TechCrunch's prediction that Google+ is dead may have you reconsidering the need for a Google+ business page on your social media marketing roster. Don't count Google+ out just yet. Bloggers have been declaring that Google+ is dead since 2011, but new users continue to sign up every day. There are three key reasons why a Google+ business page should remain a part of your social media mix.
300 Million Google Users Can't Be Wrong
It's not as widely used as Facebook or Twitter, but a loyal following of digital marketers still find Google+ to be a meaningful place to make connections and build relationships. The reason? The data associated with more than 300 million Google users. Some outlets, including the New York Daily News, have estimated that number to be as high as 540 million.
TechCrunch previously described how Google required its users to set up Google+ accounts in order to use other popular Google services, such as Hangouts and YouTube. The company has created a valuable source of data on those users — data that is key for successful digital marketing campaigns. Additionally, the SEO boost afforded by being part of a Google community is an undeniable benefit.
Local SEO Results Mean You Get Seen
Of greater importance than the sheer numbers and data provided by Google+ are the benefits for digital marketers building local campaigns. Think about how Google presents search results: At the top of the page reside local options for whatever you're researching. If your business is leveraging digital marketing to bring in local customers, the ability to appear in those local searches should be at the top of your list.
Your Google + business page is similar to a free listing ad on the search engine. Google+ local business pages enable your company's information and content to be readily available to Google's local search engines and allows nearby customers to find your company's hours, address, phone number and reviews all in one place.
Plus Is a Pathway to Other Popular Google Tools
Not only will your Google+ business page boost your visibility on Google search returns, but it will also give your potential customers another point of entry by which to communicate with you. They can follow your business page, leave reviews or comments, and view photos of your business. The New York Times blog notes that Google+'s active users use the site extensively and are often interested in photos and videos. It's important to keep business pages populated with eye-catching content that gives an accurate representation of your services and brand.
Additionally, you can post updates about sales and even set up interactive events with your followers, such as a live Google Hangout. As a bonus, Google Hangouts can be recorded and posted on YouTube. This may give you an additional SEO boost, according to Search Engine Watch.
Overall, a Google+ business page is worthy of a spot in your digital marketing mix. For the small effort on your end to customize content specifically for this platform, you can engage with smart, sophisticated users while ensuring your local Google search returns are getting seen by the right people. Until Google confirms rumors of its demise, Google+ still presents considerable value.