by Alicia Lawrence, WebpageFX
Imagine that you walk into a football stadium to watch a professional football game. You are decked out from head to toe in your team’s colors. Unfortunately, your team isn’t “home.” Though you aren’t kicked out, you are treated like a pariah by everyone from the home fans to the vendors to the mascot.
What does this have to do with Google+? Maybe nothing … or maybe everything. Let’s look at some hard facts here. First of all, Google is the queen mother of all search engines. Bing and Yahoo! are trying to win their share, and they have some converts thanks to hard-fought battles through advertising campaigns, but everyone knows that Google is going to win the war.
Secondly, Google has some really outstanding products that are attached to its search engine. Who doesn’t have a Gmail account at this point? Who hasn’t seen a video on YouTube? Chances are good you have at least a personal channel – billions of users jump on each month.
Google for the Win.
Yes, Google is as big as big gets. It’s the winner, and whether we love the company or hate it, Google isn’t going anywhere.
So why are you ignoring your Google+ account?
Because Google+ seemed to come on the heels of Facebook and Twitter, it’s been eschewed by so many up-and-coming superstars and companies. That’s a huge mistake!
Google+ is more than just a “wannabe” social media outlet. It’s everything – or it should be – for the company that wants to get an edge on the competition. I’m guessing that means you … and if it doesn’t, you need to rethink your marketing and sales strategy.
Your Google+ account will give you much more clout than you might imagine. In fact, plenty of my colleagues wouldn’t start a business without it. For them, it’s just part and parcel to thriving in a web-based world. Here are three great reasons why:
1. Google likes Google+.
Remember the example of you walking into the stadium dressed in the rival’s colors? That’s what happens when you put your company “out there” onto the Internet without giving a nod to Google. See, Google’s crawlers can see that you have no Google+ presence, and that can hurt you in the page ranks. Google likes Google+; that’s just a fact.
This is why you’ll see comments made in Google+ rank in Google’s search results, along with their hashtag search which only shows Google+ hashtag comments.
2. Google+ can help your page rank.
Beyond Google’s indexing you according to how much you’re using its proprietary software and platforms, you can help your page rank organically through your Google+ account. For example, every time you write a blog post, you can attach it to your Google+. By adding a few HTML tags — they’re simple, really, to embed — into your blog copy, your smiling face will usually be shown in search engine results alongside your blog post. Google really likes that, and it’s been proven that when people see others’ faces on the search engine page results, they tend to click on them more than others.
3. Google+ is mandatory for local SEO.
The majority of entrepreneurs market to their local area. In order to show up as a local result or on Google’s Carousel, entrepreneurs need to claim and completely fill out their Google+ local business listing. Google+ Places also allows your fans to write reviews about your company that will accompany your search listing.
As you become more comfortable with Google+, you might even start to enjoy the process. Google+ can enable you to connect with new customers, prospects and colleagues. Who knows? You just may come to realize that you’re a Google+ fan after all.
Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her articles have been published by the Hot in Social Media, Yahoo! Small Business, and PR Daily. Find Alicia on Google+.