bOnline SEO Consultant, Martin Podlucki, shares his tips for Maximising the SEO Value of Google+ for Your Local Business:
The impact of Google+ on SEO is constantly under close scrutiny by the online marketing community, and opinions are ever changing about how effective it is.
In the past year alone, the general consensus on Google+ has been wide-ranging to say the least, primarily due to the rise and fall of Google Authorship. However, what is clear is that Google+ remains to be a very useful tool in local business marketing. Thanks to its integration with Google business and the advantages that come with it, Google+ is a must-have for business owners and marketers who wish to achieve a strong local presence.
Here are five ways that you can make your Google+ page as effective as possible, in turn propelling your website to the top of those prized local search results.
Verify Your Page
This may seem like an obvious step but it is actually overlooked by many users. If you neglect to verify your page, then all of the other steps will be ineffective since your posts will not be visible to the public. Even worse, Google may decide that it considers your page to be spam, blocking it and effectively making it invisible until it is verified.
Once you have set out your company’s information make haste and send out that verification code. It should arrive at your listed business address within a week and then it is just a case of entering it into the dashboard.
Add users that will add you back
Once your page is all set up and verified start adding people to your Circles. A Google+ page does not have much value unless there are people there to see it. Also, remember that users need to be adding your page to their Circles in order to see what you are posting.
You could add 100 different pages to your Circles and there is a chance that not one of those pages would follow you back. Therefore, you need to be adding the right pages – profiles that are relevant to your business, profiles of friends, family and local businesses that you recognise or have had dealings with.
Encourage your clients to add Google+ reviews
If you provide a good service then you will find that customers are often all too willing to leave glowing accounts of their experience with your company. If a customer does send you a good review via email or your website then it can be worth requesting they post their testimonial to the Reviews section of your Google+ page, along with a fabulous 5-star rating.
In Google’s eyes this will contribute to your page’s overall activity, increasing your chances of appearing in local search results. Furthermore, if you garner enough reviews then over time your business’s star rating will appear as part of your listing in the search results, making it stand out and catching the eye of potential customers.
Make your posts attractive
If you want to make your Google+ updates easier and more interesting to read, you can use formatting in order to break up your sentences and add emphasis to specific points. Unfortunately there is little in the way of tools to help with this in the ‘Share what’s new…’ box, but you can use the following tricks to make your text appear the way you want it to:
_italic_ is italic
*Bold* is Bold
-Strikethrough- is Strikethrough
Finally, remember to include images, and even videos, in order to efficiently capture the attention of people who land on your page.
Link back to your website often in your posts
The whole point of having a Google+ page is to enhance your existing website, increasing its traffic and PageRank in the process. Therefore it definitely makes sense to link back to your website whenever possible (provided it makes sense to do so). Promote individual pages of your website to the type of audience you think would be interested in them.
You can use hashtags to increase visibility and appeal to specific demographics. Any time you post a new blog on your site be sure to advertise it on your Google+ page – it will give you something to effortlessly post about while also increasing the number of potential readers and bringing traffic to your website.
Follow these steps and Google will take notice, but remember that Google prizes great quality, original content, and continuous activity above all else. Consistence and creativity are ultimately what will make your Google+ page stand out from the crowd.