Growth hacking ideas from Francis Ma, Product Manager, Google+

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We join you fresh from an interesting Google+ hangout hosted by Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting, in conversation with Francis Ma, Product Manager for Google+.

The full video is below, but if you can’t spend an hour watching it (or want to avoid the poor sound quality…) here are a few takeaways. We’ll start with two biggies…

Higher visibility and in more places, powered by Google+

The first takeaway was about how the integration of Google products via Google+ can boost your visibility amongst those who have connected with you in a whole range of ways. Personalised search gives you greater visibility not just for those that have added you to one of their G+ circles, but also for people that:

  • have you saved as a Gmail contact
  • have used their Google account to sign in to your site
  • have subscribed to your Youtube chanel

Focus on the user, throughout the customer lifecycle

For us, the other interesting talking point came towards the end of the hangout and was about the value of focusing on the user. Yes, you’ve heard that a hundred times before, but where Francis offered something new was to do this from the perspective of the full user or customer lifecycle.

Obviously the funnel starts with someone that doesn’t know you, with whom you build a relationship, convert to a customer, and then delight into an advocate. Thinking specifically about their experience during all of these stages is a much more effective way of “focusing on the user” than the narrow discussions we’re often asked to comment on such as, “let’s do some A/B testing on our buttons…”

Finally, a few more tips you may have missed:

- Create a Google+ page and make sure you add fresh content. Fresh content makes your G+ panel shown on the right hand side of search results pages (SERPs) work harder for you.

Of course this only helps when people search for your brand, but could be particularly worthwhile if your competitors are bidding on your brand terms (as it gives you a greater share of the screen).

- Sign in with Google can be a good way to drive mobile app installs as it offers a seamless process. Visitors don’t have to visit the play store to get your app, it can be downloaded to their Android phone automatically.

Once your user or customer has your app installed, other benefits include being signed in to your site automatically during future mobile visits. This can help with recovering customers who abandoned their baskets during an earlier session for example.

- Add schema markup to your emails to enable Gmail users to take actions right from the email (such as check-in for a flight for example). If you’re interested in this you can find more information at developers.google.com/gmail/actions.

- Personalised (signed-in) search results now also include information from your Gmail inbox (such as flight confirmations for another travel example!)

There is more information on integrating Google+ into the experience of your customers at http://developers.google.com/+/.

Here’s the full recording of the hangout:

Please share your thoughts!