If you are a regular social media user, you probably check your Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram feeds every day—possibly even multiple times a day. When we think of using social media to grow business, these are the major platforms that we tend to gravitate toward because we know the majority of our potential consumers already have eyes on them as part of their daily routines. However, there is another influential social media entity that you should pay attention to in your efforts to expand your consumer reach: Google Plus. Though Google Plus may be a foreign land to many, using Google Plus for marketing still has its merit—mainly in terms of SEO.
When it launched in 2011, Google Plus was said by many in the social media community to be the “next Facebook, only better.” Its ability to group your followers into “circles” and “hangout” with just those users appealed to people who liked the idea of being a part of niche social media communities. However, its number of active users show that its success never rivaled that of Facebook—and Google contends that it never intended it to compare to Facebook or similar networks in the first place.
A 2015 study conducted by Stone Temple Consulting analyzed more than 500,000 randomly-selected Google Plus profiles, which are automatically created when you register for a Google account. That being said, the study showed that 90 percent of all people with Google Plus profiles had never posted publically there at all. Of 2.2 billion Google users at that time, only 111 million had active Google Plus profiles, and only 6.7 million had posted 50 or more times total on the platform.
At this point you may be asking yourself—why use Google Plus for marketing if it is a seemingly sparsely-utilized social media tool?
For one, the millions of active users that are using Google Plus regularly should not be discounted. In fact, Google Plus has remained a popular destination for certain online communities such as photographers, cooks and other very specific niches (i.e. Board Games for board game enthusiasts, Food Bloggers, Bikepacking, etc.). If you explore Google Plus, there is a good chance you can find communities that are relevant to your business. Like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, routinely posting engaging content in using Google Plus for marketing can connect you with promising leads.
But another reason you should use Google Plus for marketing is all in the name itself. It is a Google tool, and therefore it can help you tremendously when it comes to SEO. Here are a few ways how:
- Google Plus pages for businesses are managed through Google My Business, an entity that uses Search, Maps and Google Plus to enhance your brand’s visibility in search results. Having an accurate Google My Business listing helps Google users to find you easily in search, and allows you to appear when someone searches your business type in a specific geographic region.
- Google Plus profiles by nature get prioritized in getting ranked and indexed by Google. Your odds of obtaining targeted visitors from organic search increase if you have a Google Plus account.
- In the “About” section of your Google Plus page, you can write about your business and include relevant keywords that will help in your search ranking. You can also create links within this section that link back to different pages of your website—or your other social media profiles.
- Google Plus uses “+1” votes like Facebook uses “likes.” These +1 votes on your content show google that it is being read and shared, which will in turn cause Google to rank you higher in search. A study conducted by HubSpot showed that sites using the +1 button get 3.5 times more visits on Google Plus.
- Every article that you share on Google’s social network prompts Google to index your content almost immediately. Share your own content, and share quality content that your community will want to engage with.
- Google Plus’ local users receive prompts to review your business if they search for it in Google. Your reviews will then appear on your business’ Google listing in search.
Because Google is the most widely-used search engine out there, being present on the number one search engine’s social networking platform just makes sense. Though it may take a little more time and digging to find the users that you can best connect with, the SEO benefits alone of using Google Plus for marketing are worth the effort.
Need help setting up your Google Plus and Google My Business listing? Contact the McNutt & Partners team today at 334-521-1010 or visit our contact page.