Easy way to get more traffic: display your author profile picture in Google search results

Look at the URL to the top of the page to find yours
Look at the URL to the top of the page to find yours

This is a simple method to attract more readers to your website: get more people click on it from Google’s search results pages. You may have noticed that some results look more appealing than others: they have little stars or a small photo of the author. Research shows that results displaying graphic elements will have a higher CTR, which means that at an equal number of displays, the site that has the photo in the SERPs will get more clicks, therefore more visitors.

Look how my author profile photo displays in Google search results, enticing readers to click on it
Look how my author profile photo displays in Google search results, enticing readers to click on it, thus bringing me more traffic for the same amount of work done on my website

Google Authorship Verification: what it is and how can you get it

For having your photo displayed in the search results pages, you need to “tell” Google two things: who you are and that you are the author of the page that ranks in the SERPs. This is done by creating your Google plus profile and linking it to your website.

In your Google plus profile, you need to upload a profile picture which needs to be a human face. It can’t be your cat or some beautiful flower you think represents you.

Linking your Google plus profile to your website can be done in two ways:

  1. If you have an email address on the same domain as your website, you can submit it to Google via the Authorship page: http://plus.google.com/authorship. Before submitting, make sure you have your name clearly displayed on your website, just as you have it in your Google Plus profile.
  2. If your email address doesn’t match your domain name, this is what you have to do to let Google know you are the author of your website:

Link from your website to your Google Plus profile, by using this line of code:

<a href="https://plus.google.com/109412257237874861202? rel=author">Your Name</a>

This link is just an example. You’ll need to replace those figures after .com/ with the ones corresponding to your Google Plus profile page. Here’s where you can find them:

Look at the URL to the top of the page to find yours
Look at the URL to the top of the page to find your Google Plus profile link

If your website runs on WordPress, you can simply add a text widget in your sidebar or footer and put the code in it.

Then you need to add your website in the Google Plus profile. Edit your profile, then scroll down a little, until you see the section “Contributor to”. Click on the words, then enter your website’s URL and save your profile.

Add your website to your Google Plus profile, in the "Contributor to" section
Add your website to your Google Plus profile, in the “Contributor to” section

To see if you did everything right, you can test your website with this tool made available by Google: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets.

If you need help, ask me in the comments section below and I’ll guide you through the process of setting up Google Plus authorship for your website.

2 Comments

  1. Google authorship is the most powerful weapon in now a days to drive traffic to your site. Currently i am working on it and getting the best results from it. I would also suggest new bloggers to adopt this.

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