Recently, I was asked to help someone recover his site from a series of Google algorithmic penalties. But search penalties are not what this post is about. Instead, it’s about rethinking what it takes to build or rebuild trust and authority so Google feels comfortable ranking your site well. What does Google want from you and your site? It wants proof that the visitors it may send to your site have good reasons to trust in you, personally, or in your brand’s authority, as well as in the content that your site offers. Sure, it’s easy for me to tell you that, but the big question is HOW?
To help Google trust you and your site, you will need to prove that users love you and your content. Proof usually exists in the form of users sharing your content and by extension, of course, linking to your content. Here are 5 ideas to help you kick your authority into gear, and begin the process of proving to Google that your site is trustworthy and authoritative.
Keep in mind that these 5 ideas are only the tip of the iceberg, and they are meant to get you thinking. You should strive to come up with another 5 and another 5 and another 5 ideas that will continue to reinforce your authority in your space.
Ideas To Increase Your Site’s Trust and Your Status As An Industry Authority
- Host a local event that shows people how to solve a problem unique to your industry and let the local press know about it. VIDEO all or part of the event, and then divide it up into multiple short videos. You can then offer video segments to the press to show on their sites, which gives the press unique, exclusive content. You can get a lot of mileage out of one event in terms of content for your own site, for your social profiles, for special-interest groups who might be interested, etc.
- Speak at conferences or other industry events. This is a great way to increase your authority and get links. This can take some time to work up to larger events, so start small if necessary, by speaking at local events first – or host your own events if none exist! Build up your speaker portfolio, and you’ll soon be able to snag larger regional or national spots.
- Hold Google Plus hangouts and/or start a Facebook group. Invite other experts in related industries who aren’t direct competitors to collaborate with you in the hangouts or group chats. This enables each of you to share each other’s communities, without encroaching upon each other’s primary business. Once you have a following, you could even consider hosting your own Google Helpouts service that allows you to charge to share your knowledge and expertise via video.
- Use a social locker plugin to encourage sharing of your content. Add additional “special” content to key posts that people only get to read or download if they share the post. This can take the form of more detailed reports, cheatsheets, a spreadsheet or template they can download and use, etc. This is a great way to repurpose older content. You aren’t taking anything away from users. Instead, you are adding even MORE value to older posts by updating the posts with new, useful information they can download and use. They still get all the same information they received before, but now, if they share the posts, they are entitled to even more. Of course, make sure the additional information is extremely high-quality and worth sharing!
- Use a plugin like Tweetability or Tweetable Text that lets users easily tweet a specific “quote” from a post. Nothing shouts authority like being quoted, so make it easy for others to quote you!
As I mentioned, these are just a few ways to boost your authority and trust, but I hope they get you thinking about how to make a real impact in this area. Now start brainstorming and kick your authority into gear!