Last week I told you about a quick and easy way to set up authorshipon your website. I also told you why this is a necessary step for you as a content marketer.
Today, I want to tell you about a more techy solution that still doesn’t require you to get your hands dirty with PHP or other code.
If you have a WordPress website, hands down, this is your best solution for setting up Author Rank. So set aside an hour or two to optimize your site by setting up this stylish Author Rank solution.
AuthorSure was written specifically for WordPress sites by Russell and Elizabeth Jamieson of DIYWebmastery. It’s relatively easy. There’s tons of instructional materials on a free membership site. And while there’s no support, you probably won’t need it.
Sound good? Here’s what to do:
Go to Plugins > Add New. Search for “AuthorSure.” Download and activate.
Then go into Settings > AuthorSure to configure the plugin.
On this page are 5 sections:
This tells WordPress where to put the link to your author page on your blog posts.
You have four options for setting up AuthorSure
I finally settled on the Footnote option because it prevented any errors with Google when I validated the page (more about that in a moment). Google likes the “updated by” attribution that this option provides. And if Google likes it, I tend to like it too.
Since Google likes the “updated by” snippet, I opted to place it at the bottom of my archive pages. It’s small and inobtrusive, so there’s no harm in it.
I don’t have a Google+ business page, so I ignored this section.
I accepted the defaults initially, then tweaked them after I set everything up and saw how my author page looked.
The biggest issue is whether you want to talk about yourself in the first-person (I, we) or third-person (he, she). Make that decision based on how you plan to talk about yourself in your bio.
Most everything else, I went with the default settings.
Notice that since you activated AuthorSure, you have extra options for your social media profiles, including a spot for your Google+ URL.
The whole point of Author Rank is to connect your website to Google+. And this is where that happens with the AuthorSure plugin. So enter the URL from your Google+ profile — and any other social media profiles you’d like to include on your author page.
Next, write a short bio in the “About Yourself” section. Standard practice is two paragraphs of one to two sentences each.
Just so you know, if you try to include hyperlinks, you will get a warning on your author page. You can perform a work-around, but you need to know code to do it. Here’s what my IT guy told me:
“From what I ascertain it’s a function that looks at URL’s in the author bio address to transform it into a no-follow link. What I did to fix it was bypass the function and have it return the exact same input it received.”
Once your bio is done, save your changes by clicking the “Update Profile” button.
You can view your author page athttp://www.yourURL.com/author/yourWordPressUserName.
Go there now and bask in your author glory — unless you have the Thesis theme. In which case, you may cringe at what you see. For some reason, the font size and alignment of the Thesis author page are terrible.
Fortunately, AuthorSure gives you a snippet of custom CSS to make it look better. Just copy and paste it into your Custom File Editor (under Thesis in the Admin panel).
The results will be something like this:
Your author page with AuthorSure
With AuthorSure configured, your website is now connected to Google+. The final step is to connect Google+ to your website.
(If you downloaded the Google Authorship Widget that I talked about in my last post, you already did this. Feel free to skip past this section.)
Here’s how to do it:
On your Google+ profile, click on your Profile icon and the Edit Profile button.
Scroll down to the section called “Contributor To.” Click “Add custom link.”
Add the name of your blog or website. Below it, place the URL of your blog. Then save.
It’s a good idea to verify a few of your Web pages or blog posts by pasting their URLs into the Rich Snippets Testing Tool.
Enter your URL. Click “Preview.” If all is well, you’ll get a rich snippet with your authorship verified by Google.
Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool
The above steps will get you set up. But it’s important to remember that configuring a plugin won’t improve your Author Rank any more than buying Windex makes your windows clean.
Accept the fact that the digital marketplace is designed for interaction.
Plan on getting involved. Be present. Engage with your circles in Google+.
It’s through your social interactions that you gain Authority and Trust points from Google. And ultimately, that’s your best strategy for optimizing your site.
What are your feelings about Author Rank? Share your thoughts in the comments below.