Google+: Small Business Dos and Don’ts

The jury may still be undecided about the value of Google+ for personal users, but for small businesses Google+ cannot be ignored. Google+ is not only another social network a small business can use to increase its online presence, but it is also the ultimate resource for maximizing visibility on Google search pages.

Being on Google+ is a must for any small business because the platform works with Google Search. This includes potentially higher ranking in search results, integration with relevant Google for Business services, and the ability to attract customers by providing essential business information such as location and directions, phone number, photos, reviews, and more directly on search pages. Google+ also allows you to promote posts, special offers, deals, and other content to a wide audience, from people in your Google+ “Circles” to just people searching for your business on Google.

However, there is much more to Google+ than signing up for an account and sharing posts. Using Google+ effectively as a small business is all about having a strategy to attract and engage with customers. To help you get started, Business News Daily asked business owners, social media experts, and other marketing experts how they succeeded with Google+. Here are the do’s and don’ts to grow your business using Google+. [ ]

How to use Google+: To Do’s

Benefit from SEO value

The main difference between Google+ and all other social networks is that it is the social network from Google. This means that one of the biggest advantages of using Google+ is SEO value. Businesses should take advantage of this by combining Google+ Local Pages (your list of maps) and Google+ Business Pages. With this small change, a business will be more likely to top location-based searches. When setting up a page for the first time, businesses that have a real-location store should keep in mind to choose Local Business or Venue as their business type.

Use images

Including images of your business headquarters on your Google+ page helps users stay engaged with the page. Also, if you are verified locally, these images will appear on your brand’s search engine result pages (SERP). Overall, if they can see where you are and what your offices and employees really look like, users will feel much more confident working online with your business.

Share content strategically

A large part of our business is getting leads through our website, and we’ve seen a lot of significant traffic from Google+. The trick we’ve found works is that you have to first post it as your page, then use your personal profile to share this post with the communities you belong to. People prefer a personal link, so be sure to add a personal comment to the link, preferably in the form of a question, rather than just throwing the link. This will increase your chances of getting comments, +1 and shares.

Request authorship with the rel = publisher tag

My best Google+ tip for business is not necessarily something to do in G +, but it will make your business page bigger: implement rel = publisher markup on your website. This connects your Google+ page with your website, so whenever someone searches for you on Google, your page information appears to the right of the search results. Searchers can then view information about your page and follow it directly from search results. This is a quick one-time task that will help you continuously grow your target audience on the network.

Make your posts stand out

Format your text in bold, italic and indent.
Add attention-grabbing images to your postings. Use # hashtags in your posts so that other users searching for it are more likely to find your mini blog posts.

Actively grow your target audience

Work to gain a huge following. Add people to your circles in the hope that they will add you to their environment. I like to focus on people in the same industry, potential clients, and professional acquaintances. When you reach a certain number of followers, this number will appear next to your link when you appear in an organic search result on Google. Additionally, a large number of followers in your circles strengthen your authority with Google, which in turn improves your search rankings.

Target your target audience

It may seem simple, but doing your homework can go a long way toward ensuring your content reaches the appropriate audience. What do the consumers of your product like? What are they discussing? Largely male or female? Are they located on the East Coast or the West Coast? You don’t want to waste time with content that doesn’t reach the right people.

Add +1 button to your site

The most important thing is to get people to share and +1 your website. This means having a +1 button on your site and encouraging users to click. We found that Google+ + 1 / posts had much more impact in improving Google search rankings than similar amounts of likes / shares on the other three major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). This may surprise people who consider Google+ commands to interact less directly than other social networks, but it’s important to understand that the value of Google+ is mostly behind the scenes: When someone supports your site with a share or +1, there are indications that it is better. Your site visibility for people on extended Google networks including Gmail contacts and even other social links from Twitter and Facebook to Google mines!

Build a community

Communities is a new and underutilized Google+ feature that’s great for connecting with others in your industry, potential customers, and strategic partners, depending on who you’re preparing your community for. For example, I am a marketing manager for a managed service provider. Our ideal clients are local companies, so I created a dedicated community for businesses in our county. We also belong to a managed community of service providers where we can ask questions and discuss with others in our industry who are at the same level as us when it comes to social media. There are so many communities that haven’t been created yet, get in there and get ahead in the game!

Ask for review

Get positive reviews from your customers by reaching out and submitting your Google+ link to leave comments. Reviews will help build credibility for your business and stand out from your competitors.

Follow other businesses

Track other businesses and numbers in your industry. This can lead to potential job opportunities or keep you updated on relevant industry news and updates.

How Google+ IS NOT USED: The Don’ts

Forget to request your business page

The main things businesses have to do is set up or request business pages.
The easiest way is to get the business name on Google and see if there is already a page there, if not, go to and set one up. Next, make sure to verify the address if you are a local-type business. Also, link your website (if available) and add the “follower button” to your site. From there, you’ll want to add content to your profile, for example by mentioning a little about yourself.

Ignore your profile

First and foremost, make sure all relevant business information is filled in on your Google+ business page. Don’t skip the important details and make sure you include as many pictures of your business as possible. When filling out your profile, make sure you use the keywords you want to rank for and the keywords your customers use to find your business. Make sure you also link to important pages on your website on your profile, as Google+ allows you to do this. These will help your online visibility. Use videos and images as much as you can, as customers are more likely to interact with media-containing profiles.

Wait for customers to come to you

Benefit from Google+’s exceptional openness to engaging with followers. It is very difficult to communicate with your customers on Facebook because Facebook does not allow you to reach them via your business page. They must reach you first. Imagine the power you would have on Facebook if you could reach your customers proactively. You can offer them discounts, coupons or just check out and continue to build a relationship. This is exactly what you can do with Google+. Google+ allows as many two-way conversations as you want. You can tag people in your posts before they reach you. This is great. Go ahead and be the first to talk to your customers, don’t wait for them to come to you!

Forget about “circles”

Segment your customers. Most businesses have different types of customers, and if possible, add customers to different circles on Google+. This allows you to drip more of the targeted content and increase your chances of interacting with your target audience.

Spam users or communities

If you think you’re starting to share too many posts in a community, or you think you’re too annoying, then most likely it is. In our experience, people on G + are there for a reason and can pick spammers from a mile away. If you are blacklisted as a spammer, you will have a lot of trouble getting out of this list and making progress in the community.

Mix Google+ with other networks

I see countless food photos, baby pictures, lifestyle photos. All Facebook or Pinterest etc. It’s great for, but NOT if you’re using Google+ for work.

Mix Google+ with other Google pages

Don’t confuse the difference between a brand and a local page. Google’s new My Business feature will give you a Brand page, Service
Provides the option to create a Zone page and a Showcase page. The main difference is that Service Area and Showcase pages have a physical location that you can verify (equivalent to Google local pages), but a Brand page is more for national or international businesses that don’t have a physical showcase.

Make Google+ your bread and butter on social media

One thing to keep in mind about Google+ is that the number of users, and more importantly, the number of users interacting, is much lower than other social media powerhouses such as Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, before a small business decides to enter Google+, it is important to understand how this fits with their broader social strategy and whether their target audiences are active users of this channel. In other words, an important “don’t do” for Google+ is making it the center of social strategy. It should be a complementary effort.

The post Google+: Dos and Don’ts for Small Businesses first appeared on TeknoDestek.

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