The first thing to do is ensure that your website is actually found by the search engines at all! Trust me, you wouldn’t be the first business out there to have their website ‘hidden’! Simply go to Google and type in site:https://yourwebsite.co.uk (making sure there isn’t any space between the colon and the http(s) – see the image below for clarity. If Google can find your webpages, it means that your site is picked up by the search results, if it doesn’t, it’s worth speaking to your web developer to see if they can help you remove the ‘noindex’ search block, or look into other potential causes of this error.
Another important thing to check is to see whether you have any broken links on the website. Broken links can reduce your ‘trustworthiness’ with the search engines, and also give customers a poor experience on your website. A tool like: https://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/ will help to identify any issues, meaning that you can fix them or potentially add 301-redirects to help ensure that visitors to the site aren’t put off by broken links.
Have you got a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate? An SSL certificate provides authentication for a website and enables an encrypted connection. It used to be that sites that had e-commerce functionality or a membership platform attached considered SSL certificates necessary for their users, but now it’s recommended for every website. If you use Chrome as your browser, you will have noticed that sites without an SSL certificate (showing as http rather than https) are described as ‘not secure’ in the search bar – a factor that can leave some web users uneasy at the prospect of visiting your site.
These are just a few of the things that you can do to start polishing your trust rating with the search engines! If you’d like more information, or a full website audit, please get in touch – we’re happy to help!