Using G+ for Marketing
Google+ is sometimes forgotten when it comes to online marketing, especially social. However, social is an important part of SEO overall and none of the larger social platforms should be ignored if you want a well-rounded online presence.
In fact, just setting up a G+ profile is beneficial to most businesses with websites, as being a Google product, it will appear in search more than a Facebook page might. You don’t have to be a coding genius to set up G+ either, although you should learn a little about the use of meta descriptions and keywords before beginning.
G+ is ideal for site owners that have a blog, as it allows them to claim content as an author as they haven’t been able to in the past. This is done through Google Authorship and is ideal for those looking to build a reputation in thought leadership, as it also means that you can claim blogs and content written for other sites as well.
According to the Social Marketing Industry Report 2013, the top two benefits that marketers see from social media are increased exposure and increasing traffic. If you consider what impact Google Authorship and G+ can have on search, then it’s easy to see why it might have a major impact.
Setting up an account
Once you have signed up for G+, it’s a good idea to spend some time on setting up your profile properly. This means using keywords and meta information in the about section, as well as adding blogs that you contribute to, choosing a good picture for your brand and adding content.
It’s also a good idea to join as many communities as you can that are relevant to your industry. This should help to spark discussion when you post content and blogs can also be shared with the relevant people in your circles.
G+ Circles mean that you can place certain groups of followers into different groups. This is great for influencers and those you want to try to get certain content to and you should aim to add these to your circles.
Keep friends and business separate if you are using a personal account and spend some time finding the right people to follow, it will be worth it eventually, even if it seems a little laborious for now.
These are a great resource for connecting with your customers and it’s possible to hold webinars, Q&A talks and real-time video chats with followers. Think about it, if you’ve written a blog that has received a lot of attention, being able to discuss that with readers will put a whole new perspective on it for them.
It should also prompt your readers to share the blog further if it goes down well, as this kind of face-to-face contact often makes people feel more generous, as they can put a face to the blogger.
Isn’t Facebook and Twitter enough?
According to a January 2013 survey, G+ has now reached second place in the social network user charts.
Despite early issues, with many people branding the social network as a “ghost town”, G+ has quietly and steadily risen up the ranks to become the second most popular social media site since launch.
Interestingly, YouTube has also risen in popularity, which bodes well for Google’s future in world internet domination. By having a set of social products in addition to the world’s most popular search engine, Google are well on the way to being able to offer a comprehensive marketing package for content of all kinds.
Video marketing is on the rise and has been for the last year or two and for most, the natural choice is YouTube, as they know that they can upload quickly and easily and are more likely to have content see.
In fact, if you consider Google products as a whole, what with Calendar, Docs and so on, then the search giants will soon be in a position to offer the complete package. As an example of this, in G+, Events can be added and sent out to contacts, regardless of whether they use G+ and syncs with Calendar. People who are attending the event are then shown on the Calendar automatically when they confirm your invitation.
Google+ for local business
Businesses that rely on passing trade shouldn’t discount G+ either, because what else does Google have? That’s right, it has Maps and these are excellent for helping businesses find local customers.
Almost half of all Google searches are local people looking for products or services and as such, priority is given to local business in search results. These often show up in the form of a map at the top of the listings.
For this, it’s not advisable to set up a personal profile to deal with your business, as a Page will do better. Visit Google’s Create Pages area and make sure that you choose “local business” when setting it up. Once you have done this, fill out all of the relevant information such as address, phone number and so on, as well as links, opening hours, services or products offered and so on.
The more relevant information you can add to the page, the better it will show up in search results.
Like any social network, it’s unlikely that you will see instant results from G+, it takes some time and effort. However, by putting in just half an hour every day, your content or business will soon be found, especially if you ensure that you use the +1 button on your site. This is because Google gives preference to its own social network in search results than it does its competitors.