Google+ is an anomaly for many business owners. We always tell our clients that they need to claim and optimize their listings, but it’s a known fact that Google+ can be tricky. Recently, Courtney was interviewed in an article on Forbes.com about getting started on Google+.
Google+ is an interesting animal. Once believed to be a replacement for Facebook (wrong) it sort of failed as a true social network because of the stranglehold Facebook and Twitter have over the populace; after all, we can only be so many places at once before we max out our internet social potential. Now, in tech circles, Google+ is frequently utilized and is a great place to interact with hangouts, manage business listings, and share interesting content. But the important thing to note about Google+ is that it belongs to Google. While that seems obvious, you have to understand that Google is able to crawl the content you share, you like (or +1), the business pages you frequent, the reviews you write, the people with whom you interact. That data belongs to Google, as opposed to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest.
With the new Google My Business platform linking Maps, G+, and G+ Local, into a single dashboard, it’s more important than ever to maximize you Google+ potential. First and foremost, you need to claim and optimize your profile. Don’t leave that silly rainbow color block on your cover photo, don’t leave a camera snapshot as your profile picture. Maximize your categories, your bio, add photos and video. Use it to demonstrate who you are, what you do, where you are, and what people can expect. That’s the first step.
Beyond the initial optimization, link your Google+ profile with your author profile to ensure Google authorship potential. Google authorship demands an entirely different post it can be so confusing, but it has its utility. We have some clients who swear by the importance of authorship and it’s a frequent subject of debate in SEO circles. You also need to include content, hashtags, engage with your circles, listen to your followers and customers, and use the review features.
The review side of things is very important – we’ve had clients who have actively encouraged reviews on their Google+ profiles and get customers based solely on the number of positive reviews they have. In the local listings on Google, your G+ business page is shown along with your reviews. Be proactive and focus on those reviews.
To learn more about Google+, check out the article on Forbes in its entirety.