Q: Chris, I notice some of my competition showing up listed at Google and there is a picture next to their listing on the search engine results page. How did they do this? If a picture shows up it sure gets your attention fast and probably increases click-though! I see it regularly with your rankings at Google when I search: marketing to brides.
A: You are correct, it does get people’s attention and it does have a direct impact on click-through (i.e. more clicks, more traffic!).
Your question is very timely. I recently have been experimenting with this and it’s actually pretty simple to set-up. Here’s what you need to know:
1) You need a Google Profile which is part of your Google Account. Set-up and optimize your PERSONAL Google+ page.
2) Your pages need to be HIGHLY optimized for search engines. In other words, your content needs to be optimized so that your pages rank organically to start with! Adding the code below won’t largely influence your rankings, it just facilitates your picture showing up with your SEO top ranked content.
3) Google doesn’t always show pictures in the search engine results page. Like everything with Google, except when you’re paying, nothing is a guarantee. But based on my first-hand experimenting, this works…
4) Add the following command, using your Google+ page address which is a number, to the <head> </head> section of your content.
<link rel=”publisher” href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/[YOUR-GOOGLE-PAGE-ID-HERE]” />
5) If your site is built using WordPress, take a look at the AuthorSure plugin which easily allows you to accomplish the same technique. I’ve been using it at my Marketing to Brides Online project which is built on WordPress and getting very good results.