How to Connect Your Google+ Account with Your Site

Note: Google no longer supports authorship and is scaling back Google+

If you’re producing content today – and who isn’t? – you’re probably using it to connect with customers and enhance your reputation. If you want to make sure this happens then you must link your Google+ account to your website.

Google+ Business

 

Benefits of Linking Your Website to Google+

There are several benefits to linking your Google+ account with your website. These include:

  • Claiming ownership of your content via Google authorship (see our separate tutorial for guidance on setting this up).
  • Improving SEO – you get better search engine listings which include an avatar and a link to your other content so people can follow your work on the web. Studies have shown that the search engine entries for verified authors result inmore clicks and better conversions.
  • Authority – Google is increasingly giving prominence in search results to authoritative content from verified authors and connecting your Google+ account to your website makes you one of those authors.
  • Trust – when people see your picture linked to your content, and see that your work is verified, that increases the trust factor and makes your website more effective.

Google also says that another benefit is helping the search engine to recognize when content on your site is relevant to a search query.

 

Prerequisites

Before you can link your Google+ account to your website you first need a Google+ account. There are two ways to get one.

How to Get Google+ If You Have a Google Account

If you already have a Gmail email account or a Google Apps account, visit your account on the web, then click the drop-down arrow next to your name in the top right corner of the screen. You will see a “join Google+” button.

Follow the link to the upgrade page and you can add a photo as well as confirm your name, your gender and your birth date. Make sure that your photo is a recognizable headshot as this is a prerequisite for authorship which is one of the benefits of linking your Google+ account to your site.

Google will prompt you to add people to your circles and start using the account.

google-authorship-1

 

How to Get Google+ If You Don’t Have a Google Account

If you don’t yet have a Google account then you can go directly to the Google+ site and set up a Google+ account from scratch.

You will need to enter your name, gender, birth date. You will also need to choose a password and add an image. Google will prompt you to set up some circles. While you do not have to complete this immediately it may be handy if you want to use the account later.

To complete the set up of your Google+ account, fill in some personal details such as your workplace, education and location and add a cover photo. Now you are ready to link your Google+ account to your website.

google-authorship-2

 

How to Link Google+ to Your Website

There are several ways of linking Google+ to your website depending on the type of Google account you have. If you have a personal profile you can link Google+ to your website by using authorship markup.

google-authorship-6

To do this visit the Google+ authorship page, check that the content you plan to link has the same byline as your Google+ profile, verify your email address and apply for authorship. When this is approved your website will be linked with Google+.

You will know it’s done because the website’s URL will be listed in the contributor section of your Google+ profile. Your verified email address will also appear in the work section. You can tweak your privacy settings if you don’t want this to be publicly visible.

You can also use a manual linking method. To do this, place a link in this format

<a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">[author name]</a>

on the page you want to link to Google+. Then go to the contributor section of your Google+ profile and add a custom link to the same page.

 

How to Link Your Google+ Business Page with Your Website

Authorship markup is intended for individuals, but what if you primarily use a Google+ business page to interact with your customers and followers? In this case, you can link your page with your website via publisher markup.

Before you can set up a business page, you need a personal Google+ account. If you don’t have one, follow the steps outlined above.

Create a Google+ Page

Next, you will be prompted to choose the type of page you want to set up. You can choose from local business or place; product or brand; company, institution or organization; arts, entertainment or sports; or other.

Add basic information to your page, select the age that your content will suit and accept the terms and conditions. Then you can customize your page in a similar way to your personal profile.

When your page is set up, you have a couple of options for linking your website.

First, you can make the link via Google Webmaster Tools. Sign in as your page, click on your profile, go to the about section and click the “link website” button. You will have to wait for the link to be approved after which you will see a check mark, next to the website on your page.

The other option is to link manually by using the following code in the head section of your site’s HTML:

<a href="https://plus.google.com/{+PageId}" rel="publisher" />

 

Checking Your Website Link

Check marks on your Google+ profile and page indicate information verified by Google, but you can also use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to check that the author and publisher markup is working correctly.

Google Structured Data Testing Tool

 

Conclusion

By the end of this tutorial, your website should be correctly linked to your Google+ personal account or business page. Not only can you enjoy the SEO and authority benefits this brings, but people will be able to find your page more easily via Google+ Direct Connect.