Social Media 101: Google +
Why Google + is Important For Your Business
As we all know, Google is the largest and most widely used search engine in the game. Therefore, it is crucial your company ranks as high as possible with Google. This is achieved in many ways, one of which is through your social platform presence. Google + is extremely helpful in boosting Google ranking and value to your website, yet, it is widely misunderstood. Many people do not understand Google + or how it can be useful. As a free business tool from Google, Google Plus profiles are favored by Google search engine crawlers.
Some Google Plus Stats:
- Google + has around 300 million active monthly users out of its 540 million members. This is contrary to the many people who believe that no one uses Google + nearly as often as Twitter or other platforms on a regular basis. For the record, Twitter has around 230 million active users, so it is obvious that Google + is often foolishly undervalued by businesses.
- Google + is more relevant than ever as most businesses utilize free Google tools like Gmail. Google + is integrated with Gmail, Google Search, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Images, Google Analytics, Google Docs, Google Drive, and Google Finance. Another component of Google + which is completely useful, and free, for businesses is “Hangouts”. Hangouts is Google’s free video call service à la Skype. Hangouts is better for businesses as it functions for conference calls with multiple participants, and it has better resolution and service than other free video call services.
- It is wise to take advantage of Hangouts as it is free and it is much more advanced than other free video call tools. It can be used to train employees, for demos, meetings, Q&A sessions, sales presentations, etc. Everything done on Hangouts can be recorded as well!
Basically, as mentioned above, Google naturally favors and places a higher search engine value on its own platforms, so having a regularly updated Google + profile for your business is infinitely helpful, and definitely worth the time and effort! Similar to YouTube profiles, any business that hopes to be easily discoverable in the online world, creating a strong Google + profile should be a priority.
Best Google + Practices:
- As with other social platforms, your business information should be uniform across your online profiles: from the way it is listed on your website, to all of your other social accounts, the listing information and description must match. For example, if your address is written out using the word Drive rather Dr., it is necessary to use the spelled out word “Drive” when filling out your address on Google Plus. Use the same Google login as is used for all of your company’s existing Google accounts (Gmail, YouTube, Analytics…)
- Share Content regularly- preferably on a daily basis. It does your business no good to set up a Google + account, and then simply forget about it. Since Google + posts are given a unique URL, Google crawls Google + profiles frequently for new content just like blogs.
- First step is to set up your Google + profile. Head over to http://www.google.com/+/business/, and sign up using your company’s regular Gmail login. The steps are easy to follow along with the wizard, and fill in information accurately.
- The next step is to verify your new Google + page as a business listing. Google will send a unique PIN by either a postcard or via a phone call depending on what you select.
- Be sure to add Google + icons/ badges to both your website and any blogs. To do so, or for more information regarding this process, check out: https://developers.google.com/+/web/badge/.
- Now the fun, social connectivity aspect begins! Begin adding connections to “Circles”. Connections can be anyone from co-workers, employees, vendors, clients, friends, etc.
1. To do this, hover your mouse over the ‘Home’ button which is the upper left icon. From the drop down, select ‘People’. The page will fill with potential connections that are connected with others you know. Then, you can also search for people and click on ‘Discover’ for a breakdown of choices by similar interests and categories.
5. Begin posting content! Make sure your content is original and engaging to draw interest to your profile, and begin conversations and interaction. This is a social platform after all! Content can be anything from YouTube videos, demos, blog posts, press releases, product pictures, promotional offers, and any other tips, quotes, or online posts that represent the culture of your company.
Give your company its best shot at staying competitive in this Google dominated online market, & make a Google Plus page that is informative, engaging, and maybe even a little bit fun for users to visit.
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