Hat Trick Blog

Google Plus - Is it worth my time?

added on Tuesday 27th October 2015 at 00:00am

Tagged: Advice, Help, SEO, Social Networks

Google Plus - Is it worth my time?
Some of you may not know but there is a quite a large social network that doesn't seem to get as much love as Facebook and Twitter - it's name is Google+ and it's been around since 2011.

Today I would like to share with you some pro's and con's of Google+ and why we use it at Hat Trick Media. First things first, do we recommend it? Yes! Well Alex does anyway!

Why does Hat Trick Media use Google+ ?

A big part of Google search is the local (My Business) area where you can manage multiple businesses, update addresses, telephone numbers, opening hours etc. We love this feature and use it extensively to keep our business information and client information up to date. Google MyBusiness, being a Google product links in to the Google+ social network making it easy to share updates about your business, blog posts, images etc to the right crowd. In today's internet, we feel its more important than ever to be active on social media and Google+ is a big part of that.

5 Pro's of Google+

1. It's a Google product - It's well supported. It links into other Google products such as the Google MyBusiness.

2. It's a social network and people do actually use it! A recent analytical investigation found that 4-6 million people have been posting and interacting with Google+ in 2015. Now that may not sound like a lot (compared to Facebook's 700+ million) but is it really worth missing out on customers or potential clients?

3. It has circles! I love circles and not just the shapes. Google+ circles allow you to categorize people, friends, family and businesses. Once you are happy with each circle (category) then you can post specific content to each one, giving you the opportunity to share more focused content.

4. When you type something like "dentists in Lincolnshire" into Google you will notice that it shows a local "card" with a list of 3 dentists in Lincolnshire with a "Call Now" link and other information such as closing times and reviews. This is all basically controlled in Google+, the information you see such as Telephone number or address can be added or updated in you Google+ business profile. Any reviews are handled via there too! Google is now so clever is has auto-generated a lot of business profiles and populated them with basic information ready for you to claim as your business. You are basically using Google+ without realising it.

5. Being a Google product, we can be sure that is has some sort of effect on SEO. Like we have seen with the local "cards" listing. If you didn't have that profile then how could Google show the rich information and things like "Call Now". When you are stuff on Google+ then there are all sorts of possibilities, It may use that as a ranking factor, it may crawl the site (linked to) faster. We can't be sure but is it worth the risk of missing out?

5 Con's of Google+

1. Google+ is not as well known as other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. This could mean you waste a lot of time and not get a lot back from using it. It could also mean that in the future Google may decide to discontinue the service.

2. Many of Google's products interconnect but recently Google has pulled the idea of using your Google+ in YouTube to comment on videos, like, share and other actions. Could this mean that Google will disconnect Google+ from other features as well, making it a less accessible service?

3. We make our websites as search friendly as possible for Google, we do all of the right things and try to use our best SEO to make our website "Google approved". Using Google+ is just the same, we are essentially giving Google more information, but what are they doing with it? Could we be slowly putting ourselves out of business? As you may have now seen some interesting search cards are appearing - try to search for "how to boil an egg", you will see a nicely formatted list right in the search results. This means you don't even have to click on the website, which is not good.

4. There is a "Google+ contests and promotions policy" which prohibits you from holding any contests or promotions through your Google+ page. This limits you on being able to get new followers or even engage with current ones.

5. You can't just post to Google+ what you post to Facebook. Much like Twitter, you need to personalise the post and fit it in with each network. This will obviously require some research and will take more of your time when you want to post something to your followers.

What's next?

You need to decide if Google+ is worth your time. I believe it is but it is certainly worth researching your market, look into the Google+ communities and see what the user base is like - there may be lots of uses or there may not be enough.

While Google+ allows you to easily manage your business through the MyBusiness section and easily share updates, pictures, posts with your followers then why not use it and see how you get on?

If you are interested in implementing anything we have discussed today into your website or looking for a new website then please feel free to give us a call on 01476 576 839 or email us on thrive@hattrickmedia.co.uk.