For me, Google+ and social media marketing go together like oreos and beer…not great together but superb on their own! Today we have a guest post from a marketer who talks about why you can’t ignore Google+ in your social media marketing efforts. Should you want a detailed description of how Google+ effects your page rankings, please see our previous post Google Universal Search – How Google+ Effects Small Business Marketing.
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Google is notorious for releasing widgets that enhance our lives both personally and professionally. From their search engine, gMail, Google Docs, the Android operating system and now Google+. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year, in late June 2011 Google launched their social network, Google+. It quickly rose in popularity with early adopters and initially there was constant talk about this being the Facebook killer and it would be the be-all end-all of social networks.
That talk has since stopped, but with over 250 million registered users, we can’t simply ignore this network. You must understand that it won’t overtake Facebook but it does have a lot of great benefits for your business, let’s take a look at a few of them.
1. Google+ Search
When you’re doing a search query in a search engine you get a lot of results back and sometimes it’s difficult to decipher which are worth it. With Google’s Search+ functionality, Google can personalize the results based on people in your network. When you search for a term—say, “jewelry Minneapolis, MN” — Google will populate the SERP with content that is personalized to you. Photos, links and status updates that are related to people in your Google+ network are more likely to be above the fold.
Transforming search results by interactions, connections and activity you have on Google+ is powerful because it instantly adds social proof to a page in the user’s eyes because a friend or colleague said this page was valuable. It is a crucial piece for SEO because it can boost a company’s page to the first listings when it normally would have been buried deeper.
2. Google +1 button
The +1 button has changed within Google+ and isn’t as apparent as it used to be — you must now hover over to see it — but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. When someone +1s your site, page or content, Google leverages this in personalized results. This is one the key indices of social proof in the network, much the same as a Facebook like.
It is crucial to make your +1 and social sharing buttons easy to find because if sharing is seamless and easy your users will be more likely to do it. Many organizations have implemented a floating sidebar that scrolls down as the user goes down the page. It’s always right in front of them, which is key.
3. Fast indexing
Google wants its products to be relevant and since they have their own brand to protect, they are able to index Google+ pages very quickly. Unlike when you add a new page to your website where it may take several days or weeks for Google’s spiders to crawl the content, G+ posts are sometimes indexed within minutes. You can see the benefit of this especially for timely content.
Google is a force to be reckoned with and it’s important to follow their trends because they have a lot of control over how your business is shown in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). They’re giving you the tools to succeed with their platform, so use them. Don’t underestimate Google. As a wise musician once said, “If you don’t like funerals, don’t kick sand in a ninja’s face.”
Jayme Pretzloff is an accomplished young marketer whose passions lie within SEO and social media marketing. He currently works as the Online Marketing Director for Wixon Jewelers, the premier jewelry store in Minneapolis, MN and serves as the Marketing Advisor for Blue Line Defense who teach Minnesota Permit to Carry courses.