A comment made earlier today by Charles Sandor inspired me to write this post. His concern was that he would not be able to use a Google+ brand or business page as a “regular website.” The fact of the matter is, whether he is right or wrong, he makes a very good argument. You can see by the image, that businesses are limited by Google’s pre-determined page names: Posts, About, Photos and Video. There is the option to remove pages (from view) but no opportunity to add new personalized ones. This is a major obstacle to achieving Charles’ goal. With that being said however, there are a few methods of using a Google+ business or brand page, to act as a simple but very effective website for a small to medium business.
The G+ About Page
The only way for a business or brand to successfully use a Google+ page as their primary website, is to utilize the About page to its full potential, as we have tried to demonstrate using our own Let’s Get Social G+ brand page. Using this approach, businesses must generate no less than 250 words of rich, unique and meaningful textual content, that details the company’s products, services and/or offerings. This valuable information is intended to very quickly encourage visitors to contact the brand or business to ask questions or make a purchase.
The Links on G+ Brand Pages
The fact that Google provides the use of an HTML editor, encourages businesses to include relevent links in their About page content. Use these sparingly and only when necessary to inspire the audience to leave the page, to help their understanding and gather more detailed information. Businesses should be aware that recently Google changed these links from do-follow to no-follow links. Therefore, they are valuable in their own right, but attribute very little to your SEO campaign.
Aside from the standard website link and contact email address, the Links area below the About page text area offers another valuable opportunity for businesses/brands to share pertinent company information. Ideal information to be shared here would be the business’ social media profiles and promotion pages. Contrary to the links found in the text box above, the links displayed in the Links area on the G+ page are do-follow. Although this makes them extremely valuable, they can decrease (so to speak) in value the more you use them on the page. Not only should businesses concern themselves with the number of links going to their page, they should also be mindful of the ones leaving.
Posts on The G+ Brand Pages
The benefit of having G+ posts associated with the company’s brand page is the opportunity that it presents to communicate directly with the consumer audience. Whether it be sharing product information, launching promotions or delivering prompt customer service, businesses can enjoy open conversations and build meaningful relationships with their audience members. At the risk of repeating myself, this approach applys to video and image pages as well.
The Value of G+ Circles
All other things considered, perhaps one of the most valuable benefits of a Google+ brand/business page, is having G+ Circles associated with them. This offers an extremely valuable opportunity for businesses to target their audience by geographic location, gender, occupation, etc and allows them to focus their promotional and branded messages directly on the most receptive audience members. Using this approach, it is far more likely that a (carefully) branded message will be well received and promptly shared with the friends, fans and followers of inspired audience members.
If businesses discover that the single page presence offered by a Google+ About page can accommodate their marketing needs, then the opportunity should be taken full advantage of. However … yes there is a however … It is unclear at this time how favorably/consistently a Google+ business page will show in Bing and/or Yahoo! search results. With that being said, if a business’ primary focus is making themselves more appealing to the Google search engine, I strongly recommend using a G+ business/brand page to promote their business online. Concerned about using a Google URL? Simply redirect any personalized domain you choose. 🙂