In a digital world obsessed with its food references comes the newer SEO term EAT. Unlike breadcrumbs, hamburger menus and cookies, EAT is an acronym for Expertise, Authority and Trust. To help Google recognize your page as having high-quality content, it’s crucial to include expertise, authority and trust within your webpages. Let’s explore more about this term and how to optimize your site and search engine strategies to achieve it.
What is E-A-T?
Expertise, authority and trust may sound like a mouthful. But, if you can follow those three principles, you can inevitably boost your SEO rankings. In May 2020, Google released an update that proved E-A-T to be more critical to follow. Google experts scan each page on search engines to give scores based on their expertise, authority and trust performance. Let’s explore each piece of E-A-T so you can rank well for the three letters.
These days, users are not interested in reading just any article. To rank well, your content must appear useful to Google, meaning that you need to prove that you are an expert in your page’s topic. A recommended first step for establishing expertise is to create a blog. This gives you a method to push out regular, timely content on topics that are important to your audiences – thereby allowing you to position your company as an expert. Once you have a blog in place, make sure it’s clear that the authors of each page know what they’re writing about. To achieve this, create a separate page for each author, including their name and job title. Just be sure that the author’s job description relates to the page content. Otherwise, your expertise score may diminish. If you want to further prove expertise to Google, try implementing author schema on your blog pages. This way, proof of expertise is at the forefront of the search engine result pages (SERPs).
When building a page, it’s also essential to present the information in a way that is useful for the reader. Do keyword research to determine which terms your users are searching and reframe the top portion of your page to answer their questions. Even supplementary content, like images and videos, should match the search intent of your users. Intent and expertise often go hand in hand in content marketing as users want a quick answer to their inquiry. If your page can prove it has both, you will be able score higher for expertise.
In addition to demonstrating expertise, it is just as important to establish authority to verify the claims you are making. The primary way to prove this is by encouraging highly reputable sources to link to your content within their articles. Chances are that if authoritative brands (or high-ranking E-A-T pages) link to your content, Google will recognize your page as being useful and relevant to that topic, and thereby help your “authority score”. In addition to encouraging high-quality links, you also want to use the power of social media sharing. If you don’t already have a strong social media presence, now may be the time to get started on building that. The more mentions your pages get on social media, the higher your authority score will grow with Google.
If you’re struggling with having others link to your content, you can also boost your authority presence by linking to reliable sources within your pages and building strong domain authority. You can even create a Wikipedia page for your business if it’s eligible. This not only proves that your brand exists, but it is an excellent way to show Google that your company is well-known and reputable in your industry.
Providing a trustworthy site can be the difference between a user bouncing off quickly or feeling safe enough to stay for a while. A lot of user trust comes from some of the technical elements of a site, including how the site is built, the status of its security certificate, whether it’s built using mobile-friendly responsive design, the hosting environment and other “off page” elements. If the website is fast loading, has a current SSL certificate and generally performs well, visitors will feel comfortable staying. If not, a visitor may question its trustworthiness.
Additionally, trustworthiness can come from external sources. A popular method to encourage trustworthiness is to get reviews from customers, whether via Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, third-party review site or straight on your company’s webpage. While reviews won’t always be 5 star, it’s important to show that your company is transparent, that your business is real, and there is nothing to hide as these thoughts are publicized. While it’s essential that your business monitor and respond to each review in a timely manner, overall reviews will positively impact your businesses trustworthiness impression.
E-A-T your Heart Out
Since there are so many ways to improve your E-A-T score, it can make it overwhelming to get started. If you need more assistance with optimizing your website for credibility, contact us. We are happy to discuss your current SEO plan and the best way to get started on integrating E-A-T best practices for your website.