Why Google+? Why Now?
Why Google+ Should be Part of your Local Online Marketing Strategy, today!
When it comes to Internet marketing for small businesses, Facebook often is the most obvious choice, especially for consumer oriented-businesses. Virtually everyone 13 years or older has a Facebook profile, from your kids to your parents and grandparents. With over 1.15 billion accounts, with 699 million daily active users, it’s easy to understand why.
When the topic of Google+ comes up in the context of Internet marketing, it is not always apparent to businesses what Google+ is much less the how and why they should be using it to promote their business online. Here are some reasons why Google+ is foundational to a sound Internet marketing strategy.
- Rapidly growing currently with 343M+ active users, moving Google+ past early adoption and well on it’s way to mainstream.
- Google Maps is the most used Smartphone App in the World. Google+ Local Pages feed Google Maps, providing businesses information to those on the go, an ever growing population.
You will find more statistics at Statista
- Google+ influences personalized search results through Google, Search Plus Your World, providing increased reach based on your Google+ circles, and more precisely, who has you in their circles. By default, all 343 million active Google+ users will see personalized search results though as seen in the video below, these can be turned on or off.
Google has since removed labeling the personalized search results, but those personalized results are still there nonetheless. To see for yourself, run a Google Search logged into your Google account, inspect the search results noting the composition of the first page, and then turn personalization off by clicking the globe icon next to the person icon on the upper right hand corner of the browser interface and you will immediately see how the search results are being personalized. This personalization is driven in part, by the interactions that you had on Google+. People who have you in their circles will see related content that you have shared with them in their relevant search results, possibly on page one, by default.
- Google+ Authorship which is another way that Google connects content to an individual in the search results. If implemented correctly, Google+ authorship results in a thumbnail being embedded in the search results. You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousands words!
In the above Google Authorship example, a query to “define Google authorship” two of three search results are examples of Google Authorship. Notice that authors profile pictures are shown along with the number of Google+ circles they are included in.
This number can be viewed as the author’s sphere of influence. That’s a lot of visibility in personalized search results for Martin and Mark!
The profile image from Google+ Authorship can enhance click through rates of the these authors links while helping to reinforce their personal brand and increased influence.
- Google+ does not filter its newsfeed like Facebook does with it’s Edgerank algorithm (program). In fact, Edgerank is said to reduce reach to 16% of a fan pages fan base by its prediction of which fans are most like to engage with that content. This means that if a company has 1000 fans on Facebook fan page and they share a post with those fans, on average, 160 fans will see that post or have the opportunity to see that post. In Google+, there is no filter for followers so the reach of content shared with Google+ is going to be much higher as a percentage of audience size.
- Google+ does not include paid advertising like Facebook does. Not in the Google+ login screen, newsfeed, sidebar or anywhere else on the Google+ site. That is not to say that Google+ does not use the data sourced from Google+ to target ads on its Search and Display Networks, just that Google+ interface is ad free, at least for the moment.
- Social Strategy Diversification to limit risks associated with relying solely on Facebook as a social channel to engage a target market or markets while sharing content.
- Google+ is at the Center of the Local Search Ecosystem heavily influencing the Google Local Search Results, especially for queries that either include a location as part of the query or deemed to have local intent, such as “dry cleaners ballston lake“
As can be seen from the local search example above, the first and second search results contain a link directly to their Google+ page. What is interesting is that the third search result features a link to the company’s Facebook page in place of the Google+ page yet stil includes the 8 Google reviews with an average rating of 4.8 stars, which for a services business, is envious.
- Google+ Local business pages support up to 10 images and 5 videos making these online business listings a rich user experience. Businesses such as restaurants and art galleries can share their offers in a visual medium while promoting their businesses.
- Google+ Local business pages provide a place for customers to leave reviews and for prospective customers to read those reviews. These reviews have been shown to have a dramatic impact on consumer purchase decisions. Having a 6-8 reviews seems to have a positive impact on the local search results.
Why Now? Why Not!
Google Maps is the top Smartphone app in the world right now with Google+ feeding business and location data directly into Google Maps, providing the Google+ business users the benefits of increased reach through Google Maps and Google Search, Plus Your World. There has never been a better time to begin promoting your business and personal brands on Google+.