If Google’s recent core update has impacted your SEO rankings, maybe it’s time to look beyond restoring your SERs (search engine rankings) by building an “update-proof” website. Let’s face it: Google search engine algorithms and automated ranking systems change all the time. A robust, responsively designed website will be better positioned to deliver strong SERs, even when Google updates its core.
Before we get tactical, it may be worth noting that Google wants you to win and shares advice with each update on how to maintain high SERs and avoid common pitfalls. This advice falls into three categories: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT), universal guidelines used by independent raters who rank content on Google.
Let’s explore how to leverage these three key areas.
Demonstrate your expertise with a strong domain name and web address. Your organization’s name, followed by a top-level domain (TLD), such as .consulting, .gallery, .io or .properties, conveys your brand identity and specialization. Choose a simple, specific, and memorable name to help customers, partners, and prospects find you on the internet.
Bolster your domain name with solid search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword strategies. For example, Blake Janover, founder and CEO of Janover Ventures (janover.ventures), created a user-friendly website with a descriptive family of domains, including multifamily.loans, hud.loans, apartment.loans, and commercialrealestate.loans, all designed to promote his brand’s keywords and areas of expertise.
Janover saw an immediate uplift after tying responsive websites to descriptive domains. “This turned out to be a powerful strategy we’ve been able to duplicate many times,” he said. “Many of our other properties follow a similar formula which helped us build one of the most complete and intricate commercial finance networks in the world.”
Link each page on your website to internal and external sources, and optimize keywords by writing factual, accurate, and original content. Google advises to “provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond the obvious.”
Ensure your content compares favorably to other pages with high rankings for your chosen keyword, but avoid the common pitfall of “gaming the system” by liberally sprinkling keywords throughout your content. Google takes a dim view of content creators who overuse keywords in an effort to drive up SEO. Strive to seamlessly embed keywords within your brand voice to create authentic content worthy of citing in a print magazine or book.
Share your hard-earned knowledge and insights by letting your content serve as a platform for thought leadership. As an industry expert, you’re well positioned to educate your audience. Let customers and prospects know what you’re selling without being “salesy” by providing educational tips and guidance to help them make informed decisions.
Your website is your hardest working sales representative: always-on, always-connected, a standard bearer of your brand that conveys your message and product and service offerings 24/7. In addition to being discoverable, your website needs to inspire confidence and trust in people who search for your company’s products, services, and solutions.
These proven guidelines will help you build an inviting, engaging and trustworthy site:
- Secure your website with HTTPs protocol based on SSL encryption. The familiar lock symbol on the top of your site will reassure visitors that their personal data is protected.
- Employ a domain registry to prevent homograph attacks and phishing to protect and secure your domain’s reputation.
- Engage your website visitors with online reviews, testimonials, and social proof from people sharing positive experiences with your brand.
- Use high-resolution images, proofreading and correcting errors to create a consistent, trustworthy design and brand voice throughout your domain.
- Be open, transparent, and compliant about how your company uses data collected on the site by displaying terms and conditions for opting into your products and services.
- Clearly display your company’s contact information, email, and physical address, for additional credibility.
In most cases, prospects visit your website before reaching out and you will not be there to influence their decision-making. How can you motivate your prospects and customers to take that all-important next step? Implementing the above guidelines will help inspire your prospects and customers to click, call, or visit your business.
As most business owners would agree, SEO is both an art and a science, and SEO mastery requires a rare combination of technical knowledge, experience, and ingenuity. A proactive stance will help ensure success with a dynamically designed domain that optimizes SEO rankings and drives traffic to your website.
An adaptive, responsive website will be your best brand ambassador, seamlessly adjusting to ever-changing search engine algorithms while boosting and optimizing your SERs.
A solid foundation of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, beginning with your domain name, perpetuated by each page of high-quality content, and reinforced by social proof, will set your table for success.
Author: Rachel Sterling serves as Chief Marketing Officer, focusing on expanding impact on driving awareness and adoption of Identity Digital’s top-level domain portfolio. Before joining Identity Digital, Rachel held senior leadership positions at Instagram, Twitter, and Google, where she developed impactful strategies around product, integrated content, and event marketing.