This is the first post in a short series about Google+ (or Google Plus) for small and medium businesses. In these few articles, I’ll go over what Google+ is and why it is important for small and medium businesses to set up a Google+ account. I’ll also talk about how to set up a Google+ account. Finally, I’ll show you how to set up a Google+ local business page and connect your it to your company website, while explaining why this is important for your business.
Google+ is the product Google plans to use to incorporate social activity and user recommendations into search. The reasoning behind this is, as we all know, a recommendation from a friend or someone we trust has much greater value than something we find on a search engine results page (SERP). Therefore, as a business, it is important that you join Google+ to allow your customer’s and potential customer’s advisors to share your business with them.
The way Google has created the system requires you, as a business owner, to create a personal account first, which allows you to control all of the different products from Google that you use for your business. As we have discussed before, it is important to keep control of your own Internet and media accounts, even if you’re going to be using external resources to create your website or manage your online accounts. Therefore, the first step you should take is to create a personal Google account, which you will use to sign up for other products and to give access to the individuals who will be helping you with your Google products, such as your Google Places page, gmail, Google calendar, web analytics, webmaster tools, and more. If you already have a gmail account or an account for any Google product, you already have a Google account and won’t need to create a new one.
So, what is Google plus and how does it work? Google+ is partly a social network, where people who are connected can share things they find interesting or informative with their connections or groups, which in Google+ are referred to as “Circles”. It also has photo storage and sharing capabilities, along with chat and “hangouts”, which is a simple video conferencing feature. As a social networking product, it has very good features and as the community has built up, it has become a place where people mostly interact with others they have connected with on a professional or technical level, rather than friends and family, as one might connect with on other social networks. However, the social networking portion of Google+ is definitely not the most important aspect of the social network. The importance of Google+ for businesses can be seen in its integration with Google Search, Google Places, Google Local and other Google properties. Creating a Google account and a Google+ page for your business allows you to confirm your business information with Google and gives your online presence more authority where customers are searching.
In my next post, I will walk you through the steps of creating a Google account and setting up a Google+ page for your business.