Are you using both Google+ and Google My Business (GMB)? If not, you should be.
Recently, Google has been tweaking the GMB platform, and one of the more recent changes affected the relationship between Google My Business and Google+.
To understand how these platforms work — and work together — let’s have a refresher on these important SEO-boosting tools.
What Is Google Plus?
Google+ (or, if you prefer, Google Plus or G+) is the social network brought to you by the world’s leading search engine.
This platform has been around since 2011, but it has changed a bit over the years. In many ways, G+ is similar to Facebook. It offers you a feed of posts based on your preferences. It’s a little like Twitter, in that you can follow people and people can follow you; however, your relationships aren’t automatically two-way streets they way they are with your Facebook friends.
You can have contacts, friends and family members on G+ by collecting them in groups known as your “circles.” You can create a circle for any reason and give it your own label. This is similar to Facebook’s “groups” feature. You can have a “hangout” (video chat) with individuals or groups.
You can follow or create “collections,” which are curated feeds based on specific themes — similar to Pinterest boards. Some popular collections are health and beauty, gardening and easy, gluten-free recipes.
G+ offers a robust collection of business- and industry-friendly features. For example, instead of simply “liking” or “following” a business or brand page, you can also join a “community” sponsored by the brand.
Google+ business pages also provide a robust platform for integrating photos, videos, email campaigns and social tools like #hashtags. And unlike some other social platforms, your G+ business posts get indexed immediately into the search results.
What Is Google My Business (GMB)?
Google My Business (GMB) is the heart and soul of the Google local SEO platform. It gives prospects in your area an easy way to connect with you, especially if they do a mobile search.
You can think of GMB as a dashboard from which you control all the information that Google has about your business. You can optimize your GMB listing to help boost your SEO, and if it’s appropriate for your business, you can even optimize for multiple identities for one business.
Recent Changes Affected G+ and GMB Pages
Until very recently, your G+ page was created for you, automatically, when you created your GMB page. However, even if you had already created a G+ page, the auto-generated page would take over as your official brand page.
Because this caused a bit of confusion and frustration for business owners and marketers, Goggle changed the protocol earlier this year. Now, when you create your GMB page, Google does not generate a G+ page.
Now, you have to create your own Google+ page if you want one — and you definitely want one.
Why Do I Need Both G+ and GMB?
Any marketing tool that Google gives you — especially when it’s free — is another tool in your SEO arsenal.
Your G+ page offers you a variety of interesting opportunities to engage with your prospects and customers. But even if you aren’t interested in managing yet another social media platform, just having the page itself is a boon to your SEO rankings.
For every legitimate (read: respected by Google) online location on which you can list your business’s name, address, phone and URL, you get an incremental SEO boost in Google’s eyes — especially if those locations are ones they control.
So take a few minutes this week and check in with your GMB dashboard, and if you don’t already have one, create that Google+ page.
Of course, if you would rather spend your time and energy taking care of your customers and building your business, Be Locally SEO can handle all the details of GMB and G+ for you. We offer a comprehensive suite of SEO services designed to help you grow your business.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you, using Google+, Google My Business and other tools to boost your SEO.