As you may have heard by now, Google+ is shutting down permanently and both individuals and businesses alike won’t be able to interact on the platform after April 2019. The end of Google+ opens a variety of opportunities for businesses to market themselves to consumers and improve local SEO via Google My Business (GMB).
The simplest difference between both platforms is this: Google+ was primarily a social network where people and companies could interact in various groups, “communities,” and forums; Google My Business is a unique listing platform for users to learn more about your business.
While the idea of a Google-backed social network sounded promising, the execution on that concept just didn’t take. In this breakdown by The Guardian, Google’s main reasons for shutting down the network include low user engagement rates, data privacy issues and personal data breaches, and other performance issues.
If you’ve ever had a Google+ account or used it at any point you may have a few questions about what is going to happen to your content, how to leverage Google My Business, and what exactly are the benefits of the transition from Google+ to GMB.
How can I keep/maintain my content on Google+ before April 2019?
Any user or Google+ profile can download their content before April if they want to preserve it. However, it is important to understand that you cannot make a new Google+ profile and that any content that is not downloaded before the deadline will be deleted.
If you used Google+ infrequently or simply don’t care about your content, then you don’t need to do anything else to see your account shutdown. Google is purging all Google+ content and advises users not to use the platform. Recently, the company stopped allowing users to post content altogether.
What should I be doing on Google My Business?
GMB has established itself as Google’s main content platform for businesses by allowing businesses to post content, published important business information, and interact with customers with community engagement features.
Start by creating frequent posts about company blogs, news, products, and offerings for your target consumers. In addition, make sure all your business information is accurate and comprehensive. Beyond NAP try adding store codes, labels, services offered, service area zip codes, photos, and a detailed business description to help improve your GMB listing’s ranking.
Make sure you’re also responding to both positive and negative reviews to help address your customer’s needs and highlight customer success stories.
What is the benefit of investing time into my GMB listing?
Simply put, a strong Google My Business page improves your business’s SEO, consumer engagement rate, and helps convert local online users into customers. A short list of some of the most important benefits of GMB investment includes:
- Business information taken from Google My Business appears in the local pack during nearby searches
- Your GMB page can be optimized with conversion tools like “call now” or “book now” to help consumers make faster, more efficient purchases
- Users can use the “Insights” tool within GMB to help make informed decisions of new consumers to target based on conversion type, location, and web traffic sources
Google+ may be gone, but businesses and local marketers may have an even stronger marketing tool with GMB. Start by claiming your listing if you need to, filling out the information accurately (and completely), and preparing content to target those local consumers!