The Importance of Search Engine Rankings
Step 1 for your business to gain some online presence is building your website. But what happens when no one can find it? Obtaining some search engine rankings for popular keywords is like giving prospective customers a map leading straight to your business.
If you currently do not have rankings, consider the following qualities that are necessary to rank. Does your website follow the guidelines of Expertise, Authority, and Trust?
How to Rank: The Search Engine Report Card
Google has over 200 ranking factors to score your website. Each of these factors will help determine your position for specific keywords on the search engine results page. Think of getting grades in Math, English, and Science to contribute to your overall GPA in school.
The equivalent of school subjects in this example would be your website’s Expertise, Authority, and Trust. Google scores your website on each of these factors to determine rankings.
Search engines only want to rank the websites where users will have the best experience and find the best information. A scoring system based on Expertise, Authority, and Trust helps determine these rankings automatically.
How to Build Your Website’s Expertise
- Quality content: Your web content should be both grammatically and factually correct.
- Relevant content: Your website can use content to prove your business is the expert in its field. If you are a baker, include content about your processes and ingredients. Clearly define each of your services and address any industry trends. For example, do you take food allergies into consideration? What are the details of your catering options? The more content and details about each individual service, the more of an expert you will be on each.
- Certifications / licenses: Displaying your license and certifications on your website helps both search engines and users know you are an expert. For medical websites, include doctor bios that clearly define their degrees and certifications. If you are a General Contractor, consider displaying the license badge and number on your website.
- Site structure: Categorizing your information correctly on your website can help Google find each relevant piece of content. Your navigation and URL structure should clearly organize information into pages using service or location categories and subcategories. You should also have an xml sitemap which is a roadmap for search engines to navigate your website.
How to Build Your Website’s Authority
- Social buzz / mentions: Google can see how many people are talking about your website across the web. Increased brand mentions on social media or industry-related websites can prove that people trust your website as the authority on certain topics.
- Directories and profiles across the web: Making sure your website is listed consistently throughout directories with the correct name, address, and phone number is an additional indicator of authority. Examples of directories include: Hotfrog.com or Merchantcircle.com. Complete social media profiles fall into this category as well.
- Domain Age: The age of your website domain is also a contributor of authority. A domain that has been around for 5 years is more authoritative than one that has been around for 6 months.
- Reference to authoritative websites: Referring to authoritative websites also demonstrates authority. Throughout your content, cite statics from studies or government websites.
- Traffic to your website: The more traffic that comes to your website, the more of authoritative it becomes to Google. Whether people are sharing popular blog posts that attract web traffic, or users are finding you on Yelp; the amount of visits you slowly acquire is a signal of authority.
- Engagement of traffic: The actions of users coming to your site are an additional factor. If people are leaving your site after one page view (increasing your bounce rate), they are negatively impacting your authority. If people are spending time on your site and converting through filling out forms and downloading information, your website is seen as more authoritative.
How to Build Your Website’s Trust
- High quality backlinks: Now that your profiles and directories are filled out, it’s time to move on to gaining links from higher authority sites. Reaching out to other industry experts for links and publishing press releases are popular methods.
- Amount of content: Continuing to increase the details and amount of information about each topic on your website builds trust. Are your service pages 100 words each, offering the bare minimum; or are they 800 words each, defining processes and solutions?
- White papers: A white paper is a detailed report based on in-depth research or testing. Publishing white papers shows that your business is trustworthy on a topic and a legitimate source of information. Whether the article is informing customers on a potential issue, defining a new solution, or introducing a new product – these detailed papers are highly trustworthy sources of factual content.
Taking each of these factors into consideration, TheeDesign understands the methods and best practices to strengthen your digital GPA. Following a customized, long-term strategy; we enhance your online presence by working on your website’s expertise, authority, and trust.