Are you currently using Google+ in your business? You could be forgiven if not. It’s been around since the middle of 2011 and had been seemingly slow to take off but the number of active users it has developed might just surprise you. According to a recent article in Forbes Google+ had amassed over 343 million users at the end of 2012. Whilst still significantly behind Facebook’s reported 693 million it is still quite an achievement given Google+ was only approaching its second birthday. Read full post at http://traveleuropehq.com/10-great-tips-engaging-facebook-business-page/.
So what are the main reasons for using Google+?
- It’s a Google product! – As Google is the dominant force on the web it makes a lot of sense for businesses to develop a Google+ strategy. If you develop quality content that attracts comments, shares and +1’s on your Google account it will significantly increase your visibility on the web, personally and at company level.
- Segmentation of your audience – Google+ makes it really easy to segment your followers so that you can tailor your communications to the needs of each group, for example organising your contacts into customers, prospects and suppliers. Simply create a circle for each group and drag and drop your contacts into each. If you struggle with this step check out the Google+ support page here
- Content has SEO benefits – Your Google Plus profile and business page are included in Google search results which give you a boost in the rankings making it easier for others to search and find you. This is because posting content on Google+ doesn’t just share it with your contacts it also flags it to Google and it is indexed relatively quickly. So if you’ve ever had problems with Google taking for ever to crawl and index your site this is a quick fix for you.
- Personalised Search – Google+ is smart, really smart. Once you have developed a relationship with people, added them to your circles then Google helps elevate your relevant posts in the search of your Google+ contacts. Providing your contact is logged into Google it makes the link with your content and their search requirement and elevates your content in their search results. You can tell when this has happened as a little graphic of a head and shoulders appears next to the result, here is an example courtesy of Googles own blog: (http://adjustabledumbbellsninja.com)
Google+ Personalised Results
- You can monitor the reach of your content – Google Ripple is a fantastic tool designed to demonstrate how viral your content is. If you share a post to Public in Google+ it can show you how often your content is being shared. All you need to do is paste the URL of your content into the tool and it will show you the number of times it has been shared on a handy graph. Also to the right hands side of the graph it will show you who shared it publicly. So Ripples is a great way to find out who your key promoters are so make sure you show your appreciation for their support. Working on your network with the aim of creating valuable content and cultivating long term relationships will help the development of these valuable contacts.
- Google Authorship – is how Google authenticates your business and accepts it as a source of high-quality content and is linked to your Google+ account. One of the key benefits of this is that once you have signed up to the Google Authorship Program your blog posts will start to get a photo displayed next to it in the search results and your posts will start to rank higher. Google authorship will also provide you with a number of other benefits:
- Higher click through rate – as your posts will stand our more and will appear to have more authority given the personal touch a picture provides.
- More traffic to your Google+ Profile as this is linked in the search result and a quick click on the “by author name” takes the searcher straight to your page.
- “More by” link next to the author name can take the user to other content you have created.
(It took me a while to work out to set up Google Authorship for my WordPress site so in my next post I will show you how to do this quickly).
So what do you think of Google+? Has this post changed your opinion? Will you use it more than you have or do you already use it? Keen to hear your views.