Google aims to be a safe and reliable platform. This means that Google users should be able to trust its suggestions on the web. In this regard, Google considers criteria for measuring the website of an online business to consider it safe and display it to its users.
These criteria are introduced under the title of E-commerce SEO. As you know, the world of SEO is dynamic and changes over time. In this regard, recently Google has provided new guidelines for the owners of store websites to increase users’ trust in them.
Remember that the more Google knows about an online store, the more it will expose that business to users. In the following, we have discussed Google’s guidelines and criteria for trusting an online business.
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Google’s guide to improving business credibility
Before dealing with Google’s checklist, it is very important to know what makes users trust a store website:
1. Business Identity
The image that customers have of a brand in their mind is its commercial identity. Business identity refers to the unique characteristics, values, and image that a business presents to the world, market, users/customers.
Now, maintaining a stable business identity is considered an important matter in online businesses. That is, store websites should use the same brand name, logo, color, and other branding elements on all their platforms.
The business identity of an organization includes the following:
Branding includes business name, logo, slogan, typography, and overall visual identity. This factor will greatly help to recognize, remember and distinguish the business in the minds of customers.
Mission and vision
A mission statement defines the goals of an online business and how to achieve them. On the other hand, the vision depicts the desired situation that the organization is looking for in the long term.
Values and culture
Elements such as ethics, social responsibility, employee empowerment, teamwork, and organizational behavior shape the values and culture of a business.
Understanding the target audience of any business is essential to shaping its identity. The owner of an online business must know exactly which people are looking for his products, with what specifications and features. Adapting products and marketing strategies to attract these audiences will help establish your online business identity.
The language and communication style that a business uses shape its identity. The way a business communicates with customers, employees, and stakeholders, whether formal or conversational, reflects its identity.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Business identity often revolves around a unique selling proposition that differentiates the business from its competitors. A USP may be product quality, exceptional customer service, innovative solutions, or any other distinguishing factor that will become a hallmark of the business.
Now it is vital to keep this identity consistent wherever your brand appears. This will mean using the same brand name, logo, colors, and other branding elements across all platforms.
Remember that users/customers trust online businesses that have a clear and unified identity. On the other hand, they prefer to buy from these online businesses.
Google’s proposed solutions to stabilize Business Identity
- Online businesses should be mindful of the official brand name they use across the web and avoid any mismatches in their registered brand name and domain name.
- Store website owners should demonstrate the authenticity of their business by creating an About Us page on their website. They should tell the story of their brand to customers on this page.
- These types of businesses should include their business social media addresses on their site so that users know on which platforms they can follow them.
Transparency in online business means that users/customers must know exactly how the information requested from them on the website is managed.
On the other hand, a detailed description of some operations in this type of business is necessary, such as disclosure of data practices, shipping procedures, and return policies.
Transparency is important in a business for several reasons, including:
- Transparency creates the trust of users/customers in the online business website.
- By being transparent about the practices and policies on their website, online businesses can increase their reputation and credibility in the market and differentiate themselves from the competition.
- When users/customers have enough information about the goals, strategies, and performance of the online business, they will feel more secure and will be loyal to that brand.
Solutions proposed by Google to increase Transparency
- Every online business should provide detailed information about its policies, including shipping, return, and privacy policies.
- Companies and organizations must be transparent about their business model and how they operate. That is, they must clearly describe their operational methods, such as their supply chain, manufacturing process, or order fulfillment systems.
3. Online Reputation
Consider an online business. Online reputation refers to the impression or opinion that users have about this organization or brand based on its activities and online presence.
Online businesses manage their online reputation by closely monitoring reviews, testimonials, and other public opinions about their company.
Solutions proposed by Google to improve its online reputation
- Online businesses should highlight other users’ opinions and testimonials about products and brands.
- Owners of store websites must mention on their site if they have received a seal of approval from official sources and third parties.
- These types of businesses should clearly describe how to get customer support on their site.
- Online businesses should share blog posts and educational articles with their users. To do this, creating SEO content is an important principle.
4. Professional design
A professional store website design can help build trust with potential customers by conveying a sense of professionalism and attention to detail.
A well-designed site with simple website navigation leads to a positive user experience and makes it easier for customers to navigate the site. Also, this factor will lead to the improvement of the site’s SEO, and increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In general, investing in a professional website design for an online business is a worthwhile investment in building a brand, and attracting and retaining customers.
Solutions proposed by Google in line with Professional design
- An online business website should have an SSL certificate so that customers can be assured that their important information will be safe.
- An online business website should be accessible and easily navigable for all customers. On the other hand, a store website should not have problematic (broken) links or unnecessary redirects.
- Store site owners should use real content instead of placeholders.
Help Google get to know your business better
Finally, it is necessary to mention that the more Google knows about an online business, the better it can display in the search results to potential customers.
To improve Google’s recognition of a store website, following these steps will be useful:
Business Information: Provide full details of your business in the Merchant Center, including name, contact information, and product categories.
Third-Party Platforms: Connect your Merchant Center account to any other platform you sell on, such as Shopify or Amazon.
Google Business Profile: Create and verify ownership of a Google Business Profile for your company.
SEO Guidelines: Follow SEO best practices so users can find your website easily.
Seller Rating Eligibility: Finally, you can ask users to rate you in Google Customer Reviews and other third-party review services.