Google+ is still the new kid on the block when it comes to social media, even after being around for a few years; however, while it hasn’t even come close to unseating Facebook, it’s already one of the more relevant social media platforms out there, as it can provide numerous benefits for businesses and websites looking for ways to expand and increase visibility.
What’s unique about Google+ is that it doesn’t just act as a social media page for your business, it can also enhance your local search results with a Google+ Local page.
This means that if you have a small business with an online presence, you can link your business website to your Google+ profile and expect better local search results, often getting you on the first page for a handful of your most important keywords.
While that’s not a guarantee, the way Google+ allows you to integrate with your business is certainly beneficial.
All the other “typical” benefits of a social media profile are there, allowing you to share, comment, add friends and everything else you would expect from the now second most popular social media site behind Facebook.
So, what are all of the major ways that it can benefit a business?
We’ll cover the highlights of what Google+ can do for you, and delve into a little bit of depth about how to leverage each method and expand your visibility.
# Local pages — One important thing to note is the difference between your personal Google+ plus page and your business Google+ page. You’ll be able to have both, but your business page will help your local search results because of how Google weighs a well-maintained Google+ business page.
On your business page, you can showcase things about your hours, location, promotional events and other business-related topics. The more active that page is, the more it will benefit your results in local Google searches.
# Authorship — If your business is more closely related to content creation– say, for instance, if you run a blog or do a lot of freelance writing– you can use your personal Google+ page to ascribe authorship to the blogs you publish to.
You can sign up at the Google Authorship page, and once you do, you’ll have your Google+ account linked to whatever content you publish on the web, which will display your picture next to that content in search results.
# Engagement — Since Google+ is becoming increasingly popular, it’s also becoming a viable tool for both brand name visibility and online engagement.
Providing another lane by which people can engage with your business and discover you is never a bad idea, and since Google+ is number-two now in terms of social media popularity, it’s a must if you want to have a strong online presence.
# Search Results — As we’ve already mentioned with your Google+ local page, an active Google+ account that is linked with your website and the content you create will help your overall search results.
How you use it will depend on how you benefit specifically, but you can rest assured that Google uses its own data to drive a lot of search results, so if you’re playing ball, your odds of ranking higher will go up.
Your Google+ accounts will provide you with a little bit of leverage, and some new ways to engage the online community and expand your reach.
Whether you have a website, blog or own your own business, it’s getting to the point where an effective Google+ campaign is just as relevant (if not more so) than Facebook and Twitter. Now is definitely the optimal time to get on board.