How can you use Google+ to boost your rank in search results?

I joined the Google+ community last summer, and although I thought Google+ was a great, new social media powerhouse backed by Google, one question lingered in the back of my mind: “How can Google+ be used for business?” I think I’ve found my answer.

For those of you not familiar with Google+, let me bring you up to speed. Google+ launched in June of 2011 as the invitation-only social networking platform powered by Google that was going to give Facebook a run for its money by creating an opportunity to make more genuine connections and share with specific “circles” versus a sea of “friends.”

Since last summer, its membership has grown significantly and includes everyone from young professionals, to CEOs and yes, even “Mr. Facebook” Mark Zuckerberg, himself. But how can businesses capitalize on Google+? Is it even worth it? Yes. According to Jason Cormier, writer for Search Engine Watch, businesses need to be active in Google+ for one simple reason: The quality and corresponding engagement around your search engine visibility stands to either noticeably improve or gradually decline.

Improving search engine visibility should be at the top of every business’s online marketing list of objectives. In an effort to improve visibility for Google+ users, Google created Search Plus Your World, also known as Search+, which relies on data collected from logged in Google+ users. The result? Highly-ranked search results that display and promote people and businesses in Google+.

According to Cormier, Google+ can also help businesses target their messaging and more directly interact with their followers by organizing followers into “circles.”

If your business is already on Google+ and you’re ready to take your visibility to the next level, take a look at these additional next steps below:

  • Optimize. Optimize your page for SEO by completing the verification process, adding recommended links and being smart about keyword placement in your Introduction and Subtitle areas.
  • Personalize. Take advantage of the “Scrapbook” photos and text editing features to make your page visually appealing and consistent with your brand identity. Post pictures and videos when possible. Make your first few posts very rich so new potential followers will be attracted by their first impression of what you’re putting out.
  • Promote. Promote your business page by leveraging personal profile pages on G+, announcements/requests to follow on other social networks and by using the Google+ Badge on your web pages.
  • Monitor. Monitor your stream, and be intentional about +1’s, comments, and shares of your follower’s posts.

Are you on Google+? Do tell! How are you using it?

Follow Meredith on Twitter at @MeredithMobley. Follow Arketi on Twitter @Arketi.

By Meredith Mobley – February 3, 2012

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