Despite all the hoopla that surrounded the new social site when it was first released, many businesses are ignoring Google Plus completely in exchange for increased focus on sites like Facebook and Twitter. While 72 of the world’s largest 100 brands have a Google Plus page, nearly 40 percent of them haven’t posted any content on the site. But when you consider that Google Plus is the brainchild of the world’s most powerful search engine, is it really the brightest strategy to ignore Google Plus for business?
Even though it might not be a major traffic driver like Pinterest or other social sites, Google Plus has some incredible benefits.
The Benefits of Google Plus for Business
The Business Insider recently reported that growth for Google Plus has suddenly spiked. In fact, the boom is so noticeable that Google Plus is on track to overtake Twitter as the world’s 2nd largest social media site, assuming that the momentum doesn’t slow.
Up 33 percent with 359 million users, more people visit Google Plus on a regular basis than live in the United States. If there’s anything that marketing’s taught us, it’s that you always want to be ahead of the curve – and right now the curve is favoring Google Plus for business.
Aside from increased traffic, Mashable reports that Google Plus is also seeing an increase of time spent on the site. Users are now spending twice as much time on Google Plus than they did in February and the trend doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon.
As more and more people spend time on the site, the more powerful traffic driver this platform will become.
Having a Google Plus account allows you to claim authorship of your original content. This keeps your unique and original content valuable and accredited to you, even if content thieves scrape your work.
Furthermore, the implementation of Google Plus means that links and referrals will be weighted based on who they come from instead of where they’re posted. Authorship gives you credibility and power.
Search Engine Recognition
It goes without saying that a strong Google Plus presence directly correlates to stronger search engine recognition. While it can’t replace solid SEO strategy, why not enhance your efforts?
Whether you want to host Google Hangouts or filter posts for your Circles, Google Plus provides flexibility options that many of the other platforms don’t. By taking advantage of these features, you’re making your brand’s online presence unique from everyone else’s.
To make your Google Plus page even more effective, be sure to incorporate profile links. Unlike other social platforms, you can link to other sites throughout your Google Plus profile, thereby strengthening your overall sales funnel. As more people engage with you by sharing and giving you posts a +1, your profile links will suddenly become powerful tools.
Be sure to optimize your Google Plus title tags for search engine results. Having a highly optimized Google Plus page is much easier to rank than a standalone website. Add a picture to your profile and an author picture for content that you will claim through “Authorship.”
Posts with pictures are clicked on up to 5 percent more than posts without. Once you’ve optimized your Google Plus presence, you can enjoy Google’s bias in quickly indexing posts that have received a+1.
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I agree ranking high in Google search results is one of the top priorities for most marketers and, with more than 500 million registered users, Google+ has become an essential marketing tool.
Google plus is linked with all aspects of Google: search, calendars, Gmail, Hangouts, etc., and provides a social base with circles, new communities and video Hangouts.
You could find out how to leverage this platform at http://blog.affinityexpress.com/2013/05/21/6-tips-to-market-your-business-on-google-plus/
Of course people spend twice as much time on Google Plus since February. They’re trying to figure out how the heck it works!
I really like Google Plus and feel that it is one of the stronger social networks however I would really like to see Google provide Windows Phone users a proper Plus application.
It’s funny to note that there is no Facebook share button on this post (unless I missed it.) Good thing there’s a workaround!
HOW CAN I RESTORE MY BOOKMARKS TO THE NEW GOOGLE SITE?
Google has a tendency to launch stuff when it isn’t quite finished (ie Google Wave) but they have shown a persistent commitment to making Google+ work that should be more than enough signal about its importance.
Great post! It is extremely exciting to have an all-new social network on the scene that can provide competition, stimulate innovation and make the world of social networking a better place for all of us.
Google Plus is really not “all new”. It’s been around at least a couple of years and if you spend any time there at all, it’s so much more than just a social network. For me, it’s a better way to meet and have conversations with influencers and so much more effective in relationship-building than Twitter or any of the other social media platforms. That’s my opinion, anyway. 😉
I COMPLETELY agree with all of this. I actually wrote a similar post about the importance of Google+ for businesses that you can view here: http://bit.ly/ZPRcKn.
Google+ is a powerhouse these days, not only because of SEO but because of the engagement that happens across Google+ pages, communities, Hangouts, etc. Google+ is a great way to interact and curate content relevant to your industry! Great post!
I see plenty of opportunities with Google+. The thing is that is should become a daily routine and it am not there yet. I can’t be without Twitter for a day, but Google+ is not in my mind like that, even with the “sign” +Martin then I login on my Gmail account. I recently started a private Google+ Group in order to see how you could use it for team work with sharing information, having conferences via Hangout, creating events, etc.
Do you have examples of companies that have been successful with Google+?
Can you define what you mean by “successful with Google+”? Do you mean in terms of communicating internally or getting exposure for your business?
Best 2 reasons; Authorship and Search Engine Recognition. Authorship being the number 1 reason why you want to increase Google+ use. With so many content thieves out there, it’s important to get credit for your original content.
Grant Wickes (@gwickes)
Hi Amie Marse, so glad you posted this information encouraging folks to get on G+. One of the great things about the platform is how many folks are willing to help you start. There are groups (circles) such as Google+ Help for Newbies and the communities such as Google+ for Helper Community (http://goo.gl/w2KPA) that are a wealth of information and assistance.
I have found this link highly useful as well. It’s a fluid list that tries to provide various shared circles… find a topic of interest and circle to join in (http://goo.gl/sVD4z)
And for a fantastic overview and guide to get started, Martin Shervington (one of the first folks everyone should circle) has put together this wonderful getting started video guide that is a joy to follow and help you get going: http://www.martinshervington.com/the-ultimate-google-plus-quickstarter-guide/
Thanks for the post. I am just kind of learning about Google+ and trying to understand how it’s going to effect the overall picture for us small business people. From what I can see it’s going to be a game changer, particularly for local small businesses. It kind of brings the power of the search engine to local small businesses.
It’ll be interesting to watch and be a part of and like you say, Google + appears to be the way to do that.
Good article, Amie. When I think of Google+, I think of mandatory childhood chores. I really didn’t want to wash the dishes, cut the grass, or clean the house when I was 13, however, I knew I’d get spanked if I they didn’t get done.
Google has basically forced people that care about SEO to join and participate in Google+. Should you not participate, you now get spanked in the rankings.
The world wasn’t really looking for (nor really did need) another social network.
I don’t like to feel strong-armed online.
I know some marketers rave about the platform, but the average buying public are not marketers. Celebrities have been ultra slow to adopt this new platform, too.
The masses would still rather congregate on Twitter and Facebook.
Great article! Google plus is increasing its number of users due to the fact that they are the leaders in SEO. Any small business or start up business these days is in need of a Google + and if used properly can increase your SEO tremendously. While it may not be as big or trending as Facebook and Twitter it has longer lasting effects on your company and will better your company if used correctly.
Would have been nice to include the links to the Business Insider and Mashable articles you quote. I’m always kind of put off by posts that don’t include any links other than to their own older posts – makes me less likely to check out another blog post of theirs.
I’ve been actively spending time and effort on google+ for some 6-7 months now and the only benefit i have seen is from a SEO point of view. Most of my customers aren’t here yet (yes, Facebook and twitter!)..
So whilst it might be the 2nd largest social network (?) now, i doubt there are many users there who join purely for using it as a social media network but instead for SEO and rankings.
I’m glad to see that Google + is more than just another social media site. I didn’t know about the authorship. I’m still not quite sure how it all works, but will be spending time figuring it out. Seems like it’s worth it.
Google plus has its perks but it is still not as powerful as other platforms.
I think that Google Plus is slowly growing but it still needs something more in order to compete with Facebook. I know that it caters to a particular market – but then it seems that Snapchat is growing even faster.
It seems that the userbase of Google Plus is steadily growing. Engagement is also increasing. It is a good audience to tap for small businesses.
I think that it is important to consider the audience of Google Plus before considering marketing. If it is relevant to your product or service, then you can go ahead and promote there.