The Google+ button has a direct impact on your total SEO success. That alone makes investing the time required to create a Google+ Business Page well worth it. Beyond that, here are three direct benefits you gain from having a Google+ Business page.
- Better Audience Segmentation. Google+ offers businesses a superior way to segment audiences through Circles. This makes messaging more relevant and timely.
- Face-to-face connection with patients and prospects. Live, streaming video and “Hangouts” enable medical professionals to generate live, virtual face-to-face connections with patients, prospects, and staff.
- Direct connection to search. Google has coupled Google+ directly with its search through the use of the “+1″ button. A feature is also under experimentation called “Direct Connect” that enables searchers to find Google+ business pages directly from within search. To see this in action, type +YouTube in the Google Search. This takes a searcher directly to the YouTube Google+ page without seeing any other search results.
Basics for Building your Google+ Business Page
Step 1: Go to the Google+ Business Page and click the “Create Your Google+ Page” button. There is a short video at this step as well to demonstrate a Google Business Page.
Step 2: Pick a relevant business category and add your information. The categories to choose from include: “Local Business or Place,” “Product or Brand,” “Company, Institution or Organization,” “Arts, Entertainment or Sports,” and “Other.”
Step 3: Add a tagline, upload a profile banner, click the “Continue” button and your page is ready to go.
Using Your Google+ Business Page
Once your business page is created there are six main actions you can take with that page.
Link to your Website: The first action you should take is to create a Google+ badge to place on your web site and blog. This badge will make your Google+ Business page visible and allow web page and blog followers to recommend your business page.
Status Updates: Posting content will probably be the primary way you use Google+. Like Facebook, Google+ enables page owners to interact as the “page,” rather than as an individual.
Build Circles: After users add your page to their circles, you can then add them to yours. Google+ automatically provides pages with a set of circles, including: Following, Customers, VIPs, and Team Members. Other circles can be created, if needed.
Hangouts: Hangouts are live video chats by which you can connect directly to up to nine other people at the same time.
+1 Button: When Google+ users click the button on your web site or blog, it is shared with their circles.
Google+ Direct Connect: This is an experimental feature currently only available to large brands. Google will be making the feature more widely available in the future.
The Bottom Line
The features for Google+ business pages aren’t yet as robust as those on Facebook. Custom apps, for example are not an option. Google has made it plain they intend to grow this social media tool slowly and with foresight. For now, Google+ is a second tier social media platform but one that is bound to grow exponentially over the next year or so.