Trust is the denominator upon which all transactions are carried out. People have to trust you first before buying from you.
This is the same reason businesses go extra miles in establishing trust with new and existing customers.
Setting up and running company blogs, social media accounts, and frequent communication via emails are different ways companies utilize in building trust with their customers.
If there was a technology that accurately measures trust, I’m sure the big companies would have bought all the copyright to it.
You see, you can only improve on what you can measure, and being able to measure trust means that you can build on it.
This post covers a system that has been developed to evaluate the trustworthiness of your website, but before we delve into that let’s understand the reasons why.
Google is the search engine giant that has taken up the responsibility of organizing the web’s contents.
It also serves these contents to users of its search engine whenever requests are made through search queries.
Google prides itself on being able to deliver relevant and valuable search results every time.
How does Google ensure that the right pages are served every time there is a query?
There has to be a way for Google to evaluate the trustworthiness of the contents to be sure search users get what they are looking for.
Don’t forget that Google isn’t human so it can’t read through the web pages.
This is where the concept of TrustRank comes into play.
What is Google TrustRank?
TrustRank is a means of evaluating the trustworthiness of a website or page and then assigning trust value to it.
There is actually no official statement from Google about TrustRank or even if it has been used for assigning values to web pages.
TrustRank was developed by researchers at Stanford University and Yahoo! It is, however, obvious that Google makes use of the TrustRank concept in its search algorithm.
Back in the days when PageRank was all about the number of backlinks to your site, people focused more on generating backlinks instead of creating quality content.
Google, on seeing this, decided to place more emphasis on a website’s trustworthiness.
Google doesn’t disclose to the public search parameters used for arriving at PageRank for web pages.
There is however strong indications that Google uses “trust signals” to arrive at the TrustRank for a web page.
Why You Need to Build Trust Signals
There is currently no known tool to check TrustRank from Google, the closest we have are Majestic Trust-flow and Moztrust which are predictive at best. There are however core signals that Google uses to check the trust, reputation, and authority of your site.
These signals are called Trust Signals. Improving your TrustRank with Google means that you have to make deliberate efforts to build your Trust Signals. Building your Trust Signals to higher levels improves your TrustRank and leads to much better PageRank value.
Here are 11 ways that can help you achieve that.
11 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Google TrustRank
1. On-Page Trust Optimization
Your on-page trust optimization is where to begin with the journey of boosting your Google TrustRank. The first step is to reference authority sites from within your content.
If you have an article with some information obtained from another site, it is advisable to link back to that site indicating it as your source of information.
This move automatically makes your site a resource that can be counted on for valuable information, and linking to other sources with credible information.
This outbound linking gives more quality to your site if the site you are linking to is a .gov or .edu site.
In the past the standard SEO practice was to keep visitors within a site, never exposing them to outbound links.
The only links they cared about were inbound and not outbound links. That has changed now because the SEO practitioners have found that outbound links that reference authority sites are counted as trusted sites in the eyes of Google.
2. Act as a Brand
Google has come out to say that it gives more preference to brands. Your domain name should reflect your brand and not some keywords coined together to give you edge in search results.
Brands are reputable and have long term perspective. It is important to start seeing your site as a brand. Get a good logo and have accurate information of your business clearly indicated.
There are some pages that provide information about your brand. These are brand signals that should be taken seriously. Some of these are:
I. Brand domain – Let your brand name reflect on your domain name
II. Detailed About Us – Your About page should be detailed enough to contain all relevant information about your brand. Clearly stated vision and mission shows that the brand is serious about business.
III. Your Business Contacts and Location – This clearly stated in your site tells Google that you are serious for business and have nothing to hide.
Your contact phone numbers, email address, and physical location are important.
Your office location doesn’t have to be in a high brow area, even if you are using your garage for business, state the address on your website. It shows that you are credible in your dealings.
These are boring stuff that someone has to do, but they are very important as they may affect your credibility before Google.
4. Work on Your Bounce Rate
Visitors’ behavior is very important to Google. When a visitor comes to your site through Google search, the internet giant evaluates the time spent by that visitor.
If the visitor leaves immediately they got to your site, it means that the site didn’t have the information that was been searched for. When this is repeated often, it tells Google that your site has trust issues.
Google Analytics should tell you the bounce rate and you can find out whether you are doing good or not.
If the stats don’t look encouraging work on the design of your site, make sure the contents provide the right answers, work on the aesthetics of your site to make it more appealing.
5. Trusted Domain Info
Your domain info is a very important Trust Signal that requires looking into if you are to build credibility for your brand.
Not many people know that Google is a registered domain registrar though they do not offer web-hosting services; this is so that they can access whois information of domains.
With the information Google receives about your domain, it can put a value on your TrustRank. Some things you can do to fix this Trust Signal are:
1. Register your domain name for 2 years and upwards. This shows that your website plans to be around for some time.
A domain that has 4 months before expiration can never get the same TrustRank from domain info as one that has more than 2 years more.
2. Provide accurate information about your contacts. Hosting companies have always tried to sell the idea of privacy in your domain info, citing prevention against scammers.
According to Google TrustRank, this is counter-productive and will set you back with respect to your TrustRank.
3. Place your whois information on your contact page. The information on your domain info and the one on your contact page should be the same.
6. Get Links From Trustworthy Sources
Aside from .edu and .gov sites there are other sites that Google considers as trustworthy.
Examples are news sites that have their stories featured on Google News. Getting inbound links from such sites is a great boost to your credibility.
There is also a category of sites that Google values so much called “seed sites”. Sites like Wikipedia and NYTimes belong to this category.
Links from these sites are valuable and these are the kind of links you should work on having.
Even if you do not have direct links from the seed sites, linking from a site that has a direct link to them is still of value. For example, seed site -> another site -> your site.
7. Engage Visitors on your Blog
You should create quality contents that encourage discussion with visitors. Respond to comments, questions or suggestions on your blog.
Keeping the interaction ongoing is an indication that visitors find your contents valuable, which is a Trust plus for your blog.
When visitors see that the admin of your blog responds to comments, they will be motivated to contribute their own comments to the discussion.
8. Enable Social Sharing and Interactions
Having social media profiles for the major social media networks and actively engaging followers is a positive on your TrustRank.
You should also link all social media profile pages to your blog so visitors can easily follow you on social media.
Social share buttons will encourage visitors to share contents they find valuable on your blog.
An active social media activity is a positive Trust Signal that visitors find you credible enough to want to follow you on social media.
9. Upgrade and Update Your Contents
Your blog contents should be up to date and updated. Firstly, it is expected that your blog covers a niche and you should be organized enough to stick to it.
Dabbling from one niche to another portrays your brand as inconsistent, and this casts a negative impact on your TrustRank.
Next ensure that you maintain frequent posting of contents. Frequency is subject to your decision.
This could be once daily, twice weekly, or once weekly. The choice is yours, just keep to your posting schedule.
If you are not able to meet up with this, you can outsource it to web content writers who will deliver to your specifications.
From time to time facts become obsolete. This is the reason why you have to upgrade your posts to reflect accurate data.
Have scans of your pages on periodic intervals and edit appropriately. Your facts must be accurate and reflect current situation.
10. Getting Customer Feedback
Anyone can write positive feedback for themselves and wouldn’t amount to much.
Having visitors and customers rate you and provide feedback is a great way for Google to evaluate your trustworthiness with them.
Providing an avenue for visitors to give their feedback is a great way to go.
No matter how critical the feedback turns out, learn from it, and decide to make the next user’s experience much better than the previous.
11. Contributing to Other Blogs
Contributing quality content on other blogs and platforms can be used to strategically build your brand’s TrustRank.
Guest blogging will help you reach a new audience, contribute valuable contents to the host blog, and spread contact information about your blog. Those who read your post and enjoy it would likely reach out to you.
Comment on blog posts that you find valuable.
This will enable you build a connection with the author and give the opportunity to share your blog address in the comment section.
Most times contributing to other platforms provide opportunities to share your blog URL which produces inbound links.
Having a brand means you have an entity that you want to be trusted by people you have dealings with.
Instead of keeping your main focus on link building and SEO activities (don’t get me wrong; they are very important), it would be more beneficial in the long run to cultivate trust. Google expects you having a trust level before it can send its users to your website.
Now that you have some information about Google’s viewpoint on TrustRank, your trust-building should be intentional and take the fore in all activities done online.
Your trust signals should reflect the image you want for your brand. If Google can trust you well enough to give you visitors, then you should be able to deliver as expected.
The question you should always have at the back of your mind is, can Google trust you? The very next step you take about your business should help grow your TrustRank.
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