By Christelle Macri

Search Engine Optimization is continuously evolving, meaning your business or SEO company must constantly strive to find new ways of improving visibility search engines. One of the best tactics is to focus on areas which have a positive impact upon SEO rankings, but aren’t widely utilised, and this is where Google+ comes in.

Google+ is a Google-owned social network and it makes sense that it would have a significant influence on Google’s SERPs. For their part, Google have always denied this, yet an extensive study from Moz found that My Business signals (and therefore Google+) have a major part to play, especially when it comes to local results.

Here, we take a look at some of the main ways in which you can use Google+ to improve visibility on search result pages.

Getting Started

When using Google+ to increase the visibility of your business, the first step is to create a Google My Business account. You will need to verify your listing, usually through a quick phone call, but once you have done this you will be rewarded with a business listing on Google Maps and a Local Business Google+ page.

Occasionally, as a result of this process, you may end up with two separate Google+ pages – one pre-existing ‘brand’ page, and one ‘business’ page linked to Google Maps. If this is the case, simply take advantage of the helpful Google My Business feature which allows you to connect the two pages together.

After the page has been established, it is worth taking the time to include as much information as possible about your business. However, make sure this is all accurate and kept up-to-date, or your local search results may suffer. If you have opening hours, include them, as this is one of the main things smartphone users search for.

Optimization Tips

Whether you manage your Google+ account personally, or choose to work with a professional search agency, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of it from an SEO standpoint. Wherever possible, try to take heed of the following optimisation tips:

  • Make sure your business name on Google+ matches exactly with all other marketing materials
  • Remove any duplicate business pages on Google+, so that customers know which page to visit
  • Use a physical address rather than a P.O Box number, so that Google Maps can sync with the page
  • Encourage customer reviews through your Google+ page, as positive reviews boost SEO rankings

Staying Active

As with other social networking sites, when it comes to getting the most from Google+, content is king. Try to post updates on a regular basis, as people are more likely to interact with an active profile. An additional benefit of posting content to Google+ is that it is indexed and added to search results very quickly.

That being said, in order to reap real SEO rewards, it is not enough to simply set up a page and share content; you also need to promote the page itself. Including a clear link to your Google+ profile on your website is one way to do this, while interacting with people on Google+ itself can improve your visibility.

Ultimately, the main purpose of your Google+ profile should be to improve the level of engagement people have with your business. In simple terms, the more real people engage with and share your Google+ content, the more favourably your business will be treated by the search engine itself, and the better your SERP rankings will be.