Google’s Quality Rating Guidelines Version 5.0 is opening the eyes of SEO experts and webmasters across the globe. For the first time in what seems like forever, we have real insight into what Google’s human website rating team looks at when evaluating websites and their content.
One of our favorite new acronyms to come out of the QRGs is “E-A-T,” which stands for “Expertise, Authority and Trust.” These are three values that every website should strive to instill in their visitors. Let’s break down each component to explore how to improve your website ranking.
Establishing Expertise on Your Website
When you hear the word “expert” whom do you envision? If you’re talking about the computer world you’d probably think of people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. On a broader scale, if you’re talking medical know-how you’d consider anyone with a medical degree as an expert in their field of specialization.
When you think about it, being an expert is a matter of getting other people to believe that you ARE an expert. You don’t really need a fancy degree if you have thousands of Twitter followers declaring you the expert at developing copycat recipes of your favorite restaurant foods, for example.
You’ll need to employ several tactics to gain that level of “Expert” in Google’s E-A-T acronym. To do this, you need to devote your website to the area in which you wish to be seen as an expert and stick to it. Experts are also often quoted by others in the field, so establishing relationships with like-minded or similarly themed websites and bloggers is a must to grow your reputation as an expert. The more people who cite your website as being a resource for good information, the more of an expert you appear to be, and the more authority you generate.
Speaking of authority…
Becoming an Authority Figure with Your Website
Google’s second parameter in its E-A-T acronym is Authority. Since Google dropped its authorship feature, many blog and article authors were left wondering how they were going to promote their authority without a special tag and photo on all of their content.
The truth is, author markup is worth nothing if your content isn’t worthy of being cited by other professionals. If you write unique, interesting, informative, and factual content, you will establish yourself as an authority figure in your field. This is similar to establishing yourself as an expert with one major difference: facts.
Using facts, figures, and other types of solid evidence gives authority to any claims or information you present in your content. The catch is, those facts and figures need to come from other authoritative resources, whether it be from a government-published study or research done by your own company, it needs to be singled out as tried and true facts and information backed by actual research and experience.
Trust is Critical on the Internet
The idea of trust is found in nearly every aspect of online interactions. From your URL bar where you can designate that you want to go to a secure (https) site that is trusted with that designation, to the various certifications and verification buttons you can qualify for, and link to, at the bottom of your homepage. Trust can be hard to earn but easy to lose on the Internet.
Building trust can be done in many ways and the most effective methods depend on the nature of your website. If you run an eCommerce site that sells goods or services online, make sure you have a direct method of providing customer service, create an About Us page and a contact page to show that you have nothing to hide from your customers.
If you are establishing yourself as an expert in your field with the authority to speak on the topic at hand, any real world credentials such as certifications, college degrees, awards and peer reviews will help establish that you are a trusted figure among your colleagues and in your industry.
The Bottom Line: It Takes Great Content to E-A-T Well
The key to E-A-Ting well is all within your content, and we’re not just talking about text. Feature any logos of authoritative sites such as the Better Business Bureau for customer-oriented sales websites/companies, or AVVO badges for attorneys. Make sure your website is verified and secure with an https URL if you’re conducting sales over the Internet. Avoid deceptive tactics like paygates and misleading advertisements to get users to buy into your information.
Just remember, even the biggest experts, the most authoritative businesses, and the most trusted companies don’t always have time to generate quality content to keep up their reputation for good E-A-Ting. We Do Web Content, Inc is here to help. Give us a call or fill out our contact form to speak with our sales manager. He’ll explain the benefits of E-A-Ting well and give your site a free content audit! Call 888-521-3880.