What Are the Elements of a Credible Website?
When Google established the benchmark for web sites to obtain good results in their search engine results pages (SERPs), the company clearly implemented certain fundamental requirements for inclusion along with other less-than-necessary elements. Of course, Google does not have the only search engine, but considering that all the others pretty much follow the lead of Google, it is wise to simply do things the way this company requires and all else will follow.
So what are the elements that Google looks for in determining if your web site is credible enough to be included? And why are the less-than-necessary elements that add to this equation?
First, consider the less-than-necessary.
These are simply elements that do not play in to the search crawlers, but do add to your credibility and although these will not have a direct impact on getting your web site better search results, they do impact your business, so they are important.
These elements include such things as posting your membership in professional business organizations such as the BBB, Chamber of Commerce, and online organizations.
In addition, because most people come to the internet seeking information, teach them about your business, what you do, and how you can help them. Remember, the visit to your site is all about your readers. If you try to “sell” or “preach” to them, you will lose them. Just explain to them what they want to know in clear and simple terms and you will gain their trust–you will be seen as credible.
If you would like to read much more regarding this subject, the website, toiletpaperentrepreneur.com has numerous great articles by various web site owners that are enlightening. Let us continue, for this article deals with primarily the elements that the search engines, not the humans, consider when evaluating your web site.
Elements the Search Engines Consider When Evaluating Web Site Credibility
Operators of web sites cannot fail to consider that there are two audiences for every page of content: Humans and algorithms.
Whereas many successful business owners built very nice websites that humans found useful, few were able to find these websites because the search engines did not. The most important elements then when building a credible web site involve catering to the needs of these search programs we call algorithms. Below are the vital elements to please the non-human “readers” of your web site.
Most web sites have an “About Us” page, but few site owners appreciate why this element is so important. In short, Google set up their search engine to view companies that have this page as those that provide a clear explanation of what they are on the Internet to accomplish. This page allows readers to consider the information in light of the goals of the web site. For instance, in our “About” page, we state,
Founded by C. Jeff Oakes of Lubbock, Oakes Writing Consultants believes in providing White Hat SEO (search engine optimization) content designed to please both the search engines and human consumers.
In teaching the methods employed for obtaining sound traffic and an interactive experience for visitors, we use what we have termed the Golden Triangle. (Read the complete About Us page here.)
Thus our readers are informed that this is a business website established in Lubbock, Texas to both teach about and provide White Hat SEO content. If someone is seeking Black Hat SEO, they have come to the wrong place and they will know this right away.
This page is very important, for just as we would want clients to contact us in a brick and mortar business, so too we should be happy to provide a way for visitors to contact us. If we do not, that is a big, red flag and the search engines view this the same.
Terms and Conditions
Every business has terms that relate to doing business with them. The difference between a legitimate (credible) business and one less so involves the making of these terms known. A credible business will have no problem setting out the terms of doing business, but a less-than-credible business will often hide these or not provide them at all. The search engines were set up to seek these pages for a web site without them may be hiding something and is not viewed as credible and is flagged for exclusion in the SERPs. You may read our Terms page here.
Just as a credible traditional business will have credible networks of suppliers, customers, and employees, so too a web site will grow a network. One of the stigmas of Pawn Shops in the past involved selling stolen goods. Today there are measures in place to minimize this but many people still do not like to buy from Pawn Shops because of the concern that they are contributing to illegal activities. If such a business in known for “fencing” stolen goods, it is viewed as not-credible.
Likewise, a web site should pay attention to which other sites it links to (of course, you cannot prevent someone from linking to your web site, just as you cannot stop someone from painting your company phone number on the side of a freeway overpass, but you can control the links leaving your site). In addition, a credible web site will provide ample links within to help readers navigate to useful information onsite, such as you may have noticed we have done with this article. Here is more information on creating credible networks.
Content is King or so Bill Gates claimed many years ago. Some today are saying otherwise, but generally fail to provide any sound proof of their claims.
Of course, just adding any old content will not help your web site. To gain the benefits of having the search engines consider your content as credible, there needs to be something other than simply content. The content must make sense to the search engines.
The first thing a search engine does when viewing content is determine whether the titles and tags match what is on the page. To do this, these algorithms do nothing more than “read” the meta-tags and descriptions then compare what is put there to what is found in online print. If these do not match, that material is not viewed as credible or useful and is ignored until the situation is rectified.
To better understand how to create content that meets the demands of the search engines, read Content is King.
Is Your Web Site Credible?
If you need help determining if your web site is considered credible by the search engines, Oakes Writing Consultants can provide a complimentary basic site analysis. In this analysis, we will isolate the elements of your web site that need work and point out elements that are needed.
In addition, we can provide for a nominal fee an extensive analysis of every page of your web site and should you wish, can either perform the needed work or teach you what you need to know through personal one-on-one consulting.
If you need any of these services, simply contact us here.