6 Great Reasons You Want a Google Plus Business PageJul 21, 2014
Clients constantly ask me about Google Plus. Many of them have set up accounts, but don’t really know what to do with them. Most don’t even realize that Google Plus also offers business pages, similar to those on Facebook, with some stark differences!
While I could list dozens of reasons why you should consider having a Google Plus Business Page, I will go over six of the most important reasons you should have one.
1. Improved SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Google Plus is part of Google, which is the largest search engine in the world. Google likes Google products. The more Google products you use, the better chance you have of being found on Google (of course, you still need to do everything else necessary to improve your SEO). All Google products are linked to each other, which makes the exchange of information streamlined.
2. Built-in Google Analytics
Not only do you have page insights with Google Plus, as you do with Facebook, but when you set up your website with Google Analytics, you can see the results right in the My Business Dashboard section. This provides a more in-depth view of your audience based on both social media and your web site results in one place.
3. Verified Business & Google Places
When you set up a Business Page in Google Plus, you will want to verify your page. To do this you will need to list a physical address for your business. Google mails out a postcard with a verification code to verify it is a legitimate business. This is very different than Facebook, which does not require business verification for a Facebook Business Page, although they did just start allowing you to verify a business page. By verifying your business with Google, your business will automatically be listed in Google Places, which will be searchable and listed in nearby places for people using Google to search for places nearby. This is good for you because it allows your business to be seen by people who may not have seen your business another way. You will also need to verify your business on Google in order to get the Insights and Analytics on your business page.
Unlike Facebook, you have no “friends” on Google Plus. You can follow who you want and others can choose to follow you without you having to follow them back. So basically, you can hand pick who you follow. In addition, Google Plus sets you up with a few starter circles. Circles are a way to segment the people you follow. You can create as many circles as you want and put people in as many circles as you want (or only one).
I see Google Plus Circles as one of the best social media marketing tools around. Why? Because you can segment the people you follow into very defined targeted audiences and post things to that group only. For instance, let’s say you create a circle for long-time clients and another for new clients (or maybe you segment by business type). You can post different promotions to these groups based on which circle they are in. Also, if you segment by industry, you can post things to circles that specifically apply to the individual industries. Remember, you can have as many circles as you want, so you can separate them both ways if you desire. For businesses, this is so important. You can get the right message to the right audience and create targeted messages that will hit pain points instead of more general messages that may miss some in a more general group.
Communities are similar to groups on Facebook. The main difference I see is that Google Plus Communities are much more professionally oriented than Facebook Groups. People in the communities are much more involved in them and add value to them more so than in Facebook Groups. You will want to explore communities and pick a few that will benefit you and become involved in them. This will help you develop new relationships and build your brand.
6. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts have been described as “chat rooms on steroids.” Business owners can benefit from Google Hangouts in many ways. Hangouts can be used as chat boxes for meetings and brainstorming for up to 10 team members. You can save the dialog that was typed into the chat box for referencing later. You can also use hangouts for virtual meetings, whether it is a team meeting or a client meeting. When used this way, it is very similar to Skype. You can later post the meeting on YouTube and make it viewable to a specific audience (or public, if you choose). The last way to use Google Hangouts is for Webinars that can be recorded directly on YouTube.
As you can see, there are many great reasons to love Google Plus! While it may take some getting used to, you will want to invest a little time to learn it. The benefits (for most businesses) definitely seem to outweigh the time investment required to learn it.
If you are interested in more information on Google Plus or need training on it, I do offer individual and group training. Contact me for a FREE 15-minute consultation at [email protected] or schedule a call using my handy scheduler. While you are checking out my website, make sure to sign up to get great social media tips sent directly to your mailbox through my blog and newsletter.