By Amy Belasen
Just last week, Google announced the release of Google+ pages for businesses. G5 has been anticipating this release since the #1 search engine debuted Google+ in June 2011. Google+ business pages offer yet another social network for businesses to promote conversations related to what they do. A social presence, coupled with a strong online presence, can help you drive more traffic to your website, convert more leads into customers and earn more positive recommendations and reviews for your business. Google+ business pages allow businesses to create one page per business location, improve search results and engage with prospective customers on a social level.
We've anticipated the arrival of Google+ business pages for some time now. The new social tool serves both the business and the consumer, giving consumers yet another way to rate businesses and offering businesses the value add of aggregate content with a direct correlation to SERPs. Will Google+ be the next Facebook? Few can predict what the future holds for social networking, but for now, we recommend getting on board with this new online marketing opportunity.
Why Google+ Presence Matters
The addition of Google+ business pages is significant because these pages will be included in search results. Creating a Google+ page for your business will help you capture available real estate in SERPs. Additionally, Google+ has a new feature called Direct Connect which allows a searcher to type in a search for "+business name" and be directed to the Google+ business page, bypassing traditional search results. In order for your brand to be accessible via Direct Connect, you must have a Google+ page.
Additionally, Google has hinted at possible tie-ins and benefits between the various types of Google accounts. For instance, your Google AdWords account may be associated with your Google+ pages, allowing for the Google+1 icon to show up with your ads. Any of your social content that gets a +1 will show next to an ad, increasing performance and lowering cost per lead. For more information about +1, check out Google’s cool video.
The addition of Google+ business pages to the Google suite makes it possible for your properties to have a stronger online presence, tapping into social networking and user reviews to get conversations started with prospective customers. Are you already using Google+ for your business? Post a comment about your experience to let us know what you think.