Connect with Google plus

Launched in 2011, Google + has over 500 million active monthly users and after three years is already two thirds the size of Facebook, making it the world’s second largest social networking website. If you’re not currently using it, you should be, and here’s why.

Google+ is primarily a social media platform but it has the added advantage of being on your web browser, at all times. A powerful SEO tool, Google+ works with Google Maps and Google search engine platforms. A correctly used and completely filled out Google + page will impact your search rankings as well as prove to Google that ‘you’ are a real person. In addition to creating a page for your business it is worth connecting your website to Google + either by adding a Google + badge linked to your profile or by inputting a html code that will not be visible to users. Having a Google + page linked to your website is one of the surest ways of ensuring your business appears correctly when users search for you.

If all of this sounds good (and it should) then I suggest you take half an hour out of your day to get started, which is easier than you may think.

As with Facebook, a Google + business page cannot be set up until you have created a personal profile. This is a simple process with clear instructions from Google. Once in place you can follow the straightforward step-by-step guide to setting up your Google + page. It is worth noting that you will be asked to verify your business as part of the process. All this means is that your business information will be shown in Google Maps and boosts your authenticity to Google.

Once your page is set up you will need to create and develop Circles, the central feature of Google +. The best way to start is by going into the ‘you may know’ section in your home page and adding those who you already

know have a profile page. You will also be able to connect to your email accounts and search for users through your contacts. Similarly you can engage in communities, which are groups that have the same interests as you. You can browse through topics to find applicable communities or start your own.

With everything now in place it is is essential to keep your page up to date, gain followers and push valuable content. As with other social media platforms Google+ should be used to announce news, promote blog articles and special offers, share photos, videos and engage with your followers. Keep your content fresh and new, taking care to not simply regurgitate content that you have already posted on other social media sites. Post regularly to ensure that you stay in the home stream (the Google + ‘news feed’) and remain foremost in your followers’ minds. Include the Google+ icon in your email signature, add it to social media icons on your website and any promotional material and relevant branding. Don’t be afraid of the Google + Reviews feature. This can influence search results as well as providing strong social credibility for your business, which in turn leads to more conversions. Encourage your customers to use it and engage with them when they do. Get active, get social, get Google ‘plussing’.

At the end of the day, your aim as a business is to be found by customers and with 96% of all UK Internet searches conducted on Google, it is vital to engage correctly on the Google+ platform.