- As a business owner, SEO can seem too technical to do without the help of an SEO expert. However, there is one technique you can easily do yourself to help you get better search results.
- Expertise, authority and trustworthiness (otherwise known as E-A-T) are important factors which are used to guide Google's algorithms. Google even penalises websites that lack E-A-T.
- Read on to learn how you can start demonstrating and improving E-A-T in just eight simple steps.
Are you disappointed with your search results in Google? SEO typically requires a steep learning curve and for small businesses, who has the time?
But one trend in SEO is less technical in nature and one that you as a small business owner can improve without the help of an agency.
This trend refers to establishing and communicating your Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness, or E-A-T, as Google and the SEO industry refers to it.
What is E-A-T SEO?
This may be news to you but Google actually has a team of Quality Raters (yes humans) whose job it is to provide feedback on websites ranking in Google. Their feedback, as it's understood, is to help guide Google's algorithms.
To do their job Google provides them with their Quality Rater's Guidelines. This document outlines the importance of demonstrating Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness.
And for many in the SEO industry, much of Google's recent algorithm updates have penalised websites that lack E-A-T.
How do I demonstrate and improve E-A-T?
This is a great question and one that there are no definitive answers - only the guidelines that have been published by Google. However, there are some popular opinions as to EAT best practices, so I've summarised eight of them below.
1. Have standards for guest posters
Guest posts can be a tremendous help to your business and brand. They offer content for your website when you may be lacking time or the confidence to write yourself.
However, if you're too lenient with who you allow to guest post on your site, it can have a negative effect on how your website is viewed.
Be sure to do some research on those that offer to guest post on your site. Can you search Google and establish their expertise or authority? Do the articles on their own site seem informational and easy to read?
2. Create a Wikipedia page for your company
If you're looking to create an authoritative presence for your brand, then create a page on one of the most "authoritative" sites in your audience's mind: Wikipedia.
Google uses Wikipedia as a way of noticing key brands. While the process of getting a Wikipedia page isn't for everyone, it can be quite helpful to companies that are on the rise.
Even if you aren't there quite yet, make this a long-term goal. Eventually, you want to get to a point where an autoconfirmed Wikipedia user promotes your brand and creates a page for your company.
3. Make a great author bio
If you're reading an article on taxation, then you want to know that the author is an expert and can be trusted, so what's one of the first things you do? You check out their author bio.
Take advantage of your author's bio. Write down all the experiences, awards, and services you've done that make you qualified to speak on a certain topic.
This is a tactic that has the rare benefit of hitting all three aspects of Google's EAT formula.
4. Be transparent about affiliate links
Affiliate links are an important piece of the online marketing puzzle for your company. But if you try to sneak them into your content or website, then it might not go over well with your readers.
In order to build a trustworthy image with Google and your readers, make the effort to acknowledge the affiliate links you have.
You can do this easily by declaring affiliate links on your site. That way, any reader is well aware of them before reading the content you have.
5. Build a terms and conditions page
To build the trustworthiness of your website, you want to find ways of showcasing your reliability without pushing it too hard.
Building a terms and conditions page can be a great option. It forms an agreement between the site and its users. While most people won't read it entirely, it gives them peace of mind knowing that you have it.
A terms and conditions page is considered a strong EAT indicator for Google. It's a white hat SEO tactic that almost all Google top-rank search result sites have. That's no coincidence.
6. Proofread all of your content
Nothing's worse than having a few spelling or grammatical errors within the content of your site. It serves as a huge egg on your company's face, giving off the impression that your brand is untidy.
Be sure to go back and proofread all of your content during the planning stage, as well as right before you post it to your site.
You can also use helpful apps like Grammarly to improve your results. It will alert you when you've made a grammar or spelling error and give you the most logical solution for it.
7. Conduct content audits often
If you've researched ways to improve your small business's content strategy, then you've probably come across the term "evergreen content". Many company owners believe this to be a permanent solution to prevent ageing site content.
However, even evergreen content needs to be kept up with. The information you used might be outdated, the links you used might not exist anymore, and so on.
For that reason, it's important to regularly audit your website's content. In order to give off the impression of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, your site's content needs to be relevant and up-to-date.
8. Always cite your sources
Nothing's more untrustworthy than a plagiarist. If you use things such as statistics or statements in your content that aren't your own, you need to cite your sources.
If the site reader feels so inclined, they can check your statements with the site you've provided to ensure the facts are correct.
Start using Google E-A-T SEO to your advantage today
These are all ideas that hopefully you can implement yourself. But don't just stop with these. Understand that proving your expertise, authority and trustworthiness should be an ongoing pursuit.
Not only because you want to improve your search performance, but because ultimately improving E-A-T will help to convert website visitors to customers.
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