You’re diligent about writing for your company blog. You plan out blog posts, schedule them, respond to current events, and every post is thoughtful and appropriately seeded with your important keywords.
But you’re still missing one vital component if you don’t have a Google+ profile that’s properly hooked up to your blog posts. This status is called Google Authorship, and the rich snippet that shows up in search results as a result is huge for winning new readers – and more website traffic.
Why do I need a Google+ profile and Google Authorship?
A Google+ profile can increase clicks. I’ll bet you’ve already seen the most compelling argument for Google Authorship in search results. The rich snippet (including your lovely headshot!) appears in search results, just as you see in the image at right.
This rich snippet with your portrait really makes your blog post stand out in search results. And research shows that about one-third of people click on images first in search results. Choose a photo that makes you look friendly and approachable, and you’re even more likely to attract attention.
Your Google+ profile improves your credibility, and your site’s credibility. When a reader can easily click to the author’s Google+ profile and find good information there, that inspires more confidence in the author’s expertise. This is especially true for material that’s unfamiliar to the reader, or controversial.
Your Google+ profile also improves your site’s credibility for Google itself. You’re telling Google that the author of an article acknowledges the content – indeed, is proud of it. That lets Google place much more trust in an article’s quality. You’re telling Google your article the exact opposite of spammy content created solely to pull traffic from search.
Your Google+ profile can boost your position in search results. Because Google+ belongs to Google, many search optimization professionals believe the big G pays a lot of attention to +1s on articles, and to the information in Google+ profiles. This means having a complete Google+ profile, and connecting it to your blog posts or articles, can help your work rank higher in search results for the keywords you’ve emphasized.
Mike Arnesen of Swellpath has a great piece on SEOmoz about the factors Google will likely consider when ranking articles. Mike says it’s all about an author’s established authority, as evidenced by:
- links with other established authors
- +1s and other “votes” for a writer’s work
- the number and authority of sites where the author is published
- and more…
How to set up Google Authorship and connect your Google+ profile to your posts
To help your Google+ profile picture pop up next to your posts in search results, make sure Google knows who you are and where you publish. Edit your Google+ profile to add the websites you contribute to, and your other online profiles.
If you have an email address at the same domain where you publish your articles, you can sign up for Google Authorship verification. This is by far the fastest way to link your posts to your Google+ profile. For example, I publish on AboutUs.com, so I entered my email, Aliza@AboutUs.com, in the box on the Google Authorship signup page.
If you don’t have an email for the domains where you publish, no fear – there’s a link on the authorship page that takes you to another method for linking your online publications and your Google+ profile.
Don’t forget the most important thing: Content quality
If you really want your articles – and your website – to rank high in search results, you must write high-quality content that people read, comment on and share in social media. But you knew that already.
Aliza Earnshaw is vice president of business development at AboutUs. A former business reporter and editor, Aliza still indulges her love of great writing and working with creative writers while pursuing business opportunities for AboutUs.