Whether you like or hate Google+, you have no choice but to leverage it. Why? Because Google owns it!  Many people do not realize that your organic search rankings in Google can be positively (or negatively) affected by your presence on Google+. This is an easy way to help your site, increase your rankings, and boost your revenue.

A few simple ways you can leverage Google+ are:

Authorship –

This is the flagship of Google’s social media and SEO crossover strategy. By adding authorship to your website through the use of Google+ you’ll not only receive an SEO boost, but your picture will appear on the search engine results page, increasing the likelihood that people will click through to your site.

Authority –

Perhaps the hardest part of Google+ to master is Authority, but it might also be the most fruitful opportunity. Essentially, Authority is the act of telling Google that you and your content deserves to be ranked highly because of your online reputation. Authority is based on the number of interactions your profile and content receives, the number of people who have you in their Google+ Circles, and how frequently you use Google+. Becoming an authority isn’t easy and it certainly takes time, but if you achieve it then the marketing rewards could be significant.

Communities -

One of the best features of the platform is Communities. In essence these are an upgrade on the Facebook group. They are a great way to network with people and share high quality content.  In communities you can share blog posts, or other people’s, in order to start discussions and ultimately attract more readers to your site.  When used correctly they offer the perfect content delivery system.

Firstly, good social media citizens don’t just drop links and run. Lay the groundwork first, get to know the community members and engage with them. This is all about building up trust between you and your potential customers. You should also personalize your content for each community.

Secondly, you need to reach out to plenty of communities. It pays to interact with other members in each community – you have to be human – i.e. genuinely engaged – at all times. If you post the same link in twenty communities, you’re effectively spamming those communities, but if you post the same link with a valid, worthwhile and interesting comment – you’re engaging in twenty communities. There’s a critical difference.

Currently only 13% of businesses are marketing on Google+ which means there is a lot of growth to be had. Getting in early and using the strategies above could be very fruitful for a business in the upcoming years as the platform grows.