The benefits of using Google+ for businesses

Before recently I had not given Google+ much thought. Like many I thought it was just another social media platform and questioned its relevance. I am already on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, why would I also need to spend time and energy on Google+?

Twin Design / Shutterstock.comGoogle+

When I first looked into Google+ I remember thinking that it looked like a glorified Facebook mixed with the visuals of Pinterest. However, as I delved deeper  into its functions I realized Google+ offers brands so much more. With the ability to share content, engage with industry leaders and join communities based off of interests, investing even a little bit of time on a Google+ page can help improve search visibility.

I have found that breaking down the Google+ benefits into three categories, searching ranking, visibility and relationships, is one of the best ways to explain to skeptics why the addition of Google+ to your social media strategy is valuable to your brand.

Search ranking

Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about making your brand visible to the right people and with 66 percent of searchers using Google, why wouldn’t you want to utilize Google’s social media platform? And because Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, the line between where SEO stops and social media begins are becoming blurrier everyday.

Content posted on Google+ versus Facebook is weighed differently in search engine rank and visibility but a +1 does. Whenever you post, Google+ give the people who read it the opportunity to +1 your post, which is similar to a “like” on Facebook. The difference? A “like” doesn’t translate to enhanced search ranking. By +1ing and sharing content, users can endorse and share business related content across the web.

Visibility

Social media is all about being seen and having your message read and Google+ offers a variety of ways in which active brans can accomplish this. By setting up a Google+ page for your business, your listing will show up on a Google search and anyone who is currently signed into their Google+ account will have the ability to follow your page directly from the search results.

Google+ accounts can also be connected with Google Authorship potentially giving your content more exposure. When you’ve linked your Google+ account to your website and Google Authorship you gain a rich snippet in Google search. A rich snippet includes an author photo, name of the author and Google+ profile data and link. A recent test indicated that the number of clicks to a site dramatically increased by 150% once a rich snippet was added.

+Fiona Thompson rich snippet

Relationships

A Google+ local page can help businesses build a loyal fan base and provide customers the opportunity to leave reviews and show their appreciation. With the ability to share content and engage within communities, Google+ allows you to connect with others in your industry and establish yourself as an industry leader. And by maintaining Google Authorship you become recognizable to searchers who look to you for industry insights.

Although many still don’t see Google+ as a major competitor in the social media arena, it should not be ignored. In just the few short weeks that I have been actively participating I have noticed an increase in the discussions surrounding the potential Google+ offers professionals, and with the recent Facebook algorithm change that is slashing brands ability to get organic reach, many are turning to Google+ to fill the void.

Keep an eye out for additional posts on Google Authorship, Google+ best practices and more!

I’m interested. What is your favorite Google+ feature?

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