Friday, 2 December 2016

The Real Value Of Google Plus For Your Business

Google today process over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.  Moreover, over 80% of all those trying to find something online utilize a search engine and 80% of these users use Google.

Google Plus has more than 2.5 billion users, which would make it by far the largest social network in the world, with almost twice as many members as Facebook. Ultimately, Google Plus presents an excellent opportunity for businesses for many reasons - not the least of which is search engine optimization and marketing (SEO/SEM.)

What is the biggest benefit of Google Plus for your business? The fact that Google owns it of course. Therefore, much like YouTube, Blogger, and Google Places for Business, Google Plus profiles are indexed quicker and rank higher in Google’s organic search results.

The ABOUT section of your Google Plus profile also is what is used by Google Search as your page’s meta description when it shows up in the search results. You can even create links within that ABOUT introduction content that links back to different pages of your website.  Using your top (anchor text) keywords also will add greater relevance and influence when indexed.

You can also add links to Google Plus to all your other social media profiles.  This even adds more relevance and authority to your profile. In the traditional hub and spoke model digital ecosystem, this allows Google Plus to be the hub and center of your activities (from a SEO/SEM standpoint.) Adding people and businesses to your page is also easily done.  Just like Twitter, aligning with partners and your community greatly increases your exposure and influence.

If you, for example, searched for a “Pizza” on a Friday night you would likely not want the top organic search result if there were not a geographical filter applied to it.  This because you may live in Toronto and the highest ranking Pizza listing may be in Chicago (for any number of reasons.) Therefore, Google’s algorithm employs a geographical filter. Employing a Google Plus profile increases local relevance, which is instrumental for small and medium sized businesses.

The Google Maps function, formerly known as Google Places, is now part of the Google My Business dashboard – Google’s dashboard for managing and tracking your online presence across Google’s various platforms including Google Local (Google Maps), Google+, Google Analytics and Adwords. Note: If you already have a local page (formerly a Google Places page,) you can create a Google Plus business page and merge the two for even more features to help your business.

Google Plus is the perfect place to publish and claim your original (keyword rich) content – and every article that you share creates a back link to your website.  Because you’re publishing and tagging your content on Google Plus your content is indexed almost immediately.  Moreover, now that semantic markup has been adopted by the major search engines, Google’s authorship and publisher markup employed also increases your reach on search engines. Therefore, any content marketing strategy must also extend to Google Plus to optimize and amplify reach and return on investment (ROI.)

Google+ Pages and personal profiles can be connected with a website to generate even greater reach on search engines using Publisher and Authorship markup, respectively. As a result, your headshot and Google+ profile stats can show in the search engine results page (SERP) when content you’ve authored ranks.

Google+ Authorship connects a Google+ personal profile to an individual webpage, blog post or article. It’s great for gaining exposure and building a personal brand, especially if you’re in an industry that makes you the face of your business. You should consider creating a Google+ Profile for yourself and connecting it to quality content author or distribute online, especially if you are a thought leader in your respective field (i.e. Doctor, Lawyer, Professional etc.)

People searching Google for your business name or other brand signals will be greeted with a “Knowledge Graph” of information pulled from Google+ about your business.  When implemented correctly, branded searches also show your visual branding, the number of Google+ followers you have, recent Google+ posts and even reviews. Note: If a page does not actively post content to their page, you may see competitors listed at the bottom of the knowledge graph (all the more reason to keep posting and gain competitive advantage.)

Taking the time and energy to set up and integrate Google Plus for Business improves search visibility and ranking - especially for a small to medium-sized business.  So what are you waiting for?   

We're here to help. Goodbuzz offer competitively priced Google Plus optimization bundles (as well as a full range of Google services.)  Contact us today for a quote.

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This article was written by Andrew B. Giles. Andrew is the head of digital innovation and strategy at Goodbuzz Inc. You can follow him @Goodbuzz and on FacebookGoodbuzz is a full-service digital agency based in Toronto, Canada. We help brands create and capture value from emerging trends in technology, society and the workplace. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter or if you have any questions contact us directly.