YOU MIGHT THINK that between your lovingly maintained Facebook and Twitter accounts, your online content marketing strategy doesn’t need another social media account. But you would be wrong. These days, when it comes to content marketing, Google+ just might be more important than Facebook and Twitter combined. Now, this statement may read like blasphemy to all the Facebook-ers and Twitter-ites out there, but it’s true. Since its launch a little over two years ago, Google+ has amassed over 359 million users! That means that any marketing material posted on Google+ has the potential to be seen by any one of those millions of users.
Google describes their version of the social network as more of a “social layer” that enhances the user experience of many of its online properties. This is a big difference from competing social networks like Facebook and Twitter, which can generally only be accessed through a single website. Google has done a fantastic job with positioning the program as a “hub,” seamlessly blending the entirety of Google’s offerings into a unified product. From Google Docs and Chrome to Gmail and YouTube, the ease of sharing across multiple, integrated platforms make Google+ an absolute boon for the savvy content marketer. They’ve also smartly redesigned the Google website header to include a Google+ button right there with the other services like Search, Maps, News and Images that you already use every single day. Religiously posting to Google+ and working to building an audience is one the smartest moves you can make as an internet marketer today.
One of the terms you may have heard kicking around is “Google Authorship.” This refers to verified connections between original content you publish anywhere on the net and your Google+ profile. For the rookies out there, here are 3 absolute musts before you try linking your Google+ profile to your created content.
Getting Started – the Basics:
– First thing, prepare a picture to use as your profile headshot. When Google users find your online content, this photo is the first thing they’ll notice.
– Every page of your content should bear a byline with your full name that matches the one in your Google+ profile. If Google searchers keep coming back for your stuff, make sure your name is all over it! An enthusiastic, loyal audience can elevate a fledging writer’s game and maybe even send it viral.
– Make sure you have a valid e-mail address that shares a domain or line of code with your published content.
3 Advantages of Verifying your Google Authorship
1. SEO benefits: When an author really nails a piece, it means that the content’s quality has attracted a sizable amount of search traffic and that most valuable of intangible internet currency—“buzz.” As the author continues to have success putting out smart, entertaining online content, he or she will begin to accumulate an “Author Ranking.” A strong Author Ranking can do wonders for your SEO, increasingly the likelihood your content will see prime real estate in Google’s search rankings. Google sees its Authorship header as a way to designate a user as a legitimate internet writer.
2. Name Recognition & Being the Authority in Your Local Area: By slapping your mug-shot on each piece of content that you publish, you are positioning yourself as a trend-setter and thought-leader for your corner of the web. Producing engaging, high quality written content matched with a photo, your name and your company’s name will establish you as the online authority on the subject of your content.
3. Enhanced Author/Audience Interfacing: One of the primary goals of the Google Authorship program is to make it easy for searchers to find content offered by you, directly from the search engine’s results. And once a few readers decide they like your style, they’ll be back for more than just your witty prose—hopefully clicking all the way through to your business’ homepage.
What does the Google Authorship headline look like on the search results page?
As you can see, Google Authorship displays a headshot of your choosing just below the headline of your published content along with a small byline link beneath the headline link title. The author byline is a hyperlink that you can click to find the rest of the author’s profile including additional written content and a list of the Google Circles he or she belongs to.
What are Author Rich Snippets?
Author Rich Snippets are additional information that Google pulls from websites to help improve the quality and effectiveness of a particular search result. They consist of a specific author’s picture, name, and a “more by” link that clicks through to the author’s previously published work.
Author Rich Snippets are an overlooked, highly powered asset, which can:
– Increase CTR, at a rate around 20-30%
– Set your content apart from your competitors. Author Rich Snippets are a cutting edge feature—most of the “other guys” won’t have their act together on this yet. Strike now and be first to market with this cunning technique.
– Break up standard wall o’ text search results—enhances readability and promotes a more loyal readership.
– Call significant attention to your result—a listing with an image is going to capture more attention than one without.
– Attract higher quality leads by giving searchers an idea of what kind of content you are offering, right off the bat.
– Establish authority for the author and build search trust for returning users, allowing readers to grow to trust you and your web offerings.
– Display the number of Google+ circles you are in (if the number is impressive enough). This can cast the perception of you as an author whose voice demands to be heard.
Good luck out there!