I’ve been seeing some articles lately that claim Google+ is a dying social media platform. While this frustrates me aGoogle+_holiday bit, I can understand why some professionals may be under the impression that it’s dying; it never made it as big as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. However, I can assure you that Google+ is relevant for your online presence and should still play a part in your social marketing strategy.

In regards to daily active users, we all know that Google+ isn’t any Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not incredibly useful for your business. While this platform isn’t as massive as the other social giants, there are still 540 million monthly active users and 20 million unique mobile monthly users. If your business counts out Google+ altogether, you’re not only missing out on huge opportunities for brand awareness and recognition, but many other marketing benefits as well.

Here are the top reasons why your business shouldn’t pull the plug on Google+ just yet… and why it’s critical to include this platform as a part of your 2015 marketing strategy:

1) Your Google+ posts are crawled and indexed 

The top reason WHY Google+ is still so important to marketers is because of the incredible opportunity to drive traffic and boost search engine rankings with this platform. Google+ posts get the upper hand in search results, because content on this platform is favored by its creator, Google! In addition, your Google+ content posts can be ranked on search engines as well, because each and every post has its own unique URL. Each Google+ post is crawled and indexed almost immediately – unlike Facebook, where it’s not uncommon for posts to not be indexed at all.  We all know that the more content your business produces online, the better, and sticking to a consistent posting strategy on Google+ will provide you with another vehicle for getting found on the web (and benefit your SEO program)!

2) The +1 button will take you places 

Contrary to likes and retweets, Google+’s +1 functionality takes your content much further when it comes to search engine rankings. It has been found that +1 shares have much more of an impact on improving search engine rankings than likes, retweets and shares on the other large social platforms. For example, if one of your popular Google+ posts got several +1’s from your followers, this post is more likely to rank in search engines for whatever the topic and keywords included in your post may be. A +1’ed post results in a shared post on Google+, which creates a followed link back to the post – something we call link building. Now isn’t that cool?

3) Your social content is more valuable

You know how blogging is extremely beneficial for your website? The capabilities of your Google+ posts have actually been compared to almost that of a full-blown blog post! In addition to every single post having its own unique URL like blog entries do, the first 45-50 characters of the Google+ post appear in the title tags, giving you the chance to increase your SEO credit even further. Since this Google+ is also a recommended platform to write longer, in-depth and informative posts, you’ll be providing higher quality content to your audience to not only build your search engine rankings with keywords and title tags but to ramp up engagement as well. In fact—the overall average percentage of engagement rate on Google+ almost reaches that of Facebook – so you still have a wealth of opportunities for engaging with your prospects!

4) There are better opportunities when using hashtags 

When you use hashtags on Twitter, users are able to search that specific platform to tune into the buzz around a specific keyword on that platform. When you use a hashtag on Google+, you’re opening up doors for your content to be discovered on not only Google+, but on the first page of search engine results as well. Try it out – if you type in #contentmarketing into Google search, you’ll notice that a dynamic stream of Google+ posts shows up on the right side of the page. This gives your business opportunities to be found on the first page of Google just through social media! In addition, Google+ will suggest trending hashtags that are related to your content, so you’ll automatically get advice on what other hashtags to use, allowing for maximum exposure of your content.

So, the next time you hear that Google+ is dead, educate your fellow colleagues or clients on the web benefits it could bring for your business. It may not ever measure up to the sheer volume or size of Facebook, but just remember that QUALITY over QUANTITY applies in this situation!

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