Google+ Releases Gorgeous New Site Badges
While Google+ was celebrating it's second birthday, the Google+ Developers decided to give the rest of us a birthday present: new Site Badges and Follow Buttons. Badges are the buttons and interactive widgets that can be placed on a website. Facebook has offered a variety of dynamic widgets for a while now, but Google+ has been somewhat slow to follow suit. The old badges and buttons were fairly simplistic. But not anymore. According to Google Developer +Chris Messina, "We just rolled out brand new profile, page, and community badges along with an embeddable Follow button for your site that are designed to express and connect to your Google+ presence."
New +1 Button
The new +1 Button is specifically for Pages and Websites. By placing a +1 button on your website, you encourage visitors to +1 your corresponding Google+ Page. Placing the +1 Button on your website also verifies your website for your business Page.
The new +1 Button uses a similar "facepile" as many of the Facebook widgets, giving visitors a glimpse of some of the people who have also given that site and Page a +1. It looks like this:
New Follow Button
Like the +1 Button, the Follow Button is specifically for Pages and Websites. When you place a Follow button on your website, you're encouraging visitors to follow your Page. +1 and Follow are not the same thing. When someone gives your Page a +1, that doesn't mean that they will see the posts that you publish. For that, they need to Follow you, so you really want to encourage them to circle your Page.
The Follow button is an interactive widget that, when moused over, will let the visitor place your Page into one or more circles. It also displays a current count of how many have circled your page. The new button looks like this:
To grab your website's button, go to https://developers.google.com/+/web/follow/ and choose the size and style you'd like to use. Among the Pages you own and manage, you can technically choose your own profile, but there's a better option for that.
The new Badge is really the pièce de résistance. The new Badge can be sized and styled a number of ways, but ideally will be large enough to show off your cover photo, profile image, tagline, a follow button and a +1 button. it can be set to be up to 450px wide, and can be arranged profile or portrait. Here's mine:
Not only does it look fantastic, Badges are available for Pages, Profiles and Communities, so you can show off your personal profile or highlight your community.
To grab yours, go to https://developers.google.com/+/web/badge/ - you'll be able to select your Page or Profile from the drop down box. To create one for your community, select Other and then paste in the URL for your community. For instance, for my St. Louis Networking Community, I can create a Badge like this:
And for myself, I can put my Profile Badge on my About page or author bio, or anywhere else appropriate.
These great-looking and extremely functional new features from Google+ are something every business needs to consider implementing. The fact is, having a button like one of these will increase your ability to connect with site visitors and potential prospects.
If you need help implementing one of these buttons, or would like help with Google+ overall, please contact me.