Google is one of the world’s largest and most powerful search engines, and is definitely the most popular. Google+, a community engagement platform, is one of its subsidiaries and boasts over 200 million users.
Considering that most online users turn to search engines to search for local businesses, you should never underestimate the benefits of using this platform as a marketing tool.
So, how should you go about using Google+ to market your business to the wider public?
Establish Your Home Base
Your first order of business is to create an account. If you want to keep your business separate from your individual life, create one specifically for your business. If you intend to market yourself as an individual using your normal identity, you can simply use your personal Google+ account.
Have a Killer About Page
Your About page on Google+ is your chance to make a good first impression on Internet users who access your site. Make it count!
You should use a well-detailed and relevant description to let people know what your business is all about. Make sure your words are optimized for search engines, but keep it organic and don't go overboard with SEO.
You can use appropriate anchor texts that will lead back to the most important pages of your website. Two or three should suffice.
Use bullet points to list your business’ strong points. Internet users in a hurry will skim through them and instantly make a decision on whether your business page on Google+ is worth following.
Use the right tagline and keywords to make your page more visible to search engines, especially Google.
Be Part of the Community
Make sure that you form relationships and become part of the online community. That is an important aspect of marketing. By building relationships through tools like Google+ Hangouts and Google+ Events, you will be able to cultivate trust within your audience. Your audience will then be more amenable to any products that you launch. The audience members will also become very loyal to your brand, which will make it almost impossible for your competition to lure them away from you.
Don't forget to reply to comments and answer any queries that come up when you are interacting with your audience. You will be in a better position to do damage control when incidents that could damage your brand's reputation happen.
Provide Value to the Audience
Create optimized content for your Google+ followers. Make sure that the content that you provide is both informative and entertaining.
Post content regularly and consistently. People need to know that they can rely on you for information when they need it. If they can trust you, they will certainly buy from you.
Expand Your Traffic
By using popular forms of content like infographics, photographs, and videos, search engines will take note of your content much faster. This will help bring in organic traffic to your Google+ account and ultimately, your website where the products for sale are available.
If you are an active member of your Google groups, the members of these groups will be able to access your content faster whenever they search via Google. In addition, other people within their circles are more likely to see the same content. This will go a long way in expanding your online target audience.
In each of your site’s blog posts, do incorporate your Google+ link and vice versa. Also, make sure that your content can be shared via Google+. This will bring traffic either way with the related benefits for your business.
While Google+ isn't as popular as Facebook, the number of its active users as well as its association with Google means that you shouldn't underestimate its impact on your business. By taking the time to learn how things work, you will be able to market your business on the platform. Nothing beats organic traffic, after all.