Questions from clients about how Google+ authorship and website publisher should be used continue to pour in. They’ve read that they should be using Google+ to leverage more visibility in Google search as part of inbound marketing via search engines. There are many unknowns (Google never gives the game away entirely) but there are several things we recommend at this point to get more out of your content marketing on Google:
Claim Authority for Your Website Content with Google+
Google is putting a lot into Google+ to make it relevant to and competitive in the social media market. One way they are doing that is to reward participation in the website publisher and authorship features with a potential increase search visibility of your content marketing efforts. Google continues to dominate with 2/3 of the internet search market. Therefore, I recommend participation by businesses (publishers) and content writers (authors) seeking to maintain and increase their chances of growing their search visibility by building authority for their targeted content.
If and when you’re ready to add Google+ to your business’ social media outlets, and start reaping the benefits of increased visibility, here are the steps:
Step 1: Prepare Your Website
To take full advantage of your Google+ efforts at increasing the effectiveness of visibility in Google search, the very first thing you need to do is make sure your website is prepared to receive the authoritative credit you are trying to earn with Google and its users.
For WordPress websites designed by InsideOut Solutions, this is fairly straightforward (if you don’t have a WordPress website, contact us for assistance with this update):
Establish Your User Authors for Website Pages & Blog Posts
For each user of your WordPress website and blog that you want to establish Google+ authorship:
- Set user to display their full name (first name followed by last name) publicly.
- Make sure the user has an email address using your website domain name (e.g. email@example.com) if possible (it will make things easier). We can help our clients set up email accounts and aliases as needed to accomplish this.
- Make sure each page and post of your website is credited to the proper author. If you currently have multiple people posting under the same user, you will want to to set up a user for each person who is an author and then reassign the credited content to the proper author.
Check Your SEO Plugin
Not all SEO plugins for WordPress are created equal. InsideOut used a modified form of the All In One SEO Pro plugin in the past but we have moved to using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast for new websites as it offers, among many other improvements, a way to easily establish the Google+ publisher status for websites. To find which plugin your website has, look at the left sidebar of your website’s administration area.
If you see the WordPress SEO by Yoast logo you’re all set to easily establish the your Google+ publisher credentials.
If you see All in One SEO Pro under Settings in the left sidebar then you should request an upgrade to the WordPress SEO plugin via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (typically costs $40) – we will migrate you to this plugin and you will also be able to take advantage of its easy-to-use SEO tools for your pages and blog posts.
Step 2: Have or Create a Google Account, Google+ Profile and Business Page
It is critical that the owner of the business take control of their business presence on Google. This ensures that the owner retains primary authority with Google regarding their business. If you have already done this, skip to If you have a Google account. Otherwise, create a Google account without Gmail, using the personal email address from your website.
If you have Google account and it’s not set up with your business email address, be sure to add that email address. This will make the the Google+ authorship process easier.
Create a Google+ Profile
If/when you have a Google account set up, the next step is to add a Google+ profile. If you already have a Google+ profile, skip to the Establish Google+ Authorship section below.
- Use your full name (first name and last name)
- Upload a quality “headshot” photo as the profile picture (this is needed for establishing Google+ authorship).
Establish Google+ Authorship of Your Website & Blog Content
- Login to your Google+ personal profile
- Go to https://plus.google.com/me
- Copy the URL from your web browser address bar
- Login to your website administration area
- Open your user profile
- Paste the URL in the Google+ entry and click “Update Profile”
- Go to and follow the instructions at: https://plus.google.com/authorship
- Add your website title and URL to your Google+ profile’s “Contributor to” section – simply follow Google’s instructions beginning with point #2 at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2539557
Create a Google+ Page for the Business
Once you have your Google+ Profile set up, click the Home icon and select Pages to start the process of setting up a Google+ page for your business.
- Locate by phone number
- Select the existing Google listing or add the business if needed
- Adjust map location if necessary and confirm info
- Make sure you link the Google+ page to your website
Note: Use the Google+ page as you would Facebook, by engaging Google+ users and enticing comments and shares. The only thing Google does not allow is promotions. Manually post links to your blog posts with a custom introduction. Ask questions. Have a perspective worthy of comment. Future posts on this blog will deal with best practices for businesses to use their Google+ page.