If you are using Google for your everyday online search (research shows that almost 74% uses it and 60% of consumers have Gmail accounts) then you might have heard of Google Plus and Google Authorship.
Google+ is the search giant’s own social network and although it’s not as popular as facebook, it’s gaining a lot of traction and attention lately.
How Can you Use This Tool to Boost your Local Business?
Even if you’re not into social media, there’s an obvious benefit to using it if you would like more traffic from the search engines.
If you publish content and have a website for your business here’s why you need to use it as soon as possible.
1. To claim ownership of your content in the search engines
Site scrapers and competitors can steal your original and well written content and outrank you in the search results. They can do these even if you wrote the original content because they might have a more popular domain. Using Google Authorship can help minimize these events.
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2. It can help increase your CTR in the Search Results
CTR or Click through Rate is the percentage of clicks you get per impression. If 100 people saw your website and 10 people click to your site, then your CTR is 10%. The average CTR for a number 1 ranking is 18.20% according to this study.
Since not all website and content owners use Google authorship, you’re website will be able to stand out from the rest.
A small preview of your Google+ profile image will be shown beside your website.
Numerous studies have been done online and it shows that CTR can increase by as much as 22% through integration of Google+.
3. Social signals (FB likes, tweets and G+1’s) are driving SEO rankings
A lot of people are wondering if social signals are playing a role in the serps.
An infographic showing a study done about this shows that 100 Google Plus followers can boost search engine rankings by 14.63%, 300 GooglePlus +1 votes boosted it by 9.44%, Facebook promotion was boosted by 6.9% and tweets and retweets, boosted it by 2.88%.
And the control in the study has no social activity and there was no meaningful change in the search results.
Here’s a Quick Step-by-step guide to get Google Authorship for your website:
1. Sign up for a Google account. If you have a Gmail account, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, you can sign up for one here.
2. Create your Google Plus profile. Use your Real name. According to Google’s TOS, you can use pen names if you are publicly known as that name. Will.I.Am is an example of a G+ profile using a pen name.
You also need to use a real picture in your profile. Use a headshot image that you’d like to use publicly. Don’t use stock photos or corporate logos. You can use your logo for your Google+ business page.
3. Complete your About page by logging into your account, then clicking on the profile circle on the left tab and click on the edit profile button. Fill in all the relevant information.
4. You need to link your website and your Google Plus profile. You can do this by adding your website to the Contributor to links in your Profile.
Add subdomains of your site as well. If you have a blog subdomain, like what we have for our Internet marketing blog, you’ll need to add that as well.
5. Then get your Google+ profile url. It will look like this:
Then add this GoogleAuthorship Tag
The Final HTML code would look like this.
6. Include this link in your website. For most website owners, they can add it to their author profile (see image below)
Or you can also add it to the footer of your website. If you are using wordpress, you can edit the footer.php file and add the link in the footer of your site. This way all your pages will be claimed for Google Authorship.
If you have a Multi-Authored blog, it’s best to use the author profile link method than the footer method, because it would be a sitewide link.
7. Last step is to verify if your Google Plus authorship is working. Publish and make your article live. Use Google’s Rich Snippet’s tool to check out if it’s working.
If it’s working, you’ll see something like this:
Congratulations! Now you’ve completely setup Google Authorship for your website.
Now’s the best time to leverage this tool from Google. They are pushing Google+ in almost all of their products-recently with Youtube and Google places.
If you have a small business or a local business owner, you’re missing a lot of free opportunities to get more traffic from the search engines.
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This article about Google Authorship was originally posted from our all-new Internet marketing blog.