Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on Google Brand Pages and Insights: What you need to know

Very recently, Google made two big announcements – one you probably heard about, and the other you probably didn’t. Most people know that Google finally introduced brand pages for Google+, its social network launched this summer. Since the

beginning, brands have been trying to get on to the site but Google has repeatedly denied their attempts, stating the network “wasn’t ready” for brands. But it seems like it’s finally ready. The brand pages have a similar look and feel to profile pages and allow users to subscribe to the page by adding it to a circle, just as they do with people profiles. And just like with Facebook and Twitter, it provides companies with another avenue to connect with their customers.

But more important than all that is the effect these pages will start having on search and online advertising. With the introduction of the +1 button, internet users could rate pages that they like, indicating to their friends which sites may be worthwhile and which are not. In essence, the +1 button made search more social. And now brand pages will make it even more social by aggregating all the +1 of a brand or company into a central location. The +1 history of a user and people in their circles will factor into the Google search algorithm to make search results more relevant to each person. In addition, this data will be factored into the Google Ad targeting algorithm, taking into account the +1 activity of a brand’s connections and the +1 activity of paid ads. Content that the brand generates with high +1 activity (on any platform) will feed information into the targeting information, allowing brands to better target ads and increase their influence. Google doesn’t just want brands to use this as another communication platform; it wants brands to increase their cumulative online presence.

Another announcement by Google last week flew lower on the radar and was overlooked by many companies in the excitement of Google Plus. Think Insights with Google was officially taken out of beta with a brand new look. The website is essentially a think tank of research about a variety of trends, industries and insights. For example:

  • 70% of smartphone users use their device while shopping in stores
  • Search activity doubles after becoming a mom: moms conduct 21 searches per week vs. 11 for non-moms
  • Adding seller ratings to a search ad can boost click-through rates by more than 10%

In addition, Think Insights for Search (still in beta) also offers a wealth of information about search trends like:

  • Canada produced the most searches for home building on the internet, followed by Australia and the US (Montana was the state with the highest number of searches for home building)
  • Green home building is the top rising search in the home building category

Allowing you to organize search data by regions as small as cities, businesses can tap into this knowledge bank to improve their search optimization and online ad targeting. It also gives access to case studies and insights like the Zero Moment of Truth theory, organized by industry, media platform, audience, and marketing objective. I highly recommend that you spend some time on these sites… discovering what information is available.

All in all, it was a big week for Google and a big week for businesses looking to improve their online presence. How do you plan to use Google+ Brand Pages and Insights for your brand?