This post is all about integrating your WordPress site with Google+ and how doing so can benefit your site as well as your personal profile. Google+ isn’t just another Facebook, and while you can use it to stay in touch with friends and upload your holiday photos on the site, it can do much more than that.
By linking up your website and published content with Google+, you can help Google to evaluate your work more efficiently and effectively. This in turn can help your positioning in the search engines which should be of interest to both site owners and content writers.
If you are a writer who has content published on different websites, Google+ is a great way to link all that content together and have it credited to you, allowing Google to easily see who you write for.
By using Google+ in this way, you will be cultivating your Google Author Rank which in turn will help indicate to Google as well as other publishers that you are a reputable figure in the subjects you write about. This can make your content perform better in the Google search engine results as it will be recognised that it has been written by someone who is an authority in their field.
Having a healthy Google Author Rank can also make you more attractive to publishers. This is because they would be keen to have you write for them in the hope that some of your authority will rub off on their sites. This aspect of the new Author Rank should give freelance writers greater opportunities to write for better sites and also a chance to increase their rates!
But the arrival of Google+ is not just good news for content writers. For site owners, more +1s from Google+ users means better search engine rankings, which in turn means more (free) traffic, hopefully leading to increased conversions.
Also, as a site owner, attracting writers with a positive Google Author Rank can help lend credibility to your projects in the eyes of Google and show the big G your site is worthy of a top spot in the Google results pages.
Whether you are an author or a publisher, using Google+ effectively can help raise your profile and that of your site. So let’s find out what you can do today to start taking advantage of this exciting platform.
Linking your Google+ Account with your WordPress Site
Showing your face in the Google search engine results pages is a great way to separate your website’s pages from the competition. Having your Google+ profile picture listed along with the name of your page and its description can help create an air of authority around your published content. This will make it easy for searchers to decide to click through to your page over the other options. So how do you get your picture to show up in Google?
When it comes to setting up Google+ Authorship, you have two options; one is to install a plugin, such as the Google Plus Authorship plugin which will simplify the process somewhat, the other is a more manual approach for those of you who might not have full admin access to the sites you write for or for those who don’t want to install a plugin.
Whether you use a plugin or not, the whole process involves two stages, but it’s a relatively simple job, providing you already have a Google+ account and a WordPress site.
- Go into your Google+ profile and click on the ‘about’ tab. Scroll down and look for the ‘Links’ box and click on ‘edit’.
- In the ‘Contributor to’ section, click the ‘Add custom link’ button. Enter the name of the site and the URL of your author page or just the home page if you don’t have one. For example, for this site, my Google+ account links to https://www.wpsquared.com/author/joefylan/
- Once that is done, click the ‘Save’ button.
- Now while still in Google+, copy the URL of your profile page. It should look something like this: https://plus.google.com/117629174032194345622
- Now go to the WordPress site you just added to your Contributor section and login to the admin area.
- If you installed the plugin go to your profile and in the newly added ‘Google Plus Profile URL’ field, enter the URL of your Google+ profile, save changes, and you are done.
- If you didn’t install the plugin, go to your profile and in the ‘Biographical Info’ under the ‘About Yourself’ heading enter a link back to your Google+ profile by adding the following code, replacing my profile page URL with yours: <a href=” https://plus.google.com/117629174032194345622?rel=author”>Google+</a>
Make sure you add ?rel=author to the end of the URL.
It will take some time for your profile image to start showing up in Google, roughly about seven days, so don’t panic if your picture isn’t showing in Google straightaway. If you want to test that everything went ok and get a preview of how your sites will look try Google’s rich snippets testing tool.
Just spending a few minutes setting this up can help increase your sites visitors and start building your Google Author Rank.
Show Google your Site is High Quality with a +1
One way to help Google recognise the brilliance of your site, or your writing, is to make it as easy as possible for people to share your content on Google+. If people are happy to +1 your content using their Google+ profile, then in the eyes of Google, the content, the author and most likely the website too, must be of a decent standard or at least relevant to the visitors.
Adding a +1 button is the easiest way to encourage your readers to share your content on Google+ so it is well worth the small amount of effort involved.
There are lots of plugins out there that make it very easy to add a +1 button to your WordPress posts. Here are some popular plugins that get the job done:
- The Google+ Plugin by WPMUDEV: a simple plugin for adding just a +1 button.
- Digg Digg by Buffer: add a vertical floating sharebar to your posts with +1 and other social share buttons
- Add Twitter, Facebook Like, Google plus one Social share: this popular plugin can place a horizontal row of social share buttons at the start or end (or both) of your posts for maximum shareability.
Whether you just want one solitary +1 button or buttons from all the major social media platforms, these plugins have got it covered. The Digg Digg plugin is my preferred choice at the moment but I’ve also used the third one a lot.
Make it Easy for People to Follow You
One way to help build your Author Rank and make yourself look more popular in the eyes of your visitors is to increase the number of people who are following you or have added you to their circles in Google+. Displaying this number of followers to your readers can also help make your content seem more credible, as each follower could represent a vote in your favour as a writer or just as a person worth taking note of.
A widget on your site that makes it easy for people to add you to their circles and begin following you, while also displaying how many other people are already following you sounds like a great idea. Thankfully someone has already developed a free WordPress plugin that makes all this possible and that is the Google Plus Widget plugin.
To include an ‘add to circles’ button on your WordPress site do the following:
- Install the free Google Plus Widget plugin and activate it.
- Login to your WordPress admin area and go to the widgets page.
- Drag the Google Plus Widget widget onto a sidebar.
- Edit the title if required and enter your Google Plus ID (the long number at the end of the URL of your Google+ profile).
What makes this plugin stand out from the other ones that serve a similar function is that you can show the faces of five people in your circles, show recent updates from your Google+ profile page and include a +1 button, not to mention that the appearance of the widget can be customised as well.
There are more ways you can integrate Google+ with your WordPress site such as allowing readers to comment on your posts using their Google+ account to pulling in photos from your profile. Hopefully the ones outlined in this article will help you get on board with Google Author Rank and encourage Google to look favourably upon your site and content for a boost in the search engine results pages.
If you are doing anything interesting with Google+ and WordPress not mentioned here please leave a comment below.