If you like hockey and you like SEO then read on, but if not, you will NOT like this article.
(Well you still probably will, but I’m trying to create some dramatic tension here!)
Before you go off on one and say “He’s drunk again” hockey and SEO, how you going to manage to make a comparison here Buckers. Well just here me out!
SEO is generally SEEN AS a relatively boring, slow and spammy industry, unless you are in the top 1% of people.
Luckily for most of us, we have started to work out Google and what they want, which is trust!
Random Hockey related Metaphor Introduction
I’m going to use a sporting (hockey) example, as well, I want to.
Hockey or (Ice hockey) if you’re not American or Canadian, which I’m not but hockey is ice hockey to me. Is a pretty intense awesome sport with a number of aspects you can relate back to SEO, but I will just keep it simple today
The puck is “link juice”.
Scoring a goal is still your goal, just your keyword ranking based goals.
Opponents are still your competitors sites.
Winning the game is ranking for all your keywords.
In order to score a goal you are going to need to receive the puck from a team mate. Now if this team mate doesn’t trust you with the puck, he’s not going to pass to you. But if you have proved yourself enough, then there is no reason why he shouldn’t.
Let’s call this team mate…A trusted high PR site or “Henrik”.
If you get enough trust from team mates you will find yourself in a good position, a goal scoring position.
So what’s left? Quality of course, quality of your finishing… AKA quality content.
Most people talk about quality content first, but if we are only talking in direct terms, there is no reason why you couldn’t build links to a site with no content, in fact people have done it, backlinko’s example is a great one.
Anyway enough half relevant hockey related introductions, lets get to the article.
How do you make Google trust you?
At the end of the day, trust is everything in life and SEO. If a webmaster trusts you, they will probably link to you, if they don’t they probably won’t, no matter how good the content may be. But the most important trust metric is how much “Big G” trusts you.
So why is trust important in SEO?
Its simple really – Google doesn’t tend to demote or penalise sites they trust also big G ranks trusted sites higher.
If a competitor tries to run a negative SEO campaign, it will have little negative effect, as Google TRUSTS your website and your SEO methods and knows that isn’t you promoting your site.
With that lets get to the list:
1.) Domain Name
This is one I haven’t actually seen mentioned much in the SEOsphere but I think its a big one.
Relatively simple to understand: Don’t buy a spammy long tail keyword exact domain name.
Sure was there a time where it worked? Yes. But nowadays its not good for users or search engines. It looks spammy and doesn’t help your site anywhere near as much as it use to.
Also remember to get your domain name for longer than 2 years, this sends a signal to Google that you are serious about your business and isn’t just something for the short term.
Be brandable and memorable!
2.) Polices, about us and Contacts
These are to make, yet most people forget to do it. In my opinion you need 5 pages on your site before you even start writing content.
The policy and t&c’s pages are painfully boring to make, but as long as they are somewhere crawable on your site, it gives big G the image that you are an established business with policies for potential traders or customers. This makes you look more professional and hence more trustable (is that a word….. It should be.)
Contact pages are something that is ESSENTIAL, you need to have an address on your contact page, you need a number and ideally you need a Google maps listing. Most of us (including me) work from home, which is fine but you should still have a contact number and address even if its simply your home and mobile number.
About pages are very very important, but make sure not to make it solely business related, you need to personalise them with images, references, prior work and generally make it a good read. The Moz’s about page is the perfect example.
3.) User Metrics
Quality sites have better user metrics than spammy ones. This means people spend longer on a site that has quality content, good designs, fast loading speeds ect, than a more spammy site with average content, to many ads and a poor design.
Cookie data is also used, so visitor return rates and bounce rates all contribute to whether your site sends a positive message to big G or a negative one.
According to Moz’s article on user metrics that effect SEO, there are 2 main ones, these are CTR and “Dwell time” which both engage how good your content is, as people are likely to stay on your site and read all of your content if the first piece of content they read is amazing, this increases the dwell time. You can find the average duration and bounce rates in your Google analytics’s.
4.) References and Out going links to Authority sites
Linking out has an odd misunderstood reputation amongst some of the less experienced SEOs, they don’t want to “use up” “link juice”
That sentence does sound terrible, and its meant to, to get the point of how old and updated that statement sounds.
Although there is a finite amount of pagerank, there’s still enough that means you can link to more than 1 or 2 sites in your article.
Linking OUT is actually extremely important when it comes to trust. Out linking to trusted relevant sites with contextual links, makes your site seem more relevant itself. Not only this but it helps big G establish what your site is actually about. You should be linking to relevant news articles or big brands that may be helpful to a potential visitor to your site.
5.) Social Shares and comments
Social shares and general social activity might not be “beneficial to rankings DIRECTLY” but indirectly these “links” are invaluable as they create awareness, awareness leads to more sharing which leads to more visitors, which leads to better user metrics which leads to better rankings.
Comments are a great way to keep in touch with your audience, its also a easy way for people to ask questions, and also the length of your posts to increase. Generally a post with a lot of comments will be more interesting than a post without any.
6.) Get some DECENT Links
This is the most important thing to do, as you probably know. But when it comes to increasing trust rather than purely increasing rankings the rules are slightly different.
You want to get links from authoritative sites (derrrrr) but you also want to create a brand, so keywords aren’t that important, you want to get links with your business name it. We are looking for the heavenly indented listing when someone types your brand name into Google for example:
And a better example:
If you can get the heavenly right bar to show up with your company’s information you know you have made it in life!
Also think quality and variety.
For example, press releases that are high quality and relevant about your new brand/business. Listings and directories are good, especially high quality paid directories. Creating social accounts and linking your website in the profile. Youtube video creation and linking. All quality examples of what you should try to do.
7.) Google News Links
This one I stole from Brian from Backlinko but he’s awesome, so won’t mind a quote. He also uses Big G instead of Google so he’s cool!
This is probably the most efficient way to get your brand recognised as its news so its up to date information and visitors.
News sites are held to a higher standard as they are reporting on events that have actually happened. For example if someone writes a post on their website there is no way of confirming if this is true or not. Most of the time its just opinions. But news sites (for the most part) try to avoid bias or opinionated news stories.
Saying that, they are not easy to get. But you can if you know any HARO reporters or submit your site to google news directly. But be warned its effective for a reason, and that reason is only the best of the best get in!
Remember to share, like, tweet, comment and all that good stuff.
Thanks for reading.