After a brief lull, Google Plus is back in social media users' good graces following the inclusion of business pages and additional enhancements, according to a recent Experian Hitwise report.
Hitwise, which tracks user visits back to the social network's first week, revealed that the week ending November 12 was its third most successful week to date. The only two time periods that trumped it were the two weeks following its inception.
What does this mean for business owners? Well, if you haven't added your company to Google Plus' Pages, you probably should consider it. A number of popular brands are already on the site, including Toyota, Macy's, Fox News, Pepsi and Burberry, Search Engine Land reports. And with this past week's 5 percent increase in traffic (and 25 percent gain since this point last month), it seems users are finally settling in.
The news source suggests in a separate article that traffic is expected to increase even more as Google Plus continues to roll out new features.
Businesses that have enabled Direct Connect (the ability for your page to be found directly in Google's search bar by typing your company's name with a "+" sign in front of it) will be able to view recent Google Plus posts when on its search engine results page. The new feature lets your company to "eat up more real estate" when a user searches for your brand, and allows non-followers to view what your company has to say without going through the process of searching for you on the actual social network.
Furthermore, the "Add To Circles" button - which appears just above recent Google Plus posts if a person is logged in - allows users to directly choose which circle to add your brand to.
Each of these moves has contributed to Google Plus receiving more than 6.8 million total U.S. visits this past week. Also, average visit time increased 15 percent in October compared to September, while the percent of return visitors (those who have visited the site in the past 30 days) rose 74 percent during last week.
TechLeash points out even more Google Plus features you may not have known about, including its integration with Google Apps, mobile support, mobile photo uploads, the ability to export data from other Google products and games such as Angry Birds and Crime City.