You’ve probably seen this acronym E.A.T. showing up online quite a bit recently and wondering what it is and if it relates to your business. Yes, it does and it’s crucial you understand how E.A.T. in SEO relates to you.
E.A.T. affects how Google views and positions your website in search and whether your targeted audience trusts your products and services.
E.A.T. in SEO stands for Expertise, Authority and Trust
These three words are used by Google to measure the trust it places in a website. It’s how Google views the authority of a business in their specific field, irrespective of the industry they are in. Google’s raison d’être is to give search engine users the best experience possible, so it looks for websites displaying these E.A.T. qualities to promote and reward in search. A business that displays E.A.T. clearly on its site will be acknowledged and promoted by Google, thus reaping the benefits of improved trust and confidence in their targeted audience.
A website lacking in trust might not even show up in search at all!
Google’s algorithm is complex and secretive and has SEOs and marketers second-guessing much of the time how to interpret their updates – often it’s a case of playing Sherlock Holmes to figure it out.
But every now and then, Google throws us a bone!
In 2015, Google released its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines in their entirety. These guidelines contain three golden keys as to how Google looks at web pages and how they differentiate high-quality content from low-quality content.
Technically, the guidelines serve as a reference for Google’s human search evaluators – these are the people who rate how well Google’s algorithm does its job. This guide also serves as an essential tool for insights into what Google looks for in a high-quality web page.
How to improve your E.A.T. in SEO
You can improve these three key principles of E.A.T. using various methods highlighted in this post.
So let’s break it down and see what you can do to gain Google’s favour and improve your position in search.
A person with expert skill or knowledge in a particular field and demonstrates this with comprehensive knowledge on a specific product or topic has expertise. To achieve expertise start with creating authentic content to build customer trust. Firstly, you need to understand your audience so you can determine exactly what will be of value to them and then deliver this to ensure their desired outcomes are realised.
Aim to develop a clear brand voice and create content that resolves your customers’ problems.
Even though you are creating content to gain Google’s favour and need to be technically correct, you are primarily writing for people, not a search engine. Successful content is not so much about what you say, but how you say it. Build your content around stories to create authenticity. Use simple language, avoid slang and jargon. Keep sentences short and your message consistent.
How often do you visit a site and feel apprehensive above moving towards making an enquiry.
What’s holding you back from making a purchase?
Is there something lacking that makes you back out and not hit the ‘buy now’ or ‘submit’ button?
That ‘something’ can be a lack of expertise and skill that is not obvious on a website and this makes you nervous about continuing.
So you leave – the website owner has just missed out on a lead and possibly a sale.
Content that is in-depth and delivers the best outcome for user experience will certainly help with E.A.T.
What is E.A.T. in SEO?
“If the person creating the content has the type and amount of life experience to make him to her an ‘expert’ on the topic, we will value this ‘everyday expertise’ and not penalize the person/webpage/website for not having “formal” education or training in the field.”
(Google Search Quality Guidelines).
When you demonstrate authority on a subject, you gain the trust and confidence of your audience. They will be more prepared to trust you if you can prove that other people value your input.
Are you perceived as an authority in your industry?
An authority website is trusted by its users, by industry experts, by other websites and by search engines.
Are you able to demonstrate your authority with clarity, confidence and compelling content on your website?
A high-quality website will have endorsements displayed that reinforce authority. Your reputation is based on real customer experiences that apply to your business and also includes reviews.
Are people reviewing your business mostly complaining?
This could affect Google’s assessment of the quality of your site and confirms that it does matter what people say about your business online.
What are your competitors’ reviews like?
Do they have more reviews than you?
What is the general feeling of these reviews?
If people are talking more favourably about them than you, it could be that they are recognised as more of an authority than you.
There will always be the odd unfavourable review (you just can’t satisfy some people), but quality detailed reviews are more powerful than a customer who has had an unpleasant experience.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for testimonials and reviews.
“So he googled us, liked our reviews, messaged us, came in, bought, and left us a review—the cycle is complete!”
Massimo Defrancesco, Ancona Jewelers
Being able to prove trust (or page quality) signals to your audience and communicate confidence with your content so the user feels safe interacting with your site. They want to feel the trust as soon as they arrive at your site.
So how do you build trust – quickly?
More than 90% of visitors make an immediate decision about your business based on the homepage of your website. When people come to your website, you have 10 seconds to impress them.
A quick checklist to confirm your website has the trust factor.
- Does this site provide me with solutions through its content?
- Is it credible and dependable?
- Is the information provided authentic?
- Does it have my best interests at heart?
- What are the reviews/testimonials saying?
- Why would I use this site over others?
- Is this site’s offering valuable enough to justify my time?
- Do I trust this site to use and store my personal data?
- Am I comfortable enough to establish a continuous connection with this site?
Your website’s first opportunity to earn trust is within its URL and your visitors will want to ensure that the website is secure. If your website isn’t HTTPS secure, consider switching as more than 50% of the web is now encrypted with HTTPS sites.
Use high-quality images. Websites that display low-quality, poorly sized or generic stock images do themselves no favours. The perception of your brand is instantly questioned, which will translate to the quality of your products or services. High-quality images are easy to include on your website. There are plenty of stock libraries available you can use.
One of the most powerful ways to gain trust, particularly from a B2B perspective, is to promote content highlighting with current or past customers.
This provides social proof and demonstrates you have delivered on your commitment regarding your products or services. Third-party review sites, like Trustpilot and Google Reviews, also play an important role in building trust which can be used on your website.
HPE is a seamless extension to our own business. Mike, Midge and the team provide a friendly, professional service which in turn produces excellent results.
Results which can be seen in our sales figures, where it really matters. HPE provide us with easy to read monthly reports, we can see where new business is coming from and how our value for money SEO dollars are being spent. Best SEO company to deal with if you are SEO naïve, thank you for your support.
Robyn Schoch – Financial Controller
Summarising E.A.T. in SEO
We have demonstrated that E.A.T. in SEO is an important part of Google’s algorithm for your website ranking. And it’s definitely worth taking the time to do everything you can to improve the current state of your website. Review your Home and About Us page and see if there are any opportunities there to better display your E.A.T.
As we have shown above, Expertise, Authority and Trust are complementary concepts—but not identical. They are appraised independently using a different set of criteria.
With that in mind, how does your website shape up?
Look at it with fresh eyes and see if it displays E.A.T. at a glance. If not, make changes or get left behind!
If you would like an upgrade of your SEO to better handle these changes or simply a chat to figure out where to start, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Midge Hand is a Co-founder and Director of High Profile Enterprises. Midge is one of only around 50 Copyblogger Media Certified Content Marketers and is the only one in New Zealand. When away from the demands of running High Profile Enterprises, Midge enjoys time with family, cooking for friends, Pilates and paddle boarding. This year her new challenge is to learn to play the melodica.