Firstly let’s look at Google. In 2013 Google’s search market share was 67% compared to Yahoo at 11.3% and Bing 17.9%. That means Google processes over 40 000 search queries every second and 1.2 Trillion searches per year (http://www.internetlivestats.com/google-search-statistics). It would then make sense to have your business linked with the number one search engine’s social network wouldn’t it?
Once your Google+ profile has been set up (start by creating a Google account), you can begin using it like any other social media site like Facebook. Now we’ve already learned that the social network is heavily integrated into Google’s search algorithm but magic does not happen simply by having a Google+ profile. Before you start posting great content, sharing and engaging with your followers and potential customers you must first make sure the profile is fully optimized.
Verify your website and email address
This will confirm the legitimacy of your business on Google’s search engine but also build trust with your potential followers that your business is verified and linked to your website and email address. On theAbout page of your profile, in the Links section at the bottom, click the Link website button in order to complete the verification process. When you click the button, a pop up will appear with instructions and an option to send an email to your webmaster with a line of code that needs to be added to your website. Obviously you would need a website for this! To verify your email address you simply click the Verify link next to the email on your profile.
Related article: How to get your new Google+ Custom URL
Authorship with Google+ will give you higher click through rates, higher visibility and higher page views. Along with these more obvious benefits you will also build trust and establish authority while getting a better ranking for specific topics. (Go here for more info on how to set this up).
Setup Google My Business
Initially referred to as Google Local or Google Places, this is now called Google My Business. By setting this up you ensure that your business is visible on searches whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+. First you will add your business. If your business already exists in Google, you will be given the option to verify the information and claim the profile.
Both Customers and businesses benefit when there are reviews written about a business. The Customers can make an informed decision based on the review which builds trust and the business strengthens their relationship with their customers by directly engaging with reviewers on Google.
To respond to a Review go to Manage Business on your Google + page and scroll down till you get Manage reviews. Click on the button View and reply and type your reply to the person that placed the review. When replying to a review remember the following. Be nice and don’t get personal (even if it is a bad review), keep it short and sweet, thank your reviewer and be a friend, not a salesperson.
Once your Google My Business is setup, writing a review (how your customer will write a review) is simple. They can either go to your Google+ page where they can write a review. Underneath your Business name there are a few icons, they simply click on the pencil icon and Voila! (For this they will have to be signed into their Google account). An even easier way, they type your Business name in Google search, a block like the image below will appear on the right. This block will have your photo, name, map, address and reviews. It might even have your latest article that you’ve posted to your Google+ page. They simply click on Write a review!