Google+ Profiles: What You Need To Know (Part 3)

How Social is Your Business?

As we discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, when you have a business, it can be tricky to know what G+ profile to use for which purpose. Is it as simple as personal profiles for personal blogging and business profiles for everything else? First you have to answer the question: how social is your business? Once you’ve figured that out, it becomes a little easier.

Google Authorship and Rich Snippets

Who wrote that article you saw in the search engine results the last time you were looking for information? Thanks to Google Authorship, now you know. With just a few lines of code (don’t worry, it’s not complicated), you can have your blog posts showing:

  • Your image
  • Your bi-line
  • Your G+ circle information

Just add links, “bob’s yer uncle” and boom – you have shiny, new, pretty search engine “snippets” to go along with your fantastic content!

G+ and The Social Middle Road: A Game Plan

Since there are so many types of businesses with varying degrees of “socialness,” we’ll show you a middle road. It’s up to you to swing towards more – or less – of a social company.

So, what to do about Google Authorship? If you have a company and personal G+ profile, use them both:

For your brand:

In your Google+ Business page, make sure it points to your website. On your website, add the following at the bottom of your <head></head> tag:

<link href=” G+ Business Profile URL here/” rel=”publisher”>

This tells Google that your website, your company, your brand (you DO have your logo on your company page, right?) is ultimately responsible for the content on the site. You want to make sure that link is on every page of your site (or at least the ones that matter).

For you and your authors:

In your Google+ personal profile, make sure you have a link to your website under “Contributor to.” If you have a multiple-author blog, each individual needs to have the same link.

Provide your authors (and your company) with a bio. It doesn’t have to be a long one, but it does have to include the link to their G+ personal profile. Make sure the bio shows up at the bottom (top, side – somewhere on the page) of each author’s post. It needs to look something like this:

Find the author on <a href=” personal G+ URL here/” rel=”author”> Google + </a>!

What this does is tell Google that the person wrote the page.

The Wonderful World of Social Search Marketing

This may seem like a lot of work, but it isn’t. At the end of it all, you end up with a strong mixture of social and search marketing.

  • You want a post attributed to your brand? Write a bio for your brand, and make sure the “Google +” link points to your brand page. The search snippet now has the possibility of showing up with your company logo, attributed to your company, and including circle information.
  • You’ve written a post? Write your bio so the link points to your personal G+ page. This search snippet will show your smiling, professional portrait, with your name and circle information. However, it will also be attributed to your brand, thanks to the publisher data.
  • You have other authors? Each one has their bio, pointing to their personal G+ page. The same goes for these snippets as it does for your personals snippet. The author and your company get kudos for the work. It’s the best of both worlds!

The Case for Keeping it Social

In the long run, social media really is about being social. Keeping everything business – business G+, company Twitter, branded Facebook Fan Page – means you are a step removed from the very thing you’re hoping will help keep your business afloat. However, it also gives you complete control over how your company is perceived.

Allowing writers to link to personal pages makes your company appear more personal – more approachable. – But, it also allows your company to be linked to their personal lives (or whatever they allow on their pages). Is a personalized company worth the risk?

You know your company; you know what’s best for it. And now, you know how to achieve the level of social and Authorship you want for your brand!

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