Google Wants To Rank You, Not Your Website!
Because when given a choice, people prefer to buy from thought leaders and experts.
But why should you care about Google anyway?
Well, with an 87 percent share of the search engine market (Source: Statistica), Google is a monopoly.
This year Google became one of the few companies in the world with a trillion-dollar market cap.
Your favorite search engine gets over 70,000 searches per second (Source: HubSpot), and over 80 percent of these are organic (i.e. non-paid) clicks.
Digital marketing firms may argue about the importance of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or newer platforms like Snapchat and TikTok, but Google is the one common denominator that spans across every age group and every demographic.
In other words, Google has evolved beyond a pure discovery platform and has now become part of the modern purchase process.
They Know Everything About the Customer Journey
Google knows everything about the purchase process.
They know how, when, where and why your customers make purchases, and they know exactly what you need to show on your website to turn a website visitor into a sale.
With its artificial intelligence and search engine algorithm technology, Google continually gathers and processes more than 200 signals about you and your company.
Notice I said you and not just your company.
This is where your position as a thought leader comes into play. More on that later.
Google’s Great Army of Human Quality Raters
One of my favorite digital marketing stories to tell is how Google uses humans to manually test the quality of their search results.
Google employs an army of more than 10,000 independent contractors called Search Quality Evaluators.
While these contractors don’t directly rank websites, they randomly check search results and report back to Google engineers who then use rater data to test and improve search engine technology.
This is a really old-school technique coming from a global tech leader. But it makes sense, because ultimately Google wants its technology to behave like humans – so using an extensive human test group to verify quality is really smart.
But here’s the best part: Google publishes its search quality guidelines online.
This guide is around 160 pages in length and instructs quality raters exactly what to look for on a website to determine if it should be ranked.
It All Boils Down to Three Letters: E-A-T
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. In terms of search engine optimization (SEO), it’s kind of like having the answer guide to the test.
More importantly, this document can help you organize your entire marketing strategy and tie it all back to your website in ways you’ve never thought about.
So what’s the bottom line?
Google trains its quality raters to scour your website for evidence of Expertise, Authoritativeness & Trustworthiness (E-A-T). In fact, recent versions of the guidelines instruct raters to find “who is responsible for the website and who created the content.”
Wow. Think about that.
It means that when you demonstrate to Google your Expertise, Authority and Trust, the content on your website will be more valuable than your competitors’, and therefore more rankable.
What Should You Do Now?
In order to prove to Google that you are a subject matter expert, you need to stop using your website like a digital brochure and turn it into a content marketing platform with SEO friendly web design.
Establish yourself as a thought leader by creating and distributing high quality, educational content with these tactics:
- Publish educational blog posts regularly on your website
- Become a contributor on third party authority sites in your niche
- Include customer testimonials and case studies on your website
- Include trust badges on your site including awards and industry associations
- Show pictures of your staff and facility; include your address on your website
- Publish a podcast
- Get booked on third party podcasts as guest expert
- Create video content and publish on your website and YouTube
- Publish books and eBooks
- Distribute content from your website to social media
- Optimize your website for SEO so your thought leading content is calibrated with the keywords that are most important for your business
About the author
Phil Singleton is a multi-business entrepreneur and the CEO & founder of Kansas City Web Design & SEO, a digital marketing agency in Overland Park.
He is a co-author of the bestselling book SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs.
Phil is also co-founder of Podcast Bookers, a podcast booking agency that helps thought leaders, authors, and guest experts get booked on established podcast shows. He is also a co-owner of TheHomeMag Kansas City and TheHomeMag St Louis, home service magazines that are mailed out to over 120,000 luxury homes in each market every month.
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