Almost every small business is fighting an uphill battle to rank their site at the top of Google. Creating a site is easy but the challenge is to transform it into an authority site that Google favors. If you are successful in making your site an authority site in Google’s eyes, rankings will come automatically. However, it’s not easy for every small business to build an authority site, particularly because most of them don’t really know what authority in this context actually means.
An authority site is a site that people trust and look at as a great source of information and knowledge. Therefore, small businesses that make sites focusing on the authority point gain strategic advantage over the competition.
If you’re as big as Amazon or Apple, you won’t have any authority or credibility issues. They are industry leaders and trusted by hundreds of thousands of people all across the world. When you are not a well-known company or business, it really is a challenging task to become an authority in Google’s (or other major search engines’) eyes. But there are some best practices and tips that you can follow to take your site from ordinary to authoritative. Of course, it requires a lot of time and effort to achieve the authority level. But it’s doable, if you are willing to do it.
Authority Leads to Higher Google Rankings
The best part about building an authority site is that it’s liked by Google more than anything else. If people trust your site and visit it often to gather valuable insights and important pieces of information, Google will know it in no time and will start ranking your site at the top of its search results.
You’ll find tons of advice on the web as to how you can improve the rankings of your site or achieve top Google positioning. Some of you also may want to trick the search engines to achieve higher rankings. But the days of black hat SEO techniques are far over. The only way to rank at the top of Google is by following the webmaster guidelines and creating a site the people like so much that they return to it over and over again. And that’s exactly what authority is all about.
Therefore, one surefire way to getting ranked at the top of Google search results and maintain the positioning for the long term is by making your site an authority site in Google’s eyes.
Build Authority Before It’s Too Late!
Pick any niche and you’ll be surprised by the kind of competition you’ll face. Google takes multiple factors into account to determine the authority of a site. Given below are some important tips that you should follow to become an authority site in Google’s eyes and get higher rankings as a result.
Web Design Matters: It’s the design of your site that the visitors see at first. It’s the design that makes the very first impression. If your site was designed by an incompetent web design professional or you designed the website yourself (and you are not a designer), the design will suck. Always remember that the way a website or blog is designed has an impact on human behavior. Attractively designed sites create a feeling of trustworthiness among visitors.
Make Your Contact Information Easily Visible: Don’t leave people guessing where you are located or whether you have an office. If you want to become an authority, the very first thing you should do is to put your contact information in all those places where visitors may look for it. You should include your contact information in the footer, in the header and if possible in the sidebar as well. Also, the ‘Contact‘ link should be placed in your navigation menu.
Keep Your Message Relevant: What’s the core message that you want to deliver to visitors or your target audience? First, understand the profile and behavior of visitors and tailor your message in a way that’s relevant to their needs. A website or blog that displays relevant information is always trusted by visitors.
Use Simple Language: It’s important to understand that people will not trust what they are unable to understand. You should always speak in a language that’s easy for your audience to understand. Start listening to your audience via social media and find out more about the kind of language they speak and then talk in the same language so that you can become trustworthy.
Don’t Make Grammatical Mistakes: Good grammar is one of the most important fundamentals to abide by when you want to build authority. Whether it’s your website or blog, you should make sure that your content is free from any kind of language or grammatical mistakes. Bad grammar and spelling leave a bad impression on visitors and they stop trusting you. Hire professional writers to create error-free content for all sections of your website and blog.
Create High Quality Content: Top-notch content is the backbone of a site. Whichever niche you belong to, you should always create content that informs and educates people. Your content should help people with their day-to-day problems, teach people new skills and inspire people to change their lives for the better. If you can’t have your own in-house team of content writers, outsource your content writing tasks to an agency or experienced professionals. If you plan to market your products and services successfully, you can’t afford to ignore creating value-added content. Useful and informative content is your ticket to becoming an authority in Google’s eyes.
Link Out Generously: While it’s important to link the pages on your site internally, what’s even more important is to link out to content on authority sites. When you link out to external resources generously, it sends a signal to Google that you really care about offering real value to people.
Show Your Client List and Testimonials: When you want to build the authority of your site in Google’s eyes, you should also remember to have a list of clients, testimonials (text or video) available on your site. This is something people expect to see before they decide to do business with you. Also, try to provide some information about the client by linking to their website or organization. Don’t ever make up testimonials of your own because people and search engines can see through the scheme.
Create Case Studies: How do you prove that the services you offer will truly bring benefits to people or prospects? Using case studies is an excellent way of showcasing your expertise and creating trust. Publish the case studies on your website or blog to increase trust and become an authority.
Improve Site Usability and Accessibility: Can the visitors find easily what they are looking for on your site? Make the navigational structure of your site fully functional and easy to follow. Optimize your site for both desktop and mobile devices. Ensure your site loads really fast.
Use Social Media Actively and Effectively: Social signals also play a crucial role in building the authority of a site. If you are on social media already, you should start using it appropriately: post updates regularly, share value-added information, show behind-the-scenes pictures, listen and talk to people. If you aren’t, create social profiles for your company right away because you are already late. At the same, remember to choose only those social media platforms where your audience spends time. And act according to a well-structured strategy.
Build High Quality Links: Though creating high quality content consistently will do a good job of attracting high quality links, you should also work out an effective link building strategy because links matter even today. When determining the overall value of a site, Google gives a lot of weight to the link factor. If you haven’t paid attention to the links pointing back to your site yet, maybe it’s time for a backlink audit so that you can clean up and improve your backlink profile.
Start a Blog: Since your website mostly contains information about your products and services, you should start a blog to showcase your expertise. Having a blog gives you an excellent opportunity to publish content on a regular basis, let people become aware of what you know, help them improve their lives and ultimately continue building authority in the process. Apart from writing yourself, you can also invite guest authors to share their expert opinions on your blog.
Keep Ads to a Minimum: If you display plenty of ads on your site, it clearly shows that the needs of users don’t come first. Stop looking desperate; keep valuable content above the fold. Since lots of ads kill user experience, Google doesn’t like it. If ads are not your main source of income, it’s advisable not to use them at all.
Building a site that has authority in Google’s eyes is the most effective way of dominating search engine results for the long term. An authority site will also give your competition a run for their money.