Facebook may be the largest online social network in the world with well over a billion users but it is not the biggest website. Knocking Facebook into second place is of course, search engine giant, Google.

That alone should make Google+ (Google Plus) worth a look. It might not have the same impressive numbers as Facebook but its user base is still huge and because of Google’s dominance of search on the web it is incredibly useful for businesses to maintain a Google+ presence. In fact there is no easier way to increase visibility of your content on Google search than to encourage comments, shares and +1’s (the equivalent of Facebook ‘Likes’ on your Google+ account.

Google+ has some unique and handy features to help promote your business. Social media is all about building communities and Google+ has some innovative features to help you to do that. These features include things like video chat in its hangouts and the ability to segment your market and build several discrete communities of interest using Google circles.

What is Google+?

It was launched in 2011 and is building a loyal following. Think of Google+ as the glue that holds all Google products together. It is socialising the whole Google experience. As a business owner, that is the best way to view Google+. It is different to Facebook which is more of a single domination site.

Google+ can look a little confusing at first, but it works in a very similar way to other social networks such as Facebook. The main differences are the terminology.

For example:

• Instead of following people, you add them to ‘Circles’.
• Posts are usually called stories.
• Instead of ‘liking’ a story, you show your appreciation with a +1.
• Like Facebook, you can re-share a story.

Why Google+ Work so Well For Business?

Get a Business Page Not a Profile Page

Just as you would with Facebook, make sure that you create a Google+ business page for your brand rather than a personal profile. Your business will then be assigned a page optimised for your needs.

Upload a Compelling Cover Image

Use your Google+ cover image to express your brand image, tell people where you are, showcase your new products, advertise upcoming events or for whatever else you want to tell your clients. See how your image looks on your computer and mobile devices to make sure that it looks good on whichever device your viewers are using.

Add a Snappy, Descriptive Tagline

In your ‘About’ section, Google+ allows your business to add a tagline to appear underneath your pages main company name. The tagline will appear as the description of what you and your business is all about when somebody shares your page and also as the first sentence when your Google+ page is found in Google search, so make it count. Try to keep it short and snappy as well as being descriptive and using the main key words and phrases that you would expect people to use if they were looking for your business. Or you could use it as a message to explain who you are and what you and your business is all about. For some tagline inspiration search some of the more well-known brands and see what taglines they use.

Make Every Word in Your About Section Count

This is prime real estate for your business so focus on using keywords that you want to rank highly in the search engines. Use words and phrases that people would use if they were trying to search for a business like yours. Use them often in your posts too. It will make you and your business more visible in both Google+ and Google’s main web search.

Google+ Profile Essentials

Ensure that you fill out your Google+ profile completely. Do not leave any field empty. Remember this may be the first port of call for a potential customer so you want them to be able to find out as much as they can about your business so that they will want to do business with you. Your profile photo should be 250 x 250 pixels minimum.

Use the ‘Recommended Links’ area of your profile to add links to your website, blog, social media profiles, local listings and any review sites you want to promote.

As Google+ is linked very closely to Google web search, take advantage of posting links to your business in your Introduction and Contact Info sections of your profile. Every single link that you can create back to your website helps.

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