Marketers for all kinds of companies are starting to see their competitors’ faces on the Google search pages next to the results, and it’s making all the difference. Studies show that having a photo next to your search result improves clickthrough rates by, at times, up to 400 percent. It adds credibility to your personal and professional brand, and it adds something aesthetic to the search result to make it stand out from the others.
“But what kind of nebulous spells are they casting to get their photos there?” you might ask. Google has actually made this process much easier than it used to be, and now incorporates Google Plus and a few other quick tasks to get it done.
So you want your photo appearing next to your blog post and/or webpage results?
Here is the step-by-step walkthrough.
1. Create a Google Plus profile
The entire process hinges upon your having a Google Plus profile, so if you don’t have one, set one up real quick. A few things to remember:
- Your Google Plus profile photo must match the one that appears on your website bio
- When filling out your profile, add a link to your website to the “Contributor To” field
2. Create a bio page on your website
This can be a simple page that includes your photo, a brief bio and a link to your Google Plus profile.
3. For blog pages, place a byline with a link to the bio page on every post
A link over your name that points to a bio page gives Google’s crawlers more information about you, and helps provide a well-rounded batch of author information for better indexing.
4. Place the below code in the body content of the HTML (before or after the post)
<a title="Author Name" rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/example-profile"></a>
<a title="Author Name" rel="publisher" href="https://plus.google.com/example-profile"></a>
For certain CMS, like Drupal or WordPress, it’s much easier to modify the theme and inject the above code into the body content, but, if necessary, you can manually place the code into the body text whenever you create a new page.
And that should do it. Give it a few days, post a new page and see if it works. Also, there is no guarantee that every post will include author information on the rankings page.