Google Authorship Image Not Showing? Here’s What to Do Next.

Are your Google Authorship images not showing in search results? Are you seeing a drop in site visitor traffic or leads? Google recently pulled the plug. The results are in: Lower traffic for some social sellers, while others aren’t much affected. So what should you do?

Are your Google Authorship images not showing in search results? Are you seeing a drop in site visitor traffic or leads? Google recently pulled the plug. The results are in: Lower traffic for some social sellers, while others aren’t much affected. So what should you do?

Why Your Google Authorship Images Are Not Showing
Well, because Google says so. It decided not to anymore! It was just an experiment.

“In the early days of Google Authorship, almost anyone could get the coveted face photo in search by correctly setting up Authorship markup on their content and linking to that content from their Google+ profile,” says Google+ expert, Mark Traphagen in a recent SEOmoz blog.

“As time went on, Google became pickier about showing the rich snippet, and some sort of quality criteria seemed to come into play.”

In October 2013, Google announced a reduction in the number of photo images it displayed. In late June 2014 it pulled the plug completely on photo images in search results. Poof!

Says Traphagen, “It appears that the net result is no overall change in the amount of Authorship (appearing) in search, just an elimination of a ‘first class’ status for some authors.”

Author Images Actually Did Not Drive More Traffic
Everyone knows Authorship links with photos drove more traffic and leads to Web pages of authors, right? Eh, maybe.

“We never really knew for sure, and we never knew how much. Most importantly, there was never any proof that any CTR boost was universal,” says Traphagen, who’s done the research.

Many “studies” were conducted supporting the theory of Authorship links grabbing more eyes—and holding more perceived authority—than a “text only” link. But none of them hold much water.

Myself, I am running a handful of blogs for lead generation. After my author images were removed, I am apparently experiencing a drop in traffic and leads. But it’s not huge by any means. Why?

I’ve copywritten my Web page titles, blog post headlines, lead sentences and posts.

What You Should Do Next
Learn to copywrite. Already know how? Practice more. Most importantly, be sure you have the ability to have FULL control over Web or blog page titles.

To draw maximum attention from Google and prospective buyers make sure your Web page titles are balanced. Make sure they:

  1. are written to display a keyword phrase you’re targeting and
  2. create curiosity in the reader using copywriting.

Warning: Your blog platform may not allow you to control the Web page title freely. It’s common for blog software to take your blog (article) headline (that readers see) and place it in your Web page title (that Google and readers see in search engine results).

This is not optimal. You’ll have more ability to copywrite freely by having control over URL structure and Web page title.

For example, the structure of my blog post here is focused on the keyword phrase “Google authorship image not showing.” However, I do not have control over my URL structure or Web page title. The blog software takes my article headline and places it in the URL structure and Web page title.

It’s not optimal but I don’t cry much about it to the good folks at Target Marketing!

It would be better to have the option of editing the URL to “google-authorship-image-not-showing” and separately copywrite my Web page title to create curiosity in the reader.

Don’t Give Up (I’m Not)
“I’m done! Trying to please Google a waste of time. I’m going back to cold calling!”

I understand those who feel this way. Especially after discovering all your Google authorship images not showing. Whether you’re just starting to use B-to-B content marketing or have been investing for years Google can frustrate us.

But that’s precisely the point. It doesn’t need to be this way.

As someone who continues to generate leads online I can tell you definitively: You don’t want to depend on Google for lead generation. However, you do need to be online—capturing leads your competition will otherwise capture.

So what can you do today? The best starting point is to elevate social media copywriting as a priority. For example, what are posts to Google+, YouTube video or blog posts structured to provoke curiosity in buyers?

Creating curiosity that lures customers seems obvious. But are you doing it?

Manhandle Google With Good Copywriting
There is no silver bullet for generating B-to-B leads online. However, there is one habit that consistently brings my students, clients and by business more leads.

Giving customers a reason (in writing!) to click and take action—resolve or improve something important to them. It starts with Google and your Web page titles.

Once you take this simple idea and turn it into a habit you will continue to generate leads no matter what Google does next! You’ll forget about your Google Authorship image not showing. Won’t that feel good?

Let me know how you feel in comments.

How to Get Engaged Prospects to Buy

“How do we get customers engaged on our blog and other social media to buy or transact with us? How do we make that leap?” It’s a common question and you’re not alone in asking it. Here’s my answer: Getting engaged sales prospects to consider a purchase or actually transact is easy if you return to trusty, time-tested, proven basic direct response practices.

“How do we get customers engaged on our blog and other social media to buy or transact with us? How do we make that leap?”

It’s a common question and you’re not alone in asking it. Here’s my answer: Getting engaged sales prospects to consider a purchase or actually transact is easy if you return to trusty, time-tested, proven basic direct response practices.

  1. Solving customers’ problems
  2. Designing to sell (planning social experiences to provoke customer responses that connect to the sales funnel)
  3. Translating (discovering customer need as it evolves and using this knowledge to improve response and conversion rate)

How to Sell by Solving Problems
Making things like blogs, YouTube videos, Facebook, Twitter and the like actually sell challenges us to trust traditional instincts—to evolve, not reinvent. The social aspects of attracting, nurturing and earning a purchase are already known. Successful social sellers are designing interactions (“conversations”) in ways that solve customers’ problems. This approach makes it easy to help customers guide themselves toward products and services.

Solving customers problems has always worked! It’s a simple, effective way to produce awareness, interest, desire and purchase behavior. Providing answers to customers’ questions remains the best way to effectively coax or nurture customers toward making a purchase. Social media is inherently interactive, making this process even easier to accomplish.

The key is using this familiar process, not figuring out what time of the week earns more Twitter retweets (or other nonsensical yet popular recommendations we often hear).

Get Customers to Ask Questions That Connect to Products
Making social media sell for you is a matter of facilitating, and then connecting, question-and-answer oriented, digital conversations to helpful products and services whenever they’re relevant. It’s an old idea that you can leverage to drive sales with “new,” social media.

Think about it in your own life. Have you ever found yourself suddenly more equipped to make a purchase based on knowledge you suddenly became aware of? Think about it in your business, outside the Internet. Do you publish whitepapers, magazine articles, or other self-diagnosis tools to help customers become more clear on problems, avoid risk, or exploit unseen opportunities? Are you doing it in ways that occasionally connect with your products or services?

Beware: Just like cranking out whitepapers or information-dense brochures, earning sales takes more. Success requires relevancy and earning response from customers. That means making a habit of inducing customer behavior with every tweet, post, or update you make on social platforms. And that takes a plan, a designed system of question-and-answer driven interactions.

Beware of the Digital Charlatans
As I discuss in the June edition of Target Marketing, beware. Paradigm shifts and “total game-changers” are a goldmine for gurus and self-appointed experts pushing flash-in-the-pan software, books (Full disclosure: I wrote a social media book) and consulting services. There’s nothing wrong with making a living, but beware of misguided advice designed to scare otherwise rational business people into making irrational, hasty investments and spending money on ideas that don’t work.

Successful social sellers understand that the difference between fooling around on social media and selling with it relies on a return to the basics.

How Much Time You Invest in Social Media Does Not Matter

“How much time do I need to devote to LinkedIn and/or Facebook per day?” Stop. Behind this question is a lie that is preventing your success. Wanting to know the optimal amount of time to invest in social media platforms each day is a natural desire, but having that answer won’t make social strategies produce more leads. That’s why top social sellers are putting down “hour-a-day” books and picking up a new habit: Changing the question entirely.

“How much time do I need to devote to LinkedIn and/or Facebook per day?” Stop. Behind this question is a lie that is preventing your success. Wanting to know the optimal amount of time to invest in social media platforms each day is a natural desire, but having that answer won’t make social strategies produce more leads. That’s why top social sellers are putting down “hour-a-day” books and picking up a new habit: Changing the question entirely.

Lack vs. Abundance
As it turns out, social media is evolutionary, not revolutionary and time is abundant, not lacking. Say to yourself, “I have nothing but time.” Seriously, say it to yourself right now. Try living the life of abundance for just one day and act as if you have time for social media. Play along; you just might just find yourself working differently—more productively.

Social platforms like LinkedIn are a better, faster way to get hired or locate and nurture a sales lead—if you honestly believe them to be. If you don’t, they’ll just be another “marketing channel” to react to in a very uncreative way that doesn’t increase your effectiveness or liberate you. Your thoughts manifest reality.

The harsh reality is that many of us find ourselves reacting to social media rather than getting creative with it because we’re adopting it out of the fear of being left behind by—or losing control of—customers. I know it sounds all woo-woo and kum-ba-yah, but an attitude of abundance goes hand-in-hand with generating more leads and sales; it always has.

Stop Worrying About Time
LinkedIn, Facebook, blogging … these strategies are making a difference to a select few marketers and business owners who see time as being abundant. They see—and experience—LinkedIn, blogging, educational YouTube videos, Facebook, etc., as time-savers, not time-wasters. And you can too.

“How much time do I need to devote to LinkedIn per day?” is a valid question. But when you ask it, you’re investing in lack—what you do not have. Time. But you do have time to invest in saving time, right? That’s what LinkedIn represents, after all. In coming weeks I’ll prove it to you by describing my own lead generation success using LinkedIn.

Change the Question
For now, let’s start by changing your question to: “How can I determine what LinkedIn’s purpose is for me, how I can best use it to achieve that goal in shorter time?”

More widely, you can be asking, “How can I get clear on what social media’s purpose is for my business—and how I can best use it to achieve that specific goal?”

See the difference? By asking these questions—first—deciding how much time to invest occurs naturally, painlessly and obviously as part of everyday life.

What if your purpose was to find a faster way to net a sales lead—rather than seeking out a “silver bullet amount of time?” What if your purpose was to meet the right prospect and pitch them in less time, get hired faster, have your manuscript discovered by a publisher sooner, speed up the conversion to sale process … whatever.

Make Purpose Primary, Time Secondary
Everyone I interviewed in my book said the same thing: If you want to sell with social media, start focusing on creating crystal clear business—not marketing—purpose for it before anything else. Time will work itself out. Trust in it, have faith.

Think about how you feel when you ask “How much time is this going to take?” You’re reacting, defensive. The presumption behind the question is that LinkedIn, Facebook, blogging or whatever is somehow “different.” But what if social media could be a better way to achieve a particular set of goals you have-rather than being “so different” and such a pain? It can be if you so choose.

Social media is not rocket science. The more you think it is the more you’ll believe time investment is what makes the difference. It does not. As Peter Drucker said, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

Moving Beyond Engagement

When it comes to social media, most business folks think “engaging” customers is a priority. But it actually isn’t, according to some of today’s most successful social sellers. 

When it comes to social media, most business folks think “engaging” customers is a priority. But it actually isn’t, according to some of today’s most successful social sellers.

These businesses are quietly selling using social media. In fact, they don’t really care when a customer consumes a message or spends time with their businesses online. Because that’s not really taking a step toward purchase.

Instead, I’m finding that today’s savvy social sellers have a better goal: Earning a customer response to whatever they put out on the variety of social media channels available. You see, the people I’ve interviewed in the past are putting answers into the hands of customers who need them. They’re using social media to be useful to customers in ways that satisfies their urges.

And in ways that create a direct response … a way that paves a path toward purchase. So, if you think about it, the real social media challenge is to invent ways for customers’ to give useful insight on their purchase intents to you … not just occupy time.

Marketer’s Action Item—Change the goal: Use social media to create behavior that is part of an on-going value exchange … a purposeful system designed to sell people something.