How to Get an Eye-Catching Picture with Your Search Results

The age-old adage describing a picture to be worth a thousand words has never been truer than it is now with the small photograph you can have listed next to your search results using Google Authorship.

The Benefits of Google Authorship

Just by adding one simple rich snippet to your web design and going through the authorship progress, you can make your results stand out. A Google Authorship-enabled result can increase your click-through rate dramatically and force your competition to look antiquated.

Furthermore, you’ll build trust with your readers before they even arrive at your page and add a voice to your unique content.

You’ll also give your readers peace out mind that they’re reading the words of a real expert. Words are easy to duplicate and so are websites, but a unique picture that has been confirmed by Google is much harder to duplicate.

Eye-Catching Picture

To sum it up, here’s what you’re getting when you choose to participate in the Google Authorship program:

  • A higher click-through rate brought about by a unique and attractive search result.
  • You will increase your exposure to your desired audience. Readers and searchers will recognize you as an individual as an authority figure and not just your website.
  • Users are more liable to trust you. Just think about it, all it takes is a simple face to make someone feel more at home. Even used car salesmen take advantage of this psychology-rooted fact.

Another reported benefit of Google Authorship is a tendency for higher search engine rankings. Take this with a grain of salt, as this could be a side effect of the above three benefits that are confirmed.

The best part about Google Authorship is that it is relatively easy to enroll in and set up to use on your website.

Getting Started with Google Authorship

In just a few steps, you can get the entire Google authorship verification process started.

There are two ways to get started with Google Authorship:

  1. You can use an email address on the same domain as the content you are publishing.
  2. You can link your Google Plus profile from your content.

Both are explained in detail below, though you should opt for the second method of Google Authorship if you write for more than one website or regularly make things like guest posts.

Option #1: Linking Your Google Plus Profile to Your Content Using an Email Address

First, you need to ensure that the content you have created and posted has a clear line that states you are the author. It does not have to be any exact format, just so long as it is clear.

Next, you need to visit the Google Authorship page to submit your email address. This is a one-time step that will allow Google to verify your email address and list it on your Google Plus profile under the “Contributor to” section.

Bear in mind that you only need to do this once per domain, even if you have multiple written pieces on a domain.

Lastly, you should use the Google structured data testing tool to see what information Google will be able to deduce about you from your content’s pages.

Please note that you can only use this method if you have an email address that uses the domain from which you published your content.

Option #2: Verifying Your Authored Content By Linking Back to Your Google Plus Page

The first step to verifying your content by a link is to put a link back to your Google Plus profile anywhere on your website that has content. This can be just on the individual pages or you can add it to every page, which is especially easy if you use a blog system that allows you to have a global footer.

You must have the ‘rel=”author”’ attribute in your link, like this:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/{Google Plus Profile ID}” rel=”author” > Author Name </a>

The next step is to go to your Google Plus profile and add reciprocal links back to each website you want Google to verify your authorship on. These links must be added under the “Contributor To” section by adding a custom link.

Lastly, you can use the structured data testing tool to verify what data Google can extra from your page. This is especially helpful to ensure everything went smoothly.

About the Author

James Patterson is Simple iD’s lead online marketing consultant. Simple iD is a full service online marketing agency that offers clients everything that they need to succeed online, from web design and development to a complete tailor-made online marketing package. Come and check us out on Facebook.

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