7 compelling reasons for your small business to be on Google+

Google+ needs to be taken seriously by small businesses

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Introduction

Google+ is Google’s attempt to take on the likes of Facebook and Twitter in the battle of the social networks. When co-founder Larry Page took over as CEO in 2011, he challenged his company to go out and win battle of the social networks. From that, Google+ was born.

It’s useful to know the importance Google places on social because it’ll help you understand why they are throwing the full weight of it’s other titanic platforms behind the success of Google+. With this knowledge you can learn how best to leverage these efforts to the advantage of your business.

1. Visibility

Google+ business pages are now appearing in Google search results on the (previously) empty white space on the right. This is prime internet real estate and should get a lot of people into your company’s G+ circles.

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2. Author rank

Author rank is a system that Google is developing to help verify the validity of content based on the reputation and identity of the author of that content. So if content is created by someone with a good author rank, it’s likely to be more prominent on Google search results pages than a piece of content without a ranked author. Up until this point, author rank hasn’t actually counted towards rankings but this is all about to change in Google’s next search engine algorithm update, know as Penguin 2.0. So now is definitely the time to get on board!

Google have had this idea for a while but they’ve had to wait for a tool to help them identify the validity of authors and this tool is Google+. Make sure whoever is writing your content knows about author rank and is properly set up for it. You can start by linking your personal G+ account to the content you create here: https://plus.google.com/authorship.

3. Google+ is growing, while Facebook is faltering

Google+ has swiftly become the world’s second biggest social network after Facebook, while Facebook is starting to show signs of faltering and lack of a value offering to small businesses. The reported number varies but, anywhere between only 1% and 16% of your own Facebook fans see each post you publish to Facebook but if you want them all to see your updates, you have to pay for it. This obviously puts into question the true value of Facebook as a marketing channel as the key effort on Facebook for many marketers is to grow their likes/fans. What’s the point of this if most of them don’t see your posts? It makes your own email list more effective than Facebook.

Your Google+ content, however, is not limited by an algorithm and is also seen in Google search results. It’s worth noting that at this stage that 89% of web users in the UK use Google as their search engine.

4. There are some busy Google+ pages out there

There have been a lot of questions of the level of interaction experienced on Google+ and at this stage it’s safe to say that Facebook is still winning on this front but Google+ is definitely on the rise. If the basic signal of interaction is a +1 (Google+ equivalent of a like) then pages like The Economist with 3 million +1s, the Guardian with 1 million +1s and photographers Thomas Hawk and Trey Ratcliffe have a whopping 5 million fans each!

5. Google+ followers count on adwords

You can now add your business’s Google+ follower account to your adwords adverts. Google claims this increases click through rate on your ads by 5-10%.

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6. Youtube and G+ channels starting to merge

Youtube is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world and Google now allows you to link your Google+ profile to your Youtube account. It’s early doors but the marriage can only be a good thing. It should bring more identity and credibility to your Youtube channel and more interaction to your Google+ page.

7. Google+ communities

In a bid for more interaction, Google+ launched communities which centre around a topic of interest. These have been well received and interaction has been good. The interesting part is that you can join communities as a brand. This is something you can’t do on Facebook. So if you go ahead and search the communities and there are people talking about topics that are relevant to your business, jump right in and get involved!

Jack Pritchett

Senior Communications Manager