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The Ultimate Google E-A-T Guide And Why it Matters to Your Business

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The Ultimate Google E-A-T Guide And Why it Matters to Your Business


Have your content and… EAT it? Right, it’s not a pun, we promise – EAT is a real thing when it comes to SEO and digital marketing. And although this concept has been around for nearly a decade now, it still has the power to puzzle even the most seasoned SEO expert.

So, what exactly is Google E-A-T, how do you apply it, and why is it so vital for your business? Let’s find all this out together in our guide.

What Does E-A-T Mean, Anyway?

Like many other concepts in digital marketing (think about SEO, for example), E-A-T is actually an acronym. It stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

In a nutshell, it’s a series of guidelines that Google established back in 2018 in order to evaluate the quality of web pages. But what happened in 2018, exactly?

Let’s take a quick step back and introduce the concept of YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) pages, first. A YMYL site indicates a website that contains information that can, potentially, have an impact on the reader’s health, happiness, and financial well-being.

Because of this, Google crawls these pages in a much stricter, more rigorous way. In August 2018, Google released an algorithm update that ‘punished’ web pages that did not demonstrate a strong E-A-T, while rewarding those that did.

The result? Over 40% of the affected sites were healthcare, medical, and fitness pages, hence the name ‘Medic Update’.

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Since then, it has become paramount to provide tangible E-A-T features in order for web pages to rank well, attract more views, and generate more leads and conversions. As you might have guessed by now, the core of E-A-T is content quality.

According to Google, these are the essential factors that prove a page’s overall quality:

  • Page purpose.
  • E-A-T- (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness)
  • Content quantity and quality.
  • Reputation of the website and its creator.

Why Is E-A-T So Crucial for SEO?

The answer to this question is simpler than you might think. E-A-T is vital for SEO because it’s just another piece in the jigsaw puzzle of the online user experience. Over the years, Google has continued to reinforce the importance – centrality, even – of users when it comes to SERP and rankings.

By following E-A-T principles, web pages can further enhance the value they provide to their audience. With E-A-T, websites can establish credibility, reliability, and worth.

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Because of this, you should create your SEO strategy by keeping a strong focus on E-A-T SEO.

How To Boost Google E-A-T SEO

Now, how do you go about applying E-A-T SEO best practices to your own business website? We have prepared an essential guide right below.

1. Keep Your Contact Details Visible and Up-to-Date

It’s always good to start simple, so the first step you’ll want to take is ensuring that your website includes easy-to-find, accurate, and current contact details.

Not only will Google penalize you if you don’t include them, but nobody will be able to get in touch with you and potentially become a paying customer. This shows that you probably don’t care enough about your business or your audience.

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2. Create Great Content to Build Relevant Backlinks

As we mentioned, content quality is king, when it comes to E-A-T. Creating original, informative, and compelling content without fluff or keyword stuffing is a no-brainer.

This type of content – posted in a regular fashion and, preferably, in long-form copy – will gradually earn you visibility and authority in your field, and lead other relevant, authoritative websites to provide you with valuable backlinks.

With backlinks, you can further boost your credibility and worth, and reposition yourself as a leader in your area. Just remember: before posting anything that contains links, always ensure that those links actually work.

If they don’t, take immediate action to fix any broken links, or your SEO will suffer.

3. Update and Review Your Content Regularly

A website with captivating, creative, and convincing content is great. But what happens when that content is outdated, no longer relevant, or downright incorrect? Not so great anymore.

Let’s say, for example, that your logistics business has developed a new inventory tracking app. Surely, you’ll want to promote it through some exciting content, right?

Go for it. The more useful information you provide on anything new and innovative about your brand, the better your E-A-T scores on Google.

4.  Earn Mentions from Trusted Websites

Backlinks are one way to reinforce authority, but they are not the only tool you have. For example, getting mentions from other trusted, authoritative, high-value sources can increase your E-A-T scores.

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The plain and simple mention of your brand name, for example, is enough to give your business a boost. Of course, this needs to happen across a series of trusted websites, but anything on this list counts:

  • Writing a guest post for a high-value website.
  • Interviewing an industry leader.
  • Appearing as a guest on a podcast (or hosting one).
  • Speaking at an event (or hosting one).
  • Teaming up with influencers.
  • Sponsoring charity events, online challenges, or fundraisings.
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5. Team Up With an Industry Leader

By now, you have probably guessed that the more you provide expert content, the better Google sees you. In particular, Google seems to be very fond of content that is written by a creator who has specific qualifications or credentials.

This, in fact, helps to show industry expertise, know-how, and credibility. Think about many healthcare websites, for example. Because they belong in the YMYL category, those that rank well (Healthline, WebMD, Verywell, and so on) often partner with medical professionals to write or review their content.

So, whatever sector your business operates in, try to link up with an industry expert with substantial knowledge of the subject matter if you want to boost your E-A-T scores. Ideally, this should be someone who has either worked in the field for a long time and has a way to demonstrate their achievements, or someone with a solid academic background.

6.  Verify and Show Off Credentials

Now that you have secured an industry expert to participate in writing some of your web content, how do you prove that they are truly credible and authoritative? Google wants you to provide their credentials, too.

First of all, it’s important that you check the person’s credentials yourself and figure out whether they are truthful and relevant. Then, remember to include a snippet about your contributor’s qualifications at the bottom of the article that they have written.

This can consist of just a few lines summarizing their career, studies, and achievements. You should also add any awards or recognitions they might have won, and provide any links to their own web pages and social media accounts.

7.  Interact with Your Customers

Another excellent way to enhance your E-A-T is by communicating with your online audience. This can take many forms: from responding to customer reviews, both positive and negative ones, to answering questions and comments on blog posts.

You can also try to promote online reviews for your brand’s products or services by offering free samples in return. Doing so will help you engage and interact more meaningfully with your customers, and Google will reward you for that.

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Remember that this customer-first mindset should be extended to your entire organization. While direct customer service might not be within the main finance department functions, for example, it’s still important to get your entire company on board.

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The bottom line? If a customer raises a concern or complaint, you’ll need all hands on deck to try and resolve it ASAP. If they highlight how awesome your brand is, make sure someone from within your company is ready to acknowledge their feedback with an engaging, authentic response.

8.  Boost Authoritativeness with the Right Domain

Our last, but not least important, tip to boost your E-A-T score is all about domains. Choosing a trusted, verifiable, and secure domain for your website, in fact, helps to demonstrate, and increase, your authoritativeness.

For example, let’s imagine that you are an Australian business selling healthy, organic, plant-based snacks. Because your target audience is likely local, having an .au domain presence will instantly show that you cater to people in that region.

Many business owners who are about to launch their first website often wonder ‘How much does a domain name cost?’ Well, the answer is a bit more complex than one standard figure. Several factors determine the price of a domain name, but one thing is for sure.

Because of how important having a trusted domain name is when it comes to E-A-T, you don’t want to opt for ultra-cheap options. View it as an investment that will eventually get your business to thrive.

It’s also worth mentioning that you can often get a free email with custom domain. This can further reinforce the authoritativeness that you provide to both your audience and Google.

The Takeaway

When it comes to page views and rankings, quality is probably the single most crucial aspect. Google knows it, and that’s why it established a series of guidelines to determine a web page’s expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T).

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By incorporating E-A-T best practices into your overall SEO strategy, you will succeed at ranking higher, boosting traffic, and converting more leads into customers.



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MARKETING

Closing your team’s technical gap without hiring

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Closing your team's technical gap without hiring

It’s no comfort knowing you’re not the only one having trouble finding tech talent. Demand is high, supply is low. And everyone has teams and projects stuck in limbo.

What would be comforting is a solution. Well, here you go.

I’ve helped many marketing teams close the gap in their technical capabilities without writing a single job description. The reality is you have many more options than you can envision right now. All you need to do is expand your frame.

Expand Your Frame

When making a decision, framing helps you focus on the proper outcomes. The hard part may be setting the frame to the right size. Make it too small and you miss big chunks of the panorama. Too large and you lose the details. 

It’s also a fantastic way to think more strategically. While others are getting up in tactics, e.g., hiring, you can think of the outcome you’re hoping to achieve and determine the fastest way to get there. 


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The frame here is not that you need to hire someone, it’s that you need a certain set of tasks completed. Instead of hiring you should consider two other options: automation, i.e. no-code, and adjusting your team’s priorities. Looked at that way, you may already have all the skills you need.

No-Code & the New Engineers

The rise of no-code software tools is one of the most significant developments in the marketing world. No-code tools are meant to be used by non-technical folks. They have drag-and-drop interfaces and tend to be highly user-friendly. Examples include Zapier, Tray.io, and countless others.

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A huge problem for marketing teams is their technology is too complex. Doing anything significant means getting an engineer. Even sending emails requires technical help. With multiple no-code options in every category, there’s no need for this.

Instead of hiring someone to support marketing automation, find a software solution anyone can use. In practical terms, it means avoiding options like Salesforce, which requires in-house expertise, hundreds of pages of documentation and the proper alignment of the moon to make it work. Other solutions are drastically easier to use, though they may have less functionality. 

I tell my clients to prioritize the ability to connect their tools rather than just their raw capabilities. You may have the best email marketing solution, but it’s not as valuable if you can’t easily export data to a CRM. Be biased towards no-code, and you can avoid hiring.

I recently helped clients connect their Hubspot, Google Sheets, and a website using only no-code tools like Zapier. We were able to get everything done in a matter of weeks with no involvement from their engineers. In addition, the marketing team could send better-targeted emails and measure their performance better. All they needed were the right tools.

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Adjust Your Priorities

Think over how your team spent their time over the past week. Were they working on the highest impact tasks? Unfortunately, there’s a good chance the answer is no. It’s easy to fall prey to “busy work” or get stuck doing jobs that should be automated.

Bill Gates once said there’s no point hiring someone to do an inefficient process. You’re just scaling bad habits. Instead, clean up your processes before adding more bodies. You may discover plenty of time to research software tools and tackle new tasks.

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Read next: Broaden your marketing ops talent perspective

The fastest way to adjust your priorities is to run a time audit of your team. Ask each member to record how they spent their time over an average week. You can then work with them to figure out how to remove tasks from their plates. Low-hanging fruit includes manual input, work that no one sees or failure work—where tasks are redone multiple times. 

After running an audit for one team we found they spent way more time cleaning up data rather than using it. We figured out what was causing the errors and duplication, solving them through formulas and other measures. They were able to shift around 20 hours to other tasks. Many teams have similar hidden opportunities.

Digital-First Means Being Lean

Being digitally savvy isn’t about hiring as many people as possible. Digital channels offer the ability to be lean as you scale. Think of influencers who run channels with millions of views out of their parent’s basement. They have a lean but effective production. Years ago, the Instagram team had less than 100 people before being acquired by Facebook.

As you shift into digital, you have the opportunity to restructure your marketing teams and take advantage of trends like no-code. The first step is to expand your frame. After that, you might see more opportunities.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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About The Author

Ruben Ugarte is the global expert in Decisions, Strategy, and Data and author of the Data Mirage and Bulletproof Decisions. He helps executives at the most innovative medium and large enterprises find their hidden treasures and use them to dramatically boost performance, increase profitability, and make their teams world-class. He has done this across five continents and in three languages. His ideas have helped hundreds of thousands of people make better decisions.

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