Rel Author is a powerful markup tag built and supported by Google. The most visual benefit about the rel author tag is the fact it puts your face in organic search results. But that certainly isn’t the biggest benefit to using this code markup.
When you claim your Google Authorship, you’re putting a face, a name, and a bio with it, not to mention, instantly adding credibility with people looking for something in particular.
About the Rel Author Markup
Aside from the nifty advantage of having your image appear in Google search results, you might wonder why the search engine is going to such great lengths to put authors’ faces in it query results. The reason is simple, the tech company is moving toward a web that’s nearly devoid of anonymity. And it’s doing so for the sake of its users. Why, you may ask?
Well, it’s very simple. The search engine believes user experience is greatly enhanced when Google returns search results with verifiable profiles. Here’s an example I’ve written which explains this strategy…
We now support markup that enables websites to publicly link within their site from content to author pages. For example, if an author at The New York Times has written dozens of articles, using this markup, the webmaster can connect these articles with a New York Times author page. An author page describes and identifies the author, and can include things like the author’s bio, photo, articles and other links. —Google Webmaster Central Blog
You walk into a bookstore (okay, so you click over to an online e-book retailer), looking for a book about how to start a successful business. Amazingly, you only find two tutorials. When you see the covers, you’re presented with catchy, enticing titles. But one thing strikes you as being odd; one book is written by famous, very successful entrepreneurs, say for instance, Jack Welch, Oprah, and Richard Branson. However, the other is by an anonymous writer. Now, which one would you trust? The answer is self-evident, this is why online anonymity and organic ranking are changing.
It’s also why Google introduced the rel author markup. The search engine’s wizards have come to the conclusion that if there’s a recognizable name and face to go with content it returns on its user queries, it makes those search results more legitimate. And that can help you drive more traffic to your site.
How to Use Rel=Author for More Traffic to a Site
To plug rel=author into your website and/or blog, you can code it from the backend. Many WordPress themes and other CMS templates come equipped with a Google Plus link field or Rel Author box, allowing you to copy and paste your Authorship profile straight into the backend. Another option is to download a WordPress plugin. Or, you can just add the code yourself–I use this option when I guest post and want to ensure that I get the Google Authorship credit–here’s what mine looks like:
Of course, if you copy the code, you would replace my Google+ profile link and name with your own. And, then you can begin reaping the benefits of Google Plus.
Now, just having your image appear in organic search results won’t be enough. You need to talk the talk and walk the walk. In other words, if someone clicks onto your site because of the rel=author tag showing up in search results, they want to find what they’re looking for.
Here’s how to increase traffic, boost visitor time on site, and lower your site’s bounce rate:
- Write actionable titles. Just like this article’s title, your’s should convince people searching for something particular that you’ll explain it, give them a tutorial, or provide some insight.
- Keep on topic. One problem many people have is not being able to stay on topic. Sure, it’s entirely okay to include a few side items, but the overall theme should remain consistent.
- Include credible sources. Don’t just make statements without giving your readers some proof of their truthfulness. Put in quotes from reputable sources to ensure readers know that you’re in the know.
- Answer the question. The very reason someone clicked onto your site was to become informed about something. So, make sure that you’re delivering on the title.
And last, but not least, write in a manner that’s understandable to the audience. If you use industry jargon or technical terminology, explain it–your readers will be thankful and learn from what you’ve written.