Google+ continues to gain ground as a social media destination, but the majority of businesses have yet to venture over there. Here are some reasons that it’s important to get your business on there soon, as well as some tips to help you get started.
1 – Why it matters
As of now, Google+ has about 50 million users. That sounds great, but in all it’s only about 1/16 the size of Facebook. So why bother with it? For Google search. Your company undoubtedly thinks that it’s important to rank well on Google, and you possibly even spend money with Google AdWords to help draw in more visitors. As time goes on, Google+ is becoming increasingly important to help you rank well. Here are a few reasons why:
- Your friends on Google+ greatly affect your search results. When you search for something in Google, if any of your friends have shared or +1’d a relevant page, it’ll show up much higher in the search results for you. This goes the other way too, so building relationships on Google+ will have a direct impact on your search traffic.
- Links from Google+ are “followed”. One of the basic pieces of SEO is to get more in-bound links to your site. Over the years, though, many sites (including Facebook and Twitter) have been “nofollowing” their outbound links, meaning Google doesn’t count them. Google+, at least for now, isn’t doing that with any of their links. If someone is talking about your business on Google+ you get the double bonus of direct clicks and SEO juice.
- Authors on Google+ get their image next to their search results. This will help your site to stand out more when listed with other sites on Google, as shown here:
The other big edge, especially for your business, is the first-mover advantage. Companies that join social networks earlier tend to acquire more fans than those that join later. On Twitter this is very clear, as in most industries the first companies to join tend to have the highest number of followers. The same holds true on Google+. Even after being on Twitter for four years, and tweeting nearly 6,000 times, I already have more than 3x the followers on Google+ simply because everything is new and exciting and it’s easier to gain traction. As people settle in, it’ll take more work to establish yourself.
2 – How to get started
Similar to Facebook, you’re not allowed to create an “account” for your business, but your account can create a “page” for your business or organization. Accounts are only for people, but once logged in you can create a page for your business. Head over to plus.google.com, and log in with your Gmail account (if you have one). If not, you can sign up from that page. Be sure to use your real name for your main account, and not the name of your business. If you name your personal profile “Acme Hardware”, Google will delete it.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll see five buttons along the top of your screen, seen here:
- Home: Get back to the start page.
- Photos: Manage and view your photos.
- Profile: View your profile, set privacy settings, etc.
- Circles: Rather than simply “following” or “friending” people, you group them into circles based on their role in your life, such as “friends”, “family”, “co-workers”, etc. It works similar to Twitter in that you can circle anyone you want and they choose to circle you back if they want; no mutual “friending” is required.
- Games: Play some games. The neat thing here is that games are kept in this area and don’t ever make their way into your main stream.
3 – How to add your business
Once you have your personal profile rolling, it’s time to create a page for your business. Getting started is easy:
- First, head over to the Google+ “create page” section, found here.
- Choose your category on the left, and walk through the steps from there.
- Add your photo/avatar. This will likely be your company logo.
- Post good content! This new page is worthless without quality content, so try to get on there every day and share insights and tips related to your industry.
- Tell people about your page. Mention it in a blog post on your site, or perhaps share the page with your followers on Google+.
Keep in mind that you completely “become” your page when you select it. Once you choose your page, you can go around on Google+ on behalf of the page (rather than acting as your personal profile). This allows you to find great content to share on your page, leave comments on other posts, and interact with other users. At anytime you can click the Google+ logo to go back to your home page and then use the drop-down menu to shift control back to your personal profile.
Google+ business pages are still very new, but they’re already becoming a big deal. The earlier you can get started, the better off you’ll be, so go create your page today!
Check out the ClickHOST.com Google+ page here: clickhost.com/+
This post was written by Mickey Mellen of Green Mellen Media. Thanks to the ClickHOST team for allowing us the chance to share this information with your readers.