Last night, I attended my first Social Media Pittsburgh event. Social Media Pittsburgh is an informal group of Pittsburgh’s social media professionals. They aim to share best practices and local knowledge through their monthly speaker series. Before I get into my overview of last night’s discussion, I must say that I took home with me a few pieces of valuable knowledge that I can actually apply. So important when you sign up for a professional development event.
The evening’s discussion was led by Dan Wilkerson of Lunametrics, a Pittsburgh-based company and Google Certified Partner. Dan is Lunametrics’ social media project manager and I instantly knew he was going to give a great presentation from his opening “about me” slide (click the image for a larger view):
On to the presentation:
Dan spoke about something I had never heard of before, Google Authorship. On my little blog, I had never thought about that before, but now I’m on a mission to become an author. Why? It can increase click-throughs on your pages by 30-150%! So what’s authorship? Let it be known you don’t have to be “techy” to do this. Actually, it’s a really great tool for all writers on the web. (Copyblogger just wrote about this subject the other day.) It makes you more searchable, more visible, and more authentic. It’s a little easier than the the old school tactic of commenting on other blogs to hopefully drive traffic back to yours (although that still works and it’s still important to share the love). Anyways, according to Copyblogger, “authorship is the method to display authorship information in search results for the content you create.” Basically, it makes you stand out in search. There are a few simple steps to achieving authorship, and all it takes is having a profile on a little thing called Google+. (Sneaky, Google, I see what you’re doing there :)). So what do I mean “standing out?” Let’s compare. First, a writer without authorship (unfortunately, me, until I set up my page in a bit):
This is a post I wrote last month. Yes, it says deannaferrari.com, but there’s no byline, no image. Basically, there’s no authenticity about it. Now, let’s see what a blog post would look like WITH Google authorship (image from Copyblogger):
Now we know it’s written by Brian Clark. He’s got 41,911 connections in his Google+ circles, I last visited his page in January, and oh look — his image! You can even see more articles written by Brian. See the difference? If Brian and I wrote a post on the same subject, I bet you’d click on his post in the search results, right? I just blew my own mind.
To set up your own Google Authorship, just be sure you’re signed up for Google+, log in, and then visit https://plus.google.com/authorship. (The only tricky part is you need to enter a little bit of code in there. If you don’t know basic HTML, see a developer near you for help).
Dan went into more detail on this process, including how to measure your efforts through Google analytics. I’m also going to be learning more about Google analytics in the coming weeks since I need to up my analytical game. Lunametrics puts on fantastic training sessions about learning Google analytics, and you can also check out Conversion University.
Social media is a HUGE world. Many different industries tackle it — from the marketing side of it, to the content, to the measurement. Social Media Pittsburgh understands this, and is putting on events monthly to discuss all there is to know about this broad and ever-changing, fast-paced landscape. For ten bucks, you can learn something new each month (FREE for students!!) and network with other professionals in the process. It’s an incredible resource and I plan on checking out many more!
You can follow Social Media PGH on Twitter and like them on Facebook for more information on future events. (The next event is April 17 and will discuss building social media relationships). They also post relevant and insightful articles on their social media platforms.
Thanks to Social Media Pittsburgh for allowing me to check out last night’s session and blog about it!