How Google Authorship Got Us the #1 SERP
I’m sure most of us that are interested in small business SEO and authorship have read the Authorship Decreased My Traffic post over on JitBit. I thought I’d write up a rebuttal/response of how Google Authorship has made our traffic soar.
However, since this post has nothing to do with our core business, increasing the membership of fitness studios, please allow me to introduce myself to the new people/readers here.
My name is Patrick Jones and I’m the owner of Boost Fitness Marketing, LLC. We’re a small text message marketing company based out of Denver, Colorado. If you’re looking to get more fitness clients, check out FitnessTexter, our text message marketing service for fitness businesses.
Enough with the sales pitch. I digress…
How Do I Get My Picture in the SERPs?
Back in early to mid March of this year, 2013, I read a great article on Search Engine Land by Rick Dejarnette on Google Authorship and decided that I wanted to roll it out on our Boost Fitness Marketing blog.
After following Rick’s tips to set up authorship using the 2-step method, I, like every other anxious SEO enthusiast, starting feverishly checking my SERPS, every hour, on the hour, for about a week. No luck, obviously. Guess it was time to wait.
Did I Set it Up Correctly?
After about a a week or two of waiting, I thought that maybe I hadn’t set it up correctly. That’s when I read another article that talked about the fact that you needed to be in so many “circles” before you’d get your picture in the Google search results. Seeing as I made my Google+ profile solely for getting authorship, I wasn’t in ANY circles. Shit!
After reading that article, I decided to stop my search engine ADD and forget about Authorship. I got back to business, blogging and prospecting, and figured it would be a year until I had enough “circles” for Google to put my picture next to our company’s blog posts.
During this waiting period, I filled in my Google+ profile and actually got into a few circles of clients we work with. However, I still wasn’t convinced that I’d ever see my picture in the SERPs.
The Big Day Finally Arrives
Then, one day, it happened! My picture showed up…albeit on the bottom of the second page. But hey, it’s a start!
The above screenshot is from a current post that is also on the bottom of the second page. I never got a screenshot of my #1 SERP back when it was on page. You get the jist of it though.
The Results of Authorship
Well, wouldn’t you know it, after authorship went live, our traffic started to noticeably increase…a lot. Website visitors started filling out our free trial form and I received more email questions about our product than usual.
It’s been a little over two months since authorship went live and you can see that our traffic has been on a steady incline since authorship was activated. Over the course of the last few months, I’ve slowly watched my most popular crossfit marketing post work its way up from the bottom of page 2, to the top of page 2, to the bottom of page 1, and finally, my friends, it has reached the #1 SERP for our “crossfit marketing” keyword. SUCCESS!!!
This upward move in SERPs was purely from the increased CTR of getting authorship. This post doesn’t have any inbound links to it, nor has it been around for more than a few months. However, based on my Google Analytics reports, it’s getting a ton of “CrossFit marketing”-related searches each day, so Google knows it’s a relevant post about CrossFit markting.
In all honestly, I’m not sure why Google gave me authorship before I had a whole bunch of “circles” under my belt. I think it’s because we strive to write relevant content. No pointless links, not too much fluff. People who type in “crossfit marketing” are looking for what we have to offer. As we all know, Google values relevancy, and that blog post is about as close to “crossfit marketing” as you can get.
So, the moral of the story?
1. Write great content. Don’t worry about links, we all know those are losing value now that we have Penguin 2.0 coming up.
2. Post all your articles on your social media channels. I’m a firm believer that even the few viewers we got from posting on Facebook were enough to convince Google that we were an authority figure on CrossFit marketing, (and most types of fitness marketing).
3. Don’t stress about authorship. I probably sprouted a few gray hairs during that first week waiting for authorship. Just set it and forget it!
And there you have it. A small business Google Authorship success story. Hope you enjoyed it.