Okay fine, Google+ isn’t exactly the golden child when it comes to social media platforms. It certainly cannot compete in the social media arena with the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (or more recently Snapchat, Tumblr, and WhatsApp). But like it or not, it’s essential to having a healthy online strategy. It’s time to stop looking at Google+ as a social network and instead as an SEO business platform. This platform currently boasts 2 billion users and is only going to continue growing. Why? A few reasons — and the second is the one you should be the most concerned about.
- Google is making a Google+ account mandatory for all Gmail users.
- Google + is playing a major role in SEO.
Having an updated G+ Account Makes it Easier for Marketers to Show up in Search Results
While we may all agree that Google+ as a social network is dead, the platform still has loads of value for businesses. This is especially true for smaller, local businesses that need to connect with potential customers via local mobile search. I’m always telling my clients that Google ♥’s Google. They always prioritize their own assets (YouTube, Google+, etc) over everything else. You’d be crazy to not take advantage of this! Google is aggressively using SEO benefits to entice webmasters and bloggers to engage with Google+, so be thoughtful with the content you’re posting on your Google Plus account. They should have keywords (in a way that makes sense, no keyword stuffing), a picture, and a link. Don’t forget about the hashtags!
Everything you post on your Google Plus for Business page is immediately indexed by Google. That means the content you post to your page can rank high in search results even if the same content on your website doesn’t. This is huge for companies and professionals! Being smart about the content you post can land you on the first page of Google — a location that enjoys 54.8% of all clicks from users.
Google My Business is the Master Dashboard for Google Plus, Google Maps, and Google Search
Stick with me on this one. Remember Google Places? That’s been replaced with Google My Business. If you had a claimed business listing in the past or even an old G+ account then you’re already merged over to the new Google My Business platform. So first things first: go look at your new dashboard! You’ll want to bookmark this so you can come back to it at least once a week. Your Google My Business account connects your businesses directly with customers whether they’re looking for you via a Google Search, Google Maps or Google+. If you haven’t claimed your listing yet, stop what you’re doing and go claim your Google listing right now. Seriously. Go do it now!
From this dashboard, you’ll be able to manage everything associated with your account. Be sure to review the basics first and decide if you need to make any changes:
- Is your business name consistent and appear exactly as it does on your website?
- Is the address correct? Remember to maintain exact consistency with your address. If your website spells out “street” then your Google My Business listing should as well.
- Confirm that you have a phone number listed and that it is correct.
This basic NAP data is what’s visible in search results, so it’s absolutely critical you keep it up to date.
Yes, Medium and Large Companies Need to be on Google My Business
You don’t need to be a small brick and mortar storefront to use and benefit from Google My Business. While it’s true that optimizing your Google My Business channel is incredibly important to be found in local search (and in my opinion, will drive more clicks and calls than any other channel), the mom-and-pop stores are not the only ones who benefit.
So let me just be super clear right now: Having a Google My Business page is essential to every type and size of business — regardless of what your end-game with digital marketing is. You don’t even have to be using the Internet to increase leads. Your potential customers are all using Google to find things about you, like hours, directions, reviews, contact info. Claim your listing, verify your information is correct and updated, and keep your platforms current. Otherwise, Google will post on your behalf whatever information was automatically generated from their artificial intelligence engines. Not good!
- Google+ as a social network isn’t going to do you any favors in terms of real-time interaction with your community.
- Google+ as a strategic business tool for your digital strategy is essential to improving page rank, relevance, and credibility in search results.
- Google ♥’s Google. The more you play in their sandbox, the higher they rank you.
- Being thoughtful with your G+ posts will allow you to rank above more established competitors.
- Businesses of all sizes — especially small businesses — must claim their listing and utilize the Google My Business das