For the last few years, business owners and fellow bloggers have asked me whether Google+ is “a good investment of my time.” Up until last year, unless you were in the technology, social or dating services business, I’d say, “not very good.”
Why? Although they have 100 million plus users, the demographic is: Most likely occupation–Engineer, Mostly male and over 40% are single. It’s been a very focused community, and I had a hard time recommending it to restaurant owners, manufacturers of consumer products, etc. But last year, a colleague made me hip to this: Integrating Google+ into your website or blog makes Google happy. When you make Google happy, more people searching for your product or service are likely to find you.
Google’s search algorithm is highly dynamic, and it’s not strictly a measure of popularity anymore. According to SEO consulting firm Hallan Internet, integrating Google+ improves your ranking, especially when it comes to local search (accountant, orlando). You could start out by simply adding a Google+ Share button right next to you facebook and Twitter ones. Later, you could develop your profile, establish your author identity and publish content on Google+. Of coure, the last integration requires your time on an ongoing basis, and this is where your results may vary depending on what type of business you are in.
As a reminder, getting ranked on the first page of search results matters. According to research by ad network Chikita, over 90% of web traffic from search comes from the first page of results! If you own a local business with a physical retail presence (from tire shop to shoe store), check out this article that explains all the ways you can leverage Google+ to directly market to prospective customers.
For more information: Chris Brogan’s Google+ For Business page.