Why you may ask?  Because search and social go hand-in-hand.  Google is the only one to do that so far in a big way.  Businesses ignore Google Plus to their peril.

Not too long ago G+ was released, you could only join with an invite and there were no such thing as business pages.  We pined dreamily for a mashup of G+ and Google Places.  Skip ahead almost a year and Google has done just that.  Getting a business page on G+ has just reached critical mass – your local business needs Google Plus.  

If you had a Google Places page before it has been integrated automatically into G+, changing a pretty basic page into a potentially dynamic and engaging, almost Facebook-esque like page.

Here are just a few benefits of the switch:

  • It is searchable!  No special accounts, like Facebook, to view your page.  Just a completely public and searchable page where any and everybody can find your business.
  • More visible reviews.  If you weren’t on your P’s and Q’s before, you better be now.  Because of the connection to G+, the potential for customers’ reviews to be read by others in their circles is even greater.
  • You page gets a face lift.  Maybe it’s just me, but the user interface is beautiful.  Fluid, clean and light.  Facebook, take notes.  Without even doing anything your page goes from looking like it was created by robots to being something people want to spend time on.
  • Local just got amped.  Google splits their search field into two – dedicating one to just location (i.e. City, State) and the other to the business, restaurant, etc that you are looking for.  Add to that, the simple local icon added right into the G+ interface and you can search local places with the click of one button.

In the old days, search dominated the digital marketing landscape.  Whether you generated traffic organically or through paid ads, that’s the only way you had to drive people to your website.

Then in walked social.  Facebook and other social networks capitalized on the fact that people ask their friends and family for recommendations on products and services and acted on those recommendations.  Facebook even added some benefits of search with their ad platform.  But it was still a closed network and only Facebook users, as many as there are, were available to your marketing.

Google has mashed the best of social with their dominance in the search world.  Now your search generates recommendations from your friends and family, along with others in your local area.

Google Plus is critical to your business being found in search results – especially if you have a brick-and-mortar location.  If you  have no time to set one up or start maintaining the page you have, hire someone to do it.  Your business will thank you for it.