Google+ is a well known network for marketers, technology lovers, and photographers. But small businesses outside of these sectors may not know much about it or how it can help their business.
Why should you integrate Google+ into both your social media and search strategies?
To Put a Face to Your Content
If you want to make the content you create on your website stand out in search results, Google+ authorship is the way to go. It’s a siple a process where you connect the content you create to your Google+ profile for the following result:
Once you have a Google+ profile, you can set up authorship in two ways. The first is by having an email address on your Google+ profile that matches the domain you are writing for. So if you are writing for sumall.com, you would need to have an email like firstname.lastname@example.org on your Google+ profile.
Alternatively, you can link to your Google+ profile on your content, and then link back to your content on your Google+ profile using option 2 under author information in search results. You can then enter a link to a sample post you have written into this tool to make sure everything is setup correctly.
To Increase Local Business Visibility
If your business has a physical location, then you need to have a presence on Google+, something we mentioned in our post on local SEO. Why? For starters, the reviews and information on your Google+ will be shown in local search results.
Local businesses with a Google+ local business page and positive reviews have a better chance of appearing in this highly-coveted spot on the first page of search results. Having a page will also make your business stand out when Google+ users search for businesses within Google+ Local. You can see the difference when you look at the below listings for two fashion boutiques in NY, the first without a Google+ page or reviews, and the second with one.
To find out if your local business has a Google+ page, or to create one from scratch, visit the Create a Google+ Page section, choose Local Business or Place, and enter your phone number. You will be prompted to claim or create your page from there.
To Connect via Video
As a small businesses, enterprise sized online meeting and webinar software can be too much of an investment to deal with. That’s why Google+ makes for a great alternative – you can hold private meetings or public webinars free using Google+ hangouts.
It’s a powerful feature that no other social network has to offer and can help you take your social engagement with fans to the next level. You can share your screen to walk through specific tips, software, etc. and you can broadcast the hangout live for an unlimited number of viewers. Best of all, you can save the videos and post them later on your website and YouTube channel for a boost in video content.
You can give Google+ hangouts a try from the participant / watching end by seeing public hangouts and those created by your friends on the Google+ hangouts page. Join in to get the full experience!
To Measure Your Results
The best part about the above unique features to Google+ is that by using them, you will build your Google+ audience and engagement for your business. To see how your Google+ activity affects your overall marketing strategy, you can plug in your Google+ account into SumAll by creating a free trial account.
As a bonus, you can even add your competitor’s Google+ pages to SumAll to monitor their growth. If you see a particular spike in engagement for competitors, then you should check out their latest activity to see if it is something you can fine tune for your audience.
What are your favorite Google+ features? Please share in the comments!