Google Authorship is a relatively simple tool that uses rel-links to create a link back to your Google + profile, adding your photo and bio to the description of the post. The result is that you get a link back to your profile which will mostly help to increase your social sharing, and that readers can see who wrote the post, and how many people are following you. Seattle social media experts, including us, have begun using Google Authorship to integrate social and SEO. If you’ve already set up your Google Authorship, here are a few easy ways to optimize it for the best results.
Use a Clear Head Shot
A photo certainly does not sound like it might be important to a search engine, but in this case, it’s not Google you’re trying to please, it is your readers. While implementing Google Authorship has been shown to increase click through rate on a site by as much as 30% or more, you won’t see good results if you have a bad picture. For example, let’s say you created your Google + one night when it first came out, uploaded the first image you found on your computer and then left it at that. You don’t use Google + so it was never that important. Now that you’ve implemented Google Authorship, you can see a rise or fall in your traffic based on your image. Is it clear, professional, reflective of your business? Chances are that unless you are a professional comedian, you probably shouldn’t be making a face. Instead, try using a passport photo, smile, look professional, and make sure there is enough light.
Interact on Google +
Whether or not you like Google + or just have it out of necessity, you can increase your Google authorship optimization by interacting and engaging with users on Google +. Invite your friends to the social site, chat and interact with them, and always remember to share your content to your Google +. Leaving a personal message instead of a simple share also helps to increase conversion rates.
Check for Links
Did you know that a study last year of each website that had implemented Google Authorship showed that only 9% had actually linked back to their Google + profile? If you link to your content by confirming your domain email, ensure that you also add the site in the ‘Contributor’ section of your Google + profile. You should also use a Google + link using the rel-me and rel-author tags on your site. An author page should contain ‘rel-me’ and each post should contain he ‘rel-author’ in the biographical section of the post.
Set Yourself Up As a Professional in Your Field
Does your bio say absolutely nothing about what you do? If you spent the first few sentences in your Google + profile talking about your dogs, you might want to go back in and rewrite it. Try drawing attention to your area of expertise from the start rather than talking about it later. Google Authorship does not show the full bio in search, so you will be relying on those first few sentences to convince potential readers that you are indeed an expert in your field. Start off with what you know, and talk about your life later. For example, if you were an expert in Seattle social media, you would mention that in the first or second line of the post.