Should My Business be on Google Plus?

There is no doubt that Facebook is the undisputed King of social media – at least for now! But with so many users complaining about irrelevant feeds, increased advertising and concerns over privacy issues, it’s no wonder that people are leaving Facebook and looking for a better social experience. Unlike Facebook, Google+ gives you the power to build new connections and relationships, and to discover meaningful content without any nasty surprises.

In a 2013 pole carried out by Sensis, Google+ is ranked in NSW, Australia, second only to Facebook. There are many benefits to using Google+, from SEO, to using circles to market to potential users. If the people that follow and engage with you like your content, they'll give you a “+1” vote (similar to Facebooks “like”). By getting a +1 vote, you are sending a strong social signal to Google that people are reading and engaging with your content. Do this consistently and your business will get better exposure on Google’s search results.

Use of Google+ in Australia

Above: Google+ use in Austraia (Sensis 'Yellow Social Media Report, May 2013)

However, it's not just about the number of users that makes Google+ unique. Google created Google+ to be a "social layer" in which it integrates various applications (Youtube, Google Maps, Google Drive, Hangouts etc). What this means is that Google+ can be used to enhance your online presence as well as enhance your services. For example, if you conduct a virtual team meeting or demonstrate a new product via Google Hangout (a video conferencing service), record it and instantly post the video to Youtube. Once the video is on Youtube, there is also the benefit of SEO, where your video will rank higher for certain keywords - thus exposing your services to a larger audience and driving further traffic back to your website.

Google+ Authorship as it appears in search results.

Above: Google+ authorship information as it appears in search results.

The other benefit of Google+ that separates it from any other social networking website is the use of Google Authorship tool. This is where the content that you produce is identified directly with the author/writer. Done right, Google authorship information should appear in search results for the content you create with a recognizable headshot of your profile photo. Studies have proven to increase the click through rate to your article by as much as 150% or higher.

The benefit of having a business page on Google+ is that it appears on search results (maps and details of your business).

Above: The benefit of having a business page on Google+ is that it appears on search results (maps and details of your business).

When Google+ was first launched in 2011, many people thought that it wouldn’t last. They also thought that Facebook had already dominated the social media scene with it's massive user base. But by In October 2013, Google reported that there are over 540 million active users, of which 300 million users are actively engaged in using Google+ itself. Despite the "nay-sayers" It looks to me like Google Plus is here to stay, so isn't it about time for you to start seeing what Google+ can do for your business?