E-A-T guidelines for improving your SEO

In my previous blog, I wrote about Google’s December core update. While little was known - and still is - about what it means, Google shared many times that the best way to react to any of their core updates is to consider their guidelines on E-A-T for any content optimisation.

With that in mind, in this blog I will be covering a list of key actions to optimise a page’s content and improve its relevancy in the search, based on Google’s E-A-T guidelines.

What is E-A-T?

In short, E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. These are three elements, that according to Google, are fundamental to measure the relevancy of a page or site’s content.

The term was first mentioned in Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines, released to the public in 2013. The document lists a number of steps and examples that are used as a template for their raters to evaluate and review any page content. Amongst other factors, E-A-T elements are probably the most critical to determine a page relevancy for any given query, especially those concerning sensitive subjects - also referred as YMYL.

Optimising your SEO using E-A-T

Since it is such a detailed document with comprehensive insights on how Google actually reviews and rates websites for their relevancy, SEO experts have been using it as a primary tool for optimising content and reacting to core updates.

Here at POLARIS Agency, we have gathered a list of core elements that we consider to be the most valuable points to address when reviewing and optimising any page content.

Our model structures a number of segments of a page or site, that directly affect each of the three elements of E-A-T. While all of this helps improving the E-A-T score overall, some segments are critical to improve the Expertise of the site, while others can affect more directly the Authority and Trustworthiness.

Expertise

Websites can have many different purposes. While some are merely created to make a profit, others have a more informative intent, or sometimes sites might not even appear to have any purpose whatsoever. This is because websites are built around different subjects and target different people. What is relevant and makes sense to some users, may appear irrelevant to others.

What is important is that the website can fulfil the purpose that it is intended for, and be relevant to people that are looking for that specific subject.

That’s when the element of Expertise gains a critical role. For the content to be relevant and rightly fulfil peoples’ expectations about a given topic, it needs to be relevant and prove that the person creating the content is knowledgeable in that specific field.

The content needs to be clear, comprehensive, and detailed. For example, ecommerce websites need to focus on the aspects of each product, such as the purpose of the product and how to use it, physical aspects (dimension, colour), payment and delivery information.

A good exercise for this is trying to put yourself inside your target audience’s shoes, and understand how easily and quickly you can get to the most relevant topics. To improve this, make sure the most important content is the first to show up. Use different sections across the page to identify different topics that you want to stand out. Be clear, objective, and elaborate your arguments well. Whilst it's important to be succinct and objective, do not be afraid to use many words, as long as it makes sense and adds context to the subject.

Consider including certifications or relevant partnerships within the content of the site. This is one of the best ways to prove that you are a certified authority in the field and know exactly what you are writing about.

FAQs are a great way of giving your users quick answers to common queries. Make sure to include a list of 4 or 5 top queries for each main category page, with straightforward and comprehensive answers.

Keep in mind that the content needs to be as updated as possible. Blogposts are useful for this, try creating a new one every week, covering topics that are popular and in fashion. Finally, link them to your main landing pages.

Authority

There is no doubt that the quality of the content is probably the top priority factor for Google to review and rank websites.

However, the second most important thing is to make sure that the content is well spread across the internet. To do so, websites need to build large networks of external sources linking to their pages. More important is that these sources are also providing high quality and relevant content. Google highly appreciates it as it is the most effective way of providing users all over the internet with quality websites.

With that in mind, it’s important to any website owner to build strong link building strategies. This means creating a well-defined plan to increase the volume of quality referrals and backlinks.

There are different ways of getting authoritative websites to link to your site, one of the most common ways is to create a hitlist of quality sites and reach out, proposing strategic partnerships.

Additionally, creating relevant and diverse content will improve the chances of other sites agreeing to link to yours. Think Blog posts, ‘How to’ Guides, Interviews with industry experts, Infographics, Video, and Case-studies. All of these are highly shareable pieces of content that will help you attract authoritative external links to your site.

Trustworthiness

Over the years, websites have become the most essential source of information in the world.

With so much content available and so many different sources of information, users have become more cautious about which sites they can trust.

There are three main elements that affect the trustworthiness of a site:

Reviews and ratings

The best way that people use to verify if a website is trustable or not, is to have access to other customers feedback. Reviews and rating about the company, services, or specific products, give clear insight about what is to be expected from that website. There is no better way of proving your customers that you can be trusted.

It's important that you allow people to review your product or services directly in your website. On ecommerce websites, make sure you allow users to review and rate every product individually.

It’s also relevant to have external sources linking to your site, where users can quickly find other reviews and ratings (Trustpilot, Yelp, Reviews.io). Google My Business is a great alternative too, as it allows people to have access to key information about your business - such as reviews and ratings - straight from the Google search results.

Try engaging with people by replying to their reviews, and make sure to reply to the negative feedback. Be comprehensive and present unsatisfied customers with quick and as straightforward solutions to their problem.

Safe Browsing

With so much delicate information being exchanged between users and websites nowadays, Google has taken extreme measures to protect people from malicious attacks and started labelling websites that don’t comply with their safe browsing regulations.

Amongst other guidelines, the most relevant one is having an SSL certificate, which guarantees that sensitive information that is shared between the site and servers is encrypted.

User Experience

Finally, the last way to guarantee that people trust your site is to provide them with a great and seamless user experience. Optimising your page speed is probably the best way to improve this. It is also key that you make sure that the layout of the page supports different devices and browsers. Avoid having a shady looking website by adding a lot of intrusive popups and ads interstitials.

 

Polaris is an award-winning B2B SEO agency in London specialising B2B, PPC, e-commerce and the healthcare industry.

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