Most of us automatically gravitate towards the first result search engines give us. Even if you don’t know anything about SEO or digital marketing, you know that this is likely your best bet at getting what you want. Search engines today have extremely advanced algorithms to give users the best results for their searches. With over a billion websites on the internet, search engines are very careful to only show you the best.

You want the most reliable and accurate results for some searches, but there’s no danger of clicking one that’s wrong when the answer has little to no impact on your life. However, those that are more serious and impactful need even more consideration. Websites like this are known as “your money or your life” or YMYL to Google. Find out what you need to know about YMYL and why it’s important to SEO and your business’s online presence overall, especially for law firms.

What is YMYL?

Websites that include topics like finance, health, business, and law are considered YMYL websites. These topics have more importance on a person’s life, so websites that discuss them are under more scrutiny. When someone goes to websites that discuss these subjects, there could be more at stake than websites with more lighthearted topics. If someone gets bad advice or incorrect information from a YMYL website, it can have serious implications on their life. Since these websites can affect users’ well-being, search engines have stricter quality standards for them than others.

What Effect Does YMYL Have on Your SEO?

Not all websites are treated equally by Google, and the search engine has advanced enough to know what types of websites can potentially end up causing harm. Because of this, businesses in industries like law, health, and finance, need to be very careful with their online presence. If you work in one of these industries or something similar, you already know how much your clients or patients depend on your expertise.

Your website is an extension of your business, and you want it to show how trustworthy you are. For example, if someone is going through something serious, like a violation of their civil rights, they won’t be comfortable with a law firm that can’t convey their expertise through their website. Not only do you need users to trust you, but you also need search engines to trust you based on your website. Since page quality does impact how well your website ranks, you might not even get much traffic to begin with if search engines question how reliable you are. Users and search engines don’t want to take risks when it comes to the important aspects of life.

Page quality is always important to keep in mind while working on your SEO, but especially for businesses like those mentioned above. Google realizes the importance that YMYL websites have and the need for them to be carefully vetted to ensure the best results for users.

It wasn’t long ago that we experienced what’s known as the “medic update” in the SEO industry. This was a 2018 Google algorithm update that severely impacted YMYL websites, including, but not limited to, medical websites. Many YMYL websites saw their rankings drop due to this update. However, while some websites suffered, others rose in rankings if Google saw that they were high-quality and reliable. While this major update occurred several years ago, the message it sent has not stopped being important. Page quality standards aren’t intended to ruin your SEO but to force websites to be more cautious and seek to actually help users.

How is YMYL Related to EAT?

Whenever you read about YMYL, you will often also see things about EAT. This stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, which is what Google looks at to determine page quality while ranking websites. EAT is important to keep in mind for all websites, but especially YMYL websites. This reinforces that your website should be all about creating the best experience for users and actually providing them with something that has value, especially when you cover heavy topics. Think about the online presence you want to see when you need help from a professional.

You might know that you’re an experienced professional who can help people, but your website needs to show this as well, otherwise, there’s no reason to believe it. Fortunately, content can help you achieve this. Content that shows your knowledge will give users and search engines what they’re looking for to understand that you can offer reliable information and services. Of course, it’s also important for EAT standards and users that you also explain on your website what credentials you’ve earned in your career, so you shouldn’t skip out on things like “about me” pages that show your background and experience that got you here.

However, you don’t only need to have good content on your website, you need others to link to it to show Google your authority. While you might explain on your website why you should be considered an authoritative figure in your industry, this isn’t enough to prove it. Having other credible websites link to your website shows that other people believe you have something important to say. This can happen naturally when you have content worth linking to, but there are also several link-building tactics that can help, with guest blogging being one popular example.

If You’re a YMYL Website, You Need a Digital Marketing Agency

You know you’re an expert who’s trustworthy and authoritative with people’s best interests at heart, but when it comes to proving this online, it isn’t always easy. It’s a lot of work for YMYL websites like law firms to meet the strict standards that users and search engines expect. This is work that multiple people need to be dedicated to, which is why you need the help of a digital marketing agency that knows the importance that your website has. At ENX2 Marketing, we provide all the services you need to improve your website and bring in more traffic.