Anyone who runs an online business should be aware that this week Google released its brand pages for business to effectively take on and compete with Facebook business pages.As an Internet marketer this new product offers many online marketing advantages, notably improved visibility and credibility online.
Ever since the launch of Google plus, its been obvious that Google have been working on converting their offering into far more than just a search engine and its a very clever strategy. Their social networking concept in the form of Google plus profiles and their business pages is designed in such a way as to make a quantum leap over any other sites out there.
So if you haven’t been paying attention to these developments its now time to wake up and start understanding and getting to grips with using these powerful tools to aid your online marketing strategy and get ahead of your competitors.
Let’s just breakdown what Google actually offer in terms of their Internet services ;
1. Google browser-The world’s no 1 search engine, including a translation service. The chrome browser is considered to be great for stability , security and speed.
2. Google email and calendering services.
3. Google own You Tube the free video site and third largest search facility on the Internet.
4. Google reader-a handy place to store all your news feeds and then share to other sites in one click as well as track keyword articles and blog posts.A great place to keep tabs on how your business is being discussed on the web and by whom.
5. Google plus-just like a Facebook personal profile which allows you to build followers within circles and share information freely such as photos, text and video’s.
6. Google business pages-just like a business FB page where you can connect with target and current customers and share information freely such as photos, text and video’s.
7. Google places- effectively a listing service which offers an easy way to establish and maintain an online presence even if you don’t have a website. It allows you to get found easily online and you can add photos, video and coupons to your listing to help you stand out from your competition.
8. Google docs-a place to share presentations and store documents and spreadsheets online for a virtual group.
9. Google alerts-a way to set up and receive email alerts on topics of your choice.
10. AdWords- ads are displayed along with search results when someone searches Google using one of your keywords. That way, you’ll be advertising to an audience that’s already interested in your business. You only pay when people click through your adverts.
11. Google analytics- a handy tool to measure unique visitor numbers to your site and so much more.
12. Google voice-a phone forwarding service.
Google are pretty impossible to beat when you consider that you can pretty much run an online business using these free and low cost applications, products and services and work from where ever and what ever platform you might have available.
So let’s now take a closer look at Google plus business pages.
It is so much more than social networking because it provides a means for you to enhance your visibility and credibility in the biggest search engine in the world. If you already use Google plus, ( FB’s equivalent to the like button) you will know that any blog post or article you have plus’d leaps out of the search results because it has your face attached.
It is highly likely that Google business pages with more plus 1′s will begin to rank higher in the search results.
Other benefits of pages is the ability to target your message to specific customers or would be customers by segment.You arrange your circles as they are known by close relationships such as family, friends, customers through to acquaintances etc.
Adding someone to your circle is effectively saying to them that you’re interested in their stream (news update) and when they add you to theirs that’s a vote to say they’d like you in their extended circle and public updates.
Friends can be added from your email accounts suggested circle.
Hangouts is another feature which allows you as an business to show the human side of your brand. You host a hangout directly from your page by clicking start a hangout on the right hand side of your home page.This kind of feature is really useful for product demos, Q & A sessions and feedback and tutorials that you might offer. I guess its effectively the equivalent or nearest of having the apps features on Facebook.
Ripples is a feature that effectively allows you to see the life and evolution of a social media post-who is reading it, sharing it etc and it tracks it from its inception so a great way of helping you find the influencers in your field and to see what posts are shared through networks.
Online marketing tips for Google plus pages;
1. You can plus 1 a page to show support and add them to your circles just like FB pages.
2. No Google plus page can follow you until you follow them.
3. Google plus pages can’t even mention you unless you’re connected.
4. Google plus pages automatically unfollow you if you unfollow them.
5. You can obviously find Google plus pages in Google search.
6. There is a direct connect facility for all Google Plus pages- Direct Connect leverages the “+” symbol for those looking to go directly to a Google+ page in search. Instead of typing in “YouTube Google Plus” Direct connect will allow you to type “+youtube” to be escorted directly to the Google+ page, no results required and you can then add directly to your circles if desired. For a detailed explanation go here- Direct connect explained.
Go visit this site and read the article on how to set up a Google plus business page using your brand name.
Fill out your page with plenty of images, videos etc where possible and as identically as you can to your other sites for consistency and brand identity.
Think about how to segment your customers, for example;
- Loyal ones
- New ones
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