by Alonso Chehade on April 04, 2013
Most businesses are already spending time connecting with their audiences on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. There have been so many success stories about marketing on these channels that the potential for high ROI via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is so alluring that even if a company hasn’t gotten business through those channels, they understand the potential value there.
However, the same cannot be said for Google+. Because some people are already feeling overwhelmed managing 2-3 social channels, and because there hasn’t been much noise about Google+ success stories, many people are wondering, is Google+ even worth it?
Google+ now has over 500 million users since it was launched in late June 2011. Due to its rapid growth and its impact on Google search rankings it has become the 5th preferred social media site by businesses to distribute their content. This is why despite low engagement and having one more channel to manage, it’s worth a review.
As Google’s search rankings continue to evolve there will be many more ways in which our social media interactions in Google+ will affect search results. However for the sake of this article I’m going to give an overview of two of the most obvious ones.
If you have a Google+ Page and someone searches for your business (despite if they follow you or not), your Google+ Page and its most recent posts will be displayed on the right side of their personal search results as you can see below.
What is nice about this is that users can follow your page right on the search results. Also as a friend pointed out this feature helps promote fresh content.
“This is a very good way of getting your fresh content out as people will see this before nearly anything else due to its prominent placement.” ~ Nick Nielson, Search Specialist at Confluence Digital
One big issue holding back Google+ Page managers from spending time growing their following in Google+ is the lack of engagement. The thought here is, “why bother getting others to follow the page, if people are not reading their Google+ feeds and not interacting as much as on Facebook and Twitter?”
… And this is where the biggest takeaway from this article comes in.
When people follow your Google+ Page and they search for content relevant to your brand, content you’ve shared may appear in their personal results. This is one of the reasons it is important to build and grow your network in Google+ for SEO despite low user engagement.
In the example below I searched for “should I spend time on social media for my business” and an article shared by Social Media Today on their Google+ Page, which I follow, was included in my search results as a personal recommendation.
If I wouldn’t be following Social Media Today in Google+, the article highlighted above wouldn’t have shown as my 4th search result (Notice the note under the meta description that says “Social Media Today shared this”).
The answer is yes. Despite that for small brands Google+ is a social site with low user engagement, the search rankings benefits make Google+ an important social media site for your business.
My recommendation is that if you’re currently limited on time and resources that you “at least” setup a Google+ Page to claim your business name, link to your Google+ page from your homepage to get more followers, and save some time by setting up your blog’s RSS feed to update it to your Google+ page automatically.