With so many new forms of social media emerging all the time, it can be hard for businesses to keep up. It can be especially hard for small businesses that have smaller budgets and less time to devote to these types of things. For these businesses, who may only have the resources to focus on one social media platform, the answer might be Google Plus. While Google Plus is still in its early stages of development when compared to Facebook or Twitter, it already presents some great marketing opportunities for small businesses.
Perhaps the greatest opportunities for small business marketing on Google Plus lie within Google+ Local. This internal search platform, which exists within Google Plus, is designed for local businesses. Google+ Local presents a search platform where small businesses without the budgets or time for proper SEO can rank highly and effectively.
This is because the rankings in Google+ Local are calculated differently than a typical Google SERP (search engine results page). These rankings are based off number of Google+ Local reviews and the quality of those reviews (reviews are based off a 30-point scoring system, and the average of all reviews is taken to help determine ranking). This gives smaller businesses the opportunity to rank higher by providing great service and interacting with customers on Google Plus; and ranking well in Google+ Local certainly has its benefits.
Due to the fact that Google+ Local is part of Google, ranking high in a Google+ Local SERP has extra value as a Google Map will show up next to the results with the locations of the top results. This makes it very easy for potential customers to find a business and as with standard Google SERPs, they are much more likely to choose between the higher ranking results.
Another important aspect of Google Plus that small businesses need to keep in mind is the condition of their corresponding Google Plus Business Page.
It is important that they maintain this page if for no other reason than the fact that the links in Google+ Local mentioned above direct users to these pages. After all, it would be inexcusable to lose a potential customer due to a poorly constructed business page. These pages are easy to maintain and can provide prospective customers with valuable contact information such as phone numbers, email, website, etc. It is also to include a large Google map as the cover photo for this page, making it even easier for customers to find a local business.
These pages also present some opportunities for small businesses to engage and interact with their customers. Local business can post deals or promotions here or share important information related to their industry. While these same ideas can be applied to Facebook or Twitter, Google Plus offers a unique opportunity. It is unique because by selecting which circles a company wants to share certain content with, they can convey segmented and targeted messages to a specific audience. This presents a situation where businesses can deliver some very powerful marketing.
Google+ Local offers an advantageous situation for small businesses where they have the chance to rank highly without spending money on SEO. Also, Google Plus as a social media platform presents some interesting ways for businesses to engage with customers and send targeted messages tailored for a particular audience. As small businesses struggle to find the resources necessary to effectively market on all the different social media platforms available, Google Plus is one that small businesses must not overlook.
Paul Richardson is a n experienced content marketing professional who specializes in small business marketing and local seo. When he’s not writing about small business marketing he tries to attend as many different concert venues as he can.
Modern business courses will tell you that the marketing landscape of business has radically changed with the rise of Social Media. Unlike traditional marketing campaigns that were ridiculously costly, social media is the free, unbiased tool that is available to industry giants and small businesses alike.
Businesses have already tapped the potential of social media by including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in their content strategy. But there’s another kid in town that will rise to power: Google+.
Since Google+’s launch in late 2011, it has been steadily growing in the number of users. As of January 2013, Google+ has outranked Twitter and was proclaimed as the #2 social network after Facebook (statistics according to Global Web Index). If Google+ isn’t a part of your content strategy yet, we’ll give you some reasons why you need to jump into the bandwagon…
You know the saying, “Love your own?” Well, it doesn’t just apply to family, because Google does it as well. As it stands, Facebook is the dominant force of social media, but Google isn’t going to concede that easily. Since Google+’s launch, Google has been using its influence to persuade more and more people to use Google+. How? By indexing/ranking results from Google+ faster than those from other social media.
Rand Fishkin said that, “Google+ is the new Google Submit URL box.” It was only rumored that new URLs with content shared on Google+ were crawled instantly, but this rumor is no myth – if you want new URLs to be indexed very quickly, share content on Google+.
Google has really leveraged Google+ by integrating into their search engine algorithm – now, when you search in Google, you can “show personal results”. These are results are content that was shared/posted in Google+. If when you are signed out of your Google+ account, it shows you the “personal results” in the sidebar categorized as People and Pages on Google+.
Google+ is great for your content strategy because Google is really working to put Google+ at the forefront of online activity – even in Google SERPs. However, getting at the top of this new kind of SERP will require SEO, which we will elaborate on next.
To rank higher as a “personal result” you can SEO your Google+ profile. With regard to keywords, you should know that there are 4 places in your profile where keywords matter for ranking: Introduction, Education, Employment and Places. So, make sure to pump in some good keywords in these key places.
Optimize your Google+ Circles. Just like link building, the way you can optimize your Circles is by getting high-quality people in your circle. How do you do this? Well, just like in blog commenting, really engage and comment often on posts that these people share. If you have high quality work, you can share this as well. The goal is for these people to notice you so that they will put you in their circle.
Search Plus Your World is again a well-played strategy by Google in order to get more people to use Google+. When you click on the Learn how you could appear here too at the end of the People and Pages on Google+, you are immediately directed to Google sign-up page – nice bait from Google eh?
As more and more people jump the Google+ bandwagon, you get bigger chances of exposure to your target market. And with Google+’s Circles, you can narrow down your prospects to harness quality leads.
Google+ Circles is a great feature. This allows you to segment people into particular groups which can help you organize your target market better. For example, you can categorize them into Customers, Prospects, VIPs etc. You can share specific posts only to a Circle so that you can track which strategies are working and which aren’t.
Though Facebook is clearly in the lead in the social media battle for dominance, Google is pulling everything in its arsenal to leverage Google+ to a closer fight with Facebook. It won’t be long when these 2 platforms will be head to head, hopefully by then, you’ve made the choice to include Google+ in your Content Strategy.
+Tony Evans is a freelance web designer, a graduate of Project Management at Upskilled Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Athena. She has a passion in Aerobics and cooking healthy recipes.
Google Plus is no less than a huge success with its 100 million active users in just a short amount of time. This is an information network that caters to people who want to share as well as follow interests. It is not just a social site such as Facebook as it allows you to widen your social circle.
Google knows that every normal person has various relationships ranging from family, friends, work associates and mere acquaintances, hence, it has provided the right tools to separate each one.
If you are thinking that you can do without Google Plus for your business, then it’s time to think twice. Google is now fusing its social network into the usual search results, meaning, the game is no longer about keyword ranking anymore. If you want to make good use of Google Plus and drive more traffic to your business, then you need to know a few things –
For any questions regarding Google Plus, you can always ask their support team for additional information. Brand awareness has never been this easy so it’s high time to establish your company’s place in the business world!
About the Author
Sharon Iis a writer for Focusedumbrella. She uses social media as a way to connect with both potential and existing clients.
Google has been refining the way consumers search for local businesses almost since day one. Recently Google+ and local joined forces to provide a new tool for local reviews.
Google+ is all the rage right now but will it last long term? That is a damn good question that nobody can really answer but from what we have seen up until this point is that I think Google finally figured it out. Google+ has been building in numbers in a very great way during a relatively short period of time and if there was ever another entity on this planet that “could” give Facebook a run for their money it was Google.
Google+ is now another important area to have some sort of brand coverage almost on a daily basis. Will your page build as much steam as your Facebook page? Not right away unless you are a large brand but there are a number of ways to build engagement on your Google+ page to get some traction going. You have to start at some point. The nature of the web space is that it is very dynamic and you have to be willing to roll with the punches in order to grow.
For many I think the first part is to just build it and get it indexed in search. No more wasting time just build it first and see what happens. Depending on how strong your brand loyalty is right now it could potentially start filling up with members immediately. Building it doesn’t take much time so just hop on the computer and do it.
Just in case you are a business go here www.google.com/+/business
If you own a blog or a website which I’m sure you do you are going to have give your audience a way to become a member of your Google+ page. Google+ badges do just that for your online audience. Slap one on your blog or your website and give your audience the ability to join you and your fans. If you don’t you can’t expect that bad boy to fill up with fans now can you?
Start sharing it everywhere you can. Let your Twitter fans know, let your Facebook fan page know, drop it in your newsletter, let the whole world know about your Google+ page.
If you have a blog or you have links to articles or press releases start using your Google+ page. Recently Google made a new change to their search engine where your activity is going to be a big deal when it comes to search engine results for yourself and also your fans. Just start using it regardless of how many people put your business in their circle (circle is what Google is calling it).
If you want your fans to start using your page you are going to have to optimize your Google+ page. Fill in the about section, identify all your important links, get your business address correct and upload enough good images so they fill in the image space at the top of the page. Make it look appealing and don’t half ass it.
Start a hangout on your page for your loyal fans that might want to hear from you.
What is a Google+ hangout?
If you have been seeing the headlines this week a few people are sort of pissed with the new Google search change. Hey at the end of the day Google has the right to do anything they want to their search tool. They created the company, they own the tool & the algorithm and they can do whatever they damn please with it.
With their recent launch of Google+ it was only a matter of time before a stronger integration into search occurred with their new social networking tool. For those of you who might be upset about this you can simply sign up for a Google+ page and start interacting with people. That is what it is there for.
Google is making their search a bit more personalized which can cripple the marketing community but strengthen the user experience quite a bit.
The Google video below will describe more.
Optimization and SEO of your Google+ page is going to be an important effort once you get it up and running. Some people do it without really thinking about it and others miss great opportunities on their profiles to enhance the user experience and also their own SEO. The new Google+ profile pages have a great deal of opportunity to enhance user experience and strengthen an individuals or brands search engine optimization efforts.
For anyone who understands the world of SEO they know that links are quite important and that is one area the new Google+ pages really give you an opportunity to showcase what you have.
Let’s take a look at some of the more obvious locations.
There is no doubt about it the pages of search change with lightening speed and if you don’t keep up with the new methods of communication and branding you could just get left in the dark. Recently Google has really stepped up their efforts to compete for the social media audience that Facebook primarily owns. Just a few days ago Google announced that Google+ pages can now be built for brands very similar to Facebook Fan pages, this is awesome. A Google brand page is something that a good portion of the community has been waiting for ever since Google + made headlines.
In these Google videos you will see just how important one of these branded pages just got. Not only will it tie in directly to search but the communication power and abilities with your audience is almost endless.