As individuals we make recommendations all the time. This might be recommending a bar or a restaurant to a friend or recommending a builder or a plumber to a neighbour. We often make these recommendations intuitively without thinking too much but behind the quick answer there is often a lot of subconscious processing going on.
With making a recommendation also comes responsibility. If your friend has a bad night out or your neighbour has a bad experience based on the advice that you gave them then there’s a good chance that they won’t ask you for a recommendation again.
This is where the concept of ‘Know, Like & Trust’ comes in. If we’re making recommendations (and we care if those recommendations are good or not) then all three of these elements need to be in place. If we know someone but don’t like them then we are unlikely to recommend them. If we like someone but don’t trust them then again we are unlikely to recommend them. I’m sure that you get the idea.
When you enter a search query in to Google then you are asking them for a recommendation. If Google keeps giving you bad advice and keeps sending you to websites that don’t answer your query then in the end you’ll stop asking for their advice and you’ll find another search engine to use.
Google has been listening to as many areas of the web that it possibly can for a very long time. What Google hasn’t always been great at is understanding everything that it hears. This is changing. Over the last few years Google’s understanding of natural and conversational language has evolved to a new level. Along with this understanding they have coupled the ability to put language in to context with regards to sentiment and link conversations with specific websites and brands. This evolution is changing the way that Google chooses to recommend websites and just like us, Google will make recommendations based on websites/brands that they Know, Like and Trust.
How Do I Get Google to Know Like & Trust my Brand?
I have covered many of the signals that Google looks at in a previous blog post entitled ‘Understanding What Google Wants’
- Sign up for an Google My Business account and make sure that you give Google as much information as possible about your business.
- Make sure that the business address on your website matches the one on your Google My Business account.
- Include Schema.org markup on your site address.
- Make sure the address on your domain name registration also matches. Never hide your details behind domain privacy.
- If you are a limited company then make sure that your address on companies house matches the other addresses.
- Make sure that both Google analytics and Search Console are set-up correctly on your site.
- Have a well written about us page. Include staff profiles and link each member of staff to a their linked in profile.
- Ensure that your site visitors have a really great experience on mobile devices.
- Check your site speed and fix any issues that could be slowing your site down.
- Make sure that your site is secure (HTTPS).
- Make sure that your website is as technically sound as possible. Remove errors, dead links and fix poor site architecture.
- Ensure that Google has indexed all of your site pages via Search Console and make sure that you aren’t feeding Google pages that shouldn’t exist in your site.
- Avoid any kind of duplicate content.
- Provide well written, unique content that provide value to your site visitors.
- Engage with your audience on social media. Get people talking about your brand in a positive way.
- Monitor your site user engagement metrics on analytics. Identify pages that have short dwell times or low engagement and improve them.
- Gain as many positive reviews across different review sources (such as Google reviews, facebook, etc) as possible.
- If possible, respond to and engage with any mention of your brand, company or website.