What is Google+
Google+ is Google’s very own social media network. It’s similar to Facebook in that you can have a personal page and a business page, and works in a similar way as well. With Facebook you have “fans” and with Google+ you have “followers”. With Facebook you “like” pages, and on Google+ you add them to “Circles”. Similar concepts, but very different vehicles.
Google+ has been a bit slower to catch on, okay, a lot slower, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any value in this up and coming social network.
Why do I need Google+ Reviews for my local business?
Well, the biggest reason, and the one we’ll cover here, is because Google+ is owned by Google (sorry for the obvious statement).
Google wants their little social media network to do well, so they’re giving it a bit of power, and when you own the world’s largest search engine, this is something you get to do.
This means that Google+ helps with search engine optimization and visibility and it does this in a few different ways, but the one we’re going to focus on here are Google+ reviews.
“Google+ Reviews” tell Google that your business is popular (whether the reviews are positive or negative) and therefore it should appear higher on the search rankings.
The more reviews, the better.
Ideally these would all be high 5 star reviews with glowing commendations, as this will help with customer conversion, but that parts up to you, not Google.
Once you’ve collected a number of reviews your business will show up higher and higher on Google searches, and display your reviews alongside them providing both ranking power, and social proof.
How do I get a Google+ page?
First, you’re going to need a gmail account. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, they’re free. You may also want to sign-up for a new gmail account specifically for your Google+, but that’s up to you.
Next, you’ll click here, which will let you create a Google+ page. The screen should look something like what’s below.
From here you’ll want to decide which category best describes your business, and then go through the paces of filling in your company’s information.
You’ll want 2 images to really customize your profile and make it stand out. The profile photo (according to Google) needs to be at least 250 x 250 pixels, and your cover photo should be 1080 x 608 pixels.
Here’s our Google+ page to give you an idea.
OK, I’m all set, now how do I get reviews?
The best thing you can do is simply to ask for them.
Start by reaching out to your network of friends, family, and people who’ve done business with you before. Ask if they can submit a review to a couple of the more important review sites (there are LOTS of online review sites so pick 2 and make it as easy as possible for your customers)
You can even consider installing a review app on your website so all people have to do is click and write.
Or, you can create a simple link by hyperlinking either text or an image to your chosen review site. This takes all the guess work out for your customers, takes them right where they need to go and makes it really easy for your customers to submit a review. We’ve chosen to use Google+ and Yelp as our chosen review sites and try to drive traffic there.
Google+ Reviews are a great way to boost your SEO (search engine optimization) and provide social proof. They’re a great form of free advertising that tells the search engines and your potential customers that you’re great at what you do!
Bonus Tip – Google+ and other online review sites are currently grossly under-utilized by local businesses across North America. This means there’a a great opportunity to move your business up the search engine rankings and all for a few hours of setting up your online assets!