If you have a business, the short answer is yes. However a less clear decision is how much you should invest into a Google+ Business page. Businesses struggling with the demands of Twitter and Facebook, may not relish the idea of engaging with yet another social network. However Google+ has some clear SEO benefits that you shouldn’t ignore.
There is a lot more you can do with a personal Google+ page than a Business page. So if you are unsure where to put more of your effort, the personal page is a clear win. Here are a few reasons why:
Personal pages also seem to rank better for searches, however this could change. Businesses that verify their pages may have an advantage in search, if not now then perhaps in the future. However verifying your page requires you to not only add the
rel=publisher tag to your website, but also to have 1,000 followers (people who have circled your business). One easy way to add the tag to your website is to generate a Google+ badge for your website, it has the
rel=publisher tag in the code. If only getting to 1000 followers was as easy.
By now you are wondering why I recommended creating a Google+ business page. The reason is that any business that has an established brand should reserve its name everywhere online it can; for reputation management reasons but also to lay down the framework for further expansion. If you later find that there is a real audience for your business on Google+, then it will be easier to build on top of an existing page that has a presence (albeit limited) presence. And even if your page isn’t very powerful, it’s still a link to your website.
And while it depends on where your audience is, a Google+ business page has some clear advantages over a Facebook page. It’s better for SEO, and it’s a far less noisy and (right now) competitive space. Early adopters in tech oriented businesses are making the switch and having success.
Like a Facebook fan page, a Google+ business page has a cover photo as well as a smaller profile image. For some brands fitting their logo so that it displays well in the circular profile graphic might be a challenge. General rule of thumb for the profile image is 200 by 200 pixels.
The about page is an excellent place to place keywords and links.
The below tips apply to posts both on business and personal Google+ pages:
Of course all of the above tips are much more powerful if you have a broad reach on Google+, the key SEO factors are:
If you don’t have much of a presence on Google+ then all the bolding and links tips I have shared above will have limited impact. Ditto if you share content that isn’t excellent and engaging. But you don’t have to hit a home run with every post. Fresh and consistent posting will be in your favor as well. Like Facebook you can drive more engagement if you reference people in your posts using either “+” and “@” in front of their username to catch their interest.
One useful feature you can use to monitor the reach of your posts is Google+ Ripples.
If you are just starting out, you’ll find the Ripples are not that interesting, however you can look at Ripples for people in your niche that have a wider influence and see who are active in their network. Another tool to check out is circlecount.com . Getting to know who shares your passions and interests is key to social media.
Update October 21, 2013: Recent changes have made Google+ business pages more powerful. Google now allows business pages to circle people first. And business pages can host a Hangout on Air which records your streamed Hangout to a YouTube video.
Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.