Skip to main content

Be Better Blog

Strategy & Insights

The Complete Guide to Building SEO Trust and Credibility

By Amanda Tietjen

August 30, 2023

building seo trustworthiness

Can you really rank well in SERPs without establishing trust with search engines?

Well, the short answer is “no.“

Let’s set the stage. You’re on the hunt for tickets to Taylor Swift’s sold out Eras Tour. You turn to Google, and the first site that pops up in the SERPs is Ticketmaster. Thanks, but no thanks — we all heard about that mess. Next up is a choice between a well-known brand like VividSeats and a newcomer, As a user and a bonafide Swiftie, which of the three are you going to click on? 

If you said VividSeats, then ya, same. In the end, Reputation always comes out on top (in SERPS and on my Spotify playlist). Google understands how crucial trust is to a positive search experience. That’s why trustworthiness is central to Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines in SEO

If you’ve already dedicated the time to producing a consistent stream of engaging, helpful, expertly-written content, and you’ve developed a technically-sound website that provides a great experience for users, yet you find those top rankings are still playing hard to get, it may be time to channel some energy into boosting your brand’s trustworthiness.

So how exactly does a website build trust with users and search engines?

That’s what this comprehensive guide aims to cover. We’ll explore why SEO trust matters, break down the specific trust signals you need to optimize, and provide actionable tips to make your site and SEO strategy more credible.

Whether you run an e-commerce store, blog, SaaS company or any other website relying on organic search traffic, you can’t afford to ignore trust. So, let’s dive in and uncover exactly what it takes to build trust online.

7 Ways to Build Trust for SEO

Establishing trust should be a top priority for any website looking to rank well in search engine results. Implementing the following best practices will substantially improve how your site is perceived to users and search engines, leading to better rankings and organic visibility.

1. Provide Accurate & Reliable Information

  • Ensure all content is thoroughly researched, fact-checked, and presents information in an unbiased, transparent way,
  • Cite sources when using statistics, quotes, or data,
  • Peer-reviewed publications for academic authors

2. Be Transparent & Honest

  • Be upfront about who you are, what you do, and who you serve,
  • Disclose information related to your products or services, pricing, etc.,
  • Avoid clear conflicts of interest when offering recommendations,
  • Provide easy access to a reliable customer service method.

3. Invest in Safety and Security

  • If you collect information from your users (ex. online payment processing), ensure you are using safe and secure collection methods,
  • Trust seals like Norton Secured or other security certifications demonstrate your site follows safety and privacy best practices,
  • Privacy policies, terms of service and cookie consent policies, and transparent explanations of how user data is handled build confidence in your integrity. Ensure policies are easy to find through header/footer navigation links.
  • Product reviews that are honest and written to help others make informed decisions rather than solely to sell the product.

4. Display Trust Certifications and Badges

  • Industry certifications signal that your site is a trusted source within the industry

5. Craft a Strong About Page

  • Tell your brand’s story and establish your expertise in the industry. Communicate your unique value proposition, mission, vision, values and overall experience,
  • Feature social proof that shares how others perceive your company. Case studies, testimonials, partner logos, awards and media publication features all help validate your brand’s authoritativeness,
  • Share the expert backgrounds and photos of the people on your team,
  • Avoid too much self-promotion or fluff. Keep it factual.

6. Use Trust-Conveying Language

  • When relevant, incorporate trust-inducing terms like “official source,” “transparent pricing,” and “your trusted resource for X” throughout your content.

7. Avoid harmful, misleading or spammy content

  •  Lowest E-E-A-T or Lowest reputation
  •  Deceptive purpose, deceptive page design, or deceptive intent
  •  Deliberately obstructed or obscured MC
  •  Characteristics of scams, malicious downloads or other harmful behavior
  •  Any webpage or website designed to manipulate people into actions that benefit the website or other organization while causing harm to self, others or specified groups
SEO trust EEAT

Why Building Trust is Important in SEO

Let’s start with the basics — what role does trust play in SEO in the first place?

Search engines want to surface the most credible, helpful content for searchers. Sites deemed untrustworthy or misleading face penalties and lower visibility.

Google specifically looks at trustworthiness as part of its E-E-A-T framework, and defines it as:

“Trust is the most important member of the E-E-A-T family because untrustworthy pages have low E-E-A-T no matter how Experienced, Expert, or Authoritative they may seem. For example, a financial scam is untrustworthy, even if the content creator is a high level experienced and expert scammer who is considered the go-to on running scams!”

Google Search Rater Guidelines

Beyond SEO benefits, focusing on trust is also critical for converting visitors into loyal customers, establishing brand reputation and for providing human experiences. Users quickly abandon websites they don’t trust.

Demonstrating transparency, integrity and honesty in all online interactions leads to more business over the long run.

  • They reduce the spread of misinformation, bias, and falsehoods by limiting visibility of misleading content,
  • They offer more accurate, thoroughly researched information from legitimate sources,
  • They employ ethical “white hat” optimization strategies instead of manipulative tactics,
  • They have robust security protections and transparent privacy policies,
  • They are responsive and established sites with positive reputations,
  • They have high-quality backlinks from other trusted websites.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of trust for SEO success, let’s explore specific strategies to build trust.

Measuring Trust in SEO

Beyond the SEO benefits of improved search results rankings, becoming a trusted resource for your niche also directly translates to your bottom line. Yes, there is ROI in trust, but it’s not a concrete direct measurement.

Here are some specific indirect metrics to tie to each idea of business fulfillment from having a trusted website:

  • More conversions: Users are much more likely to purchase from and provide personal data to sites they find credible. Track conversion rate, account signups, lead generation forms, purchases.
  • Lower bounce rates: Visitors stick around on sites they trust, exploring more pages. Measure single page sessions, pages per session, average session duration.
  • Increased engagement: Loyal audiences are more likely to subscribe, download assets, comment and share if they trust your brand. Monitor email list growth, social followers, shares, comments, asset downloads.
  • Stronger advocacy: Customers are powerful evangelists for brands they trust, providing word-of-mouth marketing. Review net promoter score (NPS), brand mentions, referral traffic.
  • Recurring business: Trusted brands see greater lifetime value, retention and repeat purchases from customers. Analyze repeat purchase rate, customer lifetime value (CLV), retention rate.
  • Long-term growth: Trusted sites build trust devoted audiences willing to grow along with the brand. Measure traffic growth over time, returning visitors and audience demographics.

Tracking these quantitative metrics over time can demonstrate the tangible business impact of becoming a trusted authority site in your industry. Improving trust signals directly translates to gains across all key areas — engagement, loyalty, advocacy, conversions and revenue growth.

seo trust

Let Us Help You Build Trust and Credibility

Gaining trust through SEO requires a sustained, omnichannel effort — but the rewards are transformational for your brand’s reputation and reach.

If you need help auditing and improving your website’s trust factors and credibility, our team of marketing experts is here to help!

We can assist with:

  • Technical SEO Audits
  • Creating High Quality Content
  • Link-Building Strategies
  • Trust Signal Optimization
  • SEO Reporting

Let us help establish your brand as the trusted leader in your industry.

Trust is not built overnight, but your online credibility is too important to leave up to chance. If you need help auditing and improving your website’s trust factors and credibility, we can help! Contact us today to learn how we can help establish your brand’s SEO trust.

Up Next