Although it may seem as though Google+ has just emerged onto the scene, it has now been nearly eight months since the launch.  Many businesses have created profile pages and made an effort to grow their Google+ community, but this social network goes beyond just a profile page and a social sharing button. Google+ is a great way for companies to improve their search engine ranking and increase their visibility on Google, making this arguably one of the most important social networks to get right. In other words, now is the time to really ramp up your Google+ efforts.

How Google+ Works for SEO

While backlinks and quality content is still very important, Google has now added social media analysis to its algorithm. What you do and whom you connect with on Google+ will help determine where your site will be placed and who will see your site on a SERP. It works like this: When someone is logged into Google+ and completes a search, results will be based on those that people in your Google+ community have shared or +1’ed an article.

For those who are unfamiliar, +1’ing an article occurs when someone clicks the +1 button on an article. The person who clicked the button has the option of sharing that post on his/her Google+ wall or simply just +1’ing the article to show that it is a valuable piece of content. Then when someone in that person’s Google+ network searches something related, that article will be more likely to show up on a SERP. The results will look something like this:

There are hundreds of different articles about web hosting services, but the article that someone in my community +1’ed comes up as the first result (in this example I looked up an article that I +1’ed myself, but this works just as well if you search for something that someone in your community +1’ed).

Before the integration of Google+ into SEO, this search result may not have come up on page one. However, because someone I know vouched for this article, Google put it right to the top. In other words, this is exactly what your company should want to happen when people are searching for terms related to your industry. Although you may not have the kind of backlinks that the large corporation competition has, you can still come out on top if you can leverage Google+.

How to Get Started with Google+ for SEO Purposes

There are really three different ways that your company can make sure that Google+ is working for you:

  1. Make the +1 Buttons Easy to Find – You want to have a +1 button on every page of your site so that people always have the option of +1’ing your content. You will want to have the button at the top of content next to all of your other social sharing buttons to make it easy to find and easy to click. You can find the code to get a +1 button on your site here.
  2. Start Connecting with Others On Your Company’s Google+ Page – You want to begin building your community so that your clients and customers know that you have a Google+ page. While +1’ing your articles is great for SEO, Google also favors those who are in your circles. In other words, if your company was to +1 all of its article, then someone who is connected with your company on Google+ will be more likely to see these articles on the top of SERPs.
  3. Prompt Others to Follow You on Google+ – Many companies put a Google+ link in an email signature or ask those who have subscribed to also follow the company on Google+. This will help everything you +1 show up on more peoples SERPs as something of quality.

Although Google+ has been around for some time, companies are still focusing on Twitter and Facebook. While these are great social networks and it is wonderful to have a strategy for these networks, companies need to put more time into really ramping up some Google+ connections.

Does your company have a Google+ strategy? Have you found that Google+ is affecting your company’s SEO efforts? Let us know in the comments!