Back in the day, you could pop up on Google search results with little to no effort. To rank well today, you must nurture your brand and ensure it offers real value for target consumers.
While your online stores mostly depend on it, the search engine giant doesn’t owe you a living. If there is better and more authoritative content or services offering better services or products, Google will redirect more traffic their way. It comes to such a decision using Quality Rater Guidelines, specifically E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) which was later updated with an extra ‘E.’
What Is E-E-A-T?
Google uses its E-A-T guidelines to determine whether certain content can prove valuable to readers and, thus, should rank well. It was introduced in 2014 as part of their Search Quality Guidelines to assess the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of online content on behalf of searchers.
The document is updated regularly, and in the last update, Google added an extra ‘E’, turning E-A-T to E-E-A-T as it added ‘Experience.’ In other words, now Google also evaluates if the content creator has first-hand experience in the topics they write on and share. For example, if someone writes a review on a recipe, the search engine can determine if they have used it to cook the dish.
Here is a breakdown of the original E-A-T acronym:
To be considered an expert, an individual has to be skillful AND knowledgeable in their choice of profession or hobby. Knowledge alone does not give them the practical skills to compel Google to flood their websites with traffic.
To attract that traffic, you must communicate your practical knowledge in an appealing and engaging manner. In other words, not only should you be knowledgeable, but you should also know what your audience wants and how they want to consume it.
For example, back in the day, a search query such as ‘how can I improve my blog’s ranking’ would usually get stock results like ‘write content your readers love.’ Simple answers no longer cut it since they lack an ‘expert’ element.
To find out what that means for you:
- Determine what your target audience is searching for but don’t just meet their needs; exceed them. A simple keyword search can help.
- Understand the ‘searcher intent’ behind the keywords they use. It will help you narrow down your keyword research.
- Understand the stages searchers are in their customer journey or as individuals trying to enter your industry.
Becoming an expert is just the beginning. The next step is to become an authority on the subjects you are writing on. How do you know when you have become one? When experts who share your passion and influencers cite information from your website or blog or when they name you as their main source of reference.
Some of the KPIs that determine authoritativeness include the following:
- Content that contains links from authoritative and relevant online sources rank well on search result rankings and can improve your domain authority. In other words, websites that already have authority in the space you are working in should recommend you, and the best way to do that is with links. Call it a personal recommendation or homage an expert pays another.
- Your online reputation will receive a boost if your name is mentioned in online news pieces. So also work for ‘mentions.’
- Your content should be shared widely, which means it should also have sufficient social shares. The shares will improve authority.
Expertise and authority alone cannot give you a noticeable boost in rankings. Your target readers must trust you enough to read till the end or wait long enough for your videos to end. Some of the ways you can improve your trustworthiness include the following:
- Ensuring readers have a clear way to contact you.
- Adding a physical location of your office, store, etc., on your site.
- Maintain a Terms and Conditions page which is accessible to users.
- Securing your site domain. Correct HTTPS protects user data from third-party entities such as hackers.
By following E-E-A-T guidelines, you can make yourself a true authority in your domain, experience steady traffic, and increase your revenue. Since you will need to remain up to date on the latest info in your niche, Google Alerts should be part of your strategy.
Organize All Alerts with Google Alerts to Sheets
Once you set up Google Alerts, your inbox will start filling up with links to mentions. Those will remain hidden in your inbox as they pile up. If you want to create a weekly or monthly report that shows all mentions of your name or brand, export all of those emails to Google Sheets using Export Emails to Sheets from cloudHQ.