Decoding E-E-A-T Signals in SEO
Just like Taylor Swift’s iconic song “Love Story,” where trust forms the foundation of an enduring romance, trust also plays a pivotal role in today’s digital realm. Enter E-E-A-T signals in SEO.
If you’re wondering what on earth that stands for, fear not. In this article, we’ll unpack the core elements of E-E-A-T, what they mean and how to implement them in your organic search strategy. So, put some Taylor on, grab a seat and get ready to boost your content’s quality with the power of E-E-A-T.
What is E-E-A-T?
Let’s start with the basics of this love story. E-E-A-T is the acronym for a set of signals that Google uses to rate the quality of a website. It stands for:
- Experience: The first-hand experience of the content creator.
- Expertise: The expertise of the content creator.
- Authoritativeness: The authoritativeness of the content creator, the main content itself and the website.
- Trustworthiness: The extent to which the page is accurate, honest, safe and reliable.
While it may not be a direct ranking factor in Google’s algorithms, it’s a mighty important consideration noted in Google’s “Search Quality Rater Guidelines” — the 176-page document that acts as a guiding light for what content is deemed high quality. It’s all about ensuring that the content we consume isn’t just harmless but also genuinely helpful.
The concept of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) has been around for nearly a decade, but in December 2022, Google added an extra “E” to the acronym. Why? Well, the search giant wanted to emphasize the value of first-hand experience from content creators. And in the age of AI, having content that is authored by a real person with real experience will become even more essential.
Why is E-E-A-T Important for SEO?
At its core, E-E-A-T ensures that the content we encounter is safe and genuinely helpful to users. By prioritizing E-E-A-T principles, marketers can bolster their brand’s credibility, position themselves as trustworthy sources of information and cultivate loyalty. This strategic focus allows marketers to outperform competitors, foster meaningful connections with their audience, and achieve enduring success in the digital realm.
Who Should Invest in Building E-E-A-T?
Now, here’s the deal: E-E-A-T serves as a template for rating sites and pages that result from every single query in search. So, anyone and everyone with an online presence can find value in catering to these signals. But you should pay extra attention if your website deals with “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) topics like financial or medical advice. These areas have a heightened impact from E-E-A-T because content quality and reliability are of utmost importance to users when it comes to these topics.
If you want to establish yourself as a reliable source of information, build credibility within your industry, and earn the trust of your audience, then E-E-A-T should be at the top of your priority list. By aligning your content with the principles of experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, you’ll not only enhance your SEO but also foster meaningful connections with your users.
Breaking Down E-E-A-T Factors and How to Highlight Them in Your SEO Strategy
Without further ado, let’s break down what each E-E-A-T signal is and how it can be highlighted in a successful SEO strategy.
When it comes to experience, it’s all about the content creator. We’re talking about firsthand, real-life know-how.
|How Google defines it:“Experience: Consider the extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic. Many types of pages are trustworthy and achieve their purpose well when created by people with a wealth of personal experience. For example, which would you trust: a product review from someone who has personally used the product or a “review” by someone who has not?”|
Here are some actionable steps to showcase a content creator’s experience in your content:
- Call out the author’s experience: If the author of a blog article or content piece has firsthand experience with the topic, such as personally using the products/services or visiting the destination being discussed, it is crucial to highlight this expertise. Include a couple of sentences on the page explicitly mentioning the author’s firsthand experience to establish their credibility and build trust with the readers.
- Customer reviews and testimonials: Feature authentic testimonials or reviews from customers who have directly used your products or services. Include their name, photo (with permission) and a brief description of their experience.
- Case studies: Develop in-depth case studies that showcase specific experiences or success stories of your customers. Highlight challenges they faced, how your product or service helped them, and the measurable results they achieved, once again emphasizing their first-hand experience.
- Personal stories or blog posts: Encourage authors or customers to share personal stories or experiences related to your industry or offerings. Create blog posts or articles where they can narrate their first-hand experiences, providing valuable insights and establishing their credibility.
- Video demonstrations or tutorials: Produce videos where authors or customers demonstrate the use of your products or services. They can share their first-hand experience, showcase product features and provide valuable insights and tips for potential customers.
- Aggregate (star) ratings: If you are discussing a product or service, feature the aggregated star ratings that have been provided by previous customers. Then mark up the ratings with schema to enhance the visibility in search results.
By implementing these strategies, you can effectively demonstrate the experience of your content creators and provide valuable, authentic information to your audience. Remember, the more genuine and relevant the experience, the stronger your website’s E-E-A-T signals become.
Expertise is another crucial component of E-E-A-T. It refers to the content creator (ex. author) having in-depth knowledge and a high level of skill in a particular topic. Google values content created by subject matter experts, especially when it comes to Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) topics that require reliable and trustworthy information.
|How Google defines it:“Expertise: Consider the extent to which the content creator has the necessary knowledge or skill for the topic. Different topics require different levels and types of expertise to be trustworthy. For example, which would you trust: home electrical rewiring advice from a skilled electrician or from an antique homes enthusiast who has no knowledge of electrical wiring?”|
So, how can you showcase your expertise on your website? Let’s explore some actionable strategies:
- Assign expert authors: Identify individuals with expertise in specific areas and assign them to create content that highlights their opinions or is written in an article-style format. This helps establish credibility and demonstrates that your website is a trusted source of information.
- Author bios: Include a dedicated section on the website where authors can provide a concise overview of their qualifications, expertise and relevant experience. This section should highlight their educational background, certifications, industry affiliations, and any other credentials that establish their expertise. Each bio should also link to external websites or social profiles that validate the expertise of the author (Ex. LinkedIn).
- Thought leadership content: Encourage your content creators to produce thought leadership pieces such as whitepapers, research studies or in-depth analyses that showcase their expertise in a specific niche or topic. These types of content help establish them as industry experts and thought leaders.
- Expert opinions and interviews: Feature content where your content creators share their expert opinions or provide insights through interviews, podcasts, or panel discussions. This allows visitors to gain firsthand knowledge of the expertise and knowledge your content creators possess.
By implementing these strategies, you can effectively demonstrate your expertise and build trust with your audience. Remember, showing that you know your stuff is key to establishing yourself as a reliable source of information.
Now, let’s talk about authoritativeness. It’s all about establishing your reputation as a go-to content creator or website in your industry.
|How Google defines it:“Authoritativeness: Consider the extent to which the content creator or the website is known as a go-to source for the topic. While most topics do not have one official, authoritative website or content creator, when they do, that website or content creator is often among the most reliable and trustworthy sources. For example, a local business profile page on social media may be the authoritative and trusted source for what is on sale now. The official government page for getting a passport is the unique, official, and authoritative source for passport renewal.”|
So, how can you demonstrate authoritativeness on your website? Here are some actionable steps you can take:
- Awards and recognitions: Showcase any awards, accolades or industry recognitions your website or content creators have received. This demonstrates that your website and content have been acknowledged for their quality and expertise.
- Credible backlinks: Earn backlinks from reputable and authoritative websites in your industry. These backlinks serve as a validation of your website’s credibility and authority, indicating that other trusted sources recognize your content as valuable.
- Testimonials and endorsements: Display testimonials or endorsements from recognized experts, influencers or industry leaders who have positive experiences or opinions about your website or content. This helps establish your website’s authority and reputation.
- Authoritative content partnerships: Collaborate with established and respected organizations, institutions or industry publications to produce content together. This association with reputable partners enhances your website’s authority by association.
Remember, establishing authoritativeness takes time and effort, but it’s a crucial element of E-E-A-T that can significantly boost your website’s credibility and visibility in search results.
Last but certainly not least, we have trustworthiness. Trust is the cornerstone of the E-E-A-T family and the most crucial guideline to grow. To establish trust, you need to focus on legitimacy, transparency and accuracy.
|How Google defines it:“Trust is the most important member of the E-E-A-T family because untrustworthy pages have low E-E-A-T no matter how Experienced, Expert, or Authoritative they may seem. For example, a financial scam is untrustworthy, even if the content creator is a highly experienced and expert scammer who is considered the go-to on running scams!”|
Here are actionable steps to demonstrate trustworthiness on your website:
- Clear and accurate information: Ensure that the content on your website is accurate, well-researched and up-to-date. Provide proper source citations and references for any data or information used in your content to establish transparency and trust.
- Use verbiage that conveys your trustworthiness: Incorporate language that conveys transparency and trust throughout your content. By using terms like “official,” “transparent,” “trusted source,” or “reliable information,” you emphasize the integrity of your website and its content.
- Be transparent about your data: Clearly disclose information about pricing, data, who you serve, etc. related to your products or services. Being upfront and honest helps build trust with your audience and ensures they have accurate expectations.
- Contact information: Create a page dedicated to your company’s contact information such as your phone number, email, physical address, etc. Ensure that this information is accurate and verifiable on exterior listings like Google Business Profile.
By implementing these strategies, you can establish and reinforce the trustworthiness of your website and content creators. Building trust is crucial for fostering strong relationships with your audience and gaining credibility in the online space.
Not sure where to start E-E-A-Ting your content? These self-assessment questions can help you understand where to begin improving your website’s content.
- Does your content demonstrate expertise in its respective field?
- Is the author’s bio and relevant qualifications clearly provided?
- Is the content of your website consistently updated and accurate?
- Are references or sources given for factual information and are they authoritative?
- Does your website show a good user experience? (E.g., easy navigation, quick loading times)
- Are the topics covered on your website within the author’s field of expertise?
- Does your website have a solid reputation for the topics it covers?
- Are your content’s claims or advice supported by recognized authorities in the field?
- Does your website’s content reflect authoritativeness and command over the subject matter?
- Does your website clearly convey its purpose and audience it is intended for?
- Are negative reviews or complaints addressed and rectified promptly?
- Does your website have a secure connection (HTTPS)?
- Are there clear and accessible policies or statements regarding user data and privacy?
- Is your website free of misleading or potentially harmful information?
- Do other authoritative websites link to your content?
- Is your content comprehensive and does it provide in-depth analysis or information on the topics it covers?
- Does your website foster a sense of community or engagement among its users?
- Is your content original, or does it offer unique insights not available elsewhere?
- Are spelling and grammar on point throughout the website?
- Does your website demonstrate that it’s an authoritative source in its niche?
Implementing E-E-A-T in Your SEO Strategy
In the spirit of the timeless love depicted in Taylor’s “Love Story,” E-E-A-T embodies a company’s unwavering commitment to forging enduring relationships. It’s not just about optimizing for search engine algorithms; it’s about providing value and building trust with your audience. By incorporating the principles of experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness into your content and website, you can create a solid foundation for success.
If you’re looking to take your website’s E-E-A-T signals to new heights, partner with Noble Studios. Our team of experts (and Taylor fans) will help you craft a winning SEO strategy that aligns with E-E-A-T and elevates your online presence. Don’t wait any longer — let’s unlock the power of E-E-A-T together and watch your website soar to new heights!