The Page One crew takes every opportunity to learn more about the dynamic industry we work in (that’s to put it nicely--I call it “finicky”). Keeping abreast of the newest tools, research and discoveries is key to survival in the online realm. Last week, a few of us took one for the team and joined the discussion at the monthly SMBME (Social Media Breakfast Maine). We enjoyed a breakfast of bacon, eggs and great local coffee, spoke with fellow web marketers from around Portland, and learned something new, to boot!
Breakfast of Champions: Knowledge
Speakers Marc Pitman (The Fundraising Coach), and Katie Conroy (of Hall Marketing) both schooled us on the mounting importance of Google+ for businesses. If you still think of Google + as a minor annoyance that the search overlords are gradually forcing upon us, it’s time to change your tune. Did you know that Google + is outpacing Twitter in growth, and may soon take over the #2 social network spot? As Marc Pitman said, (I’m paraphrasing), if one site (Google.com) is driving over half of the traffic to your business website, you should probably listen to what they have to say.
What Google is saying now could not be more loud and clear: Optimize your presence on Google + and you will be handsomely rewarded in the SERPs. Google wants search to be a fully personalized tool. When a customer searches for “pizza,” not only does Google want to show them the top spots to grab a slice within a short distance, but it also wants to recommend the best possible pizza, based on reviews, domain authority, local social media presence, and overall reputation. Google even wants to show the customer pizza that their friends and family like best.
Steps to Start Optimizing on Google +
If you are an expert in your field, it is time to start getting credit for it! Any time you publish content on your website or on anyone elses for that matter, be sure that your authorship credentials are in place. This is achieved by linking your Google + profile to the pieces you write. You’ve seen the headshots that appear in the SERPs next to top ranking blogs and news pieces, and yours can too! Find out more about author mark up in Google’s own words here.
Local search optimization is an integral part of what we do for clients here at Page One, and Google + is a large part of this strategy. Be certain that your Google + business profile is tagged with the best possible category keywords, so you will appear in the “pack” of your city’s search results. Linking between the many review sites such as Yelp and Foursquare, and even Facebook will allow you to keep to the pulse of your business’ online presence. Speak out about local events, be responsive to customer concerns that are posted, and join Google + communities.
None of this involvement goes unnoticed by Google. Katie Conroy was even so bold to claim that it doesn’t even matter any more if you have a hundred linking domains or ten, fifty great reviews or two--proper categorization within Google +, a physical address in the city of search, and a positive online reputation matter carry just as much weight in local search.
Google + is a free resource, just waiting to be tapped. It’s time to not only accept it as an important part of your web marketing plan, but embrace it! Contact us at Page One Web Solutions to learn more about what our team can do to optimize your Google + presence for the future.