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Google+ is a completely separate social media platform that will need to be navigated differently than Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Even though many people think that Google+ is “dead,” many savvy business owners are finding it to be a very effective social platform. Companies are leveraging Google+ in order to grow their business.

Here are a few tips to start using Google+ to make your business awesome:

1. Claim Your Page’s Custom, Branded URL and Start Linking

One of the simplest things you can do, but often overlooked, is to claim your business's custom URL and start linking your page.

If you’ve set up your Google+ My Business page, have more than 10 followers, a profile photo, you’ve successfully linked to your website and your page is at least 30 days old, you can claim a custom URL that matches your brand. A custom URL is a short, easy to remember web address that directly links to your Google+ profile or page. Creating a custom URL makes your page easier to share and easier to find. Once your Google+ URL is set up, link the page from your website. These two steps are simple and easy - but necessary for most of the following tips!

2. Occupy Space on the Search Engine Results Page

Every business wants to showcase as much of their content as they can on Google’s 1st Search Engine Results Page. Although Google won’t admit it in print, experts are finding that Google gives more authority to businesses that build out a profile on Google+.

When businesses join Google+, they’re featured on the largest search engine’s right hand side of Google search results with maps, pictures, and user reviews. This placement is invaluable – you can’t even purchase this space through paid search ads. That’s why it’s incredibly important to build out your Google+ business page.

Content that you post on Google+ will show up on the SERP – allowing you to occupy more space there as well, giving you a larger presence and higher trust factor in the eyes of your potential customers.

3. Join Google+ Communities

Google+ Communities may seem foreign to you, but they are similar to Facebook orLinked InGroups. They bring another level of communication and socializing between people with the same interests or goals. Think of Google+ Communities like an online forum.

Since Google+ hasn’t grown to be as big as Facebook yet, you’ll find higher quality conversations with lower instances of spam on Google+ Communities.

To join Google+ communities, sign into Google+ and hit the drop down menu on the left hand side of your bar that says “My Business” then go to the green section that says “Communities” (see left).

Here, you can read and sample some content from recommended groups, however, you’ll have to join a specific group in order to join in on the conversations. Consider creating your own group and encourage your prospects and friends to join in on the conversation.

Just like with other social networks, you’ll want to engage with people, ask questions, and distribute content. In order to generate traffic to your website, share high quality and valuable content to these specific communities. You can do this by posting from your Google+ Business Page in the “Share what’s new box.” When you’re submitting your post, broadcast to the communities you would like to post to by adding them in the “To:” section (see below).

Pro Tip: When posting on Google+, create bolded headlines by using an asterik (*) around it, use an underscore (_) for italics and a dash (–) for strikethrough. Mix and match these codes to use two or three formatting tips.

To prevent spam, Google+ only allows you to post to one community at a time, so posting to multiple communities may take some time, but it is well worth it. Google+ Communities allows you to share your content to highly targeted audiences, increasing eyeballs on your content, and driving audiences to your website.

4. Organize a Successful Google+ Hangout On Air

Looking for a new way to broadcast content that differentiates you from your competitors? Use Google+ Hangouts On Air.

A Google+ Hangout On Air connects yourYou Tubeand Google+ account – broadcasting your video to both social platforms. During the Hangout,You Tubelive-streams and records your session at the same time and then automatically hosts it to yourYou Tubechannel when you’re finished.

To find Google+ Hangouts, go to My Business Page > Hangouts to start a Hangout on Air. This will allow you to live-stream your webinar, host interactive conversations from around the world, and moderate when your participants are visible. Entice people to join your conversation by featuring a 1 to 2 minute trailer and host the trailer on yourYou Tubesite.

This feature is often overlooked as part of Google+’s entire package, but creating and broadcasting video has never been easier.

5. BoostAd WordsCampaigns

By linking your Google+ page to your Ad Words search campaigns, your search ads will now show relevant information from Google+, like the number of followers of your page, your address, your phone number, and user ratings.

In order to understand how to integrate your Google+ account with yourAd Wordsaccount, get familiar with ad extensions. There are many different types of ad extensions such as call extensions, sitelink extensions, social extensions, and location extensions.

These extensions are known to improve your campaign performance. For instance, the location extension gives you the ability to show your physical address on your ad in the search results. If you have multiple locations, Google will automatically display the address closest to the person searching. Many marketers notice that these type of ads have a higher click through rate (CTR) than ads that do not have extensions.

To link your GoogleAd Wordsaccount and Google My Business page, make sure that your Google+ page has a verified URL so that you can start using Extensions. You can then set up the relevant ad extensions in yourAd Wordsaccount. This could make the difference between ranking above and below your competitors in ad results. Very cool, isn’t it?

Conclusion Some businesses are afraid to join Google+ because they’re not sure if it’s going to survive in the “long run” but it has been almost 4 years since it launched and those using it are seeing tremendous engagement and Search Engine results. Whether it’s here to stay or not, as long as Google is investing money in current and future development for G+ it’s definitely worth the time investment to stay on top of your G+ game. (Or hire someone to do it for you!)

Interested in learning more about how you can grow your business? Check out our Google+ Business page for more articles and videos https://plus.google.com/+Spartanspark/posts

  Posted: Tuesday, May 10th, 6:08pm 4 years ago
Profile PictureWritten By: Dafne Canales

Dafne’s expertise lies in creating strategic roadmaps for companies to grow their business through unique marketing approaches. Her company, Spartan Spark, works with million dollar companies, advising them on how to grow their business by using strategy and technology more effectively.

Through articles, vlogs, training and speaking engagements, Dafne shares her marketing knowledge, showing business owners how to leverage all the knowledge they have and use technology to their advantage to increase visibility and lower their cost of acquisition.

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