We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Google has been doing some cleaning.
Amongst the slight changes made in its SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) was a small amendment to authorship snippets with the ‘More by’ option removed alongside other small alterations.
But, for the time being, these appear to be slight cosmetic changes rather than a major overhaul of the authorship system. Google authorship is here to stay, and can be a great tool for brands to use when creating content.
For the uninitiated Google authorship is a way for content providers to link articles to their Google+ profile pages. Tagged pages will show profiles in the SERPs giving posts more personality and a human presence.
Content marketing is being heralded as the ‘next big thing’ in search marketing. The reality is though that content marketing always has been and always will be towards the top of the tree when it comes to constructing a successful search campaign.
You can learn more about Google authorship yourself at any time, but how does it affect search results and what are the overall long-term benefits?
Increased click-through rates
Picture a normal search. The bulk of the SERPs are links on what you’re looking for, but sticking out amongst all of those rich snippets is a link complemented by a professional picture of the person that wrote it.
Which would you be more inclined to click?
Obviously, the result which is more relevant to your search query. But for the average searcher that’s casually browsing the internet an authorship-tagged profile can offer more compelling reasons to click through to the site.
The human side of internet marketing
Google authorship is an incredible way to expose your human side, creativity and intelligence to a wider audience when creating content on a regular basis.
Complementing your content with a full Google+ profile which includes a professional photograph, businesses details, email addresses and more can go a long way to giving your content a more human presence.
People have the option of clicking through to your Google+ profile as well as the article when they see your face on the SERPs and can learn more about the person that’s written the article, their interests, their inspirations, goals and more.
Building local search trust
And, especially for local search and content campaigns, that can be of enormous benefit when you’re looking for your brand to build a semblance of trust within your local online community.
Creating visible, consistent content about your area and aligning it with your authorship strategy will show your profile visibly in local searches and put your face and personality forward to local residents that are looking for the business solutions your brand offers.
If you create a number of articles and other types of helpful, interesting content that your local community appreciates then not only will they keep visiting the site but they’ll explore the author profile, add them to circles, investigate them and associate the face with the brand.
Establishing brand authority
That, in turn, helps establish the face associated with the posts as an authority in their area of expertise.
It also helps add another dimension to an online marketing campaign. A site might have a certain PageRank and a number of other tropes in its favour when it comes to rankings, but the benefits of having a face to go with alongside the site’s content on a social scale are innumerable.
Having somebody consistently producing content that can be recognised as an authority on a subject builds trust and strengthens relationships with potential visitors and long-term loyal customers.
The content creator or the profile associated with the content can also be used alongside the brand’s social media strategy to increase the creator’s authority and make the most of the company’s Google+ presence.
Improving the consistency of your content
When pairing a profile with your content then you’re out in the open. Your face will be visible to people who find it when browsing for your search terms, so you must be prepared for any personal and professional criticism that comes your way.
But the positive thing about that is, once people start finding and commenting on your content, it’ll encourage you to go further and create more.
The feeling you get when somebody reads, comments and shares your content is unbeatable, and once bitten by the bug you’ll want to refine your strategy, create more content and complement it with your own thoughts and experiences.
And that benefits your website as a whole. The more creative content that’s produced the more likely you are to attract visitors and get noticed by Google when its spiders come to crawl your site.
Increasing your social circles
So while tagged content can help impart a sense of authority and improve click-through rates, it’s more than just a pretty picture on the SERPs
As with most factors in social and search marketing, you’ll get out of Google authorship as much as you put into it.
That means engaging with people through your Google+ profile on a regular basis – especially if you’re a consistent content producer.
Earlier we mentioned the benefits of a full Google+ profile when it comes to authorship. But go that step further and add local people, industry professionals, influencers and many more to your circles.
When you add a piece of content to your site, don’t just be happy with the authorship code being on the page. Promote it on Google+ as well, share it with people, invite them to comment and leave behind their impressions to start a debate.
Join relevant communities on Google+ and share your content with people in your industry. Don’t just be the picture. Be the person behind the content .
Share it, be proud of it, associate yourself with it and let people know why you wrote it.
To find out more about how to integrate Google authorship into your existing content strategy or for an assessment of your current content strategy contact Webpresence today.