Have you heard Google + brand pages are finally here? Are you looking for a complete guide to what you can do with Google + brand pages. Well here at Searchbrat, we give you an overview of the Google + brand pages, including setting one up for your company and how you could use it.
Google launched Google + earlier this year to mixed reviews. Some people called it deeply embarrassing, but their growth figures were pretty astonishing, reaching 20 million users pretty quickly. Since then the growth of Google + has slowed, but they have released some pretty cool additions like Google ripples. But companies have been eagerly awaiting Google + brand pages, which are now available. Let’s take a look a closer look at these.
An Important Note on Google + Setup
One thing to note before you go ahead and create these either for your own business/brand or on behalf of a client is that you can only have one associated Google account and should someone else set up the same page it will simply get taken down. Google stated they will not be merging duplicate pages and a verification process will be in place early next year so for now the recommendation is to set one up on a generic account that both the business owner and agency/consultant can use.
Steps To Creating A Page
When logged in to Google + simply click on the “create a page” on the right hand side of the page. Then select the type of business it is,your category and who it’s suitable for.
After including a tag line and uploading a profile picture, which can be customized using a cool creative tool, you will be brought through to your very own Google + brand page. It is that simple, Google gives you a clear sign that you are currently using Google + as your page so any posts etc will be from your brand and not personal account (keep a close eye on this as you don’t want to do anything embarrassing on your company page). From here we can update the profile to make it look a bit more appealing as well as begin posting images, links and video.
Once the profile has been updated, it will look something like the below, you can include all your other social sites like Twitter, Facebook, recommended sites (will these ever pass equity to a site hmmm), business owners will get a map and you will obviously have your stream. Other tabs include pictures and videos – the ability to pull in your Youtube channel would be a nice feature here, surely it’s on the cards!
Core Features of Google + Brand Pages
First thing is first, we can’t compare these brand pages to Facebook brand pages. It’s pretty short sited to just say “it’s Google’s version of Facebook” and you could miss out on a lot of cool features the Google + page offers.
- Easily share content i.e. text, links, video and images. You can also make certain content unsharable
- Have live hangouts (a cap of ten only just yet). This would be a great feature to hold live reviews or Q&A sessions with your fans or even influencial bloggers in your industry
- Users must add the brand to their circles before the brand can add the user thus giving the user all the control
- You have one master circle, all smaller circles are capped at 5000 people. These can help you segment your audience into age groups, locations etc so targeted content can then be applied
- Companies/brands can identify “affiliated people” on the page, specifically page admins or key stakeholder so people can then connect seperately
- Each property will have a map
- Allows much more customisation
- Addition of HTML5, something which even Adobe invested in and pulled back from flash
- Open API
- +1 Analytics allowing us to track all engagement
- Syncronised with all the other products in the Google suit such as Adwords
- Vanity URLs to become available
A lot of cool but expected features there but lets take a quick look at some of the opportunities the Google + pages could have for your company
- Within the Google + search bar people, posts and sparks will be pulled into users search results. Visibility could be raised here by creating quality, engaging content on all related topics and owning all that related spark content.
- Although not confirmed, it is thought that Google + brand pages will rank very highly in the SERPs so taking up more real estate on those brand searches and pushing down aggregators. There is alway the risk of cannabolisation as well but I think taking up as much real estate as possible on your brand searches ways this out.
- Properly linked with all Googles products will allow +1 to promote there efforts across all Google+ enabled channels.
- We all know how important a good content strategy is, if we don’t then the latest Google Freshness Update should be a gentle reminder how important it is, maybe not always king though. Content syndicated here should be included in this strategy, as social signals become more and more important, the Google + brand page could be an integral part of your strategy.
- +1 signals may then begin to influence universal search as Google integrates Youtube and Picasa
Canonical To Source Content
- This is a very interesting feature, if the same message is being sent out we can ensure the source content (the piece we want to rank) can get all the + 1 love. This will also be the case for pages that may have different URLs depending on the path users used to get there.
There will be a number of opportunities that come with paid media as well, we all know paid listings can now be +1′d. Will google incoporate this into the the ads quality score, will it affect the cost of keywords? I think what is important to know is that with Googles focus on a social search the real power of the + 1 button needs to be understood and how it could have a huge affect on your overall strategy. Brands/businesses should be considering an overal content strategy on the back of the recent algorthim update and that strategy should certainly include creating and managing Google + brand pages.
Two other good posts to read on this subject is Google+ Brand pages are lacking but you will make one anyway and Google Brand pages vs Facebook.