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Ranking their website on the first page of Google search results is the goal of every smart business owner and entrepreneur. The path to get there lies in improving their web content’s search engine optimization (SEO). This is where Google E-A-T comes in.
But it’s not an easy path. There are countless different strategies for improving SEO out there on the internet. Bloggers have written hundreds if not thousands of pages on the subject.
To make SEO even more challenging, Google is constantly changing and honing its algorithm. It doesn’t just factor in something simple, such as the number of relevant keywords on a web page, anymore; it also takes factors like E-A-T into account.
You may have read or heard of Google E-A-T before as an SEO tactic specific to Google. By the end of this article, you will know what this acronym stands for, and why as a business owner and entrepreneur you should implement E-A-T in your web content to increase Google traffic to your website.
What is Google E-A-T?
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a set of web content standards that Google’s algorithm has been operating against since at least 2014, although it didn’t become popular for SEO strategists until 2018.
Expertise refers to the knowledge of the creator of the website. How knowledgeable are you in your field? Do you have enough background experience to know exactly what you’re talking about?
Authoritativeness encompasses the creator, the content, and the website as a whole. It indicates that you and your content are the ultimate authority in your niche. You are not just an expert; you are a credible source of information.
Finally, trustworthiness means that you, your content, and your website are accurate and truthful. You do not publish or disseminate lies and false facts that could hurt your readers.
The purpose of E-A-T is to help Google determine whether or not your website and content are useful for search users. Not only do they want to direct users of their search engine to information that is useful, but they also want them to click on websites that are truthful and accurate.
Remember that the goal of Google’s search algorithm is to help users find the best results for the keywords they type in the search bar. The “best” results are the web pages that display expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
There are other things that make a website rank high in search results, such UX design, page load time, and click-through rate. But high up on Google’s list of priorities is making sure they send their users to reliable websites that are relevant to their search terms.
Is E-A-T a Google Ranking Factor?
E-A-T is not itself a ranking factor for web pages. However, some of the factors that Google applies to its algorithm lend themselves to prioritizing pages that meet the Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness standards.
For example, the click-through rate (CTR), which is analyzed by an AI program called RankBrain, helps Google see which websites are getting clicked on the most. These pages are obviously popular, which means they may be the most helpful to a large number of different people.
Google can also detect how long a user stays on a particular website, which helps cement that site’s E-A-T. If a user is willing to spend longer than a few seconds on a single site, that means they must be getting the information they need.
Backlinks are another ranking factor that indicates E-A-T. Backlinks are an important SEO strategy where other websites reference yours with a link in their content. When another site recognizes you as an important source, you win major points for your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google recognizes that and ranks your pages higher as a result.
SEO strategies are extremely important if you want to achieve E-A-T for your web content. You can’t obtain one without the other.
Why is Google E-A-T Important for SEO for Brands and Businesses?
We now know why SEO is important for E-A-T. But why are Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness important for SEO? And why should brands and businesses integrate it into their digital marketing plan?
Businesses should pay particular attention to how they represent their brands online. They should always strive to share the most accurate, comprehensive, and relevant information possible for their particular niche. By doing so, they will create a valuable commodity in the world of digital marketing: trust.
Trust is a huge factor for consumers: in a 2019 survey by Edelman, 81% of consumers said they needed to be able to trust a brand in order to want to buy from them.
Imagine a scenario where you want to find a tasty new banana bread recipe. Your search for “banana bread recipe” on Google and click on a result that seems like it may have what you’re looking for.
As you explore the site, however, you realize that it has nothing to do with banana bread recipes. Instead, it tells you how to make chocolate cake. Not only that, but it tells you to taste the cake batter that has raw egg in it before you put it in the oven to bake.
This website not only had nothing to do with your original search terms, but it also gave you false and dangerous information.
This is why E-A-T exists: to filter out the irrelevant, inaccurate, and dishonest web content, and put the good stuff at the top. It’s a standard you should adhere to, both to increase your customers’ trust in your brand as well as rank higher in Google search results.
When people trust your brand, they are more likely to click on your web content and stay on your site for extended periods of time. As we discussed earlier, CTR and time spent on a web page are ranking factors. That’s why we say that the greater the trust, the higher your website’s Google ranking.
As you can see, SEO helps you rank, but it’s E-A-T that will keep people coming back for more.
5 SEO Strategies That Will Improve Your Website’s Google E-A-T
Below are 5 SEO strategies that will help you improve your website’s overall E-A-T.
1. Write High-Quality Web Content (and Back Up Your Claims)
Poorly written web content riddled with grammatical and spelling errors is never an invitation to stay on your website for long. In fact, it’s an effective way to get rid of visitors that come to your site.
Instead of driving potential customers away, encourage them to stay by making your written content as professional, error-free, and useful as possible. If you’re not much of a writer, hire a freelancer to craft blog articles for you.
Make sure that if you make any claims or use sources that you credit them where appropriate. Articles that back up their claims with proof are always more trustworthy than those that don’t.
2. Acquire Backlinks
Acquiring backlinks is tricky, but it always pays off. It’s tricky because it requires another website to reference your content with a link to it in theirs.
There are a couple of methods you can use to obtain backlinks. The first method is to contact a reputable, well-trafficked website relevant to your niche. (Try to choose one that doesn’t offer the same products or services as you; otherwise, why would they want to promote you when they can just direct their readers to their own website?)
Next, offer to write a guest blog post for them. Try to emphasize why you think your perspective would be useful for their readers. Then, if they agree, you can insert a link to your website in the blog post. When it’s been published, you will have a backlink.
Another method is to simply focus more on your own content and make it the best in your niche. Become the expert and the authority in your subject, so that other blogs will see you as a trustworthy source and reference you without you requesting them to.
This is challenging work, but just remember that it’s well worth it in the end. Backlinks are like votes of confidence to Google. Having them almost guarantees a boost in your search results ranking.
3. Respond to Readers’ Comments and Reviews
A great SEO strategy to keep readers coming back, again and again, is to respond to their comments and reviews. Engage with visitors who took the time to come to your website and leave a message. Show them that you care and that you hear and understand what they have to say. They will appreciate your attention, and their trust in you will increase.
4. Show Readers Why You’re an Expert in Your Field
Don’t just tell readers that you are an expert and an authority in your field: show them!
Show off your degree, your certificate, your portfolio, or even a condensed version of your resume. Write a blog post detailing your experiences and how they made you knowledgeable about your subject matter.
Don’t just expect visitors to believe that you are a professional and worthy of their trust. By displaying your credentials, whatever form they take, you will reassure visitors that you know what you’re talking about. You’ll gain huge points from E-A-T and increase repeat traffic to your website.
5. Set Up a Google Business Profile
A Google Business profile makes it easy for potential customers to see valuable information about you before they even click on your website. They can see your hours of operation, your location, pictures of your storefront and/or products, what type of services you offer, and what other people say their customer experience with your brand was like.
It’s also an extremely effective way to funnel traffic from Google onto your webpage. According to Brightlocal, 56% of actions on a Google Business profile are clicks on the website URL.
A Business profile also makes you appear more professional. It shows potential customers that you mean serious business (no pun intended) and aren’t just a random scam website. You took the time to set up a profile and include all the vital details that a search user might want to know before visiting your site. That’s a small but significant step to achieving E-A-T.
Conclusion: E-A-T Your Competition and Come Out On Top
The ultimate goal of E-A-T is to help your brand stand out from the competition. It makes you look professional and knowledgeable where other websites are fumbling around and writing click bait articles. It helps improve your SEO and vice versa. Most importantly, it invites visitors to transform into repeat customers.
E-A-T is not easy to achieve. There are more strategies than just the five we suggested above that can make it happen. Figuring out which one works best may require the help of an expert.
That’s where we come in. Contact us today and see how we will utilize E-A-T to improve your SEO strategy.