Google+ – It’s Time for Small Local and Rural Tourism Businesses to Take a Look

by Joanne Steele on March 21, 2012

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Google + logoI’ve had a number of emails over the past six months asking why I haven’t written a post about using Google+. I mentioned Google+ in this post: Battle of the Titans: Google+ One Button vs. Facebook’s New Subscribe Button (sorry about more titans battling – I just love sumo wrestler images!) but have been waiting and observing…

You know that I watch Google carefully since they rule the search world… which for business marketing IS the world. But they have a pretty significant history of rolling things out and dropping them. Remember Buzz? Still using Orkut (especially if you’re in India)?

Knowing how busy small local business and rural tourism business owners are, I have been reluctant to add one more thing to your long internet marketing to do list.

So I’ve waited until I was pretty certain that there was a good reason for you to jump on the Google+ bandwagon.

Lately, that reason has become evident… search engine results.

Your Perfect Customer may be slow to move their social sharing to Google+, unless they’re geeks or teenagers getting away from their parents on Facebook.

But lately, Google has been making it more and more “rewarding” to have a Google+ profile and friends in your Circles. Their activity and yours is now a part of Google search results.

Watch this little video from Google to see what I mean.

Notice that little stamp that is added to each of the kicky search results – it’s the personal results icon. Do a Google search and look for it on the top right side.

Right now, people will see the suggestions and interests of their Google+ circles and information from Twitter. Remember, Google doesn’t index info on Facebook for a number of confusing reasons that might change over time, particularly if the government feels that Google is giving its own service undue advantage.

Here’s the deal. Google searches are becoming more and more personalized based on a searcher’s past search history and now, input from friends on social media (Google+). My husband and I can search for the same thing and get slightly different results! Your customer friends will get personalized results based on their search history and friends’ preferences (on Google+ primarily).

This personalized search will become more and more a factor as Google continues to perfect its algorithm.

What’s a business owner to do to improve his or her SEO???

1. Be aware of what Google does, and do what’s necessary to keep Google happy.

In this case, set up a Google+ account and start looking for your customer friends there. Here is a Mashable Google+ guide to give you all the help you’ll need to get this done.

If you’re wondering if this will become a lesson series over at Take Control of Your Internet Marketing the answer is yes, in Module Four.

It is definitely more important  to build a vibrant Facebook personal profile presence since most of you have a significant number of Perfect Customers on Facebook, and Google+ is still appealing to mostly early adopters and young people – 100,000,000 of them.

2. Continue to do what you do best – provide wonderful informative content…

on your website and social media outposts that serve your customer’s needs and help them solve their problems.

That’s called content marketing, and Google will always give you high marks for doing that. You serve your customers’ needs well and thus, help Google give those people relevant search results.

3. BE VERY AWARE of where your customer is hanging out.

BE VERY CERTAIN that you are also hanging out there (right now, on Facebook).

That means, for most of you, begin to show up on Google + for reasons stated in #1. AND work extremely hard to build relationships with your customer friends who are hanging out on Facebook, and aren’t likely to move until they’re forced to because all their friends have.

Carve out a little time to watch the videos about Google+ at Mashable. When the Big Move from Facebook happens, if it does, you want to be sitting at Google+ waiting to greet all those customer friends.

 

 

1 Gerald Sweitzer April 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I dropped FaceBook last year, along with millions of others. FaceBook is not growing in the US, Canada, & the UK now. Google+ is over 100 million and is integrating more Google services into it.
I love the circles, and HangOuts.
I’m seeing more activity, but it will take time. Remember, Google+ just started in June 2011. It’s grown far faster than FaceBook did in that length of time.
I believe they will catch up and perhaps pass FaceBook by 2015

2 Joanne Steele April 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Hi Gerald, What small business owners need to watch for is movement among their customers. When we start to see later Facebook adopters making the commitment to follow their children and grandchildren to Google+, small local business owners better have their Google+ ducks in a row.

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