Just about all of us like to E-A-T, but Google especially. What E-A-T stands for is Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. With an avalanche of information on the Internet, some valid, some not, these concepts guide users to find sites with quality information not disinformation. Now, to complicate matters: it is a concept, not a ranking factor. This means while Google has written about it in their reference documents that Search Engine Optimizers and webmasters swear by, E-A-T is a suggestion, not a Google mandate. Here at Active Web Group, we believe that websites that do not demonstrate E-A-T do not stand a chance of ranking well, and we incorporate it into our SEO campaigns.

It is widely known that periodically Google’s algorithm updates can upset website rankings, some briefly, and for others dramatically. For the unfortunate websites, this ‘rock the boat’ impact is called YMYL, “your money or your life” and suggests the site needs to up its game to gain the power to influence site visitors to convert (make a purchase). Improving the quality of site content alone will not ‘do the trick’ however. In this posting, AWG covers what needs to be done, and performed continuously to meet and maintain E-A-T standards.

Off-Site Recommendations

It takes more than keyword searches for visitors to find your site. And what influences them to visit your online enterprise anyway? A recommendation or positive shout out on a forum is likely to index to assist with rankings. Online press is always a good idea. Such articles, reviews, etc. can also be linked from your site for additional SEO punch. Add a star if your management team is reviewed or mentioned as well. Third party review sites such as Trustpilot are also valuable if such applies. Wikipedia can be invaluable as it collaborates and finds a wider audience for your business’ history. Think of it as an extension of your About Us page, only with the potential for solid linkage. Social media is also a boon, however the best options are mentions and reviews in public profiles and by social groups. (Word of advice: Have a care about your site’s disavow file so that when trawling offshore, only quality linkages result.)

On-Site Recommendations

Influence conversions and visitor loyalty by telling them who you are. Positive reviews, testimonials, and responses to negative reviews all resonate the level of customer service and integrity visitors can expect. Connection with industry leaders is another plus. What connections does your business have with a wider industry community? Who are you? Most site visitors will gravitate to your About Us page. Make sure yours has your entity’s legal name there for further validation. It is a fact, most of us want to deal with companies with a solid reputation. Resonate yours at every opportunity, however subtle.

Other ‘proof signals’ to visitors include:

  • How long has your firm been in business?
  • Is it a family business (major plus)?
  • What makes your site an authority?
  • Why should you be considered a trustworthy information source- and be sure to prove it!

Content

Integral to the trust factors ascribed to any site, does your site content have a purpose and is that purpose fulfilled? In other words, do you deliver on what you promise site visitors? Make your content useful, or replace it. As with your college term papers, make sure your content is free from typos and grammatical errors. It matters to readers! Citations. If you make a statement, back it up with the source, and make certain to use only credible sources by (preferably known) industry experts. Is your content readable? There is no place for obvious keyword stuffing and pointless sentences. Site visitors feel they are being duped, or tricked with content that has not been created in their best interests -to inform them. On this note, keep your site content fresh and without misleading advice. Become known for your integrity, not inaccuracy. Think about your site’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Above all, rout any instances of clickbait. It is so 2008, cheesy, and just not appropriate for today’s site visitors. Additionally, who bylines your articles? Some solid linkage opportunities for well-published ‘authors’ including executive staffers (such as LinkedIn, bios on other sites, etc. SEOs, do not overlook structured data opportunities).

Ads and PopUps

It’s one of the oldest industry ‘tells’ and a hallmark of a poor quality site. Basically, having ads ‘above the fold’ where the subject of the page itself should be featured is an all-time ‘no no’. Poor quality, and obvious attempts to rank by luring visitors to certain pages erodes and destroys the very trust in a site that online business owners are hoping to earn. It is a fact that pages offering bad user experiences have lower trust scores. Yet, AdSense is an important tool. Be sure your digital marketing team knows where to draw the line to improve and increase your site’s E-A-T.

As for popups, all things in moderation. Make certain if you employ this technique that it appears at an appropriate time, is unobtrusive, and easy for the user to close. On this note, ensure that your popups and all ad content does not mislead. Do not attempt to disguise it as standard page content. Not only does it abuse the trust of your visitor, but also before long, Google will likely be dinging sites for this transgression in the name of better E-A-T.

At Active Web Group, our SEO professionals aim for and achieve only the highest quality results for our clients. Many of the transgressions noted in this posting would not have been placed by our team on client sites in the first place. For online business owners who have the running of their core business objectives to consider, we advise that you leave the growth, maintenance, and site’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness factors to us. We’ll gladly partner with you to explore your site’s current status and your projections for it and your business future. Give us a call at (800) 978-3417 today!