December 19, 2013

Google Authorship: Involve your staff in your brand

Google-Authorship-Markup

Target audience: Brand managers, marketing and PR professionals, SEO specialists, business executives, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamEncourage your entire staff to link their Google+ profiles to your business site. All they need is access to an email address (such as [email protected]) on the same domain as your content — any content. According to the instructions, it’s not limited to journals, papers, blogs, magazine, or social sites. Your corporate site is just dandy. 

So, it seems to me that since one can now lend one’s Double-Secret Clout-Mojo to websites in order to help their performance on organic Google Search, why not really pile on by not merely hiring high-caste bloggers to guest blog and claim authorship on your site the way I recommended two weeks ago, but to get everyone who has an email on your domain to lend their own personal Google juice to your SEO strategy?

linkYourGoogleProfile

And it’ll work, too, because Google cobbles together its secret clout score based on how you use the entire Google.com family, including YouTube, Google+, Android devices, your Gmail, your corporate Google Apps for Business, any engagement with Google News and Google Analytics and other Google Apps, use of Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Google AdWords, Google AdSense and all the other little places, including Google Maps, Google Groups, and Google Play.

So, even the least likely to ever volunteer to blog or tweet on your company’s behalf staff member might very well be a Google Clout rockstar and never have written anything bloggish at all. Even the most anti-social, uncreative, and introverted staffers could be Google Clout rock stars just from their nightly obsession with cat videos on YouTube, their penchant for commenting, and the fact that they’re a Google Android super-duper-power user.

And this could be an easy-to-encourage, one time push. You just need to bring everyone together over an hour and just do it. Here’s what’s involved:

Linking content on a specific domain to your Google+ profile:

  • Encourage each staff member to sign up and fill out their Google+ profile as completely as possible
  • Make sure they have a real profile photo with a recognizable headshot uploaded to Google+
  • Verify that you have an email address on the same domain as your content.

Here’s a caveat: this will all work better if you can woo your staff members to actually produce content for your site with a real-name attribution and byline. Here’s what Google suggests:

  • Make sure a byline containing your name appears on each page of your content (for example, “By Steven Levy“).
  • Make sure your byline name matches the name on your Google+ profile.

Google wants to know the real you

What I’m doing here is sort of a hack. I’ve waited until the end to let you know that the Authorship program has been developed for authors, but when you look at your Google+ and Google Profile pages you’ll just see that Google wants to know as much about your organizational, social media, and business associations as possible. Using the Google Authorship program as a method of submitting and verifying your association with your company — and associating all your staff and employees to your company — could do nothing but good for the mojo of your domain and your Google results, I am speculating.

It’s all conjecture right now, although Google has historically rewarded all of us for committing more of who we are, what we do, where we go, where we work, with whom we hang, what we buy, where we live, what we write, read, watch, and how we comment as possible. It’s my experience that stitching your employees to your brand and your company as tightly as possible could only help the credibility and clout of your site, suggesting to the robots, bots, and algorithms that you’re kind of a big deal, thereby bubbling to the top of Google Search.

In a perfect world, I would do what Unison Agency is doing. Unison is getting each and every one of their team members to write for their blog, Insights. But it’s not for everyone. It’s admin time, not billed to clients.

So, you need to commit to supporting their creativity, offer editorial oversight, and allow them to let their mad skills shine from behind the shield of your brand. It takes courage to let your staff sign because everyone’s convinced that they’ll get poached. And, maybe your company is not set up to have its own little newsroom and newspaper.

However, either way, why not just start with getting everyone in your team piled onto the Google+ bandwagon — and your first step should be Google+ Authorship.

Related

How to Make Google Authorship Work for Your Business (ChamberofCommerce.com)

Why Google Authorship matters to your business (Socialmedia.biz)

Google: Are authors replacing inbound links as the key to success in search? (Socialmedia.biz)

Chris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz. Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

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