Google Plus has been steadily gaining user-ship as people and businesses begin to realize the added benefits that a Plus account will add to their online presence. This post will discuss what Google Plus is, what the benefits are to you personally as well as your business, and how to get the most out of your account.
What Is Google Plus?
The assumption is that most of you reading this blog already know at least something about Google Plus and therefore this section can be skimmed briefly as you make your way to the more in-depth sections later on.
Google Plus is a social network that was created by the Google Search Engine. It effectively connects users to their contacts and allows them to upload content types including text, video, links, and links onto their profile so that their followers can interact with that content as well. This creates an easier way to channel content in a meaningful way to those who you are trying to reach.
Google Hangouts are a way for people to connect with up to 10 people at the same time over webcam, through text. I will discuss further in the next section.
What is the Benefit of Google Plus to You and Your business?
First of all even though it is implied, I should mention that within your personal account, you are able to create business pages which are a great place to inform internet viewers about what your business does, how to get connected with them, and to engage them in the meaningful content that you have uploaded there.
One of the best things about Plus is that it is a subset of Google, the most popular and powerful search engine in use today. You can best believe that when you post something on your Plus account, it carries more weight in a Google search than something any of the other social networks. If Google is a fan of your business because you have done a great job optimizing your profile, then you’ll do a better job when it comes to search results. Google also has a feature called “+1” which is the equivalent of the Like button on Facebook. People use it to show that they have found your content interesting, engaging, funny, etc. Having these +1s associated with your profile will help to raise your search engine results even higher.
Google Places are a great tool for local businesses hoping to gain customers from an increased online presence. When people search locally from their smart phone, having an optimized Google Places setup will help to put you higher on the list of results.
Google Authorship is a way to take ownership of the content you have created and distributed around the internet. It gives you more authority and is a verification that the work is your own. This acts as a ranking signal in Google’s ranking system and therefore this can be a helpful tool in increasing your viewership and trust in the communities that you are reaching out to.
Finally, Google Insights is a way that will help you to measure your efforts. Insights will give you information about what has been working, what your traffic is, and where the traffic has come from. This will be your proof that your hard work has been paying off.
I mentioned Google Hangouts earlier and the possibilities are endless on how Hangouts can be used. A few of them include business meetings, holding interviews, face-to-face interactions with family and friends, meeting an interested follower, etc.
Personally, I use Google Hangouts for business meetings once or twice a week in order for each team member to update everyone on their progress over the last few days. It is a great way to meet without wasting the time to travel to a meeting spot. Most of my experiences have been positive, however occasionally I will run into issues with the losing connections to the group, losing sound, lagging screens, and other user interface issues. Some aspects of real life meetings have not been duplicated yet and therefore the program isn’t perfect. But if you need something that gets the job done, Hangouts can become your friend.
How to get the most out of your Google Plus Account
If you want a more in-depth breakdown of this section, visit Stephan Hovnanian’s page on Optimizing your Google Plus Profile
The first and most important is optimizing your profile so that it can be reached by your target market as easily as possible. Part of this optimization is taking advantage of your About section by using it to shamelessly promote yourself. Give visitors links to the websites that you want them to visit, use effective keywords, and tell people what it is you’re all about and why they should follow you. Also, as mentioned before, setting up authorship will increase your credibility and ranking.
Make sure you add a professional photo of yourself as your cover photo. Also, make sure that your make your photo more visible by embedding keywords into the image file as well as the caption.
What do you think?
This section is added because I’d like to see what people think about the fact that Google has recently a made it possible for anyone on Google Plus to email anyone else on Google Plus without previously having their email. This seems to me like it could encourage some people to join Plus, however, is it worth risking the comfortability of current content users by opening up this Pandora’s Box? I see this as an opportunity for spammers to take over your inbox and I am not sure that I support it. As a side note, there is the ability to opt-out of this feature, but I personally think that it would be more on the up-and-up if they made this feature an opt-in instead.
What are your thoughts?
Anyways, thanks for reading!