Google plus which was introduced in 2011 June is now the world’s second largest social network after Facebook with 500 Million users.
But should you join Google plus just because more people are beginning to use it? Should you start paying attention to Google Plus? To Google Plus or not to Google Plus?
Although not all of your friends are on Google+ yet, the platform is surely gaining acceptance. If you would like your business website or blog site to be found by those searching for the services you offer you’ll want to get onto Google+. Why’s that?
Google Plus is part of the Google eco system. As Martin Shervington explains, it is the Google social layer. Being on Google plus will greatly enhance your website’s online visibility and searchability. I will share four reason why I have decided to be active on Google plus.
I – Search Results - Because Google plus is part of Google, whether you are using it or not, it will affect how you may show up as search results for those searching for you. Google is serving more personalized and contextual search results, showing you results that are based on a number of other factors, including who you are connected to on the Google social layer.
Try searching for a phrase while you are logged into Gmail and then try doing the same search without logging into any Google App (or log in using Incognito mode). You are likely to see different results. If you want your posts to show up on search results for your target market and audience, you’ll want to be connected with prospects, clients and industry colleagues on Google plus.
II- Google+ Business Pages – This is your business brand page and not to be confused with Google Map or Google Local Page.However, Google My Business, the recently launched unified interface makes it easier for both brand and local pages to be found on searches.
You can have up to about 50 Google Plus Pages per profile, enough for most businesses. If you have difference niche markets or businesses, each one of these can appear as an additional search result on Google searches.
Merely having a Google business page will not be enough to get you onto any search results. You’ll need to connect with people in your industry by including them in your “circles” and start engaging with them.
The social layer is about making connection and having relevant conversations. And when these conversations revolve around your brand and services, they generate “signals” that can help you get found.
III – Google Plus Integrates With YouTube – It is the second largest search engine after Google. When you upload an optimized video to YouTube, not only does your video stand a chance of showing up on searches, the optimized YouTube channel and playlist it belongs to can also show up as search results.
It is no secret that videos rank better and faster than normal text based blog posts. If you have an optimized YouTube channel, your video, the playlist and the channel can all be helping your brand rank.
Videos have also been found to be much higher click through rates on normal text-based blog posts. This is not surprising. Not only is the visual of the video bigger in size than the author profile of Authorship (see diagram below), optimized video thumbnails is attention grabbing.
The description and duration of the video is shown on the search results, giving website visitors more information even before the click on the links.
Because Google plus is now integrated with YouTube, comments left on YouTube can show up on the Google+ and vice versa. This helps your brand expand its coverage as well as followers on both platforms. And if you plus one [+1] a post on Google+, this is going to show up as a thumbs up on your YouTube Channel helping it to rank.
IV – Google Authorship – If you create regular valuable content through blogging, you’ll want to set up your Google authorship so you can be recognized for your work in your area of expertise and grow your online authority.
When you set up Google authorship, your post will show up with your profile picture giving readers a sense of who you are. This makes your post more trustworthy and the author profile image will also draw eyeballs making your entry will stand out from the rest which only has text.
If you click on the profile photo in your authorship listing, it will bring you to another screen that shows related posts written by you, giving you further coverage and allowing your reader to make a better judgement of the kind of posts you written about and your expertise area.
When you start to use Google plus, you are allowing yourself a much better chance of showing up on search results. Imagine showing up for a blog post that you wrote at your site (with Google authorship) followed by your YouTube channel, as well as video on the same topic. Wouldn’t this bring your business much more credibility and relevant leads?
This is by no means a comprehensive post on Google+. To learn more about this topic, start using your Google+ profile and join helpful community, such as the Google+ Help community. If you are serious about upping your skills on Google+ you may want to join the Plus Your Business Academy launching next week.
I use Google+ and post tips and resources on building heart-centered businesses especially for training providers (corporate trainers and coaches) as well as educators and educational institutions.