by Lindsey Patterson | @LindseyPatter19
Remember that Google+ profile you created a few years ago? Many marketers and social media managers created a profile when Google+ was first unleashed, but then didn’t do anything with it because it didn’t seem to have the traffic or value that Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest offer. However, with the Google platform gaining more and more traction, business managers would be wise to pay attention and to start taking advantage of the opportunities Google+ has to offer.
So how fast is Google+ growing? With 359 million users, the platform’s traffic is up 33 percent and is currently the fastest growing network. If growth continues at the same rate, Google+ will be on track to overtake Twitter as the world’s second largest social media site. Users are also spending more time on the platform with time spent double what it was at in February of this year and 66 percent of users logging in every day.
What is the value of Google+ for your business? Google controls what affects your company’s search rankings, and with its creation has decided that social recommendations through Google+ will affect rankings. Every time someone shares or +1s one of your posts it acts like a recommendation that influences what searchers see. Just like a customer may check reviews for Vivint, Ford, Mars, or IBM before buying a product from that company, they will now consider the number of social rankings through Google as well. Content on the platform is also indexed by Google almost immediately into search results, increasing the likelihood of the content to show up in a search.
A major obstacle to digital marketing is establishing yourself as a credible voice about certain topics. There are so many copycats out there that will steal content to build up their rankings, and it causes Internet users to take any content they see with a grain of salt. Google+ will allow you to claim authorship of your original content, which will help preserve the value of the content and build up your credibility. After linking content to your Google+ profile, your picture will appear next to the content in search results.
On top of increased credibility the benefits to you include:
- More traffic to content because the search result stands out from the rest
- More traffic to your Google+ Profile
- More traffic to your other content via the “more by” link in the search result
The most recent addition to Google+, the Google+ Dashboard, simplifies the process businesses have to take to keep their information up to date on Google maps, track their AdWords account and monitor traffic on their Google+ page.
From the dashboard businesses can update website URLs, store hours and phone numbers across Maps, Search and Google. They can also monitor notifications, assign page managers, share content and start hangouts all from the same page. In the middle of a campaign? The dashboard will also give access to AdWords Express campaigns and provide insights of top searches for your business and performance data for Google+ posts. This new tool will be a boon for local businesses that struggled to keep up with managing multiple Google pages to stay recognized and relevant.
Engage Your Customers
The newly-launched communities allow your customers to gather in one place to discuss your product and give valuable feedback. It’s also a way to engage with customers by posting content and hosting hangouts to announce and discuss new products.
With so much involvement and growth, it’s safe to say that Google+ is here to stay. The question is will businesses use the platform to their advantage?
Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer who specializes in technology and the latest social trends, specifically involving social media.