Do a search on Google. Go ahead. Any search. Done? Okay, what do you see?
Maybe you see blue links, photos, videos or a map with some local businesses listed. That might be what you see, but what you’re looking at are the pages/documents that Google trusts the most to answer your search.
And that’s why TRUST is, was and always will be the #1 ranking factor in SEO.
SEO: Actually Involves Two Audiences
Your website has two audiences: search engines and humans. Effective SEO involves satisfying both of them at the same time.
Search Engines & Trust
Google, Bing, etc. want to make their users happy. When someone types “richland wa real estate” or “U2″ or “clogged pores” into the search box, the search engine gives back what it thinks are the most trustworthy answers to that search.
When you have the trust of search engines, your website will be crawled more deeply, your content will get indexed faster, and you’ll be able to rank for more competitive terms faster. Your natural traffic will grow and grow and grow. You won’t have to worry about algorithm changes.
Humans & Trust
You and I operate on trust. We all like to do business with companies that we trust. As I tell the audiences at GetListed.org Local University events, Amazon.com doesn’t always have the lowest prices, but we shop there because we trust them. We trust Amazon will get the order right … or that they’ll fix it quickly if something goes wrong.
We like to spend time on websites that we trust. The first thing we do — subconsciously — when we visit a new website is make a quick decision about the trustworthiness of the company/site. When searchers trust you and your site, you’re much more likely to convert them into customers/leads.
Your Job: Focus on Trust
It’s simple: Focus on building trust in everything you do — both online and offline. Everything. No shortcuts. No cheats. No quitting.
Figure out how to earn the trust of search engines and humans, and you’ll be on your way to longterm SEO success. It’s the #1 factor for search engine rankings/visibility. Always has been. Always will be.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about trust, and I promise you that it won’t be the last. These two articles expand on the idea in much more detail. Please read them.
- The SEO Success Pyramid – explains why trust is the goal of all your marketing efforts
- Why Trust Matters & How To Earn It – if you don’t believe me, a couple dozen other marketers talk about trust