Is Your Website Trustworthy?
The Sprocket Report
In discussing Search Engine Optimization, we talked last time about how “authenticity” is vital to SEO. Now let’s look the importance of proving your website is trustworthy.
When someone is searching for a product or service that will solve their problem, it’s your job to verify that you are the expert who can help by using the appropriate search terms and providing authentic information. Unfortunately, you can undermine that authenticity if your website isn’t deemed “trustworthy.”
If your site seems untrustworthy, search engines will not offer it as readily on the results page and prospective customers will be hesitant to believe in the marketing claims of your product or service. There are several website tweaks you can make to help prove to both robots and humans that your offering is worth their while.
Since Google Chrome started labeling websites “Not Secure” this past summer, installing an SSL certificate on your site has become mandatory. How can you say your web page is trustworthy when “Not Secure” is blazoned across the top? The search algorithms also use the lack of SSL when ranking your website.
Links to, from and within your website are also used in ranking. Often folks will link to an outside website when writing blog posts or other content. If that outside site removes that linked page or changes the URL during an upgrade, the link will no longer work. Broken links make your site look untrustworthy.
Having a lot of links to your site used to be important to ranking well in search results, but search robots are more discerning now. Quality rather than quantity is what matters today. That means trying to get links on websites that are already considered “trustworthy” rather than those deemed spammy.
Some ways to get links include guest blogging or being listed in an industry or chamber of commerce directory. You should know, however, that some websites use “no follow” code so you may not get search engine credit for the link after all. You can thank spammers who gamed the system for ruining this for the rest of us. But humans will still appreciate the quality link and some evidence suggests that perhaps Google notes it as well.
Finally, edit your content carefully. Like your teachers always warned you, neatness counts. Spelling errors and poor grammar are red flags to search engines who will penalize your website accordingly.
While there is much more you can do for your SEO, check these basic items first to reinforce your website’s trustworthiness. Too busy to do it yourself? The Sprocket Website team is happy to help! Just give us a call to get started.