How-Tu Tuesdays: Getting to grips with Google+ for business
You have probably heard of Google+ and you may even have set up your own profile. How often do you use it? I would guess that for most of Tuminds’ circle (to use a Google+ term), the answer is almost never.
Google+ suffers from a poor reputation. It didn’t take off in the way that industry experts expected when it was launched, and despite having an estimated one billion registered users, recent research suggests
that few of these are active and engaged. This certainly resonates with me: almost everyone I know is on Facebook, some are on Twitter and almost none are on Google+.
But! We definitely think that there is benefit in having a Google+ account for business. It sits nicely in between Facebook and Twitter as a place to connect with strangers and have in-depth discussions about common passions. This blog will explore why you should be on Google+, how to use it, and examples of best practice.
Why use Google+ for business?
The main reason is SEO. Google accounts for 67% of all search engine traffic so you should do everything you can to help it find your website. Having an active Google+ account is just one of the factors that will help improve your Google ranking. The most important thing, even if you’re not posting regularly, is to make sure that your Google+ account is properly set up with all the relevant fields filled in. These include location, region covered, opening hours, contact details and a business summary.
The good news is that Google has a business service, Google My Business, which is directly connected to Google+, so you only have to fill in the information in one place. If your Google My Business page is properly optimised and contains all of the information for your business, this can help your company appear higher in search results.
Google offers a single log-in across all of its services, so you only have to log in once to use Google My Business, Google+, YouTube (owned by Google), Gmail and Maps.
How to use it
- At the most basic level, you should be posting content that you’re already posting to other platforms on Google+. If you already use a social media management tool such as Hootsuite or Hubspot, doing this won’t seem like a big time commitment.
- Get your custom URL. As on Facebook, Google+ will allow business to customise their URL (e.g. instead of plus.google.com/957312962 we could have plus.google.com/tumindssocialmedia ). To claim your custom URL, go to your Google+ page, and check if there’s a link allowing you to do it under ‘About’. If there’s no link it means your page isn’t eligible yet. Your page needs to be in good standing and must be linked to your website.
- Add links for your other social profiles to your Google+ company description. While you’re there, make sure that you have filled in your tagline and company description. Use keywords.
- When you post in Google+, the first 45-50 words are what become the post title in Google Search. Think of them as a title and make sure they’re relevant to the rest of the post and your business’ services.
- Use images. Google+ is very suited to posting lots of visuals thanks to its wide, open layout. Unlike most other platforms, it also supports animated GIFs which will stand out among other videos that will only play at the press of a button.
Google+ has other features that are useful for business in general and brands in particular. Google Hangouts is one of these, which we will cover in a future separate blog.
There are a few (big) businesses doing a great job of using their Google+ profiles to connect with their followers, including Toyota and Cadbury. Smaller businesses with smaller budgets won’t be able to embrace all of these tactics, but they’re a good place to look for inspiration. Your key Google+ takeaways should be: get your profile admin up-to-date and tie it up with what you’re posting on other social media platforms.
Tuminds covers Google+ in its bespoke training sessions and group workshops, and we also provide Google+ support and management on an ongoing basis.