called the Google+ starter kit and if you google Google+ Starter Kit you will find that as well and like I said that’s kind of like a free resource that will take you from zero to hero inside the Google+ network. It’s been a pleasure James, thanks so much for having me man.
James: And to you the listener, we’ll make sure that both of those resources are linked to in the show notes of Episode#26 so head on over to the episode page of Traffic Jam Cast for that. So Ryan, thank you.
Ryan: Thank you!
This Week’s News in Traffic
Okay so we’ll start this week with Facebook and they’ve made some updates to their page composer to make it easier to share content on the platform There’s two main updates, the first is around post scheduling and if you are familiar with scheduling posts in Facebook, you’ll know that you have to fill in about 12 fields just to schedule a post for tomorrow. Well, thankfully that has changed and it really has been simplified to pretty much 2- one to select the date and one to select the time so if you’re a Facebook admin you’ll be well pleased with that update. The second one is just to make it easier to upload images to Facebook and now you can use a drag and drop facility to upload multiple pictures. There you go a couple of quick updates that will make usability on Facebook pages a bit easier for you.
In the second story this week, I am going to stay with Facebook. And while this story isn’t new, I want to bring it up now because I seem to be seeing it more and more which might suggest that it’s being rolled out up to a greater audience. This story actually emerged on November the 7th and that was that Facebook are testing star ratings and displaying them on Facebook Business pages. You might find, if you go to Facebook now that beneath the cover timeline image and beneath the business name you’ll see a star rating out of 5 displayed for business pages. This kind of follows suit with what Google do with Google+ pages and Yelp do, even Four Square do with star ratings for business so it’s going to be interesting to see whether this does get rolled out to the entire Facebook platform. What it might do is really change the focus of Facebook for being all around likes for business with a focus more on customer service and making sure that you actually get good feedback which could in fact be a good thing and hopefully if used properly will kind of distinguish the good businesses from the bad businesses. But anyway, I’d love to get your feedback, have you seen this on your own Facebook business page? Let me know what you think by posting your comments on this week’s episode.
Okay listener, so it’s that point in the show where I thank you if you’ve left me a review or comment on iTunes and if you have you’re probably sitting at the edge of your seat with abated breath to see if your name gets read out. Well, I’m not quite sure about that but we’ve got three this week, all from people in the United States. The first is from Nick Neath and he was commenting on the Rand Fishkin episode and he says Rand Fishkin is the man. James, thank you for this podcast, that interview is great and I’ve subscribed. Anthony Tran also from the United States; he says website traffic is a hot traffic. Alright, let’s get some traffic; love this topic about SEO and other ways to drive traffic to your website. And Finally from Andy Gray – he says actionable and inspiring, well worth the time, I am finding both actionable content and inspiration for traffic building in each episode. Great stuff James so thanks guys! Please do keep the comments and reviews coming. They really are helpful to me to know which types of episodes are getting the most feedback and are most interesting to you and it also drives me on to create more so if you haven’t yet left a review or comment on iTunes then perhaps you might do that for me this week. It really is the best way that you can support the show. And of course to do it, what you need to do is to log in to your iTunes account via your iTunes player, search for the Traffic Jam podcast, click on ratings and reviews, select a star rating and then leave your comment along with that.
The One Minute Traffic Tip
Okay so keeping this week’s tip precise and on point to the interview, and the tip is simply this, interview someone interesting just like I do on every single episode here on Traffic Jam. Cause not only are you going to learn something interesting, which I certainly do in each episode, but your interviewee will probably share your session if you do a great job. I’m sure Ryan is going to share this podcast episode with his audience and I’ll do the same when I appear on the Content Warfare podcast which Ryan has asked me to do later this year. So staying completely on theme with what Ryan said on the interview, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So who can you identify in your market that has a similar type of audience to your own that you can perhaps interview because when you do you’ll find that what happens is kind of a cross pollination of audiences. People from their audience will find you, and people from your audience will find them.
So that listener brings episode#26 of Traffic Jam to a very near close. Remember for more traffic tips and training to help you grow your business online head on over to veravo.com and that’s also the home to the Traffic Jam podcast as well so you’ll find the episode page to this episode #26 with Ryan there too so if you want to post any comments or feedback on the episode page, please feel free I’m sure myself and Ryan will be diving over there to answer your questions.
To play out the episode we’ve got a track chosen by Ryan. It’s from the 1998 album, Moment of Truth, the track title is called Work and the band is called Gangstarr, now I have got a little word of warning for you it does contain some quite strong language so if you are easily offended by the swear word then I suggest you tune your ears out now. So here we go, Work by Gangsta and I’ll see you back here next week for another episode of Traffic Jam.
THIS WEEKS NEWS IN TRAFFIC
- Facebook Page Composer Updates
- Facebook Star Rating for Business
ONE MINUTE TRAFFIC TIP
- Interview Interesting Individuals
THE TRAFFIC JAM
- Gangstarr – Work
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