So you’re walking down the street and you ask a nice lady for directions to a local coffee shop. She says to you, “If you go one block and turn right you’ll find the Starbucks. Have a nice day.”
If there has ever been a “jackpot” when it comes to marketing your business and gaining exposure, it’s social media. With the BOOM of popularity surrounding Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and now Google+, there’s a prime opportunity to connect with current and potential customers.
If you’re not using Google Authorship to help your website get more traffic from Google, maybe it’s time you took a closer look. Google Authorship made its debut at the end of 2011 and since then we’ve seen an increasing number of established bloggers and companies embracing its benefits. Let’s take a look at Authorship and how it can help your website SEO.
Stand out in Google Search
Google Authorship is visually appealing and it’s not hard to recognize an author who takes advantage of it. You can see how this works in the search result example below. When given the choice many people lean towards visual content. With Authorship, your Google+ profile image is displayed along with the links to your content. This is a great way to make yourself stand out in a sea of competitive search results.
Establish Google Authority
Google Authorship can also be an excellent tool for building a loyal following of readers. When you put your face out there for people to see, they begin to associate it with the topics you are known to discuss. This small visual element helps to establish you as authority in your field. By doing so, you are also building a sense of trust, which separates you from the millions of anonymous creators who are competing in the same search results. Once people become familiar with seeing your face in the search results they will be more inclined to click your links because you’re a face they can trust.
Increase Click Through Rate
You’ll notice that Google Authorship comes with a special author byline. Clicking on the authors name will take you directly to their Google Plus profile. Clicking on the More By link will take you to a mini search result focused on related content that the author has produced. These features give additional opportunities for people to click through and learn more about what you have to offer.
When a person clicks your link in the search results and then uses the back button to return to the results, Google assumes they would be interested in more of your content. The results will then be dynamically modified, showing links to even more content from an author and encouraging the visitor to immediately return back to your website.
Setting Up Google Authorship
The first step is to create a Google+ profile, if you don’t already have one. Make sure to select a great image for your profile pic and then Verify AuthorShip. Google does not guarantee your profile image will always be displayed in Web & News search results. It also might take some time before your image begins to appear. So, once you’re finished make sure that everything is setup correctly by using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. This tool will give you a preview of how your new listings will eventually appear in the search results.
If you haven’t heard, we’ve recently said goodbye to Google Places and hello to Google Plus Local.
At Turn the Page, we’ve anticipated this merge for months assuming that Google+ would become more relevant for local search. The time has come and we are busy making the most of these changes for our clients.
Local Search- Now More Social
Google’s goal of creating a single web experience for users has taken its next step. Google has now integrated Google Plus Local into its networking site to allow users to share information about local shops and restaurants.
With social networking being a huge part of our lives and our businesses, people look to online resources when making a decision. We often seek the opinions of our friends and family as well as the reviews of others before making a purchase. The new “Local” tab on a Google+ page allows users to search for local restaurants, hotels and more with a full integration of reviews, ratings, and comments.
Converting Your Listing
In order for your business to take advantage of Google+ Local, it will need a verified G+ page. A Google places listing will not merge without it. If your business has this in place, the conversion should have been painless.
So is this beneficial? We think so. A consumer now has several ways to find you- Google Search, Google Maps, Google+ Search or in Mobile Apps- and now will have a very consistent experience.
Users then receive a much more engaging experience with reviews and several sources of information. Not only is it more visually interesting than Places was, but it is inviting to social interactions as well.
For a user, by choosing the Local tab, they are given a few options. They can simply browse the home page content for local businesses or they can conduct a search similar to a Google.com search. Two search boxes are visible allowing a category search as well as a location. Of course, Google knows your location, but in case you wanted to conduct a not so local search.
Zagat > Yelp ?
Integrated into this new local tab is Google’s Zagat which includes reviews, rating and comments from friends. Rather than a business being rated on a 1-5 star scale, Zagat allows users to fill out a more comprehensive review.
This helps to separate components such as food, service and atmosphere instead of being forced to factor them all into one. Zagat’s more complex scoring system prevents scores from converging and allows for a much more accurate review.
Changes to Mobile
Android devices have already seen these changes in Google Maps for Mobile. Still pending is app updates to iOS. However, Apple users may never see this based on predictions of its own Maps replacing Google Maps for the iPhone this summer.
Overall, these changes in Google+ Local and the integration of Zagat reviews provide a more useful local search experience for consumers. We are also excited about the large degree of social and recommended content that Google+ Local and Zagat have to offer.
For more information about getting your business active on Google+ Local, contact Turn the Page Online Marketing.
SEO is really no more, be gone and rest in peace. This passing though is more that of the caterpillar giving way to the butterfly. Since its beginning SEO never gave credence to social. SEO and SMO were two separate camps.
Entrepreneur Paul Allen recently predicted 400 Million Google + users by the end of this year, 2012. This is an astounding estimate considering the six-month old site had roughly 60M users as of December and if this proves true it would equal half the 800M users Facebook claims.