Rays Marketing Roundup | New Google Plus, Content Strategy, SEO

Post by Ray 2 years ago - social media marketing - 2 Comments


This week’s marketing roundup:

The New Google Plus – Thoughts, Links and resources 

Content MarketingStep-by-step guide for writing a content marketing strategy  [with template] / Content under attack … and a Solution

Writing –  The 31 Best Tools for Improving Your Writing Skills

SEO  – Understanding User Needs + Google Analytics / Understanding the Impact of Dwell Time on SEO


What’s New Google Kat?

New Google Plus

“The new Google+ is all about connecting around common interests (Collections and Communities) rather than people (Circles).” ~ Ana Hoffman


Google+ goes mobile. 

Note: this is very much in beta and there will be changes.

If the future of the internet is mobile apps, then Google took a giant leap into the future this week when it trashed the old Google+ and built a (almost) completely new one.

Some things that you’ll see immediately that the “look” of Google+ on your desktop matched your mobile app.

Profiles in the new Google+ have been streamlined and simplified.

They include your Collections, Communities, and posts.

People using the new Google+ can only see your new Google+ profile.

The “Photos” tab on your Google+ profile no longer shows up in the new Google+.

For those who are used to accessing Google+ on mobile, this change, while disruptive, hasn’t had nearly the same response as those who primarily access Google+ on desktop.

I never cared for the mobile version.

One reason being that Events is very cumbersome and I’m a typer not a “speaker: as I prefer to write my posts than call our “OK Google”.


“We ripped it (Google+) down and built it back up.” Bradley Horowitz


What’s Missing (from Google Plus Daily)

The Google+ development team is continuing their aim of a simpler, leaner and more refined product, keeping the features that work and throwing away the ones that aren’t widely used.

Unfortunately, this list is a lot longer than the features that have been added to the beta.

Google+ Events no longer exists

There isn’t a way to post polls

Can’t share to extended circles

Love to search communities? Sorry but that has been killed off too

Hangouts integration is no longer a thing, which is something we’ve all seen coming for a while

Hover cards are gone – Seriously, I hope they bring this back

Google Maps review tab on profiles


Google+ is now very focused on the interest graph.

Google always claimed that G+ wasn’t a social network

And I’ve always said that it’s a place to meet others over shared interests.

It was us, as well as third-party apps like CircleCount and Circloscope who made it a de facto social network. 

That Circles has been put in the corner and Communities and Collections given the spotlight speaks clearly of Google’s direction.


A guide to Google+ (desktop)

The Future of Google+ by Martin Shervington

Why Google, Why?

Gideon Rosenblatt summed up the reason Google did this in his post: Gideon Rosenblatt Analysis and News About Google:

Design Unification as Cost Containment Mobile first.

Google doesn’t have direct revenue stream for Google+ as Facebook does.

So Facebook can afford to have both desktop and mobile versions.

Design Simplification for Scale

Complexity of use was Google Plus’s achilles heel.

It was an awesome platform that benefitted power users who took the time to learn it.

Simpler means less user problems and less user complaints which in turn, improves reach.

And that’s what this change is all about.

Scale for Training Artificial Intelligence

Google was always about the interest graph.

On 26 January 2014, Google announced that it had agreed to acquire DeepMind Technologies.

“DeepMind Technologies’s goal is to “solve intelligence“, which they are trying to achieve by combining “the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms“.


…and how does this make you feel, Ray?

My initial reaction was negative.

I’m a desktop user and a HOA host that uses Google+ Event Pages a lot.

But I don’t think these changes were made for my benefit.

Google wants to simplify the platform so it becomes more inviting to people too intimidated by its complexity.

The challenge I face is to come up with a reason to stay on the platform.

I’ve built strong relationships so I won’t leave completely, but if I continue to produce live-streaming videos and interact with my “circles”, it will be more challenging.

Google never has gotten “social” so this may work out better for them.

Just not sure if the non-tech guy on the street cares whether Google gets better personal date so it can continue to pursue its semantic web and Artificial Intelligence goals.

I’ll give it time before I make a final decision.

It still is in beta and Google is actively seeking out feedback.

Product Director at Google, Luke Wroblewski notes that the team is “trying to support advanced user features but working to find the right place for them.”


Have you checked out the new Google+? – What do you think?



The Future of Google+ – Martin Shervington, 

How to Use [the New] Google+: Tutorial – Ana Hoffman, 

Google+ Beta for Web Launching Today | Google Plus DailyDive into the new Google+ – Luke Wroblewski, 

Why Change Google+? – Analysis and News About Google – Gideon Rosenblatt



Content Marketing

How to write a content marketing strategy

Step-by-step [with template]

 How to write a content marketing strategy

Written by Jeffrey Kranz

Whether we work for a large business or our own company, sound content management is vital.

As content marketing gets more competitive, we need to not only create and “ignite” our content, but be sure to promote and distribute it to reach the people we want to consume it.

Jeffrey Kranz does an amazing job of providing a step by step plan for those of us who have never put together a content marketing plan.

The article includes a Slideshare (below)


How to write content strategy pdf

From the table of contents…

– Write down what you’re trying to accomplish

– Now, who’s going to consume your content?

– Map your personas’ needs to your product or service

– Take inventory of your content

– List the types of content you’ll be dealing with


content capacity

You’re invited to use the following template as a foundation for your next content marketing strategy.

Just click the link below to grab a downloadable version of the template.

>> Click here to download the content strategy template




The 31 Best Tools for Improving Your Writing Skills

The 31 Best Tools for Improving Your Writing Skills
Written by Lindsay Kolowich for Hubspot

Buffer and Hubspot publish incredible content. The previous item and this one is indicative of the quality they produce.

Whether you’re a blogger, copywriter or just someone who likes to post on social media platforms a lot, your writing skill speaks the most about the type of person your are.

Without the view of your face or the sound of your voice, it’s only your words that stand between being perceived as dim or bright.

Lindsay shares a list of 31 writing tools that will help us improve.

She also shares a link to THE MARKETER’S POCKET GUIDE TO WRITING WELL should you want to get down to basics.

There are a number of tools that are new to me which I will try. In the meantime I can recommend these from personal experience:

Google Docs(writing this draft on it now.)

Hemingway App –  (Comes without the rum and cigars)

Grammarly Great editing tool that checks for spelling, grammar and even plagiarism.

Cliché FinderHaven’t actually tried this yet, but hey, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.

BrainyQuoteI also use Goodreads to find quotes to illustrate points I’m making or for memes.



Understanding User Needs + Google Analytics

Understanding User Needs + Google Analytics

by Matt Southern for Search Engine Journal

The Search Engine Journal team interviewed Jenny Halasz of JLH Marketing and Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting at Pubcon 2015 in Las Vegas about content effectiveness optimization.

Jenny speaks on advanced Google Analytics, including custom dashboards, and segmentation; while Eric speaks on why leaving searchers’ satisfied is so important.

The post includes videos of the interview and gives the following highlights:

Jenny Halasz on Advanced Google Analytics:

– The first steps to customizing a Google Analytics dashboard should have a focus on three things: how traffic got to the site, what they did while they were there, and how/why they left.

– Don’t overwhelm yourself or the C-level with data they don’t need. Keep it simple and focus on what they care about.

Eric Enge on Content Effectiveness Optimization:

– You have to think about what percentage of users are satisfied after landing on one of the key pages of your site.

– Content effectiveness has a direct correlation to a search engine’s ability to return quality content. The greater percentage of satisfied searchers, the better Google is at doing its job.

– Delivering effective content is not only about what’s on the page, it’s also about what else is available on the site.

For example, a piece of content should satisfy the primary needs of the searcher, but it also helps if it’s connected to resources to satisfy ancillary needs.


Understanding the Impact of ‘Dwell Time’ on SEO


Written by Neil Patel

I first heard of “Dwell Time” while listening to The Marketing Companion Podcast. Mark Schaefer was saying how social platforms were paying a lot of attention to dwell time which is why they are giving preference to on site content publishing.

Neil starts with a basic definition of what dwell time is then goes on to say that it really isn’t that simple a metric.

Dwell time is a metric that calculates user engagement, session duration, and SERP CTRs. It is a data point that is not publicly available (or thoroughly understood), but is nonetheless a factor that affects a site’s search engine results.

Dwell time combines session duration and bounce rate.

Why is dwell time important to SEO?

Dwell time most definitely impacts SEO.

If a user is spending time on a site, interacting with it, not bouncing, and going deeper within the content, it’s evident there is something of value on the site for that particular user.

As this happens, SEO improves.

Neil goes on to explain what is a good dwell time, session duration and bounce rate as well as how to improve these.

Social Media

 Content under attack… and a solution

 Content under attack and a solution

When Mark Schaefer opens a blog post with “This has been a depressing week for me.” you know what follows is going to be a revelation.

One of Mark’s trademarks and the reason he has built such an “alpha audience” is because he often wears his heart on his sleeve. He champions writing from a personal voice as a way of igniting your content.

Citing Facebook’s disregard for intellectual property rights, especially their very lax Content ID enforcement of uploaded videos, Mark introduces us to Patreon, an application that “allows fans and readers to give a little back.”

By setting up an account with Patreon, you can donate as much or little as you want to someone’s blog, in this case, Mark’s.

While I empathize with artists not getting their due, especially musicians since the advent iTunes and music streaming, I’m struggling with it when it relates to blogging as I see that as a promotional tool for the writer.

If I’m a professional blogger/writer, I expect to be paid for my content.

If I’m a consultant and use my blog to help others and prove my expertise, I wouldn’t expect someone to sponsor that.

Read Mark’s post and the comments and let me know what you think.

I’m conflicted.



That’s it for this week.

If you missed it, here’s this week’s Ray2Go Show post: How Do You Feel About Empathy?

It includes video and audio links to the Show and post-show Blab.

What Role Does Empathy Play in Marketing? Ray2Go Ep 10


Thank you for sharing your time with me.

Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see included here.

If you have a question or want to reach out to me privately, drop me a line: ray@rayhiltz.com.

You can view past shows on my YouTube Channel or the audio podcast on Soundcloud.

Subscribe to this weekly newsletter here.

If you’d like help with your social media marketing, I’d love to hear from you.

About Ray Hiltz

Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for Image-24.com. My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions. Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture. You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call

2 Responses to “Rays Marketing Roundup | New Google Plus, Content Strategy, SEO”

  1. Hey Ray

    Great roundup. Google+ has helped me build connections with other marketers. I’m concerned about the new changes, and I’ll read the articles you linked to.

    Also thanks for sharing your favourite writing apps. I’m a big fan of google docs and grammarly, and I use Hemingway occasionally. It’s notable how Hemingway seems to be the author to emulate for content writers. He keeps his writing simple and direct, something we all strive for.


    • Thank you, Clement.
      I think copy writers in particular like to emulate Hemingway. Hi sparseness of prose fits the style of writing that lends itself to content marketing.
      As with most things,he’s a good model but your own voice makes for better content.
      Part of finding your own voice is to be a rebel and throw out the occasional grammar rule. 🙂


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