SEO | 14-06-2022 | Christopher Oldman
Even though there are plenty of modern businesses that use search engine optimization (SEO) in their marketing efforts, few of them truly understand it.
This is not particularly surprising considering that there are many factors that can affect your website’s rankings.
It is not only challenging to stay on top of all these factors - search engines also tend to frequently update their algorithms. This is yet another challenge businesses face, as most of those updates require changes to SEO strategies.
Fortunately, even though they make frequent changes, search engines also offer guides on how to implement these changes. A great example of this is the E-A-T model introduced by Google back in 2018. This model offers businesses insight into how Google evaluates website quality.
The goal of creating this model was to enable and encourage businesses to focus on creating high-quality content to ensure that their pages rank better on Google.
So, let us explore what E-A-T is, how it can help you improve your rankings and why any business can benefit from it.
E-A-T is a method used by Google to evaluate website quality. So, in a way, E-A-T is a form of Google’s quality assurance.
The three elements that make up this model are Expertise, Authority and Trust (E-A-T), as these are some of the most important ranking factors for Google. And while E-A-T is not a direct ranking metric for Google, it can be considered as such.
Now, what many business owners find challenging is improving these factors. Some of them might not even know where to begin and which of these factors they should improve first.
It is also worth noting that E-A-T is not always equally relevant for all content. For instance, if your content is mostly focused on subjective topics, there is no need to think about the E-A-T score. However, if your content is focusing on objective matters and topics, you really need to make sure you follow the E-A-T rules.
Another key point you need to understand is that E-A-T focuses solely on content quality. So, you can hire the best digital agency to help you out with your website design, but you will also need to make sure that the quality of your content is on point.
With that in mind, let’s now focus on exploring each individual ranking factor that the E-A-T framework focuses on.
Expertise is one of the most important factors that will determine the quality of your content.
This is particularly true if, as mentioned earlier, the topics you explore are objective in nature. So, this means that you need to aim at positioning yourself as an industry expert. You can achieve this by creating content that showcases the necessary expertise, which will drive positive results.
The topics that fall into this category include – but are not limited to:
- Legal aid
- Financial advice
- Medical advice
Since users look for all kinds of information online, businesses nowadays need to make sure that they offer proper support, aside from stellar service.
What this means for businesses is that they need to make sure that their content is accurate and contains reliable information.
Otherwise, you can’t really establish yourself as the industry expert — especially if you offer problem-solving information that’s not accurate or useful.
Authority and expertise go together. The more you manage to establish yourself as an expert in the industry, the greater your authority will be.
However, you need to make sure you stay in your lane in order to maintain your authority. In case you offer medical advice and you’ve established yourself as the industry expert, that content will have authority.
But if suddenly you start offering advice regarding finances or legal matters, that content will simply lack in authority as those areas are not your areas of expertise.
So, make sure you work on properly building and maintaining your website’s authority as it will basically determine your overall online reputation.
Trust is another extremely important factor. Although somewhat self-explanatory, every business needs to make sure that their customers trust them. Otherwise, they can’t really expect to reach success.
From Google’s perspective, you need to make sure your website confirms that you are who you claim to be. In the online world, anyone can claim to be anything they want. However, that doesn’t necessarily make them trustworthy.
So, if you choose to offer any kind of advice to your audience, you need to make sure it’s valid. Not only that, but Google also needs to make sure that the information your provided is accurate.
Businesses that fail to ensure this will not only come off as untrustworthy. They will also be marked by Google as unreliable and penalized with lower rankings and visibility.
SEO consists of various factors that will determine your website’s online rankings. Sometimes, it will be enough to simply hire a reputable web design agency to help you reach your goals.
Other times, you will need to dive deeper into website optimization and tweaking to reach those goals.
All in all, boosting your SEO performance will heavily depend on the goals you’re trying to reach and the overall quality of your website, content and other factors.
But when it comes to boosting your E-A-T score, you shouldn’t expect to find a universal how-to. Instead, you will need to focus on boosting each individual factor. And, if done correctly, by improving one, you’ll simultaneously be improving the next.
With that in mind, here are just some of the ways you can improve your E-A-T ranking score.
Boosting your expertise will be in vain unless you can showcase it. Luckily, this is easy to achieve.
Basically, you need to make sure you focus on the things you know a lot about and don’t diverge from them. Additionally, if you want to explore a topic that’s related to the topics you usually cover but don’t really have expertise in, there’s still a way to do so. Simply ask an expert from that field to create content for your website and have them guest post on your pages.
This will not only further boost your trustworthiness, but it will also significantly improve your off-page SEO.
Moreover, you should also make sure that you:
- Keep your topics clear and on-point
- Create and post fresh content on a regular basis
- Include author credential and bio in your guest posts
- Publish informative and educational, but also highly relevant content
Another thing we’ve mentioned previously is that your website authority plays a huge role in determining your overall online reputation. Luckily, SEO can really help you with this.
Focus on building high-quality links and partake in as much relevant guest posting as you possibly can. Both will help you obtain valuable references, reviews and mentions that will positively affect your website’s visibility and authority.
Another tip on how to improve your website’s authority is to reference fact-checked, authoritative data in your content. If you want to include a stat in your blog post, for example, make sure that you get this stat from its primary source.
Not only that, but it will also improve your content authority, especially if other professionals quote you as an industry expert.
Aside from this, you should also:
- Work on getting high-quality backlinks
- Create backlinks and guest posts on authoritative, relevant and credible websites
- Add and display social media mentions on your website
- Encourage users and other industry experts to leave reviews and testimonials
Trust is not something you can easily build or improve overnight. You can’t really expect your audience or search engines to simply start trusting you without offering them a reason to do so.
For instance, consider well-known digital marketing websites that always rank among the first three results in Google SERP. A big part of the reason why they got there in the first place is the fact that users trust these websites.
They’ve built this trust with years and years of providing authoritative, valuable content and are now considered industry experts.
You, too, can earn that trust with your actions. Here’s how you can do that:
- Encourage trust by offering your audience a well-designed, functional and responsive website
- Boost trustworthiness by creating a brand with a strong message and mission
- Make sure all the information you offer is accurate, useful and relevant
- Make your business easily accessible by providing your contact details and making them visible
- Always fact-check your information, don’t shy away from admitting and correcting your mistakes, and regularly update your information with relevant data
While it is true that boosting your E-A-T ranking score is not an easy task, the value you can expect from it will be worth it.
The higher your E-A-T ranking score is, the more relevant and credible your website will be. This will positively affect your business in many ways. So, make sure you follow the guidelines and improve your E-A-T score as soon as possible.