It is said that roughly 63.2% of the human population has access to the internet. Intriguing as that may sound, not all these people trust the things they find online.
And who can blame them? The internet is crawling with lies, fake news, and click-baits.
Nonetheless, in an era of fake news, doctored images, paid followers, bots, and an emerging metaverse of augmented reality, people want to know that there are a few things they can still count on for authenticity.
That’s especially true when it comes to eCommerce.
More of us have fewer dollars to spend and even less time to do so. We want to know that the companies and websites we frequent are giving us a solid ROI for our patronage, whether in terms of a quality product or information.
Rather than spending hours combing the internet for brands we can trust, we put our faith in search engines to point us in the right direction.
That means we, as content creators and marketers, tailor our content for SEO to ensure it ranks high on the results page. A rank tracker is an ideal help for checking your SEO progress.
In turn, Google constantly updates its search algorithms to ensure that users get relevant results. Suppose it doesn’t send users where they need to go, or the quality of the content doesn’t meet expectations. In that case, Google loses dominance in its main claim to fame: providing relevant search results in the shortest possible time.
The fewer clicks a user needs to hit paydirt, the better.
To provide users with the best experience, the tech giant continually evaluates, retools, and updates its algorithms.
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This is a bane to marketers and developers who must keep up with the ever-changing algorithms and requirements.
But it doesn’t need to be that way.
There are some very basic best practices that will always bring those who are paying attention out on top. They are classic, evergreen, and very actionable.
They’re also what reputable business owners, marketers, and creators should strive to do naturally.
The secret to boosting your Google ranking and getting more traffic?
Mind how you E-A-T!
Google’s Ever-Changing Algorithms
At the dawn of the commercial internet in 1999, Google took one month to evaluate and rank just 50 million web pages. Thirty-three years later, they are the driving force in search technology.
We can complain about tracking and privacy, but they’ve earned their place in internet history and present-day search engine dominance.
The second largest search engine on the internet, YouTube, is also owned by Google. The next five contenders combined don’t even come close.
And that reach is global:
Google has become so synonymous with a search that the company’s name is now an action verb. If you want to know something or find something on the internet, just Google it.
As marketers, we usually only pay attention to significant updates. But Google tweaks its algorithms on average between 500 and 600 times yearly. In 2020 alone, there were more than 4,500 search technology tweaks.
Google’s latest major update was in July of 2022, but that mainly involved changes in the layout and using search technology to weed out low-quality product reviews.
Those are just a few examples of how Google is putting its primary focus on user experience and satisfaction. They also attempt to interpret user intent to provide the most insightful results.
This is born out in how people use the internet and how internet content is evaluated and indexed by search engines. You can learn much about what Google wants from you and how to keep up by analyzing their update history.
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Of the top 10 tech factors that Google uses to rank web pages, three of the biggest determining factors are related to E-A-T in SEO.
I can hear you groaning already about having to learn another SEO tactic.
Don’t worry; E-A-T is something you’re probably already trying to establish if you’re serious about boosting your web presence.
What is E-A-T?
E-A-T is an acronym that stands for expertise, authority, and trust. These terms are the foundation of your brand reputation. You gain trust when you build credibility and establish authority in your sphere.
Who would you rather deal with, a company that ranks high in the SERPs or a lesser entity with no presence?
Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness are intangibles that algorithms can’t measure. Instead, Google’s search quality evaluators use them as a determining factor.
Their marching orders were to:
• Evaluate the expertise of the content creator
• Determine the authority level of the creator, the website, and the content
• Decide the trustworthiness of all of the above based on SEO and the performance metrics that inform search ranking
Their content guidelines and opinions on what makes some content of higher quality than others are equally subjective. Content must be created by someone who is an expert on the topic, be posted on an authoritative website, and provide value to the content consumer.
Only then can it be trusted.
So, how does something as intangible and subjective as gauging someone’s E-A-T quotient affect how technology evaluates and indexes their content for search results?
How E-A-T Boosts SEO
When it comes to cost-effective marketing, few things can beat SEO. All it requires is a little time and patience once your initial keyword research is done.
However, SEO is an ongoing activity, not a one-and-done technique.
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Regarding E-A-T in SEO, don’t underestimate the power of building trust and authority in your niche by demonstrating your expertise. It isn’t a ranking factor, per se, but a way for you to establish credibility and cement brand loyalty.
After all, Google’s constant updates and algorithm tweaks are all about building trust with its users. The consistent quality experience is what brings users back, and it’s what created their market dominance.
You can try other search engines, but you are unlikely to be happy with the results’ quality – dare I say relevance.
Trust boosts SEO by providing a quality and consistently dependable experience. The more users find value in your content, the more likely they will visit again. They’ll also recommend your website to friends and/or colleagues.
Google takes notice of this.
When traffic increases, people interact more with your content and spend more time on your site, which boosts your place in the SERPs.
The Google bots figure you must be doing something right.
This was the problem with old black hat practices like buying backlinks and keyword stuffing. It’s also one of the reasons Google constantly updates its algorithms to weed out bad actors.
Sure, you could artificially insert irrelevant keywords into your content to trick the algorithm. You could link to other websites because they have a strong web presence.
That will give you big numbers initially. But, such practices are unsustainable.
Once visitors arrive at your content and discover it isn’t what they were looking for, or the content is illegible due to oversaturation and awkward keyword placement, they won’t return.
High-authority sites don’t want to be associated with low-quality, low-authority content creators that try to piggyback off of their success, either. They will disengage and make sure others follow suit.
Even on the internet, you’re judged by the company you keep. No one wants their credibility diminished by association.
When you demonstrate expertise, establish your authority, and build trust, you attract visitors organically. You also gain the respect of your peers.
That’s how you set the stage for sustainable growth that drives conversions!
Where do Your Rank on Google?
Believe it or not, all websites are not ranked by Google just because they exist. They need to be discoverable first. Usually, that just requires adding some content that gets the attention of indexing bots.
Before you can even evaluate your SEO to perfect it, you must ensure that Google can see and index your content. Their bots crawl and evaluate billions of web pages daily, and Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second.
If you want to be found, you need to format your content in a way that makes it not just discoverable but more discoverable than your competitors.
First, perform a search using your primary keywords to see if and where you land on the results page. Consider what competitor’s sites rank above yours and try to determine why. Search again using alternate or more refined keywords and keyword phrases as well.
You can run a simple indexing test by typing site:[your URL] into the search bar. If you don’t show up, Google crawlers cannot see and index your website.
The reasons for this may be:
• New website; perhaps Google just hasn’t gotten to you yet. You can submit your site for indexing on your own or just keep adding optimized content until they find it.
• Something is blocking Google bots from reaching your site; for example, a policy or software that blocks web crawlers
• Your site design makes it difficult for indexers to access content
• You aren’t connected to other sites on the internet
In addition to your admin analytics, you can gain valuable feedback about site performance by signing up for the Google Search console. They’ll be able to provide data regarding critical issues that prevent proper indexing and other information. You could also hire an SEO expert to audit your site.
But that’s the technical side of things. To increase your niche authority and build trust with your audience, you need to focus on less tangible aspects of SEO.
Everyone needs a baseline to start. Once you know where you stand, you can take steps to retool your strategy and boost your web presence based on your E-A-T factor.
5 Actionable Tips for Improving Your E-A-T Factor
In and of itself, E-A-T isn’t a ranking factor on Google. However, your expertise, authority, and trust determine your other ranking factors.
Keep these factors in mind as you incorporate our tips into your content creation and marketing strategies:
It takes time and patience to E-A-T well, but the results are worth it.
1. Create High-Quality Content
When visitors find the information or solutions they need on your website, they begin to see you as an authority in your field. That begins with high-quality content oriented with relevant keywords and updated frequently.
But content doesn’t just need to draw visitors in. It also compels them to share your content with others and keeps them returning for more of your offering.
Become a thought leader by consistently creating unique, authoritative articles and posts on topics that interest your audience and others in your industry.
If you don’t have expertise in a topic, you can still infuse it into your content by interviewing or quoting someone who does. You can also invite an expert to write a guest post for your blog or join you for a podcast on a trending topic.
2. Guest Post on High-Authority Sites
The next best thing to creating high-quality content on your website is to guest post on someone else’s. Reach out to other thought leaders and authorities in your sphere and pitch a guest post idea.
You can find them by searching for guest posting opportunities or going to high-ranking, niche-adjacent websites and looking for information about guest posting guidelines. It will usually be listed on their menu or in the site index at the bottom of their page.
Don’t make the pitch about you. Point out the value of your content to their readers or highlight how it will augment the content they’ve produced. Create content that’s relevant to their audience and aligned with their brand. Make sure to link back to your website in your author bio.
3. Engage in Strategic Link Building
Not everyone is an expert in their field. In addition to having content created by or featuring an expert opinion, link to the higher authority and trusted sites adjacent to your field. Consider only reputable news outlets, case studies, and research from government or academic websites.
Once you’ve built up a bit of authority and expertise in your niche, try to create content that other reputable, high-authority sites will want to reference by linking to your blogs post and articles. When Google notices that authoritative content creators hold you in esteem, they’ll begin to recognize your expertise.
You can build relationships with these authoritative creators by becoming active in the commentary on their websites and social media platforms and citing them in your content. Never overtly pitch your brand or link to your content during this outreach.
4. Make Sure That Your Content is Impeccable
In addition to creating authoritative content, it should be optimized for search engines with high-value, low-competition keywords and phrases at a proper saturation (about 2- 3%) and placed strategically in your headers and subheads, description, and throughout your content.
Keywords aside, few things will destroy your credibility faster than misspelled words, bad grammar, and awkward phrasing.
Ensure your content is well laid out and created with proper punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Run it through a grammar and spelling checker and a plagiarism checker.
If you’re unsure which is best, there are two that I use often. The answer to the debate on Whitesmoke vs Grammarly depends on your content goals.
Both have a plagiarism checker built in. They also both evaluate writing style, tone, and structure. The main differences are in integration and price. Grammarly has a perfectly serviceable free edition but doesn’t integrate well with all platforms. Whitesmoke offers full mobile integration but doesn’t even have a free trial.
5. Make Sure That Visitors Know Who You Are
This seems basic, but you’d be surprised to find out just how many websites don’t contain the basic things that build trust, such as contact information.
Would you do business with a company that doesn’t even provide a physical address, email address, and phone number?
Make sure your contact info is displayed on every page of your website and social media profiles. Claim and fill out your Google My Business and Yelp profiles. Update as needed and check that all links to your profiles are working.
Make sure that your website has an About page and that it contains information about every member of your team. That includes expertise, education, awards, and professional credentials. If you guest post on another site, have a short bio that contains your contact info and links to your website.
As a marketer, you’ve got a lot of expectations when it comes to SEO. However, content marketing is not like Field of Dreams.
You have to do more than just build a website before traffic comes.
Search engine optimization is about more than just planting the right keywords and phrases in places only web crawlers will notice them. Their job isn’t to get you more traffic but to direct users to the most relevant results for their queries.
As a result, Google and other search engines increasingly value user experience. Today’s SEO is more than headlines, content, and social shares. It takes more than that to drive organic traffic.
Your digital marketing strategy begins with positioning yourself as an authority in your niche and backing up that promise with high-quality content that delivers.
By incorporating our tips and combining them with current SEO best practices, you’ll achieve a steady trajectory of increased traffic that’s sustainable.
Uday Tank is an astute business enthusiast with more than eight years of experience helping businesses reach their full potential. Founder and CEO at Rankwisely, Uday provides extensive services & support for businesses to leverage keyword research, content marketing, SEO, and Link Building to 25x their marketing ROI.