Google’s quality guidelines point out a lot of the things you shouldn’t do with your website. However, when it comes to what you SHOULD do with your site, their advice is pretty simple:
Of the four basic principles listed here, I want to focus on the fourth one, and specifically the second sentence:
“Make your website stand out from others in your field.”
This is where a little extra work on your part can help separate your website from your competitor’s site. And that can make a big difference in terms of three key areas: engaging your visitors, the amount of time they spend on your site, and whether or not you earn links. Each of these three factors is believed to strongly influence search engine rankings.
Tip #1- Use photos and videos
Especially when you’re explaining how to do something, great looking photos and informative step-by-step video instructions are what set your site apart from your competitors.
If you’re using screenshots to make your case, then take the extra time to mark them up with Microsoft Paint, so your visitors know exactly what you’re talking about. Charts and graphs help make complex data easy to understand.
Tip #2 – Provide Proof
Remember the adage that people buy from others they “know, like, and trust”? To build trust on your website, it’s a good idea to back up the things you say with hard data. You’ll be more persuasive when you provide proof.
An easy way to establish credibility and build trust is to reinforce your point by linking out to a respected industry leader who has already done the research for you. Citing a reputable news source is another way to bring validity to your opinion.
Tip #3 – Add Technology
Is there a technological tool you can install on your website that would make it more useful? Technology can be as simple as a mortgage calculator or as complex as a tool that analyzes website back links.
The more useful the technology, the more likely it is that your site becomes a regular destination for the people who need it. Plus, a quality tool such as a fertility calculator for IVF patients is an attractive way to gain links from relevant websites in your niche.
What technological tool could you have programmed and installed on your site that your visitors would enjoy?
Tip #4 – Maintain A Killer Blog
Want to have a better website than your competitor? Add a blog. A blog is a terrific and inexpensive way to generate inbound leads. Page 12 of this report states that 52% of companies who blog have received leads by doing it. Blogging on a regular basis is an easy way to get a competitive edge over others in your industry.
Your blog is the place where you can add content that will give your site depth. “How to” guides, industry trends, and case studies all make excellent substance for your blog.
Blogs are also a good platform to expand on frequently asked questions you receive.
Tip #5 – Use Examples
After you’ve made a claim, explain it with an example. For many of us, this is how we learn. Theory is great, but true understanding occurs when examples are used to help illustrate a point. Try to be the best teacher you can be. Educate your visitors.
Tip #6 – Check Your Grammar
Errors in punctuation, run-on sentences, and typos scream of a site that has been hastily put together. If you want to make a good impression on your reader, take the time to proofread your content or have someone else do it for you. Grammarly is a free online resource that will do it for you.
Aim for a 5th grade reading level, so your content is easy to understand. Website Grader will who you your site’s reading level, while also providing you with a variety of other metrics to help you improve your site’s quality.
Creating a quality website takes time and money, but your investment will be well worth it. A little extra effort can make the difference between a “ho-hum” site and one that delights your visitors and pleases the search engines.
What other tips can can you add? What can you do on your own site to make it better than your competitor’s?