Stuff your goddamn face with the all-you-can E-A-T principle of SEO.
Article updated, January 2023.
As of 2022, Google updated E-A-T and decided to rename it E-E-A-T (which is absolutely rubbish as far as the title of this article is concerned). So what’s the extra ‘E’ for? Well, all will be revealed…
I seem to love dull subjects. Perhaps I view it as a challenge, a sort of, “how interesting/funny/rude can I make this boring topic?”. Sadly this has nothing to do with food, which is a shame because I love to eat.
What is E-A-T? (Soz, E-E-A-T.)
It’s a Google algorithm. It relates to the stuff we dump on our website pages and here’s what it stands for:
(And now you’re really bored. Please don’t leave, this will be helpful and easy to understand. And that’s what we all want, right? Easy-to-consume information that we can apply to our life and/or business?)
If you haven’t read my blog before (firstly, you’re an arsewipe and secondly, welcome) you might not know much about SEO content writing but the E-E-A-T thingy is at the heart of what I write, for you, my audience, and it should be the same for you too. Let’s make like fräulein Maria and start at the very beginning (a very good place to start, I mean, we’re not going to do the acronym backwards, that would spell T-A-E-E).
If someone pops a search query into Google about wanting advice on the legalities of divorcing a bastard of a husband, chances are they want intel from a family law solicitor. But let’s say they want to know about the repercussions of divorce and how it impacts family life, I put it to you they’d prefer to find information from a person who has lived experience. Your professional experience is precious content to share—your prospects want to know how you got to where you are now (if it benefits them, obvs). But client experience is also something to publish. Let potential customers see how others have used your product and value your services.
You probably don’t think of yourself as an expert, so let’s think of you like this: you know stuff and that stuff is about the work you do within your industry. You might have had to study to pass formal qualifications to do what you do and that’s great because people love that shit. The more content you create about the knowledge you’ve mastered, the more your website and social profiles become places to visit for certain information. People will see you as that person who [INSERT RELEVANT DESCRIPTION HERE] and that’s what you want.
So experts can have formal qualifications and others, lived experience (they, of course, can have both).
Google sounds like a really picky bastard but it’s for your own good because it’s all about building authority and ultimately, trust. When you make a claim you want to be able to support it. You could do this by adding anchor text that leads to an outbound link pointing to a reputable source.
YMOYL (Your Money Or Your Life).
If you’re selling products that promote wealth, health and happiness, you want the impact to be positive and the claims you make, credible. What you do not want is to cause harm to your potential clients—and Google doesn’t want that either—a lawsuit is not your goal.
I hate to sound like every other marketing wanker but we all have a brand, even if we don’t think we do. Your business has a vibe. Whether you have knowingly cultivated it or not is by the by. Your brand isn’t just your logo and tone of voice. It also includes your values—your real values, not the fluff you’ve dedicated to a page on your website called Our Mission Statement. (Why are you still doing that? STOP IT.) You shouldn’t have to tell folks explicitly what you stand for, they should already know by your content.
When we’re talking websites, there’s such a thing called domain authority. That’s the ‘rank strength’ you get over a period of time. Older, more established sites rank better purely because they’ve been around longer. When you add consistent, relevant content you’ll be helping to improve and build on your domain authority. You can check out how you’re currently doing with the MOZ Domain Authority Checker
What you also need is others who rate you. Because when you have humans that value what you do, they will recommend you, and they will cite your content. They might be good enough to pop a backlink on their well-established website that drives direct traffic to your yard. What’s really sexy is when people who work in the same industry, regard you as a quality source. They look at you admiringly and think, “You are great, and you make me want to be a better man” or something.
Experience and expertise will demonstrate they you are trustworthy. But when we talk websites, we need to make sure that they’re doing certain things to make the visitor feel confident you’re not an idiot. For example, Google likes to know the author of your content. If you’re the sole creator, make your About page easy to find. If you use guest bloggers, pop an author box below each post. Here are some other things to keep in mind…
It amazes me how many websites are not secure.
You should have a locked padlock symbol in the top left of your site’s URL, if it reads ‘Not Secure’ that will impact negatively and people will lose a little trust along the way. If you take payments on your site you better bloody sort that out. You need to look at fixing your SSL Certificate.
Complying with the correct data protection standards is also, a must.
Beware: an immediate pop-up is annoying. I suggest you enable this as a banner so visitors can still scroll through your website.
Looking at our own website is hard, it’s difficult to be objective because we know them so well. Go and ask someone to test how easy it is to find information. If it’s too busy and too confusing, you’re not only losing interest but you’re losing trust.
Google wants to see your contact information.
If you don’t display your address, people feel a little twitchy and they’ll wonder why. Are you a criminal hiding from the law? This is tricky for me because I live on a boat and I’m hiding from the law.
If you buggered off ages ago, sorry. I do love all this stuff though, don’t ask me why. Actually do ask me, in fact, I’ll tell you why it’s because, with no technical SEO know-how, you can make huge improvements to your content and ultimately your online space.
I’m a freelance business content writer at The Sarky Type®. My thang is SEO-informed blurb that sets your words on fire (ablaze with LOLs and engagement not to be confused with real fire that destroys everything in sight. Metaphors are better when they don’t require explanation. Note to self).