You have likely spent time and money on building and optimizing your website. It may have pictures, a blog, perhaps a shopping cart feature, and an assortment of other plugins and elements that are designed to improve your web search ranking. But, in spite of all you have done, it is still not gaining as much search traffic as you would like.
This can be frustrating, and even a bit depressing. After all, your goal is to be on page one of search results. So, what are you to do?
In a word – E-A-T.
No, we don’t mean that you should grab a carton of ice cream or a plate of pasta and eat away your web troubles. Rather, E-A-T is an acronym that has to do with improving your Google search ranking.
What is E-A-T?
We have all heard the expression, “You are what you eat” and this applies to your website, too. How? Because last year Google introduced the EAT score. Standing for Expert, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, it relates to the quality of the content on your website.
It is well-known that Google views high-quality, user-friendly, relevant content that is useful and comprehensive as the creme de la crème. But how does that translate into doable actions for your website? Read further.
To be considered an expert, you must be knowledgeable or skilled in a specific area or topic. But just knowing about a topic is not enough to get you ranked on page one of search engine results. It is also important that you can share that information in a way people can understand and connect with what you have written. Think of your website as a 5-star chef. Each plate of food must delight the guests with its appearance, quality, and ability to tantalize the taste buds. You need your website’s content to show Google that you know your subject and it is loved and understood by your readers.
Quick Tips to Show Expertise
- Determine what your audience is looking for by using keyword research. (Our team can help with this if you need it.)
- Assess what the potential guests’ intents are in using specific search terms.
- Find a balance between thoroughly explaining your topic and staying simple. This has much to do with utilizing tools like video, infographics, or audio effectively.
- Display any credentials that back up your expertise.
- Unsubstantiated claims should not be used; be sure to cite facts (with links) where relevant.
- Consider what searches a guest might ask, and have those answers ready, too. (After all, no 5-star meal would be complete without dessert!) The goal is to be the leading source of answers within your field.
Being a 5-star chef in your local dining establishment is great, but you have truly arrived when other area chefs and home cooks look to you for all their questions and answers regarding cooking/food. This is when you move from being an expert to being the authority. Likewise, Google’s search algorithm looks for sites where the content isn’t just expertly written and presented but shows a level of authoritativeness as well.
How to Show Your Authority on a Subject
- Use links from relevant and respected websites.
- Get mentioned in the news or an authoritative websites.
- Use tools such as the Majestic trust ratio or Moz Domain Authority score to determine the authoritativeness of your website make adjustments accordingly.
- Have content that is widely shared across social media.
- Have a Wikipedia page for your brand or company. This is not an easy feat unless you are a known person/brand – but it can be achieved with work and perseverance.
- Get mentioned on forums. While this might not work for every industry, it can be a good indicator of your authoritativeness in your field.
A restaurant can boast a 5-star chef, but if patrons continually report bouts of food sickness it will soon cease to have new diners, and rapidly loose existing ones. The same is true of your website – you want your site guests to depend on you for your expertise and authority on a topic – not be concerned that they are getting misinformation.
A great way to build trustworthiness is with positive reviews on places such as Yelp, social media platforms, Google My Business, the Better Business Bureau, and other reputable review sites. It is also important to address any negative reviews promptly and seek resolution. Failing to deal with the negative can affect your standing with Google.
- Have a simple, easy to find a way to contact you.
- Connect your website with a physical location (NAP – name, address, phone number).
- Be sure your website is secure by correctly implementing HTTPS.
- As part of employee bios, note specific qualifications that your team members have.
- For e-commerce sites, have your refunds and return policy clearly stated. It is also vital to have comprehensive information about your product(s) and to include any relevant safety advice.
- Have payment logos for all the options people have for paying.
- For sites that share knowledge, have an author(s) bio included and cite sources when needed.
- List/show any prizes or awards you have won.
- Showcase clients you have worked with. The more well-known the better.
- Mention any publications and websites where your services, material or products have been featured.
- Note any industry association memberships.
- Include social proof such as reviews, star ratings, testimonials, etc. from real people.
However, in each of these elements listed, remember that it is a balancing act. If there is an abundance of awards, logos, magazines, etc. you might appear needy. Rather, show off the things for which you are most proud. And, regarding social proof, having only positive reviews can sometimes make people suspicious. This doesn’t mean you need to post that scathing review that cost you a higher star, but having a mediocre review mixed in with several filled with high praise shows your authenticity.
Failing to have a website that E-A-Ts properly can be detrimental to your business. Taking the time to build a website that shows your expertise, authority and trustworthiness will take time (5-star chefs spend years gaining that reputation) but by making small changes frequently -ideally daily- will nearly always result in a significant improvement over time. The ROI might take a year to be seen, but you have to start somewhere, so you might as well begin here and now. In fact, by making a 1% improvement to your website every day for the next year and you will see a 37% improvement on where you are ranking today.
15 Tips for Increasing Search Traffic
If your goal of E-A-T-ing is to increase search traffic to your website, then there are several SEO based actions you can take – many of which can be done by you and only require a little bit of your time. And, while you don’t have to implement every one of these in a week’s time, endeavoring to do one a day until they are all a part of your website’s culture will bring about an improved search ranking and E-A-T friendly content.
- Publish to your blog page often. In a perfect world, having several posts a week would be ideal. A study by Constant Content found that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month received almost 250% more traffic than companies publishing up to four monthly posts. However, if you can only achieve a blog post every other week, then do it. Action trumps inaction, every time.
- Only produce quality content. While an abundance of blog posts is the recommendation, it is also a situation of quality over quantity. You want blog posts that are original, substantial and comprehensive.
- Have page titles that are realistic. Sure, a title that claims to be the “World’s Best…” might sound great and might even catch a few eyes, but when it comes to Google Search, they aren’t impressed. Clickbait titles may sound good, but getting punished in Google rankings. Keep your titles descriptive without being exaggerated.
- Readability is a must. This applies to everything from the size and color of the font used, to the formatting of the article to the writing itself. In regards to the written content, be sure that it is grammatically correct, easy for your audience to read, and includes a conclusive summary of the article.
- Can it be read on any device? We live in a world where many people are viewing websites on mobile devices. Be sure that your website is designed accordingly. Sites that are not a responsive design will not be ranked as high by Google.
- Be sure your content is the best in your field on the Web. When you publish a blog post it needs to meet these criteria:
- Relevant – Don’t use facts or information from 5+ years ago.
- Comprehensive – Be sure to include all the salient facts. You wouldn’t be impressed with a five-course meal that left out the appetizer and dessert, would you?
- Useful – You want guests to feel as though they learned something new and beneficial.
- Cite your content to respected, authoritative authors. Whenever possible, link to other well-regarded writers and speakers.
- Use sources. Be sure to back up any statistics, facts, etc. that you mention in your post. Whether it is as an external link or footnotes, it is important to credit where it’s due.
- Stay on topic. If your company’s purpose is to provide information on buying and selling real estate, then don’t have a random blog post on the latest hairstyle for the season.
- Use keywords. Incorporate them into your website content so that they sound natural. Remember, you are writing for people, not robots! In addition, be certain the keywords you are using are the right ones for your field.
- Dependable site. Your website needs to load quickly, especially on mobile devices.
- Ongoing link building. This is one of the tasks that should done weekly -if not daily- if you want to boost your E-A-T rank. Work diligently to have inbound links from high-quality relevant sites. Additionally, take time to check for broken links on your website and correct or remove them. A tool like Dead Link Checker will help you find these.
- Be consistent in your voice. Consistency is not just important in your website’s content but in your voice. This is done by creating a personality that is ‘heard’ in every aspect of customer interaction. Your voice reflects your company’s values, and how you want to be perceived by others. Be sure to stay the same whether posting on your site, your social platforms or in any media productions.
- Descriptive text. Give a summary of a video or include a transcript, don’t just embed the video. It is also important to include a description with any images posted on your site.
- Use H1 and H2 header tags. These make your website easier to read for both people and search engines.
Like dining at an elegant restaurant where you anticipate eating a decadent meal prepared by a 5-star chef, you want your website to reflect an E-A-T level that brings site guests satisfaction. To do this, you must implement characteristics and features that show a high level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. The steps and tips given here are a starting point. There are many other actions you can take to improve your ranking. Start slowly, and keep going so that you can have a website that ranks well.
Need help with these tasks? Talk to the team at Page Progressive. We would love to help you succeed!