Backed by the world’s largest search engine and the second largest social media network after Facebook, Google+ is already a significant player in the social media marketing world. Google’s constantly evolving platform combined with unique features and important SEO capabilities, make Google+ an important tool in marketing. Here are 10 good reasons why you should consider Google+ as part of your marketing strategy:
1. Google integration
Google’s constant launch of new applications that integrate Google+ with search results makes it easy to share and manage content across all Google services. Through sharing, commenting and networking on Google+, Google knows what topics you want your website to rank for.
2. +1 Ranking
Essentially working the same way as a Facebook Like, Google uses the number of +1’s your page has to determine how popular your business or brand is. And while it’s become clear that every action made on Google+ is indexed by Google and subsequently used as ranking factors in Google Search, other social media players including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram show little impact on search engine ranking position.
3. Google+ Circles – target your message
Circles allow you to categorize and group your contacts according to interests. You can create any circles that you want and people can be in more than one circle. When posting an update, you choose which circle will see your update; an ideal means of targeting a specific audience, ensuring your message reaches the relevant group of people.
4. Google Authorship as an SEO ranking signal
Simply put, Google Authorship is the photo and information taken from your Google+ account (including your full name and the number of Google+ circles you belong to) that appears on search result pages. More than that, Google Authorship creates a verified connection between the content on the web and the creator of that content, constantly improving Google’s search quality. To improve your ranking, you should be adding Authorship to every piece of content that you write.
5. Hangouts – share knowledge and obtain feedback
Hangouts are basically a giant chat room that you control, allowing you to schedule online group events, like live Q&A sessions or webinars, and share information with multiple participants.
6. Communities – manage relationships
Much like a LinkedIn group, Google+ Communities allows you to participate in and interact with members of the community who share interests. Create your own Google+ community to grow your authority in your industry, generate brand awareness and engage with potential customers.
7. Events – promote and publicise
Stay connected with customers through Google+ Events. Similar to a Facebook Event, Google+ Events allows you to create an event, send out invitations and keep track of the details through integration with Gmail and Google Calendar. Google+ Events are an excellent way of promoting webinars, training courses and product launch events.
8. Business pages – greater discoverability
You’ll need to be a regular Google+ member in order to use this application. Google+ Business pages works in much the same way as Facebook Business pages. Providing you with another page that can be indexed by search engines to showcase your business, Google+ Business allows you to make regular updates about your business and links to any content you’ve created.
9. Insights – shows you what works
Think of it as a combination between Google Trends and Google Analytics; Google Insights allows you to view stats from your Google+ dashboard. Search trends individually or by comparison, as well as broken down into specific category; Google Insights shows overall trends including how many views your page has had and how many people are engaging with your business.
10. Google Places – increase your visibility in local search
Google Places provides a separate business listing page perfect for local businesses. Display reviews, photos, contact details and opening times as well as a fully integrated Google location map; just another page which can be indexed by search engines to enhance your visibility.