If your business is not on Google+, NOW is the time to do so. Google’s still relatively new search engine feature, Google Search Plus your World, uses information from your Google+ account to deliver results. This feature allows more personalized results that present the content you or your contacts have shared or searched in the top most coveted spots on Google (ReadWriteWeb).
While this is an attempt to make search more social, it only pertains to Google’s social networks; content found on your Facebook or Twitter pages or that of your friends’ and followers’ will not appear. Personalized results will predominantly be derived from Google services such as:
- Picasa (Gizmodo).
What does this mean for business?
Whatever topic you search for, if there are social mentions from your contacts on Google+ then those pages will be the first results you receive. Even if your contacts’ posts have nothing to do with what you are actually searching for, because the search engine and the social network are linked they will appear.
Therefore, if your business does not have a Google+ page or you are not actively encouraging your clients to write Google reviews for you, chances are your perfectly good business might become overlooked. It no longer matters how many Facebook fans or Twitter followers post their undying love for you, if you do not generate the same response on Google+ your business could be pushed below the fold.
How to work with the new Google?
While the first obvious step is to go out and create your Google+ page today, you also need to optimize that page. Google provides some tips on optimization in order to improve your business’ chances of appearing in relevant searches. These tips include:
- Link your Google+ page to your business’ website;
- Completely fill out the “About” section so consumers can easily locate and find information regarding your products or services;
- Constantly work on building your following and encouraging discussion;
- Post regularly so visitors can always have fresh content to view;
- Grow your circles by following people or organizations that offer similar or relevant products or services (Google).
At first glance, Google+ appears to be a mysterious terrain for even the most experienced marketer; but in reality Google+ is still a social network. It should be used to engage your following in a meaningful way and can incorporate many of the same marketing techniques used for Facebook.
It is also important to know that while Google+ is a trend every marketer needs to embrace, it is still too early to see the overall effectiveness of personalized results. Only as more users sign up and become involved in Google+, will the true success of social searching be seen.