“There’s nothing happening on GooglePlus!”
I hear this all the time. It’s true, fewer of your friends and family are on GooglePlus and its interface is completely different from Facebook’s. But for businesses (even small ones!), brands, and anyone who wants to make a name for themselves on the web, GooglePlus is vital to your success. Here is why you need to be on GooglePlus.
1. Google is the king of search.
Google has become so ubiquitous when it comes to online search that “to google” is now a verb. That means that your brand, business, or whatever it is, needs to show up in Google search results.
According to a presentation by Google at Social Media Week in Los Angeles at the end of last year, they perceive GooglePlus as “the future of Google.” Meaning, content shared in GooglePlus will have a big influence on what shows up in search results.
Basically, instead of thinking of GooglePlus as a social media platform, think of it as a search engine.
With its release of Hummingbird (its new search algorithm), Google has increased the importance of producing quality content in order for businesses and brands (as well as individuals) to establish themselves as experts in their fields and show up in search results. That means: blog, blog, blog! (And Hangout, and YouTube, and, and, and…)
2. An Authorship link will increase your visibility in search results.
You’ve heard it a million times: businesses should blog! We know the supposed benefits, but GOOD LORD it is a time investment!
But you’ve got to do it. And you’re better off using your real name and personal identity when you do, and linking your GooglePlus profile to your blog with Google Authorship.
The new search algorithm means that more quality content from individuals in your GooglePlus circles (or connected to your circles) will show up in search results. Between two excellent blog articles, a Google search will favor the one written by John Smith who is in 345 circles, rather than the article written by “The BusyBee Honey Blog.”
Why is this? Because Google knows the value of a thought leader; a trusted person who is seen as a credible authority. People are more likely to find value in information provided by people they know (or know through the internet) than a corporate blog.
3. Google demands quality content.
Okay, so you’re blogging, and you’ve learned how to use GooglePlus. You’ve created your profile or your company page, and you’re sharing all your articles. That should do the trick, right?
It’s not just enough to write stuff and put it out there. It’s got to be good. And it’s got to be relevant. Your content needs to answer the questions that people are asking when they do a Google search.
If you’re just writing company news or making heavily promotional videos, no one is going to see them. Sharing them on GooglePlus will get no reaction, and it could, in fact, hurt your SEO standing because you’re spamming up the internet with content no one cares about.
Answer your customers’ questions with your content. If you’re a pet grooming business and people are searching “how often should I groom my dog,” write an article or create a short video that answers that question.
4. Being active on GooglePlus will help establish credibility.
So now you have awesome content AND you’re sharing it on GooglePlus.
Now’s when the social media side of GooglePlus kicks in. It’s not enough to just put your content out there. You’ve got to help people find your content by connecting with them and building relationships.
Start out by finding communities to join, commenting on posts, and sharing other people’s good content (giving credit, of course). Then start sharing your stuff, making sure it’s relevant to discussions.
Finally: Have fun!
Contrary to popular belief, GooglePlus is fun. Lots of savvy individuals, businesses and brands are active there, and you’ll find useful and entertaining information. I’ve “met” people on GooglePlus who have enriched my understanding of wider social media, and I’ve followed news sources and joined great communities that cater to my interests.
Invest a little time in GooglePlus and good content, and you’ll see the benefits for your online presence.