Launched in 2011 as Google’s response to social media, for online businesses Google + is anything but the networking graveyard it was initially perceived to be.

An accessible platform for sharing corporate content to social and professional networks, Google + has vast SEO benefits, the added advantage of Places/Local linking, and great business-minded content marketing features. So to stay ahead of non-plussed competitors, it’s worth taking the time to integrate it into your online business strategy.

SEO benefits

How Google + can help:

Quality content is set to be the force driving SEO in the near future. Designed to share and connect information, social sites are the perfect place to display such valuable content – and none more so than Google’s own social network.

Integrated with all Google products and applications, as social power may be more influential than links, just having Google + offers incredible SEO benefits; from enhancing ranking to increasing business visibility in local searches.

How you should integrate it:

  • Google + links easily with Google products such as Calendar, Gmail, Play, Voice and most importantly Local. Be sure to harness this integration to reach a wider consumer base- wherever they’re camped out online – from social followers to Google searchers.
  • Ensure your Google + account is correctly linked with Google + Local to improve visibility in local searches, and to encourage user reviews, as both will benefit SEO. Google will notice if people say they like you!
  • Improve your social strategy by using Google Analytics to see what content is most popular, when it’s most shared, and by who.
  • Use Google+ Authorship to link your posts around the web to your Google + account. This will increase your authority, help your valuable quality content appear in searches, and give you important author credit!

Sharing and privacy advantages

How Google + can help:

Social networks are designed to help you connect and share, but unlike other sites (Facebook or Twitter), Google + does this uniquely; with sharing and privacy features which enable you to selectively organise your audience into ‘circles’.

Incredibly valuable from a content marketing perspective, this means content can then be directed at specific pre-grouped demographics. And as all Google products are integrated, sharing is simpler (i.e. you could create a corporate event in the Google calendar, then share it with a select ‘partner’ circle).

This means you can tailor your Google + approach to suit demographics uniquely, rather then just have one, overarching social front.

How you should integrate it:

  • Organise your followers into specific preference circles, to share (or censor) content with them selectively. In addition to having obvious categories, say past or present clients, if you have a wider consumer base, use their interactions to split them into communities (i.e. consumers who prefer one of your products to another)
  • Remain active, and share content consistent with your brand tone. Share other people’s tips, your own corporate news and updates etc, and try to encourage return shares and ‘+1′s for your site.

Social benefits

How Google + can help:

Google + takes a lot of great social features (say Twitter’s trends and hashtags, or Facebook’s simple status updating) and combines them to make one easy-use, interconnected, SEO beneficial social site.

With enormous potential audience reach (anyone with a Gmail account, by default also has a Google + and YouTube account – even if they’re unaware of it), investing time into Google + and having a complete, active account can boost your online presence more effectively than other social activity.

How you should integrate it: 

  • In the ‘Explore’ section, trending news can be seen, followed and acted on using hashtags – the same way digital strategies would with Twitter.
  • Using the ‘Events’ tab, create and share events with your circles, and edit your Google calendar within Google + – it is far more comprehensive than a Facebook event, and can be sent to your Gmail contacts.
  • Build Google + Communities (similar to Facebook groups or networks) to encourage interaction and conversation about your brand.
  • Use video Hangouts to chat with an audience of up to nine participants – this can be used from a customer service potential, or could be used to hold talks with business partners.
  • Create business pages to enhance brand visibility beyond that of simple networking. When linked to your corporate site, Google + Pages for business (similar to Facebook business pages) will improve SEO and traffic, so use them to build communities, inform followers and for customer service purposes.
  • Encourage followers to ‘+1′ you as this boosts authority. Have ‘+1′ endorsement buttons across your corporate site, ecasts etc.
  • If Gmail users are signed up to your mailing list, try to encourage them to connect with you on Google+.

Lastly remember; a sturdy, quality presence across Google’s integrated products will improve your online visibility and strategies as a whole – so time to incorporate Google Plus into your everyday actions now!

 

BIO

Alastair Kane is an online marketing executive with digital marketing agency Strategic Internet Consulting. They are based in the UK and offer Web Development, Mobile App Development and Digital Marketing.

Integrating Google Plus Into Your Online Business Strategy