What E-A-T means to your website and SEO

"The best place to hide a body is the second page of Google".

That quote is in jest but it's true. How often do you look past page one of Google? Or even the first five results. The difference maker between appearing on page 1 of Google or page 10 can be summarized in a simple acronym E-A-T. Sorry to get your hopes up with that header image, we're talking about “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.”

EAT is one of the core elements of good SEO and what it takes to rank on Google. Are you newer to SEO? Check out our full introduction to SEO and head back here to dive in further.

These principles can separate you from the rest of the pack, and adhering to them provides a huge SEO boost to your website, and as a result puts you front and center for your prospects when they are searching in your industry.

Expertise

Being a domain expert is crucial if you want to grow your brand. This doesn't mean having a doctorate in your field, but it does mean knowing what you're talking about and go in-depth.

It used to be that creating 500-word blog posts was enough to stand out from the crowd. Back in the 'wild west' days of SEO you could create a dozen or so posts, use the keyword in the page title and sprinkled a few more times in the post for good measure and voilà you're ranking on Google.

That's not enough now though. Google is indexing billions of pages each day. All is not lost though. This just means you need to go in-depth with your content. Google's job is to answer questions and their effectiveness lies in how well they answer questions with the search results they return. To show expertise you need to show Google:

  • You know what you're talking about
  • You did your homework
  • Other people recognize you know what you're talking about (yep, we're talking about backlinks)

Expertise means you need to show the skill of the creator for the content on your webpage and mention it in your content. Any website can show expertise if the content is truthful and useful for users and the information is fact checked.

Authoritativeness

Authority is essential to show that you are the person or business to go to for your industry. Being an authority, like being an expert, requires you to know what you are talking about and put that on display.

Being an authority is a step further than being an expert though. There are going to be many experts in your field, but who is the authority? Who is the go-to for every question? The one with all the answers? The last stop in settling debates?

You can get this from the expertise of your writers or from yourself. By creating content, and lots of it from every angle, you can show that you are the authority in your industry. To do this, you need to cover a topic comprehensively. That means understanding every adjacent topic and question people are asking and providing answers for it. A great way to get a sense of the questions people ask is to simply pay attention to the suggested searches that Google provides, for example if we want to blog about SEO here are some excellent follow up questions that Google gets asked:

Check out our complete guide on keyword research to show you some more advanced strategies here.

Creating blog posts and pillar pages helps you show off your knowledge, and gives you a big boost over your competition when it comes to page rank.

Trustworthiness  

Lastly, people need to trust you.

You need to show users they can trust the creator or company of the content itself and the website.

Trustworthiness is especially important for eCommerce websites that ask users for their credit card information. Everything about your site should make users feel safe while they’re visiting. Trustworthiness is hard to gauge, but we all know what a website that we can't trust looks like. Simple things like:

  • Having an SSL certificate
  • Not having popup ads
  • Not being annoying with autoplay vidoes or forcing people to subscribe

These all matter. Google cares about the user experience that it provides through it's searches. In a way, Google vouches for your site when it puts you on the first page so you better not let them down. Present your content clearly and build trust with your visitors. They'll stick around, and Google will notice.

So what's so special about EAT?

E-A-T is important because it determines a website’s value and that value plays a massive role in your rank. Being an expert, having authority, and demonstrating trustworthiness make you an industry leader and not a follower. Your prospects will appreciate it, but search engines will notice too.

Google will often keep E-A-T in mind when deciding if a website is providing the information they need. They look to see if they’re getting a good online experience and if the content meets their standards. If the raters feel like a user would be comfortable reading, sharing, and recommending the content, that earns the site a high level of E-A-T.

E-A-T is essentially the reason why users would choose your site over your competition’s. E-A-T could have a direct impact on how Google receives and ranks your website.

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