Ever seen something like this before?
How’d they get that handsome face in there like that?
That’s called Google Structured Data, or Rich Snippets. I prefer Rich Snippets because it’s more fun to say.
The upshot is, if you have a bunch of results like so:
…and since you’re a really busy person and can’t take your time sifting through every result, you very well may click on the pretty picture, just because. Note: pretty picture girl above is apparently NOT doing as well in other SEO elements as the results just above her, and YET she may snag a good bit of their traffic.
So, how to do this?
1. Get a google account.
2. Activate your Google+ Profile.
3. Upload a good headshot for your featured image. Choose a large picture that you’ll crop. SPECIAL NOTE: if when you are uploading your picture, Google beefs and throws up any warnings about your picture, HEED THE WARNINGS. Yes, you will likely get your picture associated with your Google+ profile even if you ignore the warnings, but I assure you they will not use the photo for their prized organic search results, unless you give them the type of image they want. Can you blame ‘em?
4. In Profile, click to “Edit Profile” on the top right. Hover over each section and edit every possible thing you can. Fork over your good info. Feed the Google-Info-Beast and Google will serve you up in their search results more often.
5. Pay special attention to the “Contributor to” section. Add a custom link, entering your site name (becomes an anchor text) as well as your URL. Share publicly unless, unless you don’t want to. But don’t expect Google to like you if you lock down their only concern: more info.
[UPDATED] 6. Be sure when adding your EMAIL address to your Google+ page, you follow the link to VERIFY that address with Google. That will prompt a simple verification email – click on the link and you’ll note the gray check mark next to your added email, which designates proper verification.
7. Now you’re technically half way there. You’ve told Google (via Google+) that you are an author/contributor to said page. BUT, Google needs verification you actually can contribute to that page before the link is complete. This is done via your webpage…and will be covered in the next post!