If you were a customer, how easily could you find your business? Do you know that the simple addition of a Google Maps listing on local search results can translate into enormous success for your company? This avenue has become of such importance that Google is even contemplating new and exciting ways to display search results such as the Local Carousel.

My clientele happens to encompass dental offices, law firms and plastic surgery centers. As a group and individually, they all provide exceptional service to their customers. However, without the ability to be located by the general public, a number of fantastic connections would have been lost. Google Maps is yet another tool to increase sales and acquire a solid customer base. It’s a step you must truly consider taking if you wish to maximize your potential.

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Nowadays, a fully optimized G+ Local Page and a detailed presence in Google+ are necessities for successful businesses. Competition is fierce and any and all avenues which promote your company are advisable to pursue. Resources exist which can guide you through the process if you are having difficulty. For example, Phil Rozek of Whitespark recently published a piece that details clear and concise steps to “Pimp” you G+ Local Page.

While marketing agencies may handle the basics when it comes to promotion, you can multiply their efforts tenfold by being personally involved in the marketing and growth of your business. Whether its blogging, online reviews on Google+ and Yelp or sharing over social media, the hands on approach is always a better alternative in the long run. You have a vested interest and therefore you are truly the right person for the job.

Let me share with you my 10 hottest Google+ Marketing Tools to bring your business into the forefront of the online marketing world!

Below are 10 Google+ Marketing Tips to get you started:

1. Pick a Clever Name For Your Business

Your business name says a lot about you and what you do.  This is the place to let your creativity shine. You want to choose a name that will draw people to you based solely on a catch phrase or a unique word combination. Your title must stand out from the crowd over Google search results so don’t be afraid to really tap into your creative genius.

2. Work Your Description

Your name has acted like a magnet to draw in customers. Now you must really sell yourself through your company description. This is the first real chance you have to speak with your customers so focus on making a lasting impression. Your message must provide information and allow users to get a sneak peek at what you have to offer them. Use this opportunity to post specific links to your website that directly guide browsers to the exact information they seek.

3. Add Customers and Other People You Know to Your “Circles”

The goal is to reach prospective clients and patients. The truth is you really don’t know where and when you’ll find them so the more connections you foster the more likelihood you’ll attract them to you. Google circles is primarily a means of connection. Grow your community, join conversations and share topics of interest. Connect with as many people as possible and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what comes back to you.  This brings me to my next point….

4. Write at Least a Couple of Short G+ Posts Every Week

Writing is a fantastic way to connect and share information.  Aim to publish a few short posts each week that consistently add value to the lives of followers and you’ll discover a plethora of new and lasting connections. Really ponder your topic selection and ensure that you highlight industry news, community events, promotional offers and your own expertise. Keep your tone light and engaging and don’t forget to sprinkle in humor here and there. People truly love to laugh and so this is an excellent tool to really connect with your audience.

5. Get at Least Five Google+ Reviews

Reviews can really work in your favor. The magic number for Google is 5. Once you have received five reviews, Google will post your star count below your citation in the search engine results.  Google will also add a “People Talk about it” snippet in the knowledge graph next to your listing. Reviews can really drive popular opinion so encourage your clients and patients to share their experience and reviews over as many social media sites as possible.

6. Respond to Good and Bad Reviews

Be prepared to receive both good and bad appraisals. You must take the good with the bad. Look at the negative as a means by which you can make improvements in the future. Your response to the negative will tell consumers a lot about your company in general. It’s how you respond that really leaves a lasting impression. Focus on expressing concern in a respectful manner and offer viable solutions that really take into account the needs of the customer. Online reviews are the new age word of mouth. However, their impact is amplified tenfold as they are consistently in the public eye and viewed by thousands of potential customers. Make your words count even when you’re responding to concerns. It will definitely pay off in the end!

7. Encourage Your Reviewers to Upload Profile Picture

The goal is to generate a steady stream of positive reviews.  Google+ records the activity of active profiles and uses these to accurately report “real” reviews. Those that don’t fall in this category will be counted as spam. It is in your favor to possess a profile picture and have previously posted comments in order to be considered active by Google’s standards.

Generating positive reviews requires that you must depend on a few noteworthy strategies.  You may wish to set up a protocol in your office that requests and offers incentives for reviews from happy clients and patients. It is also effective to ask clients to post their reviews on sites where they are currently active. Consumers and social media platforms such as Yelp or Google will register reviews from active members more favorably than one off posts from unknown sources. This leads me to my next tip:

8. Get Reviews on Sites Besides Google+ and Yelp

Reviews from any source will add value to your business. You should aim to acquire reviews over multiple social media outlets such as Yelp. If you have sufficient reviews on alternate social media platforms, then Google will mention those sites in your knowledge graph. The more reviews the better off your business will become!

9. Encourage Customers and Readers to Leave Comments on Your G+ Posts

Don’t underestimate the power of the comments section. Posing questions at the end of your posts generates responses that require thoughtful consideration. This particular brand of feedback can propel your business forward and allow you to make necessary improvements. Encourage clients and patients alike to add their views along with their experience in the comments section. As much as you receive you must also give. Thoughtful comments placed on your colleague’s post, gives the impression that you truly care and encourages others to return the favor.

10. Upload Lots of Photos, Videos and Get a Google Business View

Your Google+ account acts as a new age advertising medium. It’s important to present a professional appearance through thoughtfully orchestrated images. This may include group and head shots of staff, the interior and exterior office space or images of client/ staff interactions. Photos and videos garnish a significant amount of attention and are often the first impression that clients perceive of your business environment. Knowing what to expect alleviates a great deal of concern for potential clients and creates a lasting impression that has the power to draw their business towards your company.  You want to post engaging photos that are relatable and aesthetically pleasing to your consumers. This is your chance to showcase your business to the world. Make the most of the opportunity!

Google+ is a fantastic way to market and create a positive online presence for your business. These simple tips can maximize a potential client’s experience of your company. Naturally this will also aid Google to attain a clearer picture of the services you provide. Create a thorough Google+ profile and as a natural side effect you will see your ranking over Google search results improve immeasurably. Your business deserves every effort you can muster! Give your profile an overhaul and you’ll be amazed at how well your business grows!

Final Thoughts

Google is one of the best search engines ever so it’s important you always make your listings and content standout compared to others. However, I’ve noticed many people simply don’t put enough effort into writing high quality content that resonates with readers. The more you can create a buzz, the better. We have to keep in mind that social media has changed the way people find and share information. If you write something with enormous value, you’ll be able to create a buzz quickly and with very little effort. How? People will do all the work for you…it’s that simple!

With that said,

Read over this list again and start going through each one before implementing. By doing this, you’ll be able to start implementing everything while keeping track of your progress. It’s important you find the right combination of strategies for optimal results.

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About the Author

Rizvan Ullah

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