For inbound marketing gurus, the importance of social media to a successful marketing campaign is a no-brainer. Social media sharing sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest are indispensable tools of the trade when it comes to marketing content. A well-placed post on a social media site, when it goes viral, can bring in staggering results for any business, garnering attention on a national, perhaps even global, scale.
Today, we wanted to talk about a specific social media site, one that many might treat as an afterthought, although it is run by one of the biggest players out there when it comes to online search engines and has over 500 million users, according to HubSpot. Yes, that’s right, it’s time to talk about Google+.
What is Google+?
Google+ is, to put it succinctly, a social media site where users can assign people to different circles, such as friends, family, or acquaintances, and see various kinds of activity from the members of said circles.
The activity shared by circle members is posted on the user’s homepage, a literal wall of content that is reminiscent of Facebook’s timeline, but with fewer ads. Users can also search on Google+ for specific people, Google+ pages, or posts to find things that interest them.
Businesses can even set up Google+ business pages so that people on the social media site can add them to their circles and track the business’ activity.
The Benefits of Google+
So, why should your business use Google+ as a social media marketing tool? Well, there is that statistic about the more than 500 million users. If your business only attracted 0.5% of all Google+ users to your website, that would still be 2.5 million visits to your company website, which means millions of opportunities to convert those visitors into leads, and eventually customers.
However, the above benefit is hardly unique to Google+. After all, Facebook and Twitter also boast huge followings of active users, which is why they’re such powerful tools for drawing customers to a company page. What makes Google+ unique is its close association with Google’s search engine.
For most social media sites, the likes, shares, and other activities that the site tracks is only shared internally, Google’s crawling programs cannot access most of that info to use for indexing web pages. +1s and posts on Google plus, on the other hand, can be seen by the search engine.
Whether or not +1s are important to SERP rankings is a matter of some debate within the SEO community. However, there is a strong correlation between +1s and ranking, based on data reported in a Moz.com article. In that post, it is suggested that while Google “doesn’t use raw +1s to rank webpages, the evidence seems to suggest Google+ posts do pass other SEO benefits not found easily in other social platforms.”
Each time a piece of content gets a +1 from a Google+ user, that almost instantly creates an indexed page on Google+ with a link to that piece of content. This provides immediate organic link SEO for your site. In fact, this process is so fast that HubSpot’s “Practical Guide to Improving SEO with Google+” recommends using +1s as a means to get your site pages indexed over the traditional “submit URL” box for Google’s search engine.
Likewise, Google’s search engine will index every post that your company publishes to the platform, which can help your content appear higher in the Google search results list.
Get Started Today!
If your company isn’t already using Google+ to improve its SEO and engage customers online, now is the time to start. Yes, it is yet another social media channel to monitor and maintain, but it is one that can pay off big when handled right.
If you’re new to using social media to promote your business, you can get some basic tips in our free “Social Media Paid Advertising” guide at the link below!