If you want to rank highly on the world’s leading search engine – Google – you’ll first need it to trust your website. Over the years, Google’s algorithms have evolved, but throughout this time, they have preached the same message – their desire to satisfy the searcher’s intent. Google understands that if the information they provide does not come from trusted sources, the customer could end up suffering – leading to them avoiding using Google as a facilitator of information.
SEOs will employ various methods in order to gain trust with Google, and since the introduction of the E-A-T algorithm update in August 2018, earning this trust has become even more important. The E-A-T algorithm update focused on websites that “could potentially impact the future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users” as stated in the Google Quality Raters Guidelines.
So what was the essence of the E-A-T update? Let’s take a look.
E is for Expert – Google will want to know that the author of the content on your website has expertise in the industry they are writing about. As well as informative author biographies on the website, keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date is a great way to communicate your expertise.
A is for Authoritativeness – Google will want to see that your website has built up authority in the industry it is providing information on. Authority can be backed up by reviews and testimonials.
T is or Trustworthiness – Google is looking for signs that your website is trustworthy and will consider factors such as site security and quality, so make sure your SSL certificate is kept up to date.
The E-A-T algorithm update focused on “your money or your life” websites, (YMYL) but that is not to say that other kinds of websites can afford to ignore the trustworthiness of their online presence.
Let’s run through a couple of the methods that can help to support the level of certainty search engines have in the contact information for your business and its categorisation.
A citation is a mention of your business name, address, and phone number on another website. The consistency of these mentions can impact the trust search engines place in you as a local business, as well as the kinds of searches you show up for. Where this level of certainty is blurred, you could see a negative impact on your local rankings.
Research carried out by local rank checker tool, BrightLocal, in 2018, found that 93% of customers are frustrated by incorrect information found on online directories. What’s more, further findings found that 80% of customers lose trust in local businesses where they find incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online. Can you afford to be frustrating your customers, before they’ve even contacted you?
Citations are a natural way to spread the word of your business, gain reviews on multiple platforms (which in turn will boost your authority), and ensure the consistency of your online presence. Whilst your target market may not be flocking to the likes of Yelp or Thomson Local to find businesses like yours, it doesn’t detract from the fact that Google trusts these websites and rewards them with consistently high rankings across various search terms, including broad terms such as “best plumber”.
To effectively manage your online citation profile, you’ll first need to know which directories are listing your business information. From here you’ll be able to see any inconsistencies and begin making changes accordingly. Amending and maintaining an accurate citation profile across relevant directories can be an arduous process, but it is essential to take the time to ensure the information is correct.
Google my Business
Google my Business (or GMB) has steadily evolved over the years and now comes with a variety of features, including services, attributes, and messaging, providing business owners with a plethora of ways to connect with their customers. What’s more, many online directories use the information on Google my Business to create their own listings. At the moment, however, GMB is free, so what weight, if any, does setting up a GMB have on the online presence of your business? Let’s break it down.
A whopping $24.1 billion of Google’s $27.77 billion revenue came from advertising in Q3 2018. These high figures, however, could only be achieved by maintaining the continued volumes of traffic searching on the platform every day. Google’s free services, such as GMB, play an important role in maintaining these continued streams of traffic and are, therefore, important to Google.
In fact, in May 2018, SEO experts at MOZ claimed that “getting on Google My Business can increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general.” So, whilst you have to play Google’s own game in order to secure local rankings, there are many ways in which you can make it work in your favour too. Your GMB listing is a great tool to showcase your company’s USPs, latest news, services and more. You can find out more about optimising your GMB listing in our free, downloadable white paper.
So, now you know that trust in a website is highly important, and that EAT, citations, and GMB can all help you achieve that trust on Google.
Active Internet Marketing
Here at Active Internet Marketing, we believe in taking a holistic approach when it comes to digital marketing. We’ll tailor your SEO campaign to support your business goals, whilst also taking into consideration your wider online presence to ensure consistency and accuracy online. If you would like our help in getting your business to rank on Google, please call our team today on 08007720650. Alternatively, you can send your enquiry through to our online contact form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.