If you have yet to experiment with Google+ for businesses, I recommend you wait no longer. With more and more individuals hopping onto the Google+ bandwagon and the recent announcement of “Search Plus Your World”, logged in Googlers may start seeing (depending on the query) results that are heavily influenced by Google’s social recommendations. This is going to affect searches for individuals, brands and general search queries. Below are some screenshots of each.
Searching for Individuals:
General Search Queries:
Search for Brands:
So What Does This Mean for Your Online Business?
If you rely heavily on organic search engine placement, pay close attention. Certain queries are going to be affected more than others but it is inevitable that logged in Google users are going to see personalized results. You need to adapt to these changes in order to keep a strong organic search presence.
What You Need to do to Adapt?
First and foremost, familiarize yourself with Google+. Do this from a personal and business standpoint. If you are anti social media and have gotten by until now without developing a social presence, I highly recommend opening yourself up to Google+ (at the very least). Now that you are willing to participate, go create yourself a Google+ business profile.
Come up with a Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you have your Google+ business profile created, you need a content marketing strategy. If you already have a strategy in place, great, if not, you have some extra work cut out for you. If you aren’t sure what content marketing is, read the following post on Entrepreneur.com. Once you develop a content marketing plan of attack and have a target audience in mind, use Google+ as a means of sharing your content and interacting with your readers. Developing great content, getting it in front of your readers, engaging with them and allowing your content to be shared is what’s going to allow you to dominate the SERPs when it comes to Google’s Search Plus Your World. Don’t stop there though.
Measure the Results
I predict that it is only a matter of time before Google Webmaster Tools / Analytics rolls out features for webmasters to measure how their content is being seen in personalized result scenarios. In the meantime, utilize Google Analytics and their advanced segments features. Raven Internet Marketing Tools does a great write-up on how you can segment Google+ traffic in your Analytics dashboard. Keep in mind, this will measure clicks to your website from Google+. It will not measure clicks from Google’s results to your Google+ page / posts.
Hopefully after seeing the screenshots in this post and getting some ideas on how you can leverage Google+ from a business standpoint, you will take action. With Google taking up as much of the search market as they do, I strongly believe that this is one change that webmasters / marketers MUST adapt to. Say what you want about Google and social media but the bottom line is, it’s here to stay. Whether it’s Google+, Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social networks out there, search engines have been and continue to incorporate social elements into search. It’s time to stop bitching about it and to start adapting.
How will you adapt?