If you’re in business, chances are you have a website. But do you also have a Google+ Page? If so, did you know that there’s now a way to leverage the traffic from your website to gain instant exposure to your business Page on Google+?

What was once restricted to a small test group, Google has now opened up to the public, namely its Google+ Badge for websites. When you insert the Google+ Badge on your website or blog, readers can not only share your website content on Google+ and give your content a +1 endorsement — they can also add your Google+ Page to their Google+ circles right from your website.

We’ll walk you through the steps of putting a Google+ Badge on your website. Use the existing familiarity, trust, and relationship you’ve built with your website visitors to kick-start your brand engagement on Google+ as well.

How to Get Your Google+ Badge

If you haven’t already done so, here’s how to create a Google+ Page. Once your Google+ Page is set up, you’ll need to connect your website to your Google+ Page. Google advises that you copy the following code into the “head” element of your site:

Next you’ll need your 21-digit Google+ Page ID before you proceed to the Google+ Badge Configuration Page. To obtain your Page ID, go to your Google+ Page’s stream and click “Get started” on the menu at the left side of the page.  In the “Tell the world” section, make a note of the URL shown. Your Page ID will be the very last numeric string at the end — for example: https://plus.google.com/[yourpageID]. Copy the Page ID portion of the URL and navigate to the Google+ Badge Configuration Tool.

Paste or type your Google+ Page ID in the box referenced with the large blue arrow. Next, choose the style of your badge and preview the results by choosing any of the available options, such as “Standard badge,” “Small badge” and so on. Customize your badge by giving it a name, choose the appropriate language, and select any of the applicable advanced formatting options if necessary. The code for your customized badge will be displayed in a text field entitled “Get the code.” Copy and paste this code anywhere you’d like the Google+ Badge to appear on your website.

Alternatively, you can manually configure your Google+ Badge using the parameters demonstrated on the Google+ Badge Tag Page. To see the relevant parameters and the corresponding results, scroll down the page until you see an image like the one above.

Benefits of Using the Google+ Badge

Google has been very aggressive in its release of new Google+ features. Many of these features appear to have at least some impact on Google search results, as evidenced by things like “Ask on Google+” prompts and Google+ Page recommendations appearing in some organic search results on Google. With these examples in mind, it’s entirely possible (though unconfirmed by Google) that having a Google+ Badge on your website may positively influence Google search results for your site.

Even if you already have a Google +1 button connected to your website, it may be worthwhile to consider replacing it with your customized Google+ Badge. The Google+ badge includes a +1 button, and it also allows your visitors to add your Google+ Page directly to their circles on Google+, making it even easier to begin building a community on Google+.

[Image Credit: Google+]