Save Your Wallet and Market Your Business with Google+
BY: MEGAN TOTKA ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2014
Because Google+ is powered by Google themselves, we as marketers can rest assured that the social media site isn’t going anywhere soon. As long as Google’s around, Google+ will also be around.
What’s great about the fact that Google+ is here to stay, though, is that it’s FREE, it’s easy to use (once you get the hang of it) and it’s practically made for small business owners and entrepreneurs to use to grow their online followings and increase visibility.
So, how DO you use it?
5 Ways to Grow Your Business with Google+
No matter how small or big your business is, you should be using Google+ as a tool to market your products or services. It just doesn’t make sense NOT to!
As a free platform that helps you get the word out about your business online, Google+ is the perfect way to boost your marketing efforts, without going over budget.
Basically, it’s all about increasing your search visibility. We are assuming with this post that you have already created a business page for yourself on Google+ and that you have an existing website for your business (and if you don’t, YOU SHOULD!)
Here’s what you need to do next:
- Connect your website to your Google+ page. One way you can do that is to add a Google+ Badge to your website. This will help you increase your Google+ following as well as automatically add an active “Follow” widget (button) next to your listing in search results. Pretty neat!
- Socialize your business by using it to interact with your audience and other users relevant to your industry. Start +1-ing and commenting on quality posts that you find worthwhile. Every user you interact with doesn’t have to be a customer or a potential gold mine; think of it as planting the seeds for future growth. Remember that many other users (namely, your target audience) will be able to view those interactions, which could end up influencing decisions down the road. Hint, HINT.
- Post REALLY GOOD content on your Google+ business page. We’re talking content that’s as top notch as it gets. You can intersperse posting your own blog posts, of course, but the majority of your posts shouldn’t be from you or your site. Post high-quality, helpful content that helps to show that you’re an authority in your industry.
- Join communities and use hashtags when you post. Google+ communities are a superb way to connect with like-minded individuals. Hashtags boost your posts beyond your followers. What’s not to love?
- Declare your authorship and hope that Google recognizes it. Kidding! Well, sort of. Google uses Authorship to create a connection you can actually see between your Google+ profile (your personal page) and the content you publish. When Authorship works successfully, your Google+ profile picture will appear as a thumbnail next to your published content in a web search.
Stop Waiting to Be Found
Use the steps above to help your business show up more visibly in search results when marketing your business with Google+. But HOW exactly does this translate into more visibility?
Dig this—when you search for something online, say, a dishwasher, for example, Google brings up your search results, but with a twist…
Google pulls up local store names that carry dishwashers, reviews for those stores, product reviews, phone numbers, contact information, store hours and more. If your Google+ page is optimized fully with keywords relevant to your business and all the other necessary info, it stands a much better chance of making the search results than if it’s missing info or missing a page altogether.
Because Google Places has been integrated with Google+, this is how you will optimize your business for local search from now on. Knowing how big and important local search is should motivate you to work on your Google+ page as often as possible, especially because Google is pulling up posts within search results now, too.
That’s good news though, as it means that if you’re posting high quality content with relevant hashtags on your Google+ page, there’s a good chance that your post may show up in a relevant Google search.
Google will even put your website in the “coveted” right hand spot where it appears parallel to search results if you do a REALLY REALLY good job at marketing your site.
Granted, that spot is usually reserved for the biggest brands, but you’ll never know what’s possible if you don’t try it!
Image via Shutterstock