How Do I Use Google+ For Local SEO?
by Alex Bungener
Google+ may be an offspring of the foremost search engine in the universe but it really is a relatively new social media platform, appearing in the social media scene much later than Facebook and Twitter. However, Global Web Index reports that Google+ now has grabbed 359 million active users—which is 159 million users ahead of Twitter’s 200 million.
The time has come for you to leverage this emerging social media giant that is Google+. Here is how you can take advantage of it to rev up your Google Local SEO efforts.
1. Claim authorship.
Google has spawned the idea of authorship as yet another basis to rank content. In a nutshell Google authorship is simply a way of owning your content. Have you ever wondered why, in search engine results pages, some entries have profile pictures of the authors while some do not? Well, those entries with photos are of those who have claimed Google Authorship.
To claim Google Authorship, you can do either of two ways:
• Register using an email from the domain that you blog on or contribute to.
• If you contribute to multiple blogs, you can link your content with your Google+ profile.
2. Add a Google+ badge to your business page.
Adding a Google+ badge to your business site links your site to your Google+ page and offers the added advantage of allowing your viewers to follow you on Google+ without leaving your site. Alternatively, you can use the Direct Connect code option which Google+ offers. The Direct Connect code is a single line of code which is added to your website to do two things: to establish your blog as a publisher and to connect it to your Google+ page.
3. Use hashtags.
Learn to use hashtags in your Google+ updates. This has long been known to increase exposure. Google+ actually helps you out by offering hashtag suggestions which you can just use — granted they are in line with your topic.
4. Make attractive cover photos.
The large cover photo boxes of Google+ serves to enhance visual branding. Bank on this feature by uploading an attractive layout that will establish your brand image, showcase your services, display your products, show your location, promote your promos and announce your scheduled events all at one glance.
5. Use Google+ as your business page.
Just like using your business facebook page to connect with other facebook business pages, you can also use a Google+ business page (and not your personal Google+ page) to build a community with other similar Google+ pages.
6. Hang out at Google+ Hangouts.
Google+ Hangouts lets you hold—for free– a webinar-like meet-up with up to 10 online viewers. And if you go the extra mile, you can even use Youtube to stream your video to a limitless number of viewers. Think about it: you can have panel discussions, interviews, friendly meetings or tutorials.
7. Build communities.
Similar to communities on Facebook or LinkedIn, Google+ also has a host of online communities which you can join. The best part is that Google+ has the best anti-spam mechanism to eliminate spam and scams.
8. Go Google+ Local.
As I have previously mentioned, Google+ has replaced Google Places and has powerful functionalities that could greatly help your business. Having a Google+ page for your business shows details, contact numbers, photos and customer reviews on search engine results pages. Create a page at Google+ Local now and select Local Business or Place to start leveraging on the marketing powers of Google+ Local. And finally, it looks like service businesses that had to hide their address in places can now have a business Google+ page.
Need help with setting up a Google+ page for your business or any other aspects of Google local SEO? Call us today.