You may or may not be familiar with the new Google Authorship program. Either way, though, you have probably at some point seen search results in Google that have a person’s image next to them. This is not by accident. Google knows what they are doing and so do the authors of those websites.
Let’s use me as an example:
This screenshot shows the first 3 results when you Google my name. The first site listed is mine; the other two are not. But see how my picture shows up in the results next to mine? That’s because I write good content, contribute to Google+ and have joined the authorship program by Google.
But Why is This So Important?
I’m glad you asked. Most obviously, it makes you stand out. When it comes to rankings, it’s a brutal war. People are paying a lot of money to get on paid ads, higher SEO companies – and pretty much doing anything they can to get a #1 ranking. Studies show that the #1 search result gets close to 40% of clicks. The second gets around 18%. Third, 11% and then downward from there. However, new studies show that a second or third place ranking can pull much higher conversions when paired with a picture of the author.
“People do business with people.” That’s one of the oldest sayings in the book. The internet has, for a long time, been a faceless community. But with the growth of social media, you can still have that personal touch to doing business online. Having a picture of your face show up next to the results improves rankings (arguably, but a great way for Google+ to have an advantage over Facebook), increases the click-through rate and provides for a higher credibility.
How Do We Do This?
Very easily. First, you need to set up a Google Plus account. And if you haven’t already, it’s about time that you do anyway. It’s way better than Facebook – trust me. Use an email to set up your Google+ profile that is based off of your domain. For example, I signed up with mine by using Me@AdamWhitaker.com. This helps to prove you own the domain.
Next, create a byline for each post that you write. See how it says, “By Adam Whitaker” at the top of this post. Do that for every new piece of content you create. Then link your name (in my case, Adam Whitaker) either to your Google Plus profile or to your “About” page on your website. It’s good to switch it up. When linking, use the ‘rel=author’ tag in your link, or this won’t work.
Lastly, go to the authorship page and make sure you have registered with Google, as well as added your link to the contributor section of your Google Plus profile. You can verify that it’s working by using Google’s rich snippets tool.
There you have it: rank better and convert higher. It’s that easy. If you need help setting it up, just email me Me@AdamWhitaker.com