Increasingly, you have probably been seeing a nice little box on the right hand side of your search results in Google, promoting a business like Mercedes-Benz, the latest blockbuster movie like Superman, or bands like the Rolling Stones. These boxes come complete with lots of useful information, images and (in some cases) location details. And you may have wondered how it got there and how you can get your own business to appear in the same spot.
The information you're seeing has been generated by Google, partially through Google+, but it also pulls data from trusted resources across the internet, from sites such as Wikipedia, IMDB or Amazon, to create a great snapshot on your search results page.
Free and Easy
Not only is this a great marketing tool for your business, it's also free and pretty easy to set up.
All you need to get started is a Google+ page linked to your own website, along with a little bit of mark-up code on your site to indicate its relevance and authority to Google – 'Rel=Publisher'
Keep it Regular, Make it Relevant
Once this is set up, you then need to keep publishing regular, relevant posts on Google+ to maintain interest and engage with your audience to gain Follows. By 'regular', Google recommends a maximum of around 72 hours between posts.
But posting alone isn't quite enough. Your company snapshot won't start appearing on the search results page until your Google+ page has reached a certain number of Follows. It's not entirely clear what this number is but it's estimated at around 100-200, demonstrating that you have reached a certain critical mass of popularity and relevance.
Where Does Google Places Fit?
This snapshot can also include more information about your business, like its location – using Google Places, internal photos of your business – using Google Trusted photography, and star ratings from client reviews.
In Summary, here is a checklist of what you need to get your brand featured by Google:
- A Google+ Page linked to your website
- Code to indicate authority
- Regular posting
- Minimum of 100-200 followers
- A complete Google Places page, with reviews and images