Google is famous for constantly refining its algorithms to offer the most relevant and high-quality search results to its users. Moz points out that Google made 3,234 updates in 2018 alone.
Lately, Google’s E-A-T has emerged as one of the most significant algorithm updates that impacted several websites globally. The E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) algorithm is Google’s effort to award websites offering credible and quality content.
This algorithm update is particularly important for the YMYL (Your Money Your Life) industries that affect the reader’s health, happiness, safety, and financial state. So, healthcare, nutrition, education, finance, and legal industries are bound to experience poor ratings if their site fails to offer relevant and credible content.
Hence, content marketers and SEO writers should optimize their content for E-A-T. Implementing E-A-T principles in your website content will not only help you rank better but also win the trust of your users. Thus, by improving your E-A-T rating you are laying a solid foundation for a smooth customer’s journey with your business.
However, improving a site’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness cannot happen overnight. Read on to know how you can improve your site’s E-A-T rating.
1. Invite Domain Experts to Write or Review Your Content
People are comfortable trusting content that comes from someone who’s an authority in the domain. Hence, Google’s E-A-T prefers content written or reviewed by credential experts.
Notice how Healthline, an online source for expert health guidance, has its posts medically reviewed by experts in the field of medicine.
The authors and reviewers you involve should be recognized as an authority in your vertical. A simple Google search using the author’s name and expertise can help you get an idea of their authority and trustworthiness in the domain.
Partnering with such experts in the content creation process will build up your site’s online authority, thereby improving your E-A-T score and ranking.
2. Create an Impressive ‘About Us’ Page
In general, people visiting a site feel the need to learn about the enterprise before taking any action. They are not only looking for information about products and/or services but are keen to learn the brand story, the face behind the business, and the company’s vision and mission.
A powerful ‘About Us’ page can help you establish trust and authority by offering different types of information sought by visitors. Your website’s ‘About Us’ page should answer these questions.
- Who are you?
- What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)? Why should the visitor choose you over the competition?
- What’s your purpose, vision, and mission?
- What’s your brand story?
The ‘About Us’ page of Forever 21 has all the company information visitors would like to have. The online fashion store has also added pictures of the company headquarters to build trust.
Moreover, it is wise to include customer testimonials and reviews on the ‘About Us’ page. This will establish your expertise and authority in the niche and win the trust of those who visit your website.
Google’s search quality raters are constantly assessing what people say about a business. In fact, they are instructed to look through Yelp, Amazon, Google Shopping, and other sources of reputation information to gauge the trustworthiness of a website.
Source: Screenshot from SQRG
So, including customer reviews on this page can positively impact your E-A-T score.
Finally, give the customers an option to connect with you. Add your contact details on this page to encourage your visitors to get in touch with you when they need assistance. Highlighting your company address and phone number can notably improve your site’s trustworthiness.
3. Talk about the Content Contributors
Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines (SQRG) shares that it is critical to share who is responsible for the website and the content on the webpages.
Source: Screenshot from SQRG
So, in order to decide a website’s level of authority, Google’s raters will assess the expertise of the contributing author in the given field.
Sharing information about the contributor tells readers (and Google!) that the authors sharing their knowledge and views are an authority or expert in the domain. Use the tips shared below to draw attention to the content contributor.
- Include a Powerful Author Byline
Adding an author byline below the post title makes complete sense as it instantly demonstrates the contributor’s domain expertise. That way people landing on the page through a search engine can make a quick decision on whether or not the content looks trustworthy.
An author byline should include the author’s name, photograph (optional), the published or last updated date, credentials, and social proof (social likes and shares).
In this screenshot, the post title addresses data scientists. Here, the author byline adds authority to the content as it comes from a data scientist herself.
- Have Dedicated Author Pages
An exclusive author page revealing information about the content contributor will go a long way in building trust and improving the authority of the website. Besides including their photograph and relevant credentials, this page should outline the author’s educational background, expertise, and accomplishments. It’s also worth mentioning details of the awards and recognition they have received and the presentations they have delivered at major industry events.
Notice how Search Engine Land has a unique author page for their content contributors, allowing readers to find more information about the site’s authors. They have also added links to the author’s social media profile and contact details to give readers the option of contacting the author directly. All this helps in winning the reader’s trust.
Check out how Medium, a renowned online publishing platform, uses the author page to not only share the contributor’s credentials but also list the posts written by them. This helps build the author’s and website’s credibility and reputation.
The author page shows that the content is being contributed by an expert and authority in the domain. When the readers know the background of the authors, they are assured that the content shared is high-quality and trustworthy.
4. Get Authoritative Links and Mentions
Backlinks and brand mentions have always been a part of Google’s ranking factors. High-authority links and mentions address the ‘Authority’ in E-A-T. What’s more? SEO experts have hypothesized that the E-A-T score of the linking website can significantly affect your site’s score. If that’s true, procuring high-authority links and mentions is core to boosting your site’s E-A-T.
Notice how FFORA, a fashion lifestyle brand, has earned an authoritative mention from Forbes, thereby enhancing its expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Here are a few tips that will help you get authoritative backlinks and mentions.
- Write original research articles and use innovative content types (videos and infographics) to share data. Authoritative sites value research and will surely mention it on their sites.
- Share your opinion and analysis about a recent study or scientific research in your vertical. This type of content often attracts links and mentions.
- Cite the original source in your content to show that you care about delivering the most accurate information to your readers. Besides, your audience will appreciate your transparency, fostering trust.
- Network with journalists on social media platforms like Twitter or Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to earn mentions and links in their articles.
- Attend major industry conferences to connect and develop a healthy relationship with influencers in your field.
Finally, Google views websites like Wikipedia as a trusted source of information. Getting mentions from such sites can positively impact your site’s E-A-T score. In fact, having a dedicated Wikipedia page can notably boost your site’s perceived authority.
5. Do a Thorough Website Quality Audit
Regular site audits offer interesting insights that can be used to improve your website content and hence the E-A-T score. For instance, a timely audit can help you see what type of content is performing well and point out the gaps in your content strategy.
Use the below-mentioned tools to assess whether or not your site offers relevant and good-quality content.
- SEMRush: It’s On-Page SEO Checker can help you optimize existing posts and your site’s technical SEO. Further, it monitors brand outreach and finds link-building opportunities.
- SEOptimer: It’s a free SEO audit tool that helps improve your site’s ranking and online presence.
- Google Search Console: This free tool by Google helps you monitor and maintain your website ranking on SERP.
- Ahrefs: It can generate keyword ideas, monitor the webpage’s ranking history, perform thorough content research, and track your site’s outbound links.
- Sitebulb Website Crawler: This tool helps in identifying issues in the site’s URL structure. It offers insights and guidance on technical SEO and content requirements.
- Moz Crawl Test: This tool runs a full SEO audit, offering insights that can be used to improve the quality of your site content. It also scans the webpages to identify duplicate content, errors in title tags, and redirections of servers, allowing Google spiders to crawl your pages with ease.
Use the aforementioned tools to curate your content and improve its E-A-T rating.
6. Prioritize Website Security
Website security is another factor that affects a site’s E-A-T score. Make your visitors feel secure by boosting your site’s security. First things first: switch to HTTPS. Google marks non-HTTPS sites as insecure, negatively affecting your online reputation.
An SSL certificate secures the username, password, and sensitive user information, protecting your site from malicious hackers. Make sure your site has an appropriate SSL certificate.
Boosting the security of your website will improve its trustworthiness. Invest in a robust website security solution that avoids hacking disasters that negatively impact a site’s trustworthiness.
The search engine giant, Google, is famous for experimenting with various features in its search algorithms to offer the best results for a given user query. Since its inception, Google has been unceremoniously punishing webpages for offering poor content to the audience. Though E-A-T, Google wants to determine whether or not a site offers the best-quality credible content.
Use the tips shared in this post to improve your E-A-T and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.