Improve Your E-A-T – High Google rankings are the backbone of business success. Since the 2018 Google algorithm update t and the changes applied to its Quality Rating Guidelines, landing on top of Google search results means building trust among your audience and integrating expertise in everything you do.
The way to Google’s and your users’ hearts is now paved with building a strong brand identity and reputation that speak for themselves and becoming a trusted authority in your industry.
Read on to find out what aspects of your business you should work and focus on to boost your brand identity and improve your E-A-T to make it in the bustling 2022 digital landscape.
What Is E-A-T and Why Is It Important?
E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Let’s break it down:
- The expertise of the creator of the happy; a high level of knowledge or skill in a specific field, leading to expert content creation;
- The authoritativeness of the inventor of the content, the content itself, and the website;
- The trustworthiness of the maker of the content, the content itself, and the website.
Contrary to popular belief, EAT is not a ranking factor, ranking signal, or an algorithm on its own, but a criteria system – a set of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines it uses to access the quality of content and determine if it’s trusted and credible enough to display in search results to provide users with the high-quality experience and information.
Although E-A-T isn’t officially scored, it is a reflection of the aggregated signals that Google captures when it crawls a page. If you want to make it in the highly competitive digital world, the content on your website must align with Google’s algorithms looking for onsite and offsite signals that correlate with E-A-T to rank search results for search queries.
As one of the key factors for determining page quality, improving your EAT is crucial to rank high on organic search engine rankings – the more E-A-T your website has, the higher it will rank. Luckily, there are many tactics you can use to give your E-A-T an all-but-necessary boost, like leveraging Help A Reporter Out (HARO) services or enhancing your site’s content.
Keep reading to find out more.
EAT and Branded SEO: How Does Brand Identity Fit Into the Picture?
Your brand should be a story unfolding across all consumer touchpoints. Your brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable and determines how your customers will perceive your brand – your audience and customer will associate your brand identity with your product or service.
E-A-T and brand identity are two sides of the same coin – a brand identity that radiates expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness will not only get you on Google’s good side, but also build trust and forge a strong bond between you and your audience. Positioning yourself as a trusted, reliable, and authoritative source will lead to customer loyalty – the key to business success, no matter the niche or industry.
6 Best Ways to Boost Your Brand Identity and Improve Your E-A-T in 2022
There are several ways to kill both birds with one stone – improve the E-A-T of your website while boosting your brand’s identity at the same time.
Let’s dive right in!
1. Get Authoritative Mentions & High-Quality Backlinks
Getting backlinks and mentions from high authority domains (reputable and authoritative sites with high DA/DR) can help you skyrocket your website’s E-A-T, not only due to higher PageRank but the reputable connections that support your expertise and brand identity. The more your brand shows up in relation to trusted, high-quality websites and authoritative sources and the more they link to you – the better your EAT and reputation. How can you land some?
Think HARO – a cost-effective way to secure valuable backlinks that breathe life into E-A-T and top-notch PR that will speak volumes about your brand’s identity by producing truly link-worthy content. HARO service gives you a chance to create topical authority – demonstrate a deep level of knowledge on niche-related topics, land valuable referral and organic traffic, and get validation from other industry leaders to back you up.
Although often underrated, Wikipedia is another way to build a positive online reputation as it is a reputable source of unbiased information on a topic, business, person, etc. Getting mentioned in Wikipedia or having a Wikipedia page can speak volumes about your reputation as it means that multiple sources are talking about you in the public sphere and that you are verifiable – the key to improving your EAT and brand identity!
2. Drive User-Generated Content (UGC)
Google cares about the overall sentiment and reputation of your business in the public domain – how you’re perceived based on the information that appears about you online. So, striving for and maintaining one is a must if you want your E-A-T to be on point. Amongst other things, online reputation is built on user reviews and testimonials – a trust signal playing into the “trustworthiness” element of E-A-T and acting as evidence of a positive reputation.
Online reviews, such as those posted on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and others, can help you improve your EAT and support your brand identity by instilling trustworthiness in the eyes of users and search engines. It speaks to authority and trust. Respond to all comments, even negative feedback too, to show you care.
If you don’t have any customer reviews or testimonials, encourage customer feedback to generate some. You can also keep a page listing the testimonials and customer reviews on your website to boost trustworthiness among the visiting users.
3. Keep Your Content Fresh
In the digital world, content is king. Does your content lead readers on a journey and provide real value, or does it merely stuff them into a pipeline as leads? Creating a strong brand identity and improving your E-A-T means establishing a connection with consumers. If you care about your audience, it will show, and they will care, too, eventually becoming loyal advocates that believe in your brand’s identity and support it through reviews and recommendations.
Regularly audit all the content on your website to ensure it’s up-to-date and meets E-A-T standards, especially if you are in one of the YMYL fields. If you stumble upon irrelevant, outdated, or low-quality content, delete, rewrite or update it to ensure you provide nothing but the latest and most accurate information to your visitors and maintain an excellent E-A-T score with expert content.
4. Provide Information
Google’s Quality Guidelines clearly indicate that it wants to know who is providing the information to users and asks websites to provide contact information and customer support details on product or service pages. So, in this case, the more, the merrier!
Improve your “About” page with up-to-date information about your company, accomplishments, and experts, and list any major publications you’re featured on. Provide as many contact details on the “Contact” page to make it easy for users to reach out to you and show you are verified and available.
If you have any awards, notable achievements, or relevant certifications, make them known. Ensure that all blog posts on your website have an author byline to showcase their expertise and trustworthiness – you can even add credentials to specific articles. This is especially important for YMYL pages but won’t hurt other niches, either.
5. Secure Your Website
Apart from high-quality content, backlinks, and reputation, your website’s security is also one of the key factors Google uses to evaluate your E-A-T, as it directly affects trust and reliability. You must prove to your visitors that their privacy is protected by securing your site. How?
By switching to HTTPS and ensuring you have an SSL certificate – a trusted element that tells your website visitors that all processes related to the transfer of personal data are safe and ensures it is transmitted to the right servers at all times.
You may have come across HTTP sites in the Google Chrome browser marked with a “Not secure” tag. Not only do people hesitate to interact with such websites, but it’s also a strong indicator of how Google is pushing websites to enable HTTPS.
6. Leverage Social Media
Although not a direct ranking signal, having a strong social media presence and an official social media profile can indirectly improve your E-A-T and help you boost and positively shape your brand identity.
Being active on social networks and sharing valuable, engaging, and informative content with your audience and other industry influencers on social platforms will speak to your authority. It helps you build a positive reputation and brand identity, drive organic traffic to your website and keep it active.
SEO Is Shifting to Branding and Authority: Make Sure You’re Here for It
E-A-T has become one of the key ways Google perceives and ranks websites. If you want your website to rank high on SERPs, you need to treat E-A-T and brand identity as crucial pieces of your SEO and digital marketing strategy puzzle.
Staying focused on providing a plethora of authentic information, producing fresh and relevant content. And setting yourself as a reputable, authoritative name in your industry is the road to online and business success in 2022.