It seems every once in a while, a blogger will post something about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it's importance to developing a quality Website, but while having SEO performed on your site can be a great idea (talk to us and we can hook you up with some very effective SEO services!), the fact is that great content and a great site remain the very best SEO of all.
Stoney deGyter wrote a great post recently on the importance of "Website credibility" and in turn pointed back to Stanford's 10 guidelines for Web credibility published in 2002. So, what does all this have to do with Search Engine Optimization? Well, ultimately the overall ranking of your site will depend on whether others see it as valuable enough to make them visit regularly and refer others through links or social sharing.
I've condensed the highlights of Stoney's and Standford's arguments into four basic points that every blogger and Web developer should keep in mind when creating content or a Website which can be defined as "credible." They are:
- Quality. This refers both to the content itself (well-written articles containing valuable information) and to the overall professionalism or care with which the content and Website are presented. (no rampant spelling errors and misprints, broken links, duplicate content, you name it.)
- Authority. Are sources of information cited with links to the source material? Is the information valuable and useful to visitors creating the kind of content they will routinely link to, share and refer to friends and colleagues?
- Transparency. What do we know about the creators of the content? Do we know who they are, what they stand for and how to contact them for further information or with questions?
- Trustworthiness. Is the person creating the content credible with knowledge and authority to speak in his/her area of expertise or to research information with journalistic or academic integrity?
So how about it? Does your Website fit the basic criteria above and if not why not and what can you do to make improvements? Before embarking on an SEO campaign, be sure the Website and content you are promoting are worth the reader's time.