With the release of Google+ pages for business, many companies may be wondering whether a page is right for their business, and how they can most effectively use this tool to enhance their online marketing efforts.  While the benefits of having a Google+ page for a business are still being discovered by most companies, there are a few very clear opportunities for businesses to succeed using Google+ for business.

Here are the top 4 reasons as we see them:

SEO Enhancements

By using Google+ to post and promote your website content, you are allowing Google to directly understand the impact and popularity of the content you provide.  There have been strong indications that if many influential users of Google+ post links to your content, Google will rank your pages higher in organic search results.  Since Google owns all of this data and factors it into their search results, adopting this platform becomes extremely important for brands wishing to achieve SEO success.

Understand Who Shares Your Content with Google+ Ripples

When great content is posted to Google+, there is a good chance that it will be shared by others in your Google+ circles. This was very much a nebulous activity that took time and effort to measure how content spread throughout a social graph.  Google+ has added a feature called Ripples that creates a gorgeous illustration of how content is spread across the network.  Use this information to target influencers and work with the to help promote future content.


Paid Search Enhancements through Social Extensions

In order to link Google+ data with paid search efforts, Google AdWords has recently enabled a feature called Social Ad Extensions.  Enabling this feature allows an advertiser to display the number of people who have subscribed to a businesses Google+ page inside of the ad unit as a +1.  This was previously reserved only for people giving a +1 to a single landing page.  Now you can display a much larger +1 count based on the total number of followers on Google+.  This brings instant credibility and differentiation to advertisers active on Google+

Google+ Hangouts to Deeply Connect with Customers

While a one-on-one connection with consumers is a great goal for companies, often connecting on a one-on-one basis with customers can be expensive and requires a huge commitment.  One way to make this more palatable for businesses is to arrange a Google+ hangout, where they can talk with a group of people in a single setting.  You could have a hangout between fans and product development teams, customer service, spokespeople, marketing – anyone really!

Google+ Hangouts can provide a way for companies to spontaneously and genuinely connect with their biggest supporters, or even turn casual fans into brand advocates.

More to Come

Google is making a huge push to integrate Google+ into their entire portfolio of products and services.  Unlike their previous forays into social networking, Google+ has already seen wide adoption and support, and is going to be baked into everything Google does moving forward.  Early adopters of the service can really get ahead of the game by embracing features that provide short term benefits, while amassing a list of loyal fans to help spread the word about future initiatives.  Companies that are serious about the future of their search marketing programs really need to consider making a push into Google+.