Relevancy, authority and user experience are the fundamentals of being found on the search engines today.
In order for customers to connect with your brand, it needs to be relevant to what users are searching for, both the customers and the search engines need to trust that your brand is an authority on the subject and its digital properties need to provide a seamless user experience. Relevancy and user experience tend to be the easiest for business owners to comprehend, but authority is one area that is ripe with misconceptions. That said, here are three real-world authority-building examples to hang your digital hat on (now and in the future).
Guest Blog (Stay with Me)
By now you’ve likely heard that Matt Cutts of Google’s Webspam team has?expressed his grievances with the practice of guest blogging?saying, “…if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”
Many in the?SEO?community have said that Cutts’s stance is unforgivably too broad and too harsh. After all, most reputable newspapers, magazines and Web blogs rely on qualified contributors to provide niche insights their in-house writers may not have, while guest writers (and consequently their companies) are exposed to new audiences and are able to build authority or credibility within their niche.
LET’S LOOK AT GUEST BLOGGING EXAMPLE.
The Birchbox blog published a guest post by a professional blogger (who also appears to be a Birchbox affiliate judging by an ad on her site) and a few things stood out as takeaways for other brands. One, the guest blogger linked to Birchbox products within her article. It’s important to remember that website owners are vain, so link to their products or supporting articles, not yours or their competitors’ info. Second, Birchbox gave the guest blogger a bio with two links (definitely a best practice). Third, the blogger contributed a relevant, unique piece of content that Birchbox customers will enjoy. Similarly, the blog will help its author build her authority as a beauty expert. There is, hands down, nothing spammy about this guest blog. Rather, it adds value and shouldn’t be lumped into a “spammy” group.
Create Shareable Content Google has said its social network Google+ doesn’t play a role in how brands are ranked on the search engines and that Google puts a premium on quality content and when you put out quality content, your audience will respond to it and like your content on Facebook, give you a +1 on Google+ and engage with you in some other manner. And when you provide quality content that users want to engage with, you are showing Google that you are an authority on a matter and that users trust you as a relevant source on a topic.