Should you go the Google+ way?

google-plus-logo-640With a lot more emphasis put on social media for SEO and digital marketing these days, a lot of our clients ask us which social networks they should be using aside from the obvious Facebook and Twitter. While this is a difficult question and really depends on your target audience, specific industry and resources, there is one platform that is quickly moving through the ranks to attract new subscribers: Google+.

A bit of history

Google is one of the most powerful brands in the world, and with a share of 80 to 90% of the search market in Europe it is absolutely unavoidable for any web user. Looking at the success of Facebook and social networks, Google was keen to come up with a competing platform and after launching a few unsuccessful products (Google Buzz, Google Wave) it launched Google+ in June 2011.

Although it started fairly slowly and faced scepticism in its early days, Google+ now has more than 500 million users worldwide and is attracting individual users and brands thanks to its neat integration of a range of online tools like company pages, hangouts (video conferences/chats),  events, communities and other Google products like YouTube and Maps.

And a recent study even showed that 3 out of 4 top 100 global brands are now on Google+ (read more on Search Engine Land).

What to do with Google+

As you’ve probably guessed by now, we can only recommend using Google+and related products for your business if you have the resources (time, content) and below are some of the first steps you should take to ensure you get the most out of it. And remember that Google+ is a Google product so a well maintained presence on this platform with benefit your SEO efforts over time.

Create a Google+ Business page

This is the first step you should take and is fairly straightforward. Just go to www.google.com/+/business/ and follow the instructions to create your own page ensure you had links to your website, logos, and the usual business descriptions and contact details.

Check your Google Places for Business listing

Listing your business in Google Places will enable your company to be displayed in Google Maps and it will also increase your presence in the search engine results pages for local searches (for example “dentist SW19″…)

google_maps_example

Link your G+ page to your website

Verifying your website with Google+ is a great way to let your website visitors know about your new account, but it also carries SEO benefits with increased relevance. This requires you to add a little bit of code to your website (a simple link from your homepage) and can be achieved by following these simple instructions.

Grow your community and get reviews

Once you’re all set, you can start growing your Google+ Community. Follow relevant Google+ users and businesses, share interesting content on your account, encourage your website users to share your content by adding Google+ buttons (+1) on your website and providing links to your page.

Another valuable tool you can use is reviews. Google has now integrated a review tool within Maps and Google local for web users, so encouraging your satisfied customers to review your product or services will not only help raise brand awareness and recognition, but it will also help support your rankings.

These are just some of the essential steps to get you started with Google+, but remember that all social accounts require ongoing monitoring and interaction, so before you decide to create your page, make sure that someone in your business will be able to look after it.
And if you need any help with any of the steps above or ongoing management, contact us on 01920 444 399 to discuss your requirements.

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