Google+ (called “Google Plus”) is Google’s social networking site. It is currently the 2nd largest social networking site (Facebook is #1), which makes it an essential component for online marketing.

With hundreds of millions of user accounts, Google+ is growing quite impressively not only as a social networking site, but as a powerful business tool as well.

A strong Google+ profile can contribute greatly to any successful SEO campaign. As a small business owner, a strong Google+ following and presence can bolster your website’s position in Google’s search engine results. Ranking well in organic search is crucial to driving targeted eager prospects to your website; and targeted leads usually convert the best.

For local businesses, Google even has a section where you can connect with more local consumers in your area. Your Google+ Business page can be managed by their listing management platform called “Google My Business,” (formerly known as Google+ Local and Google Places), which is tied into Google+. Google+ Business pages are intimately linked with Google Web Search; so any time and energy you invest into Google+ can definitely lead to more revenue.

Now is the time for companies across the globe to take advantage of Google+ as a local business marketing strategy. However, many business owners are not quite sure about how to use this dynamic network to get more attention.

Here are a few tips to help:
• Get more people to follow your Google+ page by asking them to follow you via a call-to-action that is added to any content you share.
• Circle other profiles and pages; this will help to grow your own follower base because many of those you circle will circle you back. This works very well for getting more people in your immediate area to connect with your business.
• Add a Google+ badge to your website or blog; this will let your visitors know you are on Google+ and prompt them to add you to their circles.
• Interact with your followers and build relationships. People like to see a real person behind a business engaging with them. This builds trust and makes them feel more comfortable doing business with you.
• Share your content in Google+ communities; this can expose your business to a wider-range of users. Just be sure to check the guidelines of the communities before sharing. In fact, create your own Google+ community to spark conversation surrounding your niche.

Even though many business owners were skeptical about Google+’s ability to actually increase sales and exposure, it’s massive growth over the past few years has proven just how powerful it can be.

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