A Complete Guide to E-A-T and Its Importance in SEO
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The major search engine Google always strives to provide its users with the best experience possible and only promotes the websites it trusts. Hence, in order to rank well on Google, you need to know the Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines that will help understand Google’s view on what is a quality website. E-A-T almost mentioned over 180 times in these guidelines is an extremely important part of it.
Hence, in this article, we will discover everything about E-A-T and find out what exactly it is, why its matters, how it can affect your SEO efforts, and how can you enhance it. So, keep reading further.
What is E-A-T?
Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, this is what E-A-T basically stands for. These are the major three factors that Google generally uses to measure how much it should trust a website. Many of you must have probably heard of E-A-T if you are not new to this search industry. Been around since 2014, this concept has gradually become one of the most important elements of SEO. So, let us dig into this concept in depth.
As defined in the dictionary expertise refers to expert skill or knowledge in a particular field. In simple words, when you have a deep knowledge of something, you would probably be classified as an expert in that field. However, just possessing this knowledge alone is just not enough, you also need to know how to communicate it in a way that engages people. That being said Google determines the expertise of the writer on the level of the content itself. If the level of your expertise is higher than your competitors, you will be picked up as an expert and the same goes with your website.
Authoritativeness is all about the reputation and proving your website as authoritative among other experts and influencers in the industry. Google determines it from the number and quality of backlinks a particular website has. If your website has a good number of backlinks from relevant and authoritative sites then it will be considered as a reliable, trustworthy, and thus authoritative site. For instance, suppose that you are a digital marketing company and other digital marketing experts mention you in their articles with a link to your website, then your site will be recognized as trustworthy by Google due to the increase in your authority.
As the word suggests, trustworthiness is all about how much credence your website has. Similar, to expertise and authority, proven trustworthiness is too crucial as lack of it can easily lower your rankings. With the website, Google also takes the content and the author into account to measure the reliability of your brand. To do so Google uses multiple signals such as does your website has an SSL connection, what people are saying about your business, how do you respond to them, and more.
Why is E-A-T so important?
As already discussed above, we all are aware of the fact that Google strives to serve the best possible experience to its users. Just think of the fact that will you go with a company that is not trustworthy, authority, or have any expertise? No, right? You will rather find an alternative. The same goes with Google, if it does not find a website to satisfy these three factors (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness), it will look for another website. In simple words, Google will only promote the websites that provide a better customer experience and by optimizing your website considering E-A-T you can enhance the user experience. Plus, by doing so you will be completely eradicating the risk of getting knocked down from the search results and thus maintain your rank successfully. So, let’s check out some ways on how to improve your E-A-T.
How to improve your E-A-T for Google?
Working on E-A-T will not only help you to maintain your rank but also improve the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness in the eyes of your customers. This is what every business should ultimately focus on. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways that can help you enhance the E-A-T.
1. Improve the quality of your backlinks
Backlinks are one of the factors that Google uses to determine the quality of your website. Hence, it is crucial to create high-quality backlinks from the sites relevant to your niche. So, make sure to get mentions from authoritative sites. This will help you indicate to Google that your site is trustworthy and authoritative. Because getting a link from the authoritative places implies that they find you trustworthy and want to recommend you. This type of thing speaks about your authority.
Though gaining good authority mentions seem quite difficult, they are vitally important if you wish to establish your authority. In fact, it will also help you to be recognized as an expert in your industry.
On the other hand, going for links that are easy to obtain by just providing content or offering money will not be much helpful and adds no value which can adversely affect your E-A-T score.
2. Invest in personal branding
If you are a small business or a start-up many people would not really know about you and thus would not trust you like they trust other big brands. Hence, our Jacksonville SEO experts advise you to work towards gaining their trust and one of the best ways to do so is by enhancing your “About Us” page. Mention the goal of your business, your mission, and your vision about starting this company, and most importantly how you will be useful and helpful to your potential customers. Basically, the “about us” page should clearly and transparently communicate your business emotion to your customers. This will help them know more about business, thus establishing trust.
3. Leverage good reviews from your customers
A good testimonial page can also help you boost trustworthiness among the audience and Google as well. The logic is quite simple over here, the better reviews your business gets, the more people come to your website, and the more the people engage with your business, the more trustworthy your business is seemed by Google.
Let me elaborate, we all know that whenever a consumer lands on a website, he or she always refers to the review section before making a buying decision. This helps them understand what other people think of your business and how was their experience and reading good reviews of course encourages them to do business with you. This way you get more customers and thus more reviews on your website and when Google finds out the overall positive public sentiment about your business, it is more likely to trust you and display your website in the top results for relevant search queries. Also, more people talking about your business highly indicates that you as recognized as an authority in your industry.
There are even chances of getting odd bad reviews that can probably give you the opposite results. But by addressing them quickly and solving the customer issues, you can definitely convert those negative reviews to positive ones.
4. Switch to HTTPS
Now, it is quite well-known to all of us that Google is marking HTTP pages as not secure and this greatly affects the trust factor. Plus, every site lacking the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) will get a lower E-A-T rating than the ones that have SSL in place. But by converting your site to HTTPS, you will enhance the trust factor as it indicates that your site is secure. Plus, HTTPS is a strong indication for Google to push your website. Hence, make sure that you secure your website with HTTPS.
5. Display the name of the author
It is a good idea to tell Google about who is providing the content. Displaying the author’s name gives a real picture to the users and helps you build trust in the eyes of the reader. This can be possibly done by including a byline which probably helps in lacing the source of the content as a trustworthy one. You would definitely not trust a piece of content about SEO from a mechanic who has zero knowledge about it, right? Hence, make sure the content you provide is from an expert in that industry. The reputation of the author is extremely important here. You also need to describe the professionals and experts behind your website and flash the writer’s credentials, accreditations, or degrees. You can write a short bio about the author at the begging or the end of the article as well as include the links to some other articles too written by the same author.
6. Create high-quality and unique content
Content has always been the king and will still continue to reign in every aspect of SEO. Google basically crawls each of your website’s pages and if it finds out that your content is plagiarized or duplicated, there are high chances that your website will get badly hit by an algorithm update.
But on the other hand, by posting fresh, informative, and good quality content you establish yourself in all the 3 aspects. Publishing something new and that too in detail shows your expertise in that particular area. And reading such in-depth information and new adds value to the knowledge of the users and gives them a first-hand experience. They start viewing you as an authority in that particular area and thus trust you. All these points also prompt users to revisit your website.
7. Scan and remove low E-A-T content
Though a low E-A-T content on a single page does not affect necessarily affect the rating of your overall website, it is worth cutting down some pages with low E-A-T content rather than reworking on them. Because reworking on them will require time and keeping them as it is will probably not gain you more traffic rather there are chances of seeing an increase in your bounce rate. Hence, scan your pages and check for the ones that receive a low amount of traffic or have a high bounce rate than others. Once, you figure out such pages, just remove them from your website.
8. Share good content on social media
Social media is another great aspect that can greatly help you boost your E-A-T score. Sharing valuable content on social media platforms and engaging with a large audience helps your build trust among your users and thus build a good reputation.
The better your content will be; the higher engagement rate you will get. This as a result will enhance your E-A-T score eventually. Just remember to keep your content accurate, relevant, and engaging.
9. Flash your contact details
This might seem quite obvious but is mostly overlooked by many business owners. Contact information is another factor that helps your build trust. Displaying it accurately and correctly shows that you are a real business with real people. Plus, it provides a sense of relief to the customers that whenever they have a problem they can easily approach you.
With contact information also make sure to display the physical address of your company. This builds more confidence in the minds of users to do business with you.
E-A-T has been probably floating around over the past few years, especially after the 2018 Google algorithm update known as the medic update. Not following E-A-T as a framework can greatly affect your raking now, hence Jacksonville SEO Company states that it has become highly crucial to enhance it now. If you have been overlooking this term for a long time now, we hope that this blog has been quite effective in proving the importance of enhancing your E-A-T score. The above-mentioned techniques will surely help you accomplish all the three pillars viz. expertise, trustworthiness, and authoritativeness, thus making it hard to get knocked from the top search results. Plus, not to mention that enhancing the E-A-T score will also help you build trust in your customers’ minds and boost the growth of your business, even though we are doing this for Google.