Imagine you own a crossfit gym and you’re looking for some marketing pointers. You head to Google and type “crossfit marketing” into the search queue and the following results come up – which one are you more likely to click? The first one – studies have shown that by having this rich snippet image next to your blog can increase clicks to your website up to 150%!
You don’t need to be a technical guru to get your photo to show up – all you need is a Google+ profile and an email address with the domain you’re blogging on.
If you don’t have a profile in Google+, stop what you’re doing right now and create one! If you need help, check out my guide How To Get Started with Google+.
Step One: Add Your Domain Email to Google+
The first thing you have to do is verify your website domain email address with Google so they know that you’re account is legit – to do so, head to your profile’s ‘About’ tab and scroll to the ‘Contact Information’. Then click ‘Edit’. Make sure you’re using an email address with the same domain as your blog. According to Google, as long as you’re posting on that domain, and the posts have the same byline as the name on your Google+ account, this is enough to make the connection.
Step Two: Link from Your Google+ Content To Your Domain
Head to the bottom of your ‘About’ page to the ‘Links’ section and click ‘Edit’. Here you’ll see a section called ‘Contributor To’:
- If you have a bio page on your blog, link to this bio.
Google claims that when done correctly your image should show in search results within 5-7 days. However, for some of our clients this wasn’t enough. If this doesn’t work you’re going to have to go on to step 3…
Step Three: Link Your Content to Your Google+ Page
From the byline or author box at the bottom of your post, link to your Google+ profile, adding “rel=author” in the link.
- If you have a bio page on your site, link to the bio with “rel=me” in the link.
- If you don’t have a bio page on your site (or if you’re having trouble getting authorship to work), link directly to your Google+ profile with “rel=author” in the link. See the sample code below.
If your site is built using WordPress, there are a couple of plugins you can use to make your life easier:
- Rich Snippets
- Author Box Reloaded
Step Four: Verify With Google
The final step is to verify with Google using their Structured Data Testing Tool.
When you follow the steps above, simple paste the link from the article (or your website URL) into the allotted area. If you followed the steps correctly, it should appear like this:
If the steps were not followed correctly, then the areas with green text will show up red. I get a lot of follow up questions and emails from this article in regards to how long it takes for your picture to actually show up. I like to think I have an answer to everything, but for this one in particular all I can say is it depends. Google doesn’t give a lot of guidance about your picture showing in search results, but only as to how to set yourself up as an author. From everything I have seen Google is making is increasingly more difficult for your picture to show up. All I can say is follow the steps provided and make sure you are providing good wuality content on a consistent basis – after that, just be patient. There are billions of websites on the web, sometimes these things can take significant time to work.
Aside from that, the setup process is easy and only takes about 20 minutes. I urge you to take advantage of this while you can!