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How to Integrate Authorship on your Website

As we have previously looked at, authorship has several potential benefits that any brand or business can capitalise on. Even though it has little impact on SEO, having an author’s name and picture along side search results can improve click-through rates, enhance brand reputation and help build a relationship of trust with Google.

Linking your Google+ profile to the content you publish is by no means a sure fire way of increasing web site visitors or achieving influencer status, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. So how exactly can you integrate authorship on your website? Here is a step-by-step guide.

1. Create a Google+ account then verify your email address

It all starts with a Google+ profile, so if you haven’t signed up already, go and create an account. As you would expect, you’ll also need to verify your email address too. Although Google+ hasn’t exactly flourished as a social network and still doesn’t compare to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, it remains an important platform for things like this.

2. Upload an image to your Google+ profile

This image will appear beneath your link on Google’s search results, so make sure you’re looking good and remember to smile. Your audience will want to read content from another human being, not a corporate entity, so avoid using the company logo or a generic image.

3. Link content to your Google+ profile

This is where things start to get a bit technical, as we are delving into the world of HTML coding. While this programming language has the potential to be incredibly complicated, linking content to Google+ is a relatively easy task. Create the following link:[profile_url]?rel=author

Then add it to your website or page. Remember to replace the ‘[profile_url]’ bit with the URL of your Google+ profile.

4. Link your Google+ profile to content

The next step is to add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site where content is published. On your Google+ profile, go to About, scroll down to Links, click Edit and Add custom link under ‘Contributor to’. You can then link to the page(s) on your website that you want Google+ to have a relationship with. You may also need to add a custom link under the ‘Other profiles’ section too.

5. Check to see whether it has worked

Rather than publishing a new piece of content, searching for it on Google and hoping that your picture appears, there is a tool you can use to see whether authorship has worked. Simply enter your URL into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and you’ll see how the page appears on search results. If author information does not show up, go through the process again or visit Google’s Webmaster Tools’ Content Guidelines.

This process shouldn’t take too long to carry out but can have far-reaching and long-lasting advantages. Despite the fact that SEO might not receive a notable boost, it is most definitely a way to improve your content marketing footprint.

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