google-plus-authorshipIt’s safe to say that many businesses have taken advantage of Google+ authorship. You’ve seen the pictures of people next to certain search results in Google, and it’s hard to deny that these results aren’t a little bit more inviting than those with no picture at all. If you are a business that hasn’t taken advantage, it’s absolutely crucial that you get started right away if you want to remain competitive and earn those clicks. It’s hard to go up against a result that has a photo because the photo does a few different things:

  • Credibility. The search result is seen as credible immediately because you can click to learn more about the author (more on that later). Connecting a photo with a search result also shows that the author is proud of that entry, which illustrates even more credibility.
  • Engaging. Photos pop on a SERP. They draw attention much more than your typical result, so people are going to be more inclined to click.
  • Related Articles. Google Authorship entries give users a way to find more articles by that author, which helps open up new outlets and improve search experience.

If you still haven’t gotten started with authorship yet, don’t sweat it. As advanced as it may seem, it’s actually incredibly easy to get started.

What Is Google+ Authorship and Why Does It Matter?

Below is a screenshot of a Google result that uses authorship and then one that doesn’t use authorship. It’s quite obvious that one is more inviting than the other, but some of the other features that authorship offers aren’t quite so obvious. They are marked below:

google-plus-in-serps1

As you can see, there are three things different about the above result: First, you can see my picture; second, you can click on my name, and third, you can click on my Google+ circles to see my profile. All of these things help a Google user gain more information about the author (in this example, me). By clicking my name you can see more Google results written by me, and by clicking my circles you can visit my Google+ profile to see the types of things I’m posting and the type of people I’m connected with in the industry.

How Your Company Can Get Started with Google+ Authorship

In order to get your photo on the articles that you write, there are a few steps you have to take:

Step #1: Verify your email address connected with Google+.
It’s incredibly important that you have a Google+ profile number one (and make sure you fill it out for your own visibility!). Once your profile is set to go, you will want to verify the email address you have connected with your Google+ account. You simply just visit your profile and scroll down to your “contact information” section and edit your address and then hit “verify.” Below is a screenshot of how it works. You will see in this example that my home email address has been verified, but my work email address has not:

google-plus-verify

Step #2: Utilize the authorship markup tag.
Whenever you contribute an article to a site where you do not have an email address associated with the domain (usually all guest posting you do), you will want to use the Google authorship tag in your author bio on that site. The tag looks like this:

<ahref=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Google</a>

You will of course want to insert your profile URL into the section that says “[profile_url].’

Step #3: Fill in your Contributor To section on your Google+ profile.
Wherever you contribute, you’re going to want to add that site in your “contributor to” section on your Google+ profile. You can find this on your profile under the “links” section. Just click “edit” and add in the URL of your article (adding in the URL of an author page would be even better!). Below is an example:

google-plus-contributor-settings

Have you recently started using Google+ authorship? What has been your experience? Do you find that it has helped improve your search traffic? Let us know your thoughts and your story in the comments below.

About the author Amanda DiSilvestro

Amanda DiSilvestrois a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO company.