If your local business doesn’t have a presence on Google Plus then you are missing out.
Google Plus (or Google +) is Google’s social networking platform, which has rapidly evolved since its official launch in September 2011 to become much more than a social networking platform.
Google has described Google+ as a ‘social layer’ that enhances many of its online properties. Having a Google+ page can help business owners to build a loyal fan base, providing customers with the opportunity to leave reviews and show their appreciation. Users are also able to use Google’s +1 button to endorse and share business related content across the web.
Google+ enables local business owners to link their Google+ page with their Google Places For Business page (formerly Google Places), and their own website. This enables businesses to connect with customers via organic search, Google+, or on mobile devices, and ultimately puts businesses in charge of their brand.
Depending on the nature of your Google+ business page, various rich snippets of information may be displayed to enhance the appearance of your brand and encourage engagement with your business. Businesses will also be able to provide accurate information and company updates to the end user directly via the search results page.
For local businesses, enhanced map information can be displayed, which not only pin points the exact location of your business and its address, but also displays an option to provide directions to your premises.
Reviews of your business may also be displayed in the search results alongside your business information. Having a presence on Google+ will allow you to monitor these and respond via social media. Reviews are becoming an increasingly important factor for search engine rankings, so being proactive in encouraging and managing your reviews and online reputation is important.
Photos of your business and product offering may also be displayed for your brand search, so ensuring that you have a Google+ profile which is nicely populated which high quality images is important.
On the social side, linking your Google+ profile to your website also has the potential to display your recently published blog posts and news stories within the search results. Making sure that you are regularly updating your site’s content and sharing this via Google+ gives the best chance of promoting updates to a wider audience, and increases the chance of this content being shared and endorsed.
Not only are you able to gain greater visibility of your company information, hooking up your Google+ profile to your website can also gain you more followers on the platform. Google is now giving logged in users the option to ‘Follow’ businesses on Google+ plus right from the search results page.
If your business doesn’t have a presence on Google+, don’t hesitate to register and claim your business profile. If you require any help or advice regarding Google+ best practice, then Hallam Internet would be happy to speak to you about how local search optimisation can improve the visibility of your business online.