Until recently, Google Plus was the redheaded stepchild of social media marketing, ignored, for the most part, in favor of its much more popular counterparts. But in recent months, marketers have come to realize that participation in Google Plus is not an easy-to-ignore option anymore. It’s a necessary part of doing business.
It all shifted around the time Google did away with Google Places and replaced it with simple local business listings for all of its Google Plus businesses. Like it or not, participation in Google Plus is no longer a bonus for businesses wishing to take advantage of Google’s many features. It is now necessary.
To begin using Google Plus for your small business marketing efforts take these few simple steps.
- Register your site. This can be done by simply going to https://plus.google.com/. The good news is, if you’re already participating in Google by using services like Gmail, you likely already have a Google Plus account. You simply need to fill in your profile information to make it more useful.
- Add contact information. You’ll next have to register a street address (PO boxes don’t apply) and phone number to your contact information on Google Plus. This initiates a two-week waiting process in which your activation is sent via the good old U.S. post office. You’ll also have to provide information that shows your operation is bricks-and-mortar, not just an online shop selling 80s rock star memorabilia on eBay.
- Update your contact information. Ensure the contact information listed on your website matches what you gave to Google, including street addresses and phone numbers. Discrepancies can lead to delays.
- Check your site’s local profile. When Google reviews your site, they will check to ensure your site is local, so be sure your main page makes clear that you’re a local business if you want to be included in local listings.
- Set up a Google Plus business page. Simply having a profile isn’t enough. You’ll need to set up a professional, high-quality Google Plus page that links to your website and other social media pages. Also post links to your Google Plus page to your social media sites and your website to maximize exposure.
- Network. As with any social media site, networking opportunities are what it’s all about. On Google Plus, networking involves creating and building “Circles,” which contains all your friends and online contacts. It’s compared to real life, where people make contacts and nurture them. Google lets you import your address books and contact lists from other sites, helping you build your circle almost as soon as you’ve joined. Once people have been added to your circle, they’ll be able to read your updates and interact with you.
Many business owners are now reporting greater search engine results with their Google Plus pages than other pages. If this is true, it’s important to regularly update content on your page to optimize results. By understanding and participating in Google Plus, you can achieve better search engine rankings while networking with new individuals and businesses to find new opportunities.
During 2003, John Lessnau popularized Text Link Advertising when he founded LinkAdage.com
John’s latest project is SocialLinkMart.com. Social Link Mart is a Social Media Link Marketplace for SEOs, website owners, and social media enthusiasts to buy and sell Facebook Shares, Google Plus Shares, and Twitter Tweets. Social link sellers are ranked by social media authority which insures the quality of paid shares.