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Get to grips with Google+ for business

 
 



The cover of our Loop how=to-guide on getting to grips with Google+ for businessWhen it first launched in 2011 Google+ was seen as something of a failure. Despite being the pet project of the brains behind the world’s most popular search engine many found it wasn’t very user friendly and adoption rates were slow. Fast-forward to 2014 and things have changed.

 

Google+ now has more that 300m active monthly users, ahead of Twitter’s 230m. This is a significant shift and the social network now underpins many of Google’s other services. The growth in numbers and the range of services that Google+ now offers means that it’s becoming an incredibly important marketing tool for businesses, and it’s not all about website visitors clicking on a +1 button.

 

Keep it local

For local businesses, having a local Google+ page can not only aid discovery of its business online but also enable local customers to start engaging with it. 

 

Unlike other types of Google+ pages (ie brand pages), local ones can feature information about a business’s physical location, including a map, address and opening times. It also makes it easy for people to review your business.

 

Local pages also feature all of the functionality that can be found on the other types of Google+ page, including the ability to share content, join circles and create a hangout, which can be used to start conversations with customers.

 

Claim your content

For those with businesses based online and frequently posting content, Google has tied in authorship markup with its social networking site so that an author’s picture and name appears alongside their content in search results. This not only allows authors to claim their content but it significantly improves the chances of someone clicking on their links.

 

This markup can help an author build up credibility and rank better for their area of expertise, which can be beneficial no matter whether it’s for a news site or a business blog.

 

Search engine visibility

In general, all content published on Google+ will be registered by Google almost immediately and will also have its own URL, meaning more of your content is going to be highly visible in searches, unlike say a Facebook post.

 

A Google+ Local page is most likely to be returned in brand name searches too, giving you the perfect opportunity to engage with people immediately.

 

Harness hashtags

Unlike Twitter, where hashtags are an optional feature, Google+ inserts them automatically into a post. These hashtags not only make it easy for users to keep track of similar conversations, and discover people outside of those they follow, but it also helps Google to rank content by its relevance.

 

Connect with communities

It’s also important to realise how connecting with Google+ communities can help promote your brand or business. With Google+ it’s easy to discover large groups of people who are interested in your area of expertise and connect with them using your company profile, rather than your personal profile like other social networks.

 

There are many ways in which Google+ can boost your business, whether that’s through connecting with a new audience, starting conversations with an existing one or just making it easier for people to find you online.

 

Download this how-to guide as a PDF

 

Simply fill in the form opposite. You'll be able to access lots more resources, too.

 

Even more info, just for you

 

A great Google+ for business infographic from SocialClinch via Social Media Today.

 

Plus more on Google’s authorship markup via Search Engine Land.

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