The importance of Google+ for your business

By Jen Merry
March 30, 2013

Like a lot of people, I got my personal Google+ account when it first launched and was by invite only. I immediately added to my circles a handful of my friends who were also excited about trying this new social media outlet. However, the initial buzz soon faded, and I stopped logging in as frequently. I thought to myself, why would I need Google+ when I already spend way too much time on Facebook and Twitter? And how many different places do I want to visit to read what my friend cooked for dinner that night?

Thus begs the question – why should we invest our time in Google+ for our business? Here are two good reasons. The first is that Google+ has shown huge growth recently and should be taken seriously as a major social media channel. In fact, Google+ was ranked as the 2nd largest social media channel (behind Facebook) at the end of 2012 with 343 million users. Those numbers suggest a lot of potential views for your website. If you’re an early adopter of using Google+ to help increase your business’ social media exposure in front of this vast number of untapped users, then you’ll be one step ahead of your competition.

Second, using Google+ can be beneficial for your brand’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. SEO involves using keywords and other strategies to increase your site’s ranking in search results. Obviously, Google+ is owned by Google. So how can you convince Google that your business should rank highly in their search engine results? You can start by being an active user on their social media platform. Show Google that your site is appealing to a wide audience of visitors by building up your follower base with regular posts, updates, and other related activity. In turn, Google’s search algorithms will improve the reputation of your site as a credible business for customers who are searching the web for your products or services.

Once you create a business page on Google+, you’ll want to get your site verified. In doing so, you’re telling Google that the Google+ page that you created for your business is the “official” page for your website. Once verified, your Google+ account will display a little checkmark in a circle next to your logo.

Verified by Google

To start the verification process for your Google+ page, you have to enter a snippet of code onto your webpage that tells your customers to “follow you on Google+.” This is called the rel= “publisher” link. Just add the following HTML code on your homepage, making sure that you don’t forget to replace the [yourpageID] part with your actual Google+ page address:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/[yourpageID]” rel=”publisher”>Find us on Google+</a>

When adding the rel= “publisher” link for Google+, it’s a good idea to add links for your customers to follow you on Twitter and Facebook as well!

The final step is to fill out the rest of your Google+ page’s profile information. It’s very important during this process to double-check that you have listed your website address in this section!
If you have difficulty following any of these steps, you can look for more answers using Google’s official guide for verifying a Google+ page, which is available at the following link:
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1708844

Note that since these are directly from Google, they are subject to change at any time.
Once your Google+ business page has been verified, whenever you search for your company on Google from that point on, a box will show up on the right showing the most recent post from your Google+ page:

Google results for FatCow

There is no official statement from Google that having an active Google+ page for your business will improve your natural search rankings, but it still does makes a lot of sense, especially when considering the growth rates that Google+ has been showing as of late. Have you created a Google+ page for your business yet? Post a link to your page in the comments!

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 30th, 2013 at 3:44 pm and is filed under Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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