Many consider Google+ irrelevant if not dead and buried but, this may relate to a misunderstanding of Google+ and its benefits. together with Google My Business, this social media ‘layer’ will add value to your business.

Google+ isn’t just another social network a small business can use to boost its online presence, but it’s also the ultimate resource to maximize visibility on Google search pages. 

Being on Google+ is a must for any small business because the platform works hand- in-hand with Google Search. This includes potentially ranking higher on search results, integration with relevant Google for Business services, and the ability to draw customers in by providing key business information — such as location and directions, phone number, photos, reviews and more — right on search pages.

Do’s for Small Business

  • Combine Google maps & Google business 
  • Take advantage of Google+ SEO value by combining your Google+ Local Page (your maps listing) and their Google+ Business Page. Your business will be more likely to rise to the top during location-based searches.
  • When setting up a page for the first time businesses with a physical location should keep in mind to Select Local Business or Place as their business type.
  • Be strategic with sharing content
  • Post first as your page, but then use your personal profile to share that post to communities you’re Involved with.  Don’t forget to add your personal comment Or question! This will increase your likelihood of receiving comments, +1’s, and shares.

Actively Grow Your Audience

  • Work to gain a large group of followers. Add people to your circles in the hopes that they will add you to theirs. Focus not only on people in your industry but also Potential customers and professional acquaintances.
  • Once you reach a certain number of followers, that number will appear next to your link when you show up in an organic search result on Google.
  • Additionally, a high number of followers in your circles boosts your authority with Google, which also improves your search rankings
  • Ask for reviews
  • Earn positive reviews from your customers by reaching out to them and offering your Google+ link to leave a review. Reviews will help build credibility for your business and make you stand out from your competitors .

Don’ts for Small Businesses

  • Don’t beg to have content shared or to be added to circles!
  • Don’t check – “notify by email” and +mentioning every time you are posting – this may get a negative reaction from seasoned users of Google+ and you may be muted or blocked before you even get started
  • Don’t forget to claim your business page
  • Don’t either set or claim your business page. Google the name of your business and see if there is a page already there, if not, set one up.  If you’re a local business, make sure you verify the addressLink up your website & add the “follower button” to your site.
  • Don’t forget to add in content to your profile, something about you and your business.
  • Don’t confuse Google+ with other networks
  • If you are using Google+ for business don’t share food, baby and lifestyle pics.
  • Don’t only use Google+! Google+ number of users especially engaged users is much lower than that of other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Understand how Google+ aligns into your social strategy and if your target audience members are active users of this channel.  Use it as a complimentary channel.

Need to know more about Google +? Read – Social Media Savvy – Google+ and LinkedIn: Stop Avoiding Social Media and Start Connecting Today with our Quick, Practical guide.

More Reasons to Google+

Just read this excellent article from Hailey Griffis – 5 Surprising Reasons To Reconsider Google+ (That You Can Act On Today). This is her take on G+
 
1. Google+ content gets indexed immediately and shows up in search results
2. Everyone You Email Can See Your Google+ Profile
3. There’s a Very Specific, Engaged Demographic on Google+ (Maybe Your Target Audience!)
4. Google+ Communities are Powerful (and Popular)
5. Major Brands and Influencers Are Seeing Success on Google+