Despite the recent news that Google is going to drop Google+ as a requirement for its services, the social network will still be very valuable to businesses going forward. We have already covered why Google+ is going to remain important to your business, but few are actually leveraging the website correctly.

The nature of this network’s usage is different than others; couple that with its different user base and advantages, and you see that it is a totally different beast than some of the others that you might be more familiar with. We are all aware of why it works so well for us, but few are aware of how to drive traffic to their site using Google+. These simple tips will get you on the right track immediately.

  1. Use the proper format

This is the same across the web – you need to make sure that you are using the right kind of formatting to stick out from the sea of content that people are going to be exposed to across the web. When making a post, ensure that you have a BIG BOLDED HEADLINE. Although this is recommended on all posts, it is essential on this platform. The great thing about Google+ is that it will automatically display the title in the title tag. This is going to help you get noticed and drive click-throughs. On top of this, use colons in your headings that delve a little deeper into what the post is about. A study conducted by outbrain showed that this could almost double your click-through rate.

As always, be sure to use short paragraphs with numbers or bolded to points to allow for readability in your posts, and provide a helpful link in the closing paragraph, and elsewhere throughout the post. Formatting is your first step toward getting the CTR to where you want it to be.

  1. A Picture is worth a thousand words

Your post isn’t going anywhere without a good image. Although surveys have shown that images and thumbnails to go along with posts have increased CTRs everywhere, it is doubly important on Google+. 1.5 billion photos are uploaded to Google+ each week, and the majority of its activity is uploading and sharing images. Try to include your own photo, that way you can make it the proper size.

  1. Target your sharing the right way

One of the best things about this network is that you can share your posts with people that you directly choose to target. Just posting your blogs to the public isn’t going to get you the CTR or the exposure that you want. If you choose your very best posts to share with a properly selected targeted audience (that is if you are using tools to analyse who engages your content – you should be doing this by the way), then this will produce the most engagement, and the most interested audience for your posts.

Pro Tip: use Circlescope to create a circle of engaged users. It helps people find relevant users, inactive users, identify who isn’t sharing back, shares, +1’s and many more incredibly important things.

Warning: Please use this properly. If you do it the wrong way it is going to turn into spamming, and then from there onto virtual harassment, and that isn’t any fun. This will hurt your reputation. For one, if someone asks you to stop, then stop. The vast majority of the time, they just aren’t going to engage. If someone is repeatedly not engaging, chances are it’s a social cue that they don’t like it. This great power needs to be wielded wisely.

When done properly, Google+ can really help drive your click through rate, and in turn help your website or business grow. By properly formatting your posts, using images, and managing your circles, you can drive results immediately. These were just a few ways how to drive traffic to your site using Google+. Remember, it is a powerful ally.