Google Authorship is a new tool Google introduced for websites to gain authority and be seen as credible in searches. Google Authorship is also a way to help the content on your page appear more personal. So what exactly is Google Authorship?
In 2005, Google introduced Agent Rank, which is a way they could rank content written by expert authors so it ranks higher in searches. Since then, Google has worked to improve their methods, and, thus, Google Authorship was born. Google Authorship connects an author's personal Google+ profile to a website. When this connection is made, the profile picture from the Google+ account will appear next to the website link in the search results.
There are many benefits for your agency to be connected to Google Authorship.
- To be easily noticed. Your photo will help your website stand out in the search results. This picture, and the Google+ account it is attached to, should be a clear headshot of a representative from your insurance agency.
- Obviously, the more it is noticed, the more clicks it will receive. As you know, the more your agency website is seen, the more likely it is to be visited.
- It gives your website authority and credibility - a face behind a name. Content that shows a picture of who wrote it gives readers a sense of security that your agency can be trusted. Likewise, it gives Google more confidence that your insurance agency website is one they can trust as legitimate and should therefore promote.
- More clicks. In the insurance industry, it is extremely hard for an independent insurance agency to rank as #1 in the searches. With Google Authorship, when someone searches 'Oklahoma City auto insurance,' it doesn't matter if the website is #8 or #1, the one with the picture beside the link will more than likely be noticed first. This changes the way we determine rankings in searches. It doesn't necessary matter if your agency is ranking at the top of the searches. With Google Authorship, a lower ranking, with a picture beside it, can get more clicks than a #1 ranking. Rankings don't matter as much, clicks matter more.
Setting up Google Authorship can be a simple process. Here are the steps:
- Visit the Google Authorship setup page: https://plus.google.com/authorship
- Set up a personal Google+ account, complete with a personal profile picture and a byline with your name and who you are in the agency. You then have 2 options - to verify your Google+ page as connected with your agency website by an email that is associated with your website domain or by placing a code in the footer section of your agency's website. The instructions on placing the code on your website can be found here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1408986 .
- Thankfully you don't have to wait around wondering if you have done everything right. Google provides a tool, http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets, that will help you know for sure if your site is correctly connected with your Google+ profile. However, it may take a short time for your picture to actually start showing up in the searches in Google.
In SEO, the content on your website is king. Frequent blog posts are a great way to add relevant content to your website. Also, the more people you interact with on Google+ and the more your blog is shared/clicked/seen, the more authority you will have as an author. Google Authorship will allow you to write excellent content and have it noticed in the searches. If you haven't taken advantage of Google Authorship yet, get started now, and claim your content. You will be glad you did.