If you're a small business owner and still without a Google Plus (G+) business page, you may be falling behind the competition. The Google+ business page is not another ‘fancy' entity to add to an already expansive list of social media platforms, It's a tool that's become an important part of online marketing for local businesses.
The Google+ personal and business page does have its incentives.
Reasons to Have a Google+ Page
If you are thinking, ‘why should I need Google+ when I already have Facebook and Twitter?' read these advantages of a Google Plus Business Page:
(1) Less Competition = High Potential –
Yes, Google+ does not YET enjoy the popularity of Facebook, ‘yet' being the operative word here; however, Google+ does have a lot of potential in terms of business. What are they?
If not many businesses (your competitors) are not on Google+ yet, it means you have the advantage over them to establish your hold on the market. Google is not going anywhere and they are tying in their products like Google+ and Google Authorship directly into the search results.
If your business is typically ‘local', you have more than one reason to be on Google+ ASAP because Google favors local businesses and as soon as your local business is registered and indexed the Google+ and Google Places, you have a higher chance of getting more eyeballs in search results.
(2) ‘Hangout' with Customers –
It's not without reason that big corporations spend alot of money on customer engagement and here, with Google+, you are getting that advantage by just spending few dollars on a webcam and headset.
The ‘hangout' is the best feature in Google+. You can use this feature to communicate with customers, potential customers, solve buyer queries, give live demos, and hold training sessions and many more.
Once the Google+ is live, click on ‘hangout' and get used to its features. You can ‘hangout' with 10 people at one time. For instance, if you are giving live training sessions, you can record the whole interaction and upload on, let's say, YouTube and get more visitors. Isn't that interesting?
(3) Share Targeted Content –
If any small business has an active blog, it becomes more important to be on Google+ and use it as a means to share targeted content. You can do this with the help of ‘Circles'. A circle is a way of dividing the contacts in various groups. For instance, you can have circles devoted to old clients, new clients, social engagement, family, staff and others.
Hence, while sharing important business updates, product launches or another blog post, you get to decide which circle it should be shared with; hence, the sharing is targeted.
(4) The +1 SEO Factor –
Have you noticed the tiny ‘+1' button in Google search results? Look closely next time.
The presence of your business on Google+ will positively impact your SEO efforts. Dennis Troper, Google's Director of Product Management has said that every +1 that the business / brand pages receive in search results and websites will be used to analyze its importance and will impact its relevancy in search engine results.
In simple words, the ‘+1' will act like a ‘vote' so make it count!
(5) Its ‘Google' after All –
If you want your online business to survive, you have to be on GOOGLE. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
It's all about visibility. If a business is not indexed in Google results, it doesn't exist! Therefore, being on Google+ gives you a direct entry into the search visibility metric. There is a lot of debate whether presence of Google+ impacts search engine results or not, it is a fact nonetheless that being on Google+ ‘improves' your chances.
Further, who knows what Google has in store for us? Like the Author Rank factor which is used to validate the authorship of content, Google might decide to use Google+ to validate businesses and integrate with other products, who knows?
Is the Google+ Initiative Successful?
It's true that Google+ is nowhere near the millions of profiles Facebook boast of but it is not a failure either. The success metric differs with every product. In a 2011 Google Big Tent event, the Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt said:
“Google+ is doing better that I expected given the competitors in the market and the success [of Facebook]. Do I think it's a success? Absolutely. Absolutely. If Google is as successful with Google+ in less than the 12 years Facebook has been around we'll be very happy with that. The fact of the matter is that maybe Google is one of those companies where we can't really grow [things] any more – we have to start huge. The reality is that our Google+ efforts started in the last 6-12 months. I think we've announced our numbers – more than 150 million users.”
How to Set up Google+ Page?
Much has been written about how to set up a Google+ page so I am referring you to the best resource to follow.
Follow this write-up by Kristi Hines & implement it closely.
About the Author:
Chitraparna is a professional blogger at HandCellPhone.com, an up-to-date resource of anything related to mobiles and computers; and runs her own content development agency at SocialVani.com where she specializes in creating responsive content for small business owners.