Regardless of industry, you want your brand to appear credible. In the case of B2B companies, you want to prove to businesses that you are worthy of their time and hold the expertise necessary to provide them with what they need. Meanwhile, for B2C companies, you want to prove to potential and current customers that your product or service solves a pain point for them.
Your website is where you make the first impression on your potential customers. And while your visuals may convert visitors into customers, you also need to establish E-E-A-T not only to get people to visit your website but to convince them to keep coming back as well.
What Is E-E-A-T?
E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trust. Your website content must satisfy E-E-A-T requirements to be more useful to searchers. Originally just E-A-T, Google added an extra “E” to the beginning of this acronym in 2022—experience.
Experience tacks on another layer to the initial E-A-T requirement. This layer encompasses the evolving way that internet users evaluate online content. For instance, it’s more commonplace now for searchers to trust different types of content creators for product recommendations and other advice than in the past.
Experience with the product or service should be first-hand. For example, an established beauty blogger would have a high level of experience when reviewing a new foundation that they have tested for months. That same beauty blogger would have low levels of experience if they put out a quick review of a skincare treatment they haven’t used personally.
Over everything, people want to know that what they’re reading comes from an expert source. This folds into the next “E” in the acronym: Expertise. Along with first-hand experience, the content creator should have a certain level of skill and knowledge on the topic at hand.
For example, a fashion brand would not necessarily have the expertise required to put out an article on step-by-step roof repair. Keen-eyed searchers would examine the author and determine that they don’t have the required level of expertise to advise about home maintenance. Conversely, if the searcher notices that the article is from an established expert roofing company, they’d feel more confident about trusting the advice provided.
Even though a roofing company may be experienced and an expert in the field, it still may not be everyone’s go-to source for all kinds of roofing information. There could be a different roofing business with a stronger online process and better content, which makes it more authoritative.
Authoritativeness can refer to your content’s singular author or the brand that is the face of the content. Establishing authority means your content must be among the first places people look to find information about your industry.
For example, the beauty blogger referenced above may be the most popular source for foundation reviews. Similarly, a chain of coffee stores may be the first that people look to when searching for coffee deals or trends.
As SEO professionals and marketers, you know the importance of establishing trust first and foremost. Although it’s the last letter of the acronym, Google acknowledges that it is the most important factor in their updated search quality evaluator guidelines. Trust is the basis on which search engines and searchers determine whether or not a site is accurate, honest, safe, and reliable.
Search Engine Ranking Factors
The Google algorithm determines how sites are ranked on search engine results pages (SERPs) and automatically indexes the web pages to appear in a certain order. SEO aficionados also keep a close eye on ranking differences and predict the content factors that influence ranking fluctuations.
Some confirmed ranking factors include:
- Keyword optimization
- Title tags
- Internal linking
- Anchor text
- Content updates
- Page speed
- Website security
- Optimization for mobile
Though E-E-A-T is not a confirmed ranking factor, it does emphasize the qualities of what Google considers high-quality content.
Ultimately, the best way to satisfy Google’s ranking factors is to understand that the algorithm is developed with searcher intent in mind. Search intent should be the foundation on which you build your SEO strategy. The goal is to provide the most experienced, expert, authoritative, and trustworthy content so you can effectively provide readers with the information they’re seeking.
How To Establish E-E-A-T for Your Website
Each website’s approach to building E-E-A-T will be different. There are countless categories of sites and types of content. You have to consider your purpose and audience when putting together a strategy to build authority and trust in your website.
Keep the following tips in mind when deciding how to satisfy each letter of E-E-A-T to improve your SEO efforts:
- Highlight experience
Showcase testimonials, reviews, past work, articles, and conversational marketing that emphasize the amount of experience you have within your industry.
- Hone in on expertise
Prioritize content that your site is an expert on, and make it clear where the expertise comes from. First-hand experience may be enough for anecdotal pages, but Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages with actionable, potentially life-changing advice require proven expertise.
- Build authority
Decide which topics are most relevant to your website and strive to be a conversation starter in the industry. Create content with your audience in mind and provide useful information that makes your site their go-to source.
- Establish trust
Build a secure website, making sure that it is up to date. Work on providing content that is honest and transparent. Provide reliable customer service, if applicable. Most importantly, prevent any harm that may come to readers from the information you provide.
The E-E-A-T Factor
Remember that E-E-A-T is just a guideline, and strategies will inherently overlap into different sectors of that guideline. If you find that happening, that probably means you’re doing E-E-A-T right. The end goal is to provide searchers with useful information relevant to their queries, prevent harm like discrimination and ill advice, and stay honest and helpful.