This guide helps to explain how to to set up a Google Plus profile for an individual, and the steps you need to take to ensure the profile is well optimised and populated.
If you don’t have an existing Google account, you will need to sign up for one by visiting https://accounts.google.com/SignUp and populating the required information on the sign up form.
You are able to sign up for a new email address with Google (Gmail), or create a Google account associated with an existing email address – but bear in mind that the email address you choose can be used to access all Google products such as Google Mail, Google Docs, Google Maps and YouTube.
The next step is to select a profile photo for your Google Plus profile. This is an important step, as the photo will determine how you appear across Google. The photo should be at least 250px wide by 250px tall and of a good resolution – the quality of the photograph is particularly important if you are intending to implement Google Authorship mark up for any websites you are associated with.
One you have added a photo, it’s time to get started with populating your profile with lots of information to aid its optimisation and discovery. This is also your chance to showcase your expertise and let other people know more about you.
To begin populating your Google+ profile visit https://plus.google.com/ and click the ‘Home’ icon in the top left hand corner of the screen and select ‘Profile’.
Once you are viewing your own profile, the best place to start is with the ‘About’ section, which can be found along the navigation bar just below your profile’s cover image. From the ‘About’ screen you will then be able to edit the essential areas of your profile.
The People area will display people who are in your circles and also people who have added you to their circles.
The Story area of your profile allows you to introduce yourself to fellow Google+ Plus users, and is your chance to summarise who you are and what you do. Ensure that you populate the tagline, the introduction (in which you are also able to include hyperlinks) and the Bragging Rights field.
Complete your employment history within the Work section to highlight you current and previous occupations, and help people to understand your areas of expertise.
Help people to understand your education history, the courses and qualifications you hold and where you have studied.
Highlight your current place of residence and places you have lived in the past.
You are able to include basic information about yourself, including your date of birth and relationship status – if you wish to keep this private you can still populate the field and edit the information status to display to only yourself.
You can include your telephone contact information to help friends and business associates to get in touch with you – this information can also be locked down to reduce its visibility.
You are able to add useful links to your Google+ Plus profile to help point visitors towards your other online profiles and interesting websites. The links section is also really important for Google Authorship mark up because it is here that you should specify any websites to which you contribute to as an author – ensure that you include the root domain of the websites you contribute to.
Ready to go!
Once you have populated all areas of your Google+ profile, you are ready to go and find people to add to your circles. Your populated profile will help you to be discovered in Google+, and therefore be added to the circles of people who know you or share similar interests.
Content published by people in your circles will be visible on your news feed, and the content you publish on Google+ will be visible in their feed.
To begin discovering interesting people and pages, visit https://plus.google.com/ and start adding people of interest to your circles.