Most people have heard of Google+ but don’t treat it as a serious contender in the world of social media. Whilst active accounts on Google+ are significantly fewer than Facebook’s 1.49 billion users, at around 300 million monthly active users, it is of a similar size to Twitter’s 304 million. So whilst it is some way from being the market leader, it is still a major player. Let’s look at why it matters, and see how you can tailor your output to reach a larger audience.
Play Google’s Game
Even if lots of people do not directly use Google+, many use it indirectly, for example by uploading photos from a mobile phone without opening the app. Google itself loves it when you use Google+. With 67.7% of all online searches being made on Google, if you can boost your rankings by using Google+, it makes sense to do so. Because everything you post on a Google+ for Business page is instantly indexed by Google, whilst your website may not get Google rankings, your content still can. Remember that 54.8% of clicks from all users go to the websites appearing on Google First Page!
When posting, make sure you format your posts in an appealing way. Break up your posts to help people to skim through the key points; this will make you more accessible, as well as communicate your ideas quicker and more clearly. Because Google+ acts in a similar way to mini-blogs, treat them as such, with a headline that is attention grabbing, communicating your message instantly; your headline is usually what displays in Google search results so make it count.
Google has started to list local search results whenever searching for a service or product. The ranking factors for this differ significantly from organic search results, with one of the most influential factors being the number of +1s on the Google+ Business page. If you encourage your clients to post reviews on Google+, this will boost your authority on Google+ as well as increasing the chances of you ranking well in local search results.
A great feature is the Google+ commenting system. A fantastic device you can embed in your blog posts, it offers people the option of sharing your post with their own followers, boosting your exposure.
Another thing worth knowing is that many of the top performing posts on Google+ include photos, so using images in your posts will also help boost your traffic. Ideally upload your own photo and bear in mind Google+ will try to include the URL for any shared images, and if you don’t set the right Open Graph images and tags, the image may end up sized incorrectly. Include a link to the URL that you want to share in your post, as the image link will be to the full sized version.
Finally, it is also important to be aware that Google owns You Tube. If you post a video on You Tube you immediately have a Google account; you may not even be aware of this! By connecting YouTube and Google+ accounts you can make sure your videos are predominantly featured on both platforms.
Lots of businesses are already using Google+ as part of their online strategy and reaching its 300 million users; don’t let them leave you behind!