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Google Plus for businesses is up and running -- and it could make law firm marketing a whole lot easier.
Four months after Google rejected businesses from its fledgling Google+ network, the world's most visited website has launched Google+ Pages.
Google+ Pages is open to all businesses, including law firms. But why get a Google+ Page, when you're already finding it hard enough to fill your Facebook and Twitter feeds?
It's not just that Google+ users can recommend your law firm with a "+1." Google+ Pages also give firms the power to connect and collaborate, experts say.
Consider the following:
More than 1 billion people use Google's search engine every month. Because Google+ Pages are now showing up in search results, this allows you to potentially drive Google's search engine traffic to your Google+ Page.
Google's "Direct Connect" is a big plus. With the launch of Google+ Pages, the website is also debuting a feature called "Direct Connect." Users who type "+" in front of a company's name in Google's search field will be connected directly to the company's Google+ Page, if there is one.
"Hangouts" offer more than just video chat. Google+'s "Hangouts" chat feature also lets your team work on shared Google Docs from remote locations, in real time. You can also use "Hangouts" to chat face-to-face with current and potential clients -- for example, by hosting a public "webinar" on certain legal topics.
"Circles" lets you target different types of clientele. A major feature that sets Google+ apart from Facebook is the ability to group followers into different "Circles." This allows your firm to, say, post an article about child support for your family law "Circle," while posting information about immigration law for other "Circles."
Of course, Google Plus for businesses is still evolving. Observers say to expect the addition of business-friendly features -- such as website analytic tools and personalized URLs -- in the coming months.