Have you and your business written off Google+ as a waste of time? If that’s the case, you are making a huge mistake. Although engagement on Google+ is not as high as it is on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Google has come up with some very creative ways to make sure your business will benefit from being active on the network. Most businesses are ignoring Google+ because they don’t know how to use it effectively for their business, or because they think it’s unnecessary. Well, now is your time to get ahead of your competition!
We recently launched a 90-minute Google+ for Business online training class after getting tons of requests and questions about Google+. Lead trainer Krista Neher’s strategies for getting results from Google+ have really helped participants so far, especially local businesses, so I thought I’d share one of the key points from the training that will benefit EVERY local business.
#1: The Importance of Google Places
During the Google+ for Business training, Krista said that Google Places is possibly the most important thing that can affect local businesses in the future.
We all know that Google owns search. While there are a few other search engines out there, Google easily wins when it comes to the search engine with the most use. Google knows this, which is why they are working to have Google+ affect search.
Say you live in Cincinnati… when you search for something like “Cincinnati restaurant” or “Cincinnati salon” it’s considered a local result. Listings like these used to reside in something called Google Places or Google Local. But NOW they’re merging this with Google Plus Pages, so your business needs to start getting active on Google Plus, especially if you’re local.
Before, you could create a listing on Google with your company information and it just sat there statically. Now, Google is having businesses create a Google+ page that also contains location, hours, etc and THIS is what will show up for local search results. And what is the most important aspect of all for local businesses? RATINGS. In order to rate a business now, you must have a Google+ profile.
So although interaction on the site is low right NOW, it won’t be that way for long. Businesses either have to adapt or start losing customers to those businesses that have decided to be active about Google Plus. It’s especially significant for local businesses. After all, even if a business just has a 2-star or 3-star rating, people prefer something with a low rating as opposed to something with no rating. Google is looking to manage all of the search listings and ratings through Google+.
The ultimate goal here is for Google to ensure that its social network becomes more interactive with people. This example of how local businesses can get affected is just one of hundreds of other examples that will affect local businesses. Google is getting pretty aggressive with marketing Google+ to businesses, as you can see below, so make sure you don’t waste any more time in getting active on the site.
As I said, this is only one of the many ways that businesses can expect Google+ to impact their future. If you think about it, it’s a pretty brilliant way for Google to force people to start using its social network. If you need a more in-depth explanation of this information and all the other ways Google+ can have an effect on your business, you can check out our Google+ online training, where you’ll get instant access to our program so you can start actively addressing Google+.