Google + has enormous benefits and uses for businesses looking to expand their online marketing potential. It is now the second largest social media platform after Facebook, leaving Twitter a distant third. Unlike Facebook it has greater applications and functionality for businesses.  It can serve as an important part of your online branding. The myth of Google+ being a social ‘one-horse-town’ has been debunked with over 500 million users today. That number is set to increase.

Creating a Google+ Page

  • Click on create page on Google+
  • Click on the ‘create a business page’ link
  • Hit ‘create a page’

Pretty straightforward so far…

What next?

After creating the page you need to select a category for you business. There are a variety of options here, but try to select the category that best describes your business. When you select this category you will be given a list of sub-categories, and again, you must select the one that most fits your business.

It’s very straightforward and you proceed to fill out your profile. Fill out details about your business in the About section. Include your website and a fairly detailed description that tells people who you are and what you do. This will help people to find you in Google searches. Finally you add your images and logo onto the page.

Images

The profile picture will probably be your company logo. For best results use a picture that’s 500px X 500px.Click on the profile picture icon and proceed to upload it from your computer. Try and add a cover photo also. A cover photo is larger than your profile picture and provides an attractive background. The picture you upload may be a photo of one of your products or your storefront, for example. Try to pick something that clearly identifies your business and the product/service you provide.

Under the story heading use the allowance of ten words that best describe you. If you have a tagline on your other pages, merchandise etc, use that. It will bring consistency to your branding on Google+.

The search engine optimisation of the About page can be easily achieved by taking certain steps. Try to use bullet points – this makes the content easier to read. Provide links to pages in your website. Have a description of your business that includes certain Search Engine Optimised keywords. If possible include in the About page a link to a form on your website where readers can contact you.

A quick note – If your product is only appropriate for adults or can legally only be sold to persons over 18 like alcohol or gambling opportunities for example, you can specify that the content is only ‘suitable for users 18 and over’.

Authorship with Google+

Anything you publish with Google+ can be linked to your profile essentially naming you as the author. The more posts/articles you write that are attributed to you the greater your online presence will be. Having your image attached to your posts gives you authority and ownership. You simply link your content with your personal Google+ profile.

Your page, along with your image can show up in Google searches. It is important element of your businesses’ branding. When people are searching for your brand they can get all the relevant information from your Google+ page. You need to start publishing relevant posts to attract and interest followers. Be sure to add Google+ badge to your site. Having a Google+ page moves you higher in search engine searches.

Social annotations

Social annotations are a great endorsement for your brand or product. Search ads with Google+ get 5-10 % more clicks than those that don’t use it. Let your audience endorse you and your product. Endorsements are extremely important for your business. Anyone can blow their own trumpet, ‘we’re the best…’, ‘we deliver…’we are the leading…..’ blah, blah, blah. No one pays all that much attention to self promotion. But positive word of mouth from customers who’ve done business with you is a very powerful tool that is proven to generate more interest. Enhance your campaign with Adwords and annotations will be displayed on search ads.

With AdWords enhanced campaigns, social annotations will display on search ads for eligible advertisers. All you will need to qualify for this enhancement is a Google+ page with a linked website that matches the website of your search ads.

The Google+ Button

By adding the plus button to your website it is easier for people to recommend you to friends. To add the button you just insert a snippet of code into the site’s HTML. You can customise the size of the button also. It makes a huge difference when friends recommend your website to other friends as they are lot more likely to click on the link.

Hangouts

Google plus also allows you to have ‘hangouts’ where you can actually speak to people in a video chat. This works just like Skype, but with added functionality. A hangout can have up to 10 people in your circle involved in a live video chat; this makes it very easy to have a conference call. Hangouts also give you the option to scroll back over past conversations. Google+ hangouts are extremely versatile and easy to use. As an added bonus you can upload videos from it to youtube.If you were holding a webinar for example this would be ideal. Just make sure and ask for the other participants’ permission first before uploading!

It is important to remember that your business page will not build an audience overnight. You can aid this process by following other businesses that you are interested in and add them to your circle. Get a link on your website so that people can follow you. Try to get involved in discussions and topics in other posts.Best of all join or even better, create a community for the business area you’re in. This is almost guaranteed to increase your visibility. All these actions will aid your online visibility and ensure your page grows steadily.

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