By Michael Dunham
Since it’s launch date in June of 2011, Google+ has grown into the very large social network that millions of people quietly use. How many people use Google Plus? In it’s first 24 days, the social network grew to 25 million users. To date, the network has over one billion enabled accounts and 318 million active users, as compared to 550 million and 296 million for Twitter, respectively.
While the strikingly high number of active users provides huge potential for your business as far as reach across the network is concerned, the importance of a Google Plus presence stretches far beyond that of the social network. As with all Google products, Google Plus interconnects throughout the Google network and provides your business with a number of opportunities to generate and convert leads through your Google Plus page.
Whether you are attempting to optimize your search results, drive digital word of mouth, generate exposure, or engage with your target market, Google Plus provides the resources your business needs. Here are some of the extemporaneous benefits a Google Plus page will provide to your business.
Enhance your search engine optimization
The presence of a Google Plus page is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, single way to affect your business’ search results. According to a study by Searchmetrics, Google +1’s, the Google Plus version of a “like”, have the highest correlation to search rankings of any single factor.
What this means is that by growing your circle, thus increasing your influence within the network, and getting people to like your content and engage with your profile, will increase the likelihood that you are appearing higher in search results related to your business category.
Just like we talked about when we discussed search directory backlinks, backlinking your site on Google+ will boost search results for your business’ website. It is important to note that not every backlink on Google+ will be beneficial to SEO, although it is a PR9.
For those unfamiliar with how backlinks work, there are Dofollow and Nofollow backlinks. Dofollow links are beneficial for SEO purposes, but very hard to attain on social media sites, such as Google+. In order to create a Dofollow backlink on Google Plus, you should link your website in the ‘Introduction’ section of your ‘Story’ page. As long as your surround the link with relevant and quality content, the backlink will be categorized as Dofollow and further enhance your SEO.
Blended Search Results
The content you post to your Google Plus page can actually be ranked on Google search results, even in instances where your website may not. When you create a post or share a link, the anchor text becomes the title of the page you are sharing and the post has it’s own unique URL. Thus, when your circle engages with your content, it can rank in the search results.
This can help your business branch out and rank in categories related to your business that are not directly linked to your business category. If you own a sporting goods store and you post a Google Plus update reminding people in your local community to sign their kids up for the upcoming soccer season, your business has a much higher chance of appearing on Google when a search about the soccer league is run.
Boost Local results
We’ve previously discussed the value of digital work of mouth when it comes to generating new customers and revenue for your business. With the introduction of Google Carousel, digital WOM on Google Plus has become the largest single factor in local inclusion and ranking. If you are able to drive a high quantity and quality of reviews to your Google+ page, it will directly affect the likelihood that your business appears towards the top of the Google Carousel. In order for your business to appear with the one to five star ranking attached, you must accumulate at least four reviews, and the more positive reviews the better.
In addition to reviews, +1’s are said to be another major factor in how your business will be listed on the Carousel. Along with reviews, the Google Plus photos you have will affect your businesses CTR on the Carousel, as it, along with reviews, will be the two main differentiators a potential customer will have to compare your business to the competition.
Google Plus publisher allows you to connect all of your business information to your website. With the help of publisher, customers searching for your business name or other related categories will see a “knowledge graph” of information about your business in the form of a poster on the sidebar of the search results.
The poster, if created correctly, will include your business’ local information, address, phone number, business hours, etc., reviews about your business, and your most recent Google Plus posts. Publisher also directly ties your business information with Google Maps, increasing the likelihood you convert customers searching for your business category on the maps program as well.
Integrate with Gmail and YouTube
If your business already has a YouTube account then you already have a Google Account for your company. You can use the same account that you manage your YouTube profile with to launch your Google+ account.
By doing this, you will tie your YouTube and Google+ accounts together. This will feature your YouTube content on your Google+ page as well as feature your Google+ page when users view your YouTube videos. By linking all of your Google accounts, including YouTube and Google Plus, together, you increase your brands trust with the Google platform.
When your business sends out newsletter, coupons, or other marketing emails to the valuable customers who have given you their information, they will now have the opportunity to come across your Google Plus page if they use Gmail. When your customer receives that great promotional material that keeps them thinking about you, they will also see your business’ Google Plus page, where they can join your circle and begin interacting with you on another platform.
By: Michael Dunham