Why Businesses use Google+ Pages

 

Google+ Pages, similar to the old fashioned Yellow Pages, allows businesses to connect with customers on a interactive level. While many businesses manage a number of social media outlets, why should they add Google+ Pages to the list?

The biggest reason businesses use Google+ Pages is because of the connections it provides. Each month, over 1 billion people use Google’s search engine. Google+ Pages show up in search results. “Direct Connect” allows users to type a “+” in front of the company’s name and they will be directly connected to the company’s Google+ Page. People who have a personal Google+ account can “+1” your company and be able to read every post and also talk with your employees face-to-face. All these connections result in better social search rankings. Sales is another connection that Google+ excels at. When someone +1 your page it opens up a lot of opportunities. This direct action allows you to have a direct response.

The features Google+ has also is a big enough reason for a business to jump on the bandwagon. “Hangouts” allows your team to work on shared files in Google Docs from remote locations. These “hangouts” can also be used for communication of ideas and notes. Your suggestions within these discussions can also be commented on by your customers.

Google+ Pages are a great way to build SEO, connect with your customers, and provides features to help enhance your business team.

Time to Consider Google+ for Marketing

The recent announcement of Google+ brand pages has marketers asking the obvious question, “Should I bother with another social media channel?” Most companies by now have some sort of presence on Facebook and Twitter. It’s working well for some and not so well with others. It’s safe to say at this point that a lot of time and resources are required to reap the benefits of social media marketing. So why Google+? Well, here are a few unique points:

Google+ has a smaller user base (40 million compared to Facebook’s 800 million). Fewer users can be a positive as there is less clutter and more focus on content itself. Facebook is packed full of updates with all of the integration that is taking place. Google+ is driven more towards professional and industry specific content. Companies may find an easier path to connect with a relevant audience.

Google+ offers unique functionality that Facebook or Twitter do not have available. “Hangouts”, or live audio/video chats, provide a direct opportunity to engage in discussions to get feedback or present exclusive content. Some companies such as Dell are looking into using “Hangouts” as a place for customer support and sales so the customers aren’t required to call on the phone.

Google+ will integrate with other Google offerings. Moving forward, Google will continue to unify its products with Google+. We’ve already seen the integration in its beginning stages with the +1 buttons. Deeper integration with Google Place and Maps, web and image search, and YouTube will come next. The integration will increase a company’s visibility on social media and with organic searches.

Google+ Vs. Facebook: Feature-By-Feature

Recently Google launched its new social network, Google+, in hopes of  delivering a huge blow to the Facebook empire. My first thought was this: I don’t want to invest the time in diving into Google+ when Facebook suits my online social needs perfectly well. My plan was to wait until I witnessed a large amount of my friends migrating over to Google+. Within a few days, I was noticing many of them were far too curious and invites were flooding my Gmail. So what else could I do but check it out myself. Here’s a little info on the features of both:

FEEDS

The feeds in Facebook and Google+ are very similar in that they both allow users to post text, links, photos, and videos. Facebook’s feed has “Top News” as well as the “Most Recent” posts which are visible to whoever your “friends” are. Google+ has a “Circles” friend organizational tool where posts can be shared with as few or as many people as you like. However, its criticism is that it is much like a populated Twitter feed.

FRIENDING

Google+ works different than Facebook in “Friending”. Adding contact in Facebook is a two-way street where users must accept you as friends in order for you to connect. Google+ allows any users to follow you while you can follow anybody as well without having to accept friend requests. This is a huge difference between the two making Google+ more like Twitter than Facebook. The “Circles” feature in Google+ allows users to put all of their contacts into groups and if desired, be able to communicate with particular groups without all of their friends seeing a particular post. That’s a very handy tool.

Google+ users can also create profiles using any name they’d like, far different from Facebook’s real-name only policy. This could potentially make it difficult to find people you’re looking for.

NOTIFICATIONS

Notifications in Facebook and Google+ are pretty identical. Both tell you when someone comments on your post, tags you in a photo, or wants to be your friend. The only difference is that Google+ shows all notifications beneath the same tab where Facebook has a tab for messages, friend requests, and other activity.

BUTTONS

The buttons for Facebook and Google+ are very similar where users can click the buttons to show approval of particular content. Facebook however, also has sharing capabilities where a user’s “Likes” show up in their feed. Google+ doesn’t do this.

PHOTOS

Facebook has turned into the largest photo sharing site on the web making it simple to upload, share, and tag photos. The Google+ functionality is very nice as well and differs from Facebook because users can edit their photos easily. Editing features including rotate, crop, adding colors, and effects. The editing can be done in the photo album itself by clicking an “Actions” tab. Also, in Google+, comments appear to the right of the photos rather than the bottom like Facebook so you don’t have to keep scrolling up and down.   

VIDEO

Video functionality is something that Google+ could offer that Facebook couldn’t. That is until Facebook announced last Wednesday their merger with Skype. A very good move by Facebook to quickly answer to the only clear cut advantage that Google+ would have. With that said, Google+ does have the edge in video. Facebook’s Skye video doesn’t have group-chat functionality where Google+ features “Hangouts” where you can video chat up to 10 people at once.

PRIVACY

Facebook has been heavy criticized in their privacy efforts especially in recent years. Setting your profile so your thoughts and actions are not viewed by the entire world is very difficult. In an effort to capitalize on this blunder, Google+ goes out of its way to make privacy controls a prominent feature. The privacy policy itself is much easier to read. It should be of note that Google+ doesn’t allow for a completely private profile. Facebook allows users to adjust their privacy settings themselves (though most users do not have a great understanding of them) and Google+ has placed privacy at the core of the social network.

So what is the future of the two social networks? It’s hard to foresee Google+ taking over in the short term as a lot of Facebook users, including myself, have invested a lot of time in building networks, pages, photo albums, etc. In the long term it will be interesting to see if Google+ will turn into the new hip place to be on the web and if Facebook will fade away like Myspace. My guess is no but a lot can change in a couple of years.

 

 

Misspellings and Website Traffic

If you are like Sunrise Packaging, you have put a lot of work into search engine optimization (SEO) in order to further generate traffic to your Website. You have chosen keywords that make sense for your business and implanted them into your site. When a prospective customer goes to Google (or Yahoo! or any other search engine) and types in one of your keywords, you want your Website to pop up above your competitors’ sites.

misspellings-traffic-flow-search-engine-optimization-google-web-siteWhat if that prospective customer spells your keyword wrong? Will your site still show up number one? Will it even show up at all? If you’re clever, you will.

Take a look at your keyword and brainstorm the common ways they can be misspelled. As an example, “disc” could be typed in as “disk” or “business” could be misspelled as “busness”.

Find the best misspellings and create a doorway or portal page on your host with these misspelled words redirecting any searches to that page to your main Web site. By researching misspelled words and submitting a portal page to search engines, you can alleviate the problems caused by misspelled keyword searches and can generate more traffic to your site.

Related to search engine misspellings is “typo squatting:” a form of cyber squatting, which relies on misspellings of Web addresses when they are typed into a Web browser. If an internet user intended to visit Sunrise Packaging’s Web site (sunpack.com) and instead typed in sunpak.com, they could be led to an alternative Website operated by a cyber squatter.

If someone already has one of your misspelled domain names, is not an actual business competitor and is clearly exploiting your brand you can send a cease and desist letter to attempt to stop the activity or you can attempt to purchase the domain name from the offender, which may have been the offender’s aim all along.

Web-site-traffic-domain-nameThis exploitation of domain names can be avoided by purchasing common misspellings of your Web address and then rerouting users who type the misspelled Web addresses back to your actual site. Purchasing common misspellings of your Web address can be beneficial to you on another level. If potential customers are searching for your company by typing in your supposed domain name, they will be easily transferred to your site, increasing quality traffic.

Don’t fret over the possibility that your Web site is receiving less hits due to common spelling mistakes. Take advantage of those mistakes in a way that your competitors may not have thought of yet, and give yourself an edge in your market!