Search Engine Trust = More Traffic

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Our blog and a countless number of others talk about a lot of different techniques for improving your website’s search engine rankings.  Some are quite simple, while others are much more advanced.

Although it is not difficult, one of the easiest way to increase your search engine rankings and subsequently the amount of traffic you receive is by increasing your amount of search engine trust.

Ensuring your website is trusted by the search engines is not rocket science, but because the steps are so simple, they are commonly overlooked.  Here’s a checklist of elements you should apply to your website to ensure you gain as much trust from the search engines as possible:

About Page: Spammers don’t take the time to create an about page.  Therefore, if you want to show Google and other search engine that there is a human involved with your website, one of the simplest things you can do is create an about page.

An about page doesn’t have to be an essay; all you need are a couple of paragraphs describing what your website is about and who you are.  Even though it doesn’t impact search engine trust, your human visitors will appreciate it if you add a picture to your about page.  By adding a human element to your website, your visitors will feel comfortable knowing that there is an actual person they can contact in the event they encounter any problems.

Contact Information: Do you notice the trend that’s developing here?  The elements that can increase your search engine trust are also useful to your human visitors.

At the very least, your website needs a contact page with a contact form or email address.  If your website is for a business, you also need to include the address and phone number of your business (doing this will also help to ensure that your website ranks well for local searches).

Correct Domain Registration: Back in 2005, Google became a domain registrar.  Although it is probably not something they exercise often, Google can easily look at the registration information for your domain.  If you use fake or spammy information to populate the fields of your domain registration, you could potentially hurt the trust of your website.

On this same topic, it is always advised to register your domain for at least a couple of years.  Unless you are a spammer that is planning to churn and burn through domains, there is no reason that you should have a problem shelling out twenty to fifty dollars to secure your domain for the next two to ten years (this is especially true if your website is for an actual business).

Privacy Policy: What do you plan on doing with the data you collect?  Even if you are only collecting email addresses for a monthly newsletter, you should provide a privacy policy that explains what you are going to be doing with your user’s data.

If you need help getting started with creating a privacy policy, the Better Business Bureau has a privacy policy template that you can copy and edit to comply with the terms of your own website.

Unique IP Address: To ensure that Google does not associate your domain with any questionable domains, you should have a unique IP address for your domain.  Geting a unique IP address is not expensive, but the benefits of spending a little extra money to secure a unique IP can have a significant pay off in the long-term.

If you are also running a Google AdWords campaign for your website, many of these factors (including the About, Contact and Privacy Policy pages) can also help to increase your campaign’s quality score and help you secure better bid amounts.

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