The world of social media can be confusing and intimidating for most small business owners. Social Media changes at the speed of light and adopting a new social media platform like Google+ just doesn’t sound that appetizing especially when time is in short supply. Well I’m here to tell you it is not only worth your time to join Google+ it is now essential for any small business”s success.
…It isn’t only worth your time to join Google+ it is essential….
The fact of the matter is your Google+ Page may just turn out to be the most important social media platform and online marketing tool you will have for your business when the dust settles in Social Media.
Here are the top 10 reasons you need to get on Google+ today:
- It’s Google! – Google is the 500 pound gorilla on the internet and because of that you may just want to take part in their platform. To put it another way, Google has the funds to make this thing work and work well. Google has already invested heavily and that has led to the Google+ platform going from 0 users in June 2011 to now more than 500 million user profiles as of May 2013 (source: Wikipedia)
- Google+ Pages are free – there is no cost to creating your Google+ page for your business. On top of that your Google+ Page is an actual web page residing on the internet. These pages will contain all your business information (if you complete your profile) and even link back to your website. Think of it as free online yellowpages except it is better because Google is behind it and it is tied into Google Maps.
- These web pages are fully searchable in Google, Yahoo and all search engines, and as you would expect given they are created by Google these pages are optimized for search.
- Your Google+ Local Page may already exist! – If you are an actual bricks and mortar business with a physical address your Google+ Page likely already exists. You only need to claim it. How easy is that.
- Google+ Pages set up as local business show up on Google Maps – yes you can control what information will show up for your business when searched on Google maps. How can you not take advantage of this (free) opportunity that really requires little effort.
- Google+ Communities – Google+ communities are growing rapidly and they are becoming a gathering place for experts in many fields. Starting a community that complements your business or taking part in other communities related to your business can be tremendous free advertising for your business. Become a true contributor to these communities and your credibility and your businesses credibility will skyrocket. Just make sure you are participating and not broadcasting or selling. Selling all the time will quickly get you tuned out by most people on any platform.
- Google+ Reviews – Google gives your customers a place to rave about you! Google Plus has a built in review module allowing people to leave feedback. People can also +1 your Google+ page or posts anytime as well. These reviews show up on Google Map searches as well and contribute to the ranking of your business in Google’s local search and on Google Maps. Being proactive in the area of customer reviews will greatly improve your visibility online with Google, especially in local search.
- Search Rankings – Google’s main purpose in life is to help users search and find things correctly. One of the reasons Google is investing heavily in the Google+ platform is to help users of their search engine to find what they are looking for when they search. Part of that plan is to have businesses on Google+ with 100% correct information that tie into Google Maps. If you leave your Google+ Page unclaimed and full of incorrect information Google will deem your page as low quality and keep it out of its search rankings or at the very least ranked very low.
- Google Hangouts – Hangouts give you the ability to meet, online, with one person or many people using audio and video similar to Skype. This feature is also free.
- Google “Direct Link” – You are actually able to “direct link” your Google+ Page directly to your website. In Google’s eyes this essentially marries your Google+ Page and your website providing you with several benefits. One neat feature of this is your customers can now just find your business in Google by typing in a “+” in front of your business name. In addition this Direct Connection will help your website rise up the Google rankings. There is more to the “Direct Connect” than we can discuss in this article but you can see more on Google’s Direct Connect page.
Many early adopters of Google+ lost interest early on because the platform just did not have a large enough user base. Today it is a thriving community designed by Google to be a social media powerhouse for both personal users and businesses. If you haven’t already done so you need to get started with Google+ Today.
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Image author owned
Written by Freddie Fulton of Local Search Canada – specializing in local search optimization for small business including Google+ optimization.
Visit Local Search Canada for Guides on joining Google+ and Optimizing your Google+ Local Business Page