Whilst Google+ may not be new to the market – it first appeared in the Summer of 2011- it’s only recently that brands and companies of different sizes are starting to take notice and are realising its importance in the future of social networking as well as website searchability. So – what is Google+ and why will it benefit your brand?
Google+ allows you to create a page for your business, much like Facebook. You can then personalise your profile with photos, information and videos plus post updates to your wall – again much like Facebook!
The main difference to Facebook is the +Circles – these allow you to create different groups in which you can divide your contacts, dependant on your relationship with them, for example you could have circles of ‘Suppliers’ or ‘New Clients’. The information you relay to these ‘circles’ can then differ – meaning you can target your messaging specifically to that Circle and better your personal engagement with them.
Why Google+ will help with your SEO
Here’s where it gets a little confusing…
Google is the largest internet search engine in the UK (at 92% market share in June ’11 compared to only 65% in the US as of Dec ’11). When consumers are looking for a product or service they use the site to search for the most appropriate source – which means that it is important for your website to rank as high as possible when people search for your products or services, your company name or key words relating to your business.
Ensuring high rankings has previously predominately been down to the content of your site ,which helps with SEO (search engine optimisation), however, with the development of Google+ it is now also what you add to your Google+ profile which is going to help you achieve high rankings. Search results will also be down to the companies in your Google+ circles and who you are following.
Google’s Search plus Your World – aggregates data from your Google+ network (when you’re signed in) and delivers personalised results (from your Google+ network) which get bumped up to the top of your search engine result page. Basically, Search Plus gives preferential treatment to Google+ activity.
You may have also noticed the +1 button next to your website listing in a Google search? This tells you who is recommending and interacting with your brand across the web. All the +1s around your brand will be connected directly to your official Google+ Page, anchored to your identity and allowing you to analyse data related to those +1 clicks.
With more +1 clicks, Google will be able to take those recommendations and analytics and then put your company in places that actually matter. In this manner, Google+ will extend your brand and put it in front of users across the globe.
Just signing into Google will affect the search results you get. In a test we did, the page we were looking for was on page 7 of the results but as soon as we signed in it jumped to page 4.
It has been argued that the internet search engine giant, Google, are trying to monopolise the market and are ‘forcing’ people to use Google+ to ensure they are ranked highly in Google searches. Stopping sites such as Facebook and Twitter having a look-in by prioritising Google+ results regardless of whether they are more relevant or up-to-date.
Either way, with Google being a powerful site on the internet it means you can’t miss out. Set yourself up with a Google+ page and start promoting it alongside your other social media sites. Eventually, you will be able to direct customers directly to your brand’s online identity with one simple search through Google. Once they’ve added your company/brand to their Google+ circle you can engage with them, forming deeper relationships and therefore increasing sales.