Since its inception in 2011, Google+ plus has been an enigma to the vast majority of small businesses and it has prompted them to ask, is it worth it for my business to be active on Google+? The answer is yes! Here are 5 reasons why:
- Optimized Pages: Google+ pages are treated like every other page on the internet by google. It will gain a fair page rank (if optimized) and will become indexed to appear in google search results. I can personally attest to this because my Google+ company page has received nearly 1,500 views in about 3 months. This is likely due to our page optimization, post frequency and the power of google.
- Optimized Content: Google+ content can withstand the test of time as each post can be found in a google search and it will consistently rank in google. This is significant because Google commands nearly 70% of all search engine traffic according to Net Market Share as of May 2016.
- Desired Search Results: It will help you to strategically establish desired search results based on your account description, Google My Business search display (location based), content and photos in search. This is important for small businesses that are targeting a local audience because it will help your profile and website to be found by local searchers and Google My Business currently displays your company name, industry, location on a map (or service area), address, photos, a phone number, operating hours, reviews and also social media links.
- SEO + SMM = Search Experience Optimization: Another reason why you and your business should be using Google+ is the ‘search experience optimization’ factor. Search engine optimization has changed rapidly over the years as the internet has changed and search engines algorithms have advanced to produce better user experience by providing the most accurate results. Without getting too technical, search engine optimization is based on a number of factors including web page speed, backlinks, page titles, mobile optimization, keywords, content, user experience and more. However, since search engines are constantly looking to improve user experience, they are now taking social media metrics into account when deciding what content will be featured in search results. Data has proven that their is a positive correlation between the amount of social signals and rankings (likes, tweets and +1s) to website authority. In addition, since large social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ (in addition to LinkedIn-owned Slideshare) have high web authority, sharing your content on a social site can help to build web authority and backlinks for your website. If you operate or work with a business that is reliant on web traffic, you cannot hesitate to pay attention to leveraging social media to try to drive traffic, build authority backlinks and search authority for your website.
- Hashtags: The use of Hashtags in Google+ connects every post to a search on the platform. This will help you to index in google for specific hashtags, making it easier for your business to be found with industry specific terms or content. Don’t treat Google+ like Instagram with the 20+ hashtags that you would look to post with each photo. Try to keep the number to 1-2 hashtags per post (as you would with hashtags for tweets on Twitter) or none at all.
- Communities: Besides SEO purposes, Google+ has over 100 million active members which provides brands the opportunity to connect with the communities on the platform. Google+ Communities can be likened to Facebook groups. Each community is centered around a specific topic and members have the opportunity to post, like and comment on the content featured in each community. It would be wise to spend some time on the platform to connect with your desired prospects and professionals in their respective community. This will help you to build your brand awareness and your own community.
In conclusion, small businesses should leverage Google+ due to its incredible search engine optimization, community building and brand awareness capabilities.
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