Usually, when you read about social networks, the focus is on engagement.
The idea of “social is called social for a reason” is usually accurate, but there are times when other benefits, like search engine optimization (SEO), are important as well.
Google+ is a great example of this.
While you may not think your target audience is actively using Google+, they are using Google.
According to Google, nearly all consumers use the Web to search for local businesses. With 20 percent of Web searches having local intent, and that number increases to 40 percent for mobile searches.
Being on Google+ increases your chances of showing up in Google search results, and makes it easier for people to find your business information when searching online.
This starts with setting up a Google Local Page.
If nothing else, you must fill out a Google Local page for your business.
Your Google Local page allows you to make sure all of your business information is correct.
This means that when someone searches for your business using Google, they will easily find your location, hours, menu (if you have one) and reviews.
Keep in mind that 1 out of every 3 smartphone users search specifically for contact information, according to a Nielsen study. Having this basic information easily accessible could be a huge advantage for your business.
Also, look to build out your Google+ presence.
Every post and page on Google+ is indexed into Google’s search engine.
This means that your individual posts can show up in Google as a search result and are very important in increasing your SEO rankings. It doesn’t take a ton of extra work, either.
Here are a three easy ways to build your presence:
1. Share your blog posts
Include a paragraph or two from your post as your status content. This allows Google to fully understand what your blog is about and index your content correctly.
2. Include images in your Google+ strategy
Google displays beautiful images and allows you to edit directly within the platform.
3. Use relevant hashtags and keywords
Hashtags allow you to easily get found within Google+, while keywords can help Google index your content properly.
Bonus Tip: If you’re using Google+ as an individual, you can also set up Google Authorship. This will allow you to build authority around the type of content you’re creating which can also help SEO.
How do you know if it’s working?
The best way to measure Google+ Return on Investment (ROI), is to benchmark where your page rankings are today. This can easily be done using a tool like PageRank checker.
Once you’ve benchmarked where your page was before putting real effort into your Google+ page, check back every month to see if your rank is increasing (and more than likely it will have).
Always make sure you are also using your Google Analytics. This will allow you to see if traffic to your site through search engines and social networks have increased over time.
It’s about getting found
At the end of the day, the most important part of any SEO effort is to have your business be easily found anywhere consumers may be searching.
Google and Google+ are integral parts of this effort because by filling out a local page and including your already created content into your Google+ page, your website rankings and ability to be found are almost guaranteed to increase. And what’s there not to love about that!
Have you used Google+ for your business and have seen an increase in your SEO value? We want to know in the comments below.