Every click counts. As an Internet marketer, SEO or Web design professional, you know that even a small increase in search result listing click-through rate can lead to more conversions. One way to increase this click-through rate is with a tiny, but powerful, 44 x 44 pixel Google Authorship picture:
These friendly little pictures can put a face to your website and make searchers want to learn more about you. In this article, I’ll discuss a few off-the-wall ideas for drawing intrigue (and clicks!) through your Google Authorship picture.
1. Use a Colored Background
Using a colored background on your Google Authorship picture can be a fun way to introduce a bit of visual interest to the Google search results page. Adding a background is a straightforward task in Photoshop or GIMP and you can always choose a background color in your website's color scheme to establish and extend your brand identity.
2. Use a White Background
Another option is forgo the background entirely and make your face spring forth from the search results page. This isn't my favorite option, but in certain verticals (industry commentators, public speakers and the religiously inclined) this “serene glow” effect can help establish the writer as a trustworthy source of information.
3. Practice Unique Cropping
Cropping your Google Authorship picture is another way to draw interest to your search listing. I feel that we've just scratched the surface with this technique. Imagine a locksmith peeking at you through a key hole or a dentist looking at you through a “mouth's eye view.” Clicking on those search listings would be irresistible.
4. Use a Unique Location
I don't have the pleasure of knowing Martin, but I can guess from his picture that he likes swimming. Taking your Authorship picture in an interesting or notable location can instantly indicate to your future clients that your site is far from ordinary.
And by an interesting place, I don't mean your desk. Get out into the real world and have some fun!
5. Go Monochrome
Taking a black and white head shot will do more than advance your acting career. If you're in a profession where prestige and power matter (surgeons, criminal defense attorneys, professional wrestlers), you might consider dropping your RBG levels. I would recommend making sure your website's color palette was also somewhat subdued, though.
6. Use a Border
Ok, this one isn't rocket surgery. This tact is probably the easiest to accomplish for the Photoshop-impaired.
However, adding a quick border to your Google Authorship picture can be an easy way to unify the authorship of a website. For example, if a web site has 3 main bloggers and 5 interns, each of the full-time bloggers could have a border in one color and the interns could have a border in the another color.
7. Go Crazy!
It appears that Don is having some fun here and is asking for you to add him on Google Plus. For those of you with a similarly adventurous side, your Google Authorship picture can be your chance to show your future clients just how funny/smart/amazing you are. Dream your biggest dream and let me know how it goes.
So Which Way is Best?
As a default, I think that using a colored background is the easiest to implement and the easiest to keep on-brand. However, whatever picture makes you smile when you ask a potential client to Google you is probably your best choice.
Zane Ryan is the Community Relations Director at Fahrenheit Marketing, an Austin web design company. His Google Authorship picture is pretty boring.
Have a crazy idea for a Google Authorship picture? Really like your Google Author picture? Brag about it in the comments!