You’re busy. We’re busy. Life’s run at quite a hectic pace these days, and if you’re juggling running a business with having enough time at home, then social media may come way down your list of priorities.
But before you dismiss Google+ as yet another social network in a long list of others you struggle to keep track of, bear with us. You’ll soon discover that not being on Google+ will have a long-term (negative) effect on your business’ online presence and that you should be using Google Plus.
Recently described by Google CEO, Larry Page, as the ‘social spine’ for nearly everything the company offers web users, it’s taken web aficionados a bit of time to be convinced that Google+ is destined to be the hub from where all online authority stems.
You might think that Google has enough other products out there which all work fine on their own – such as Gmail: it works in a browser, in a third party email client or through a mobile app. How could Google introduce Google+ and add them onto its already established products and what possible benefits could there be?
So what is Google+?
At first glance, yes it is ‘another social media site’. You can post content, share content, discover who’s doing what and where – just like other platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn. It’s got a bright and friendly interface and it’s easy to use.
What’s all the fuss about?
It could be easy to ignore the bridges that Google is building between Google+ and its other products. But what was once something that was less obvious is now staring us in the face. Google+ essentially establishes you as a real online presence, against which you claim your authorship on your website(s), both in the personal and business spheres, and linking you up to your other social media accounts.
Instead of having ‘followers’ or ‘fans’, here you create ‘circles’, and you can add family, friends, business partners, suppliers, customers and other categories all to different circles. Some can overlap, but essentially any content you push out or share, you can choose which circle to publish it to.
There are other benefits too...
You can use the platform as an online image library – by uploading through your smartphone. The simple photo-editing options mean that you can share easily with your circles.
It also has one of the most professional instant message services attached to Google+. Slowly becoming the messaging app to use, Google Hangouts resides in the Google+ sidebar on the web and you can invite people to a hangout, keep it ‘open’ permanently, and like the circles, maintain a separation between your private and business lives.
Google Plus and Search: SEO
Not only a social network in competition with Facebook and Twitter, Google created Google+ to improve search engine results. Here are some benefits for Google:
- Google search engine results become more accurate due to better data from Google users
- Google tracks the identity and activity of users who sign into Google
- Google+ captures much more such information by simply measuring ‘+1’ing, sharing and commenting on the network.
All of this = data which helps Google to personalise organic search results in a better way. More personalised search results = improved user experience, which in the long run improves conversions.
In essence, Google+ is a data-capturing platform for Google, helping it to determine what should be prominent in search. Due to the increased importance of social signals, Google+ has become an important social networking site. Google’s search engine watches these signals and hence gives ranking to your website in search engine results (SERPs).
So why should I use Google Plus?
Google has been clever. By blending all of its services together, not all at once but step by step, it has won the support of many regular online users, including those who have clout. Arguably, and convincingly, Google+ now carries more weight than Facebook and is on a par with Twitter and LinkedIn.
Google+ is now a large social network which can influence your business’ brand across the web. People can reach your website via Google’s entire network, and this will have an influence on your search results directly and indirectly. Google+ helps you to build your brand value, including Google authorship, and provides a graphical display of your brand value.
There is a long-term strategy for Google+ and the ‘social spine’ is part of that. It’s picking up pace in importance and will slowly overtake other social networks as a sphere of influence. It’s set to become an ingrained part of how you use the web, which in turn will affect how your business gets seen online. Your search results can be improved if you use Google+ network. A strong presence on Google+ can provide you with a higher page rank and web visibility.
Now is surely the time to climb on board the Google+ train and start using it if you haven’t already done so, and if you want help or advice with your online presence, get in touch today.