E-A-T in SEO: What Does It Mean to You?


E-A-T in SEO: What Does It Mean to You? - Eric Sachs SEO

Expertise. Authoritativeness. Trustworthiness. These three components make up the E-A-T acronym, one of the most important acronyms you need to keep in mind when you are developing your website’s SEO campaign.

The concept of E-A-T was first introduced back in 2014. Quite by accident, actually. Someone accidentally leaked some of Google’s Search Quality Guidelines and the SEO world went a little nutty over it. Time has shown us just how important the theory is when it comes to overall page quality.

Is this theory completely new to you? It’s time to start paying attention.

E is for Expertise

Let’s say you are running a website dedicated to helping people better understand their finances. You’ve identified this as a strong niche and have a great marketing plan. You have a team of writers and you are working to create quality content.

The finance niche is pretty specialized. So when a reader lands on your page and starts reading your articles or blogs, how will they know you have the expertise to actually give financial advice? Do you have an industry expert contributing content? Do you you have an industry expert offering critiques? Are you citing industry experts as sources within your page content?

What are you showing on the page that tells your readers (and Google) that someone with actual financial experience is behind the content being shared?

This isn’t to say your writers have to be financial experts. They do have to be professional enough to find real expert sources to quote within your articles. They have to be expert fact-checkers. Pair your quality writers with a top-notch editor and you’ll have content that oozes with expertise.

A lot of websites mess up in the expertise category because they publish vague content. A true expert can provide specific details and flesh out ideas, not just gloss over the topic with hasty generalizations. You honestly can’t be an authority in any area of expertise without experience.

A is for Authoritativeness

It’s not enough to simply have expert writers on staff. You need to make sure you are giving them credit in order to add an air of authority to your site.

If your writer is a financial expert, you should add a byline with his name and job title. A short two to three line biography outlining their financial experience and credentials is perfect. Include a link to your expert’s professional website or include a link to a full bio within your website if the writer is a regular, full time-contributor to your website.

Your writer doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert on the subject. They can still contribute authority to your pages as long as they are citing their sources. Google actually loves it when you link back to relevant content. Include the author’s name and very brief biography that highlights their experiences writing on the topic.

In both cases, including a photo of your writer as part of the formal built-in bio section creates a sense of transparency your readers will appreciate.

Another way to establish authority is by finding influencers who are willing to share your message. When Google sees those who are already considered authorities linking back to your content, the search engine will see it as valuable. Why would someone already ranked ahead of you link back to you if your content were not?

T is for Trustworthiness

Why should your reader trust you? Why should your reader choose your content over the content shared on another website? And – ultimately – why should your reader choose to do business with you, buy a product from you, or click on your affiliate links instead of partnering with a competing website? Why is your site more trustworthy than the rest?

The most important thing to remember is that your content is being developed for the reader, not purely for “SEO” value. That’s a hard pill for some to swallow. Your content needs to share quality information, share a specific point of view, entertain, or provide some other form of value.

Yes, keywords are important. No, you can’t keyword stuff in the hopes that Google will prioritize your page in the search engines. Naturally weaving a few good keywords into your content ( at least where it makes sense) is far more beneficial than adding the same keywords over and over again throughout your content.

When your reader lands on your page, will he feel as though he’s found something of value, or will he feel like he found a keyword stuffed landing page that was merely designed to guide him towards a sale? The answer really needs to be the former. The latter will come naturally.

E-A-T and YMYL Websites

E-A-T is an important concept to keep in mind when developing any website, but it is most important on YMYL sites (Your Money or Your Life). YMYL sites are websites that Google views as having the potential to actually influence a person’s “life, income, or happiness.” In other words, if your advice could make or break a person’s finances, you’d better have expertise and authority on your side.

Your Money or Your Life site examples:

  • Any site that talks about finances, especially when it comes to investment advice, taxes or retirement savings
  • Any website that talks about personal issues like estate planning, family law, divorce, child support, or immigration
  • Websites that could be dangerous if the information contained within them is inaccurate. For example, sites teaching someone how to change the brakes on their car or how to install a ceiling fan in their home

E-A-T Should Be Your Best Practice

When it comes to establishing your website’s best practices, E-A-T needs to be a part of the equation. It’s going to play a huge role in how Google determines your site’s overall value. Meeting a need or solving a problem are excellent goals – but only if your site’s practices are transparent, not spammy, and specific.

Expertise. Authority. Trustworthiness. Make sure every piece of content you put on your website meets this standard and you’ll find your organic rankings and traffic improving at a notable rate. But there is another side to the story – and that’s how to strategize your SEO to best fit your content. Reach out to me here to talk about how I can help you achieve your goals.

SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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