Google+ was launched with great fanfare a few years back and over the years the general consensus has been that business does not need to take it as seriously as the other social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Most of the businesses, whether big or small, treated it as a ghost town. And that is where the opportunity now lies.
However, things are changing slowly and businesses are now realizing the importance of taking Google+ seriously. Here is why; there are over 1 billion Google accounts which are now enabled for Google+. Of these billion accounts, over 360 million are active users of Google+. According to Google the +1 button is being clicked over 5 billion times a day.
Now these numbers are not impressive when compared to the 1.2 billion monthly active users of Facebook but it would be wrong to say that Google+ is a ghost town.
Business owners need to be aware that the numbers for Google+ are growing at the rate of 30% on an annual basis and the right time to start building their presence on Google+ is now.
If business owners do not make their presence felt on Google+ proactively, then they risk getting left behind by their competitors who are already working on the Google+ platform.
All the signs point to the fact that the social network from Google is going to be a big thing in the future and it is a golden opportunity for businesses to have a solid presence starting now.
Below are the reasons why businesses are now taking Google+ seriously.
Google+ Business Pages
Google+ now allows businesses to create a business page separate from personal Google+ pages. This has many advantages some of which are:
As more and more followers are attracted to your Google+ business page, the page rank of this business page will grow and it will positively impact the rankings of your website in addition to giving your business a wider visibility in Google search results.
The Adwords ads will automatically start receiving social proof endorsements once you reach hundred followers on your Google+ business page. This will not only result in an increased click through rate but have shown to lead to lower advertisement costs.
Google+ business page is a separate authoritative web property you get to create for free. It is like free advertising as it not only shows your business information but also provides social proof such as the number of followers.
Search Engine Optimization
It has been discussed earlier but it calls for a little more attention. Remember, Google now creates personalized search results. These personalized search results are affected by your activities on the Google+ social network. The people who are following your Google+ business pages are more likely to see the content shared by you or +1 by you. This provides a huge advantage to the businesses that are able to grasp the power of this fundamental shift in search engine optimisation.
Google+ helps you in gaining direct and indirect traffic. As you share more and more content through your Google+ page, it will reach your followers, who in turn will share that content and will provide you with more traffic.
As the content keeps getting shared, your business will start getting higher visibility in the search results which in turn will help you in getting even more indirect traffic.
Google Authorship is a very powerful thing. It provides you an online identity which you can associate with all the content you have published on the Internet.
Also, your chosen profile picture is displayed by Google in the search results no matter where your content has been published. It helps in establishing your brand and it gives a huge rise in the click through rates in the organic search results.
This profile picture displayed in the search results also helps in attracting more followers to your Google+ business page which in turn helps in creating a viral effect.
One effect of the huge growth in the social networks has been the decreasing effectiveness when communicating through e-mail. As more and more people are communicating through their favorite social media channels, other mediums of communication are becoming less effective.
Communicating through social media channels allows businesses to be more personable and it also gives them an opportunity to get quick feedback as well as provide equally quick response to any customer queries. This helps in building a much stronger relationship with prospective customers as well as existing customers.
Google+ also helps you in communicating effectively with your followers with the use of circles. With the help of circles, you can easily segment your customers into existing customers, prospective customers. You can also create separate circles for your business partnerships and many other groupings.
Since each circle is the separate hub in itself, you can easily share different content in different circles unlike Facebook pages.
One other tool on Google+ which has become very popular is Google Hangouts. Hangout is the name given to the service of live video chat sessions with Google+ users.
Businesses who have already taken advantage of this powerful tool are now starting to see the results.
Think of it a little like this:
Imagine you are looking for something and there are three businesses selling the same product/service. One has over 10000 followers whereas the other one has just 100 followers and third one has not bothered to set up Google+ at all.
Who would you likely choose? Now, which business owner would you want to be? The one with 10,000 followers or the one with 500 followers or the one who has not bothered at all.
Can you now see the advantages of having a strong and growing presence on Google+?
It is the right time now to start building your presence on Google+ as it will turn out to be a huge advantage in the coming months and years.
If you would like help with setting up your Google+ profile and business page, help with linking Authorship to your website or putting together a Google+ strategy, then give us a call.