Does anyone love your brand? Does anyone “like” it? If you can imagine more than a handful of customers and suppliers being willing to tell Google that they like you (with a plus), then you should not only enable the Google+ functionality for your own site but create a Google+ page.
Why? Right now, Google is practically bribing you to take advantage of Google+ as a business and as an advertiser with Social Extension(s). (As an aside, it’s interesting that in the AdWords interface the Social Extension is listed as plural and not singular, but perhaps that’s just to keep the naming aligned with the other extensions.) Anyway, back to the killer power of the Social Extension used alone or in conjunction with the Google+ platform to amplify your campaign.
Google+ Is Now Focused on Business
Google+ started as a personal social network, but Google is now clearly focusing on businesses as the catalyst for successful adoption and continued use of Google+ by consumers. Individuals – particularly those who author content or are active in sharing content – should have a Google+ profile in order to push their personal profiles into the organic search results. For business Plus pages, Google has made it clear that it behooves you to invest the time and effort into using your Google+ page as one of the touch points with your customers and prospects.
There are lots of great reasons to build a robust Google+ page and then to link that page to your AdWords account, in addition to having Google+ implemented on your site. Before we list these, perhaps it’s worth clarifying a few things about how the Social Extension works by itself and how it works in conjunction with Google+ pages for business.
You can use the Google AdWords Social Extension in several scenarios:
- Consumers decide to +1 you from your site because you’ve given them a button or link.
- Consumers +1 you from their Google Toolbar or an external site link.
- Consumers +1 your site from the ad within a SERP.
- Consumers +1 your Google+ page or within Google+ in general.
For this reason you’ll often notice different manifestations of the Social Extension under the AdWords ad text. For example, you might find messages such as the following displayed:
- 117 people in New York, NY +1’d this
- 496,804 people +1’d or followed [insert brand name here] with a link on that [brand name] to the Plus page of that brand
- 560 people +1’d this page
As you can see, the Social Extensions along with the brand Plus page pop a bit more. Any ad running with the Social Extension will beat an ad that has no extension at all. This brings us to our five reasons to turn on Social Extensions and link your Google+ page to your AdWords account.
Five Reasons to Google+ and Socialize for PPC
- It’s a free click to your Plus page, and a great additional touch point. Clicks from your AdWords ads to your Plus page don’t cost you a penny. Google is giving these clicks away (for now) to drive adoption.
- Click-through rate (CTR) for ads that include any Social Extension are higher than those that don’t have it turned on. This means you can squeeze more clicks out of your most profitable keyword/ad combinations since these are typically the ads where you can afford top positions.
- Quality Score advantage. While Google often attempts to normalize the Quality Score advantage that ads get as a result of their extensions (all of those that deliver better visibility), I believe that there is a Quality Score advantage derived from the additional (higher CTR) clicks that your ad will get. Better Quality Score means higher positions at the same CPC or a lower CPC for the same position.
- The consumer touch points you accumulate as a result of having your fans +1 your brand will provide you a platform to communicate with those consumers again. No one knows exactly how the Google+ for business pages will evolve, but every indication is that much of the functionality that existed within Google Places, such as couponing, will be included along with some new functionality, perhaps including its evolving deals platform.
- Your Google+ pluses or “likes” show up in some organic results enhancing those listings. Your investment in pluses yields fruit in both the organic and paid ecosystems.
Fascinatingly, some of Google’s largest advertisers (at least according to SpyFu) seem not to have taken advantage of the power of the Social Extension even when they have a Google+ page. Take a look when you do some brand searches and other searches where you can expect to see those advertisers in top positions. Don’t let the power of Google+, combined with the Social Extensions, fall into the hands of your competition without taking advantage yourself.
Plus Sign image on home page via Shutterstock.
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