When I work with clients who are looking to gain a larger presence online, one of the things that I tell them is to interact with others in their field. One of my favorite ways to do this is to start or join a Google Plus Community. I tell them to engage with them and invite others in their industry to join in. They almost always have the same response: “Why would I want to share MY thoughts and ideas with my competitors?”
Well, establishing yourself as a credible, resourceful and legitimate source of information around something you specialize in comes with many advantages. Here are just some of them:
– Quickly gain (more) trust from your customers and prospects, which usually leads to more sales
– Establish respect amongst your peers, which could lead to beneficial partnerships and business opportunities
– Become an industry source, which can lead to traffic and links to your website/blog
– Allow you to get traction on new projects and ventures much faster, which can help to reduce startup marketing costs
– Attract more online and offline referrals
If those reasons aren’t good enough, then take into account that Google will rank websites higher that are tied to verified online profiles. Google Authorship is the biggest indicator of this. Users want to connect with people, not brands or anonymous voices. By associating a face and name with a piece of content, a user is able to make a deeper connection and thus be more easily influenced by the things they consume on the web.
Building online authority not only helps to create stronger ties with users, but it also pushes authors to produce better content as each piece will be tied to their name and online footprint. This benefits you as the company, as well as your end-user.
Here are a handful of tips to help jump-start your efforts to become a thought leader in your industry:
– Content (quality, type, amount, velocity, age, location)
– Links (quality, type, amount, velocity, age, location)
– Social (number of shares, types of shares, amount of activity, mentions, follower base)
– Recognition (citations, endorsements, testimonials, awards, mentions, associations, press)
– Offline (network, speaking engagements, sponsorships)
For questions about any of these points or to engage in a bigger discussion, find me on Google+ !