Sometimes getting to the top of search engines still isn’t enough to get people to read your articles. Many Google users type something into a search query and then pick the result that seems to have the best title. It’s tough to really set your article apart from the rest on a search engine results page (SERP) because all of the different entries look the same. However, Google has recently introduced something that will make sure your article stands out—Google authorship markups.
Google authorship is a way for an author to get his/her photo on a SERP right next to the article he/she wrote. If you were a user, would you rather click on an article with a verified author or not? For many, the choice is clear—go with the article that was clearly written by a real person, no matter what position that article holds on the page. There are several other reasons becoming a Google verified author is great:
- It helps to develop the personal brand of the author by increasing the visibility of the author’s photo.
- Helps Google rank an author’s original content over any copies.
- According to Douglas Karr, founder of The Marketing Technology blog people are 5 times more likely to click on a link with a Google verified author photo—a 484% higher click through rate!
The best part about becoming a Google verified author is the fact that it’s free. Learn how to get this feature for your articles below:
How to Get Started with becoming a Google Verified Author
Becoming a Google verified author is quite simple, and has to do with coding as with most things WordPress. Follow the following steps to help become verified:
Step #1: Have a Google+ profile.
It is very important that you have your Google+ profile set up with the email address that you use with your articles or your website. This is where Google will grab your photo and learn any information about you as an author. You can set up your Google+ profile by clicking the “+You” button in the top left hand corner of your Google mail screen (you must have gmail!) and then following the directions.
Step #2: Link your Google+ profile to the author page on your blog.
WordPress allows you to fill in an author box with information about yourself. All you need to do is go to your profile page on a WordPress account and make sure that the following code is inserted into your bio:
<a href=”https://profiles.google.com/Google_Profile_ID” rel=”me”>My Google Profile+</a>
You will of course want to make sure that you insert your specific Google profile URL, and then add a “+” after your name. The most important thing here is the rel=”me” that you will put into your bio. This is just a simple code that will make sure your photo pops up on those SERPs.
Step #3: Add the Google+ Profile Button to Your Site
You want to make sure that your site has a Google+ profile button. Visit here and then copy the Google+ profile button code. Once you have the code, paste it into your HTML and add the rel=”author” tag discussed above.
Step #4: Fill in the “Contributor To” section of your Google+ profile.
If you go to your Google+ profile and click on your name, you will be taken to your profile screen. Click on “edit profile” and then click “about.” Here you will see a section called “Contributor to.” You will want to click on that section and then begin filling in custom links and blogs where you have posted.
All you have to do is click “add a custom link” and then add a link to an article you wrote. You will also notice that some of the websites have an icon next to their name, but this simply means that those website have a Google+ page for the website. Your authorship makeups will work either way.
Step #5: Confirm your verification
You want to make sure that everything worked the way it should. You can do this by going to the Rich Snippets Testing Tool. All you need to do is enter the URL of your author “about me” page from your blog and then click “Preview.” Hopefully you will be able to see your face with your blog in what looks like a SERP. If so, you’ve done everything correctly and are a Google verified author!
What about Guest Posting?
It is also worth noting that this may not work for every guest post you write. The website where you are posting must have authorship markups set in place in order for them to work. If not, your guest posts will show up like a regular-old search engine result.
Are you a Google verified author? Did you run into any problems when setting up the re=”author” tag? Did you find that being a Google verified author has helped improve the success of your articles?