Preparing for Google Authorship with your WordPress site is a worthwhile investment if you have a blog!
The following blog post outlines the steps to take to create Authorship and link it to your WordPress Blog.
First, What is Authorship?
This is a great question. My definition of Authorship is “creating the online collateral that will allow you to claim and manage your virtual identity and personal brand”. The less techie/digital marketing talk version is that Google Authorship will allow you to be credited with the content you create and be found online for that content, as well as receive reviews.
There are two platforms that you will use to setup authorship for your WordPress Blog:
- Gravatar - This is a service that is managed by the company Automatic (the makers of WordPress). By using Gravatar, you will be able to link a profile (that you create) to any blog posts you create on your blog as well as to any other blog that you may guest post on.
- Google Plus - This is Google’s social media platform. Google has created a way to link your Google Plus profile to content you create. This will allow you to establish Authorship and build yourself as an authority.
Preparing to Create Your Authorship.
Before you go down the road of building your brand in the virtual world, you should invest some time in these important items. Then, when you create your Google Plus and Gravatar account, you don’t have to place them on hold.
- Locate or create a good photograph of yourself - you will want to have a decent headshot before you set up your accounts. If you have a photo and you need to crop the image to remove any unwanted background items, go to http://picmonkey.com. This free, easy-to-use photography tool can take your picture from good to great!
- Have a short, effective bio ready - Gravatar and Google Plus ask for brief bios about you. Make sure you have a solid synopsis of your experience (think of enough content for a couple Tweets).
Setting Up your Gravatar account.
The process of setting up a Gravatar account is simple. You just need to go to http://gravatar.com and select the link to create an account from the Gravatar home page. The amount of information required is pretty bare: e-mail (MAKE SURE YOU USE THE SAME E-MAIL ADDRESS HERE THAT YOU USE FOR YOUR USER ACCOUNT ON YOUR SITE OR IT WILL NOT WORK!), name, photograph for your avatar, and you may add other items (like additional photos) if you wish. The last option, the profile section, is the way to link your Gravatar to verified services (see image).
This is where you can connect your Gravatar to social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc…) in addition to your WordPress site. I went ahead and linked my profile to my WordPress site and my Google Plus accounts. It's just another way to build on your digital presence.
If this is done correctly you will see a box like this at the bottom of your posts on any WordPress blog that you author.
Setting Up Google Plus.
As you may know, Google Plus is Google’s social media platform. This is not to be confused with Google Business places (you should have this for your business). For the purpose of this document, we will stick with Google Plus. If you would like to see a more detailed post on how the different Google platforms can be used by you and your business read this excellent article by Gema Molina Garcia.
The way to setup a Google Plus account is about as straight forward as creating a Gravatar account.
To get started creating your Google Plus account go to plus.google.com and select “Create an Account”.
The form is pretty self explanatory in regards to filling it out and creating an account. What’s important about using Google Plus to establish yourself as an author (and add some good SEO value) is adding information to your profile.
Once you setup your account, you will see the image you selected for yourself in the top right hand corner of your Google Plus page.
Your profile page on Google Plus will now open. You will see a menu at the bottom border of your page’s header image; select “About”. Click on this image and the following box will open up.
Note - If you or your company uses Google Apps then it will be indicated by “This account is managed by….” information at the top of the box. You want to select the “View Profile” button so you can beef up your profile.
Your profile page on Google Plus will now open. You will see a menu at the bottom border of your page’s header image; select “About”.
It’s the Links section you are interested in. It is in this section that you tell Google Plus (and the world) that you are a contributor to your blog. Scroll down until you see the section with the title Links, and select “Edit”.
After selecting the “Edit” link, the following box will open. Now select “add custom link” in the Contributor To section.into boxes (i.e. contact information, People, Story, Work, Links, etc…).
You will now be presented with yet another box. It’s here that you enter the “Label” or name that you have for you site (i.e. Breezy Hill Website) then you enter the actual URL for your website (i.e. http://www.brezzy.staging.wpengine.com).
Make sure “Current contributor” is in the drop down list to the right (You can select Previous contributor from the drop down box if you wanted to receive recognition for a site that you no longer contribute to actively). Then click on the “Save” button. Take this opportunity to also add any information to your profile that you think will be relevant.
After you save your profile, go up to the top of the browser window and capture the URL for your Google Plus page. It will look something like this: https://plus.google.com/+BreezyHillMarketing
You are almost done now. The last step is to update your User profile on your WordPress Blog so it connects with your Google Plus profile.
Setting up Google authorship in WordPress.
Now, you need to set up the Google authorship in your WordPress blog. Log into your WordPress site as an administrator and navigate to Users (it will be a link on the left side of the Admin dashboard). Now select the User profile you are going to update with Authorship.
Once the user’s profile page opens, scroll down until you get to the Google Plus field (this is where the URL for your Google plus profile page comes into play). Insert your URL here.
You have now completed setting up Authorship with Google. Note that it can take a few days to weeks for Google to do all of the work behind the scenes (insert image of Wizard behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz here) before they make the correlation that any posts with your user profile attached should be associated to you as the author. (Reminder; make sure you are the author on your blog posts, you can verify this via the quick edit option when you are reviewing your posts).
So, once the wizard of Google has everything set up, and you have completed all of the steps correctly, when someone searches a relevant topic on Google, and your post comes up as one of the results, it should look like the picture below. To test it out, just search for the exact name of your blog post.
Assuming everything works out, and your image is now showing up, the real final step is to call your mom and send her a link so she can see that her baby is on Google.
Let me know if I have missed anything, or you have a pearl of wisdom to add.
Thanks for stopping by,