To the delight of many search marketers, Google finally launched the much anticipated Google+ Profiles for businesses yesterday. And while the Google+ Pages don’t have all of the functionality yet of Facebook Pages, you should still consider creating one now.
Why Create a Google+ Page for Your Organization?
I know how it is. You have limited resources and you may be wondering why you should take the time to create a Google+ Page. The main reason: Profiles help your brand SEO and help your online reputation management (ORM) efforts.
Before Google launched Google Plus in June, many companies had traditional Google Profiles for their businesses or organizations. In fact, at my firm, we considered it a staple tactic for SEO. Just how important was the Google Profile in SEO? Google uses the profile information, and the links you add to it, to learn about who you are as an individual or organization and which social profiles belong to you. For instance, I’m @janetdmiller on Twitter . A Google Profile helps Google know that @janetdmiller is me, and that @janetdmiller’s friends on Twitter are my social friends. Profiles are one way that Google understands your social circle.
Using the Google Profile information, Google then understands which social profiles belong to you or your organization. Google then highly ranks many of the social profiles you share on your Google Profile, allowing you to better define the types of results that display on a brand search. For instance, if you search for “search mojo” (my company’s name), you’ll find that HALF of the top ten results for our brand name are actually links to our social media profiles -- each one defined in our Google Profile.
Earlier this year, before the relaunch of Google Profiles, one of my clients had to change its Twitter handle. After the change occurred with Twitter, it seemed to take a long time for Google to begin ranking the new Twitter handle in the top brand results for the company. Instead, the old handle continued to linger in the top 10, while the new handle hovered in the page 2-3 range. We then updated the Google Profile for the company to replace the Twitter handle in the Profile’s list of links for the company. Voila! Overnight the new Twitter handle ranked in the top-10 brand search results in Google.
How to Create Your Google+ Page
1. Go to https://plus.google.com/pages/create.
2. Select your organization’s classification: local business or place, product or brand, company or organization, arts and entertainment/sports, or other.
3. Add links to your other social profiles. These are found in the About tab in your Profile Page, on the right hand side, labeled “Recommended Links”. Click “Add a Custom Link,” then begin entering your URLs.