Trust Matters: Why Your Blog Articles Should Have a Byline

The internet is a busy place. It’s estimated that upwards of 250,000 new websites are created around the world every single day. Yep, you read that right: a quarter of a million new websites are made every 24 hours, and at the time of writing, there were more than 1.1 billion of them out there to discover.

Numbers like that are hard to get your head around, but they make one thing very clear: the internet is absolutely and positively saturated with content. Standing out is extraordinarily difficult because you’re up against so much competition – and even if you genuinely do bring something different to the table, getting noticed and winning customers over remains a challenging and time-consuming process.

The reality is that there are no cheat codes or exploits to help you get ahead. If you want to get noticed and build your company’s online presence organically, you can’t expect to do it overnight. As the saying goes, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Just like a marathon runner, a website has to have a number of distinct qualities in order to rank well: it’s got to be full of helpful content, it needs to feature relevant keywords in all the right places, and it’s got to be trustworthy. Trust is now a huge component of search engine algorithms, and anything you can do to make your website appear more trustworthy should be high on your list of priorities.

In this article, we’re going to explain where the humble byline fits into this theme of trust. We’ll look at how it could help you rank better and, potentially, generate more conversions – and we’ll explain how to do bylines correctly. Let’s get started.

What is a byline?

The definition of a byline is simple: it’s a line of text naming the author of an article. That’s it. The term has been around for decades, having been used in the world of newspaper and magazine journalism long before blogs were even a thing – but it remains just as relevant today as it was then.

Although newspapers and magazines typically only include the name of the author in their bylines, websites are a whole lot more flexible. We don’t have to worry about sacrificing valuable column inches, so we can add more detail; we can add short summaries of who the author is, explain their career background and experience, or even list their relevant qualifications to demonstrate their expertise. And, of course, we can include a small head shot to allow readers to put a face to the name.

Why is all of this so important?

Search engines have been placing a growing emphasis on trust in recent years, as evidenced by Google’s expanded E-E-A-T acronym. Standing for experience, expertise, authority and trustworthiness, this all-important term serves as a framework for businesses to consider when creating content.

In coining this term, Google made its intentions clear: it wants to reward helpful content that is genuinely written by experts – content that isn’t just churned out to drive traffic to a website, but that has been carefully crafted by someone who really knows their stuff.

You can probably see where this is going. If your article doesn’t have a byline, how will Google know for sure if the information contained within it can be trusted? Imagine seeing two articles side by side, both on the same subject matter and both containing broadly the same information. One has been written by a renowned industry expert with more than 30 years of experience, and the other has been written by… well, who knows? One has a well-written byline and the other doesn’t. Which one are you going to trust?

Does a blog article need a byline?

Although bylines are by no means a strict requirement, they’re certainly a good idea. If you really want to demonstrate your expertise and show you know what you’re talking about, adding one to the end of each article is a must. It has the potential to significantly improve your blog’s rankings, in turn boosting the authoritativeness of the entire website.

Not every piece of content needs a byline, of course. Help articles focusing on the likes of delivery, returns and other product-related queries definitely don’t – but reviews, in-depth guides, advice-based content and niche, industry-specific articles should have one. 

What should a good byline look like?

Although including your name and photo is a good place to start, there’s a lot more you can add to a byline to build trust and signal to Google that your content is high quality.

  • Your job title and what that entails
  • How much experience you have
  • Your career background 
  • Any relevant qualifications you have

We’re not saying you should write an autobiography. Keep it short and sweet – three to four sentences is plenty. The idea is to give readers (and search engines) a clear picture of who you are and why you can be trusted to talk about a particular subject. 

Connect with our content experts

Bylines are one very small part of a successful SEO strategy. If you need a helping hand to take your content and rankings to new heights, speak to the team at Brave today to find out more about how we could help.

Written byPeter Jackson

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