Google started rolling-out long-awaited custom URLs for public profiles and business pages this month. You may have seen them trending as #customURLs on G+ or heard about Google vanity URLs " all of these names refer to one thing: the custom web address for your Google+ profile or business page.
Still not sure what Im talking about? Youve seen Google+ profile URLs that ends with some random characters and looks like this:
In case you dont know what your Google+ profile URL is, here is what you can do:
- Log into your Google Plus account.
- Hover mouse over your profile picture and a drop down menu will appear.
- Click View Profile in the drop down menu and look at the URL in the address bar at the top. Thats the URL were talking about.
Google made a similar announcement more than a year ago allowing custom URL for popular brands and celebrities but now the option is available for the masses " all G+ profiles that meet three simple requirements:
- Ten or more followers
- Your account is 30 days old or more
- A profile photo
Qualified profiles are preapproved for the Google+ custom URL and can see a Get a custom URL link on Google+ About Page.
Why A Google+ Custom URL?
There are several reasons why you should change your personal profile or business page URL to a custom URL.
- You Dont Want To Be Too Late To The Party " According to the GlobalWebIndex report, Google+ is now the second most actively used social network globally. The internet analytics firm examined user engagement of five most popular social networks and reported Google+ is now just behind the worlds largest social network, Facebook, with 359M active users.
- It's Memorable " A custom URL not just looks more professional but it is also easier to remember and use in marketing .
- Your Online Reputation Is Important " Last thing you want is a competitor or a company with a similar name acquires your Google+ Custom URL or a squatter posting irrelevant spam on your potential G+ link. So, be wary of that too.
Dont See The Custom URL?
The custom URL feature is a feature that's being rolled out so if you dont see it dont worry " wait till it hits your profile ... or read my profile optimization tips below to get your custom URL faster.
1. UNIQUE NAME
Do you have a name that is far too common? That might be one of the reasons you don't see your custom URL. To see if your desired URL is already taken, go to google.com/+DesiredName " If you see 404 page, youre on luck! Move on to step 2.
If the URL is already taken, you can tweak your profile name to make it unique and avoid possible duplication.
Note: If youre not happy with the recommended custom URL, you have the option of requesting a different one. However, selected custom URLs should reflect a name that you or your organization is commonly known by.
See this Dont like this URL?
It will take you to a new window where you can input your desired URL:
2. INCREASE ACTIVITY
While Google+ is all about creating an improved user experience across disparate Google services, its also a destination. So, if you want to get a custom URL and get in the good books of Google, spend more time connecting with communities on Google+ , be generous and +1 more often, use hashtags, and be an active part of the platform. G+ profiles that are more active are more likely to get a desired custom URL .
3. BE YOURSELF
True social media success is about being yourself! While having an active social media profile is the key to connect personally and shine through to make a bond with your potential audience, it is almost crucial to have a real and authentic profile.
- Use real name " Avoid using Pseudo names, Job Title or Pet names in the name section.
- Use real profile picture " Use a clear picture with good resolution. Do not use pictures with special effects such as solarised or monochrome photos.
- Fill about section with relevant details.
4. INCREASE FOLLOWING
Last but not least by any mean, encourage more and more Google+ users to follow you/your business page. The more followers you have and more influential you seem, the more social authority you will enjoy and more will be the worth of your profile. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Google+ presence:
Target right people and communities
Follow active Google+ users and communities that are relevant to your interest or business. Google+ features have unique search capabilities (of course!) and make targeting a piece of cake. Just type a keyword in the box and voila! Youre presented with a real-time stream of updates from Google+ users.
Encourage people to share your Posts
Ask your followers to share your page and posts. Hubspot featured a research in 2011 that proved 'Please ReTweet' generated 4x more retweets. You can adopt the same for your Google+ profile. Encourage people to +1 your post and share them with their circle or public. This will make your posts viral, increase the visibility of your profile and thus, help you expand your reach to a wider audience.
Use relevant hashtags to make your content pop often in search results. Google+ Hashtags are indexed and searchable on Google (the search engine), letting you tap the largest online audience around the world! Your audience can not only see your posts in search results but they can also see how many +1s and comments a post has received.
Sharjeel is an SEO consultant at Zillion Designs. He specializes in search engine marketing and online reputation management. Having managed online marketing campaigns for clients from large enterprises to small businesses, Sharjeel has an in-depth understanding of how to create, position, and market content which is gripping to both target audience and search engines.