Businesses and brands wanting to take advantage of the integration of Google+ into search results need to do a few things immediately, in order to take advantage of the change (and not fall victim to it):
1. Create a Google+ Brand page immediately
This needs to be carefully put together to ensure that it appears official, useful and worthy of people adding to their Circles. It should also be optimised to ensure it ranks for relevant brand search terms.
2. Put a Google+ content strategy in place
Once a Google+ Company/Brand page has been constructed, there needs to be a content strategy designed to deliver high quality, engaging content, consistently to that audience (i.e. daily!).
Content that not only begs to be shared, but also which uses search terms and themes the target audience might be searching for, therefore increasing and broadening rankings. For instance, if you’re a company that sells computer games, you would want to have regular Google+ content showing the top 10 most purchased games (or anything else we know people are searching for in Google). If consumers have you in their Circles, they will see this content in their search results when they conduct relevant searches. It will also encourage others to add you to their Circles too.
Content essentially needs to be used to increase the Company/Brand exposure to those consumers that already have them in their Circle and also compel others to add them for the first time because there is an incentive to do so. This should be aligned to the list of search terms the Brand/Company already targets in natural and paid search.
3. Benchmark your activity against the competition
As with most things, it is important to ensure close tabs are kept on how well competitors are doing particularly in terms of the number of people that have added them to their Circles over time.
Andreas Pouros is chief operating officer at search engine marketing agency Greenlight.