qSample recently had the pleasure of directly interacting with Google. The encounter revealed important shifts in Google+ and much of Google’s business-ranking on search engines.
Marketing Director Miguel Conner and Business Development Executive Maryana Stepanova attended an exclusive Google Partners Digital Breakfast. It was held at 150 N. Michigan (downtown Chicago).
The event was hosted by Tom Casale and Gary Sigman of Simplified Solutions (an online marketing firm as well as Google Partner).
The keynote of the Digital Breakfast was listening to the insights of Justin Perron, Google AdWords Certified Agency Development Manager. There were also fresh bagels and excellent coffee—as well as the theme of how crucial it is to advertise with Google. That’s not surprising, except for those who forget that Google is not about information but advertising (which is around 80% of its revenue).
However, some intriguing information was revealed during the Digital Breakfast concerning the recent evolution of Google+.
In essence, Google+ is moving away from being a social media channel. It is morphing into a blend of Google Places and Google My Business—perhaps aiming to be a mammoth Yelp-type entity. That is perhaps more sensible than trying to compete directly with Facebook. Even Facebook is attempting to recreate part of itself as Yelp.
The central takeaway is to ensure your business already belongs to Google My Business (and leverages an operational Google+ business page from it). That is an immediate search engine advantage.
In addition, Simplified Solutions and Perron offered these suggestions for a Google+ page and online branding in general:
– Post as many pictures as possible on your Google+ page (visual is the trend, after all). Oh, and make sure to Geo Tag any pictures uploaded, for that is what search engines are hunting for.
– Create plenty of relevant content in available media channels.
– Update both your Google My Business and Google+ pages frequently, at least every three months.
– Don’t try to be global, as local is where Google is putting much of its SEO energy (in other words, give Google a physical address when it asks for one in any part of its channels).
– Keep in mind that consumers are now more convenience-loyal than brand-loyal. Making it easy for consumers to find and buy your product is imperative.
As mentioned and beyond this, the dominant advice was to utilize both Simplified Solutions and Google AdWords. In the meantime, while the first quarter comes in 2016, these pointers should assist those wondering what to do with their Google+ page and those who haven’t subscribed to Google My Business—in market research and beyond.