A newcomer in the social media game, Google+ has yet to receive the credibility and brand exposure of Facebook.  Google+ is, however, becoming an integral part of generating online visibility for your company – especially following Google’s announcement on Wednesday that all Google Places Pages are now being converted to Zagat-rated Google+ Local Pages

Since its launch, Google+ has secured more than 100 million users and the amount of individuals using Google’s social media network continues to grow. With Google+, users create a profile page allowing them to connect with other Google+ users. Google+ also engages users by allowing people to +1 various web pages they like, connecting those users who like the same articles, blogs, websites, etc.  Google+ may still be in the beginning stages of becoming one of the top social media sites, but it has already had an impact on the way your website appears in search results.

There are three main types of results displayed when you search for a topic: organic results, PPC results and local search results (Google Places). Up until last week, there have been rumors swirling that Google+ updates, +1s and Google+ pages would all be integrated into the search results and impact where a company appears within those results for a given search.  Well, as of Wednesday, we see that these rumors are true!  Google has merged Google Maps, Google Local and Google Places to create Google+ Local.  According to Search Engine Roundtable, “The new experience ties in Google+ into Google Maps and business listings, plus adds Zagat reviews to the foreground.”  Google+ Local Example

What does this mean for your business? You should be making sure you are utilizing Google+ to its full potential. I have outlined a few things for you to keep in mind when using Google+ to reach and exceed your marketing goals.

Tips for Using Google+ for Your Business

  1. Make sure your address, phone number and website URL are all correct and updated. You should also make sure all your contact information, hours of operation, etc. reflects what your website displays.
  2. Upload photos of the company, employees, anything relevant to your business. Make sure to have a professional and updated profile and cover photo image.
  3. Make sure the “About Us” section is completed. This is an opportunity for you to give users a description of your business and what makes you unique. You can also include links to your other social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, company blog).
  4. Make sure to update your Google+ profile frequently with information about your business.  Updating about deals, promotions, company news or industry related news is a good way to catch people’s attention.
  5. Make sure you are connecting with other Google+ users. This is a social networking tool, so you should be networking with customers, potential customers, business partners, industry leaders and any other individuals and companies that are associated with your company.

By Chris Lang