» A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google+

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google+Google+ is one of the most under-used social networks for the U.S. population at large, but especially for wedding and event professionals. We often focus so much of our energy on networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest that Google+ gets lost in the shuffle, but it’s worth a second look.

Many users and businesses have Google+ accounts and pages, but the general consensus is that the engagement levels still have not yet reached those of Facebook. Consider, though, that the number of people who interact socially with any Google product now exceeds 500 million per month! There are plenty of people posting and using the network professionally, and it’s time to catch up.

Below are the elements you’ll need to fill out and optimize for your business when you begin using Google+!

Page Title: The page title for your Google+ page should be your business’ name – it’s a representation of your business. Your Google+ page is indexed and will show up in search, but you shouldn’t try to keyword-stuff your page title. Keep it simple!

Page URL: When you first create your Google+ page, you’ll access it through a long link with a string of numbers, but it can be customized. Once you’ve set your custom URL it can’t be changed, and can be preassigned based on things like your name or the name of your linked website. You may also need to add a few letters or numbers to make it unique to you. Visit Google’s support page to get full instructions on customizing your link and the requirements to do so.

Page Tagline and Introduction: In the About tab of your Google+ page, you’ll be asked to fill out your business’ tagline and introduction, both of which serve to provide a little bit more information about your wedding business. Your tagline should be short and to the point, while your introduction will provide a bit more detail. Don’t repeat your tagline in your introduction, though – Google will pull these both to act as the meta description for your page in search results. Together, they should describe your business and use some of the best keywords for your service category and location.

Profile and Cover Photos: Similar to the relationship between your Facebook profile image and cover photo, your Google+ photos should look good together! The dimensions for each are different – your profile image is circular and your cover photo has more height – but they should work together to show your brand’s logo and service category so visitors know immediately what your business includes. This helpful post from Business 2 Community shares the latest dimensions for your Google+ assets!

Circles: Instead of “likes,” Google+ audiences are held within Circles. They’re a way to organize the people you know and share the right content with the right people. Google will give you a few Circles to begin with (Friends, Family, Coworkers) and you can keep those or create your own. You can create Circles for past clients if you’d like to share content specifically with them, or with other wedding professionals. Circles are a great way to target your messages easily. If you don’t want to use Circles in that way, you can also just add all your connections to one Circle and share everything with them.

Page Content: The major benefit to having a Google+ page for your business is that links you post there will be indexed faster, so you’ll want to post a lot of original content! Post links like you would to Facebook, and give a short and simple summary of the link and its content. You can also share photos and videos to mix them up. Google+ gives you the option to share with the public, everyone in your Circles or certain Circles or individuals. While you’ll want to link back to your website and blog often, be sure to post useful and relevant content that your Circles will enjoy.

Insights: Google+ recently updated their tracking abilities with Google+ Insights. You can track your page’s visibility in terms of page views, as well as get a quick snap shot of each recent post’s views, clicks and other engagements. You can also monitor the types of content you’re sharing to see if you’re sharing more text posts, links, photos or videos. If you’re interested in your audience’s demographics, you can even see the gender and age of your audience and the country they’re in!

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, not all social networks will work for every business. There’s no “one size fits all” philosophy at play. Be sure to do the research and test engagement so you can truly evaluate your performance and make future decisions based on real data. Don’t be afraid to try out Google+! Invite your clients to connect with you, and join a community with other Pros and get started.

Ready for more? Head over to our Advanced Guide to Google+ to continue learning!