As promised in my blog post, Which Social Media Channels Should I Use For My Business?, I am following up with an in-depth look at Google+.
Google+ has an estimated 300 million active users – far from the ghost town people believe it to be. Statistics also show that Google+ is the second most actively used social platform boasting users in over 31 markets.
But, the most important reason to use Google+ is to improve SEO results for your business, even if none of your clients actually use Google+ itself!
Remember that Google+ IS Google! Google+ activity directly affects SEO. Google treats your Google+ content like another website page. Basically, when it comes to SEO and social media, Google+ content trumps content on any other social platform.
Your Google+ posts allow you to capture real estate on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) as they appear on Google search page results. Your audience may find your Google+ content through a standard Google search.
Google+ content also has a longer life and appears in search results over a longer period. Google+ posts can still appear top of SERPs, sometimes with posts being over a year old!
So Google+ means better search engine results for your business! If you have a Google+ Page and someone searches for your business (despite if they follow you or not), your Google+ Page and its most recent posts will be displayed on the right side of their personal search results.
These search engine rankings alone make Google+ an important social media platform.
Statistics also show that Google+ is used by a whopping 40% of marketers and two-thirds of this 40% plan to further increase their activity on this social platform.
Tips: How to increase Search Engine Optimization with Google+
- Your Google+ Business Page
It’s really easy to set up a business Page on Google+. It’s similar to making a business Page on Facebook in that you need to have a personal Google+ page to make a business Page, categorize your business, add your location (very important for Google Places) and so on.
When you’re creating your business profile:
- Include your important business keywords in your tagline and introduction.
- Google gives you the opportunity to include all your other social site links. Use it.
- Include your website and location (particularly if you have a brick and mortar store).
Get a custom Google+ URL: When your account is ready, you’ll receive an e-mail asking you to claim your Google+ URL. Google automatically reserves one for you based on your name. Another way to check if your account is ready is to visit your profile page and look for a banner across the top asking you to confirm your vanity URL.
Eligibility requirements to get a custom URL:
1. For Individual Users:
- Ten or more followers
- Account is 30 days old or more
- Profile includes profile photo
2. For Local Google+ Pages: Must be a verified local business
3. For Non-local Google+ Pages: Must be linked to a website
- Google Authorship:
Claim Google Authorship with your personal Google+ profile. When you’ve claimed your Authorship, your Google+ profile photo will automatically show up next to each of your posts in search results and attract greater visual attention on SERPs.
This enhanced search result listing with Google Authorship helps readers identify your content at a glance and help you build authority and influence.
- Link your Google+ Business Page with your website
Google+ has to associate your website with your Business Page, so use the code snippet given. Remember to add the same address as is listed on your website for better results. You must also verify your website on Google+, leading to even bigger and better results.
Read Moz.com on how to do this.
- The +1 Button
- Use Google+ Hashtags
Finally, the use of hashtags in Google+ connects every post to a search on the platform. Read more here.
So, set up your Google+ Business Page today!
Here are a few things to consider when doing this:
1. Your Target Audience
Make sure you do research on Google+ to find your target audience. Make a list to identify them and then go after them. Include them in your Circles, reach out to them, and they will return the favor.
In September of 2013, it was recorded that 28% of millennials (between the ages of 15 and 28) use Google+. Here’s a breakdown of user demographics.
- Human Resources: Researching your target audience, creating and posting content, as well as sharing and commenting requires dedicated time. Posting to Google+ should happen on a daily basis and replies should be within 24 hours.
- Financial Resources: Google+ advertising is experiencing exciting times. With new developments, Google is now allowing you to use a publicly shared videos, hangouts and photos, create an advert, and run it across 2 million sites in the Google Display Network. Called +Post Ads, it is still in testing (December 2013), but it promises to be an exiting journey with Cadbury and Toyota acting as launch partners. Like with Facebook and Twitter, remember to set aside a budget specifically intended for Google+ marketing costs. Read more here.
Like with Facebook and Twitter, Google+ needs commitment in order to yield results. Consistent daily posting over a long period of time will give you positive results, so don’t give up after a couple of weeks. Also remember to keep the quality of your content high, relevant and engaging.
Taking all these facts, numbers and statistics into consideration, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Google+ is growing at a rapid pace.
Even if you cannot be active on your Google+ Business Page every day, make sure you set up a Google+ Page to improve your SEO.
Setting up a Google+ Business Page does seem like the next logical step and Google+ needs to be integrated into your social media efforts!
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