SMA Marketing Blog

The SMA Marketing Blog

Leveraging E-A-T to Build A Winning Content Strategy

Apr 12, 2021
Share this Article:

In this video we are going to look at how E-A-T impacts your content. E-A-T is defined as the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the creator of the main content, the main content itself, and the website as a whole. Notably, Google talks about E-A-T 135 times within their Search Quality Guidelines. When a concept is mentioned this many times we should note this is not something we can shortcut. As part of your content strategy, you need to establish yourself and your site as an expert-level resource.

Resources: 

Video Transcript:

In the latest episode of Hack My Growth, we're going to be looking at E-A-T, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, and how we can leverage it to create a better content strategy.

Thank you for checking out this video. If this is your first time watching, or maybe you've been watching a while and you have not yet hit subscribe, please do so now. We create new content each and every week to help you get the most out of your digital marketing activities.

As I said in the opener, we're going to be looking at how we can leverage, E-A-T or Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness to build a winning content strategy.

What is E-A-T? E-A-T or EAT, as it's known in the SEO community, is defined as expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the creator of the main content, the main content itself, and the website as a whole. It's important to note that this is not a ranking factor. So why does it matter? Well, Google talks quite often about this, in fact, 135 times within their Google Search Quality Guidelines.

What is E-A-T? 

If you want to learn more, this video is not going to specifically cover what E-A-T is, but if you want to learn more, there is nobody better on the internet than Lily Ray, the Director of SEO at Path Interactive. Check out this article that's on the Search Engine Journal, where you can learn a little bit more. I highly recommend it; Brent goes through this entire presentation of the Search Engine Journal eSummit and Lily goes more directly into what exactly E-A-T is. But in this video, we're going to be talking about how it directly applies to content strategy.

If we want to leverage it for our content strategy, we've got to know a few things. First, there are no shortcuts to creating long-term success. You've probably seen a lot of people online that talk about how they triple their traffic in two days, but a lot of it sounds like used car salesmen and unfortunately, a lot of it is. This is not something that you can shortcut. This is something you have to build over time. You need to establish yourself and your site as an expert-level resource. You need to be authoritative in your space. And you need to have trust. None of these things happen overnight, but they can be built if you do it very systematically, and you're very intentional in creating your content and intentional in how you optimize your site and your content so that you can increase these levels of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

Leveraging E.A.T. to Build A Winning Content Strategy

What most people do when they're building a content strategy is they jump into an SEO tool. They do some keyword research. They look for the term with the highest volume and they maybe go out and hire a bunch of writers to create as much content as possible, and they publish and repeat.

Leveraging E.A.T. to Build A Winning Content Strategy  (1)

Here is why it doesn't work. First, people do quick research and they focus too much on volume and not enough on intent. In order to create meaningful content, you need to know why people are searching for a specific query and what the search engines expect from that query. This needs to be very intentional. And a lot of times, you want to go after those long-tailed, intent-based terms instead of those high volume, very competitive queries, because a lot of people don't take action off those first searches. They take action off the third, fourth, fifth search.

The next reason this strategy doesn't work is then they hire cheaper writers. Don't leave your success up to getting a good bargain. You've probably heard this said a million times, but you get what you pay for. And that's exactly true. You need to write for yourself or hire high-quality help, people that understand your niche, people that understand your audience, people that can help you create content that it's going to match the intent of the queries that you're uncovering.

When you do this process where you quickly research cheap writers and publish and repeat, more bad content isn't going to magically lead to better results. It's going to compound the bad results that you're seeing. The more you do this, it's going to make it harder for you to reverse the trend. If you want to establish credibility in your space, you need to make sure that you create content that actually allows you to do that.

Creating Content with E-A-T

Let's look at some examples of creating content that has these levels of high expertise, high authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. These are straight from Google's Search Quality Guidelines, and these are high-quality pages.

What Google says is that these pages need to have enough expertise to build authority and trustworthiness on their topics. This first website is a newspaper, and it's also in the category of Your Money Your Life, YMYL, which is very important to understand if you're in these areas that impact specific people's lives or you impact people financially, medical, financial, things like that.

If you go over and see why this content ranked so high, it had a satisfying amount of content. It had a positive reputation with the website as a whole. So here's the explanation. The website and the newspaper won Pulitzer Prizes and Overseas Press Clubs awards. The newspaper has a positive reputation for objective reporting. The entire reputation of the brand played into the level of expertise, really the level of authoritativeness and trustworthiness, which then gave more credibility to the content they were creating. This is obviously a brand that had the opportunity to win a Pulitzer Prize. This might not apply to everybody here, but as you can see those awards and being connected to those high-quality recognitions can lead to a higher level of authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

Here are a few more. This is a small business, a local fish and chips restaurant. It had a high E-A-T for the purpose of this page. It's important to understand that E-A-T is contextual.

You're a small business, so Google is not going to hold you to the standard of a large business. As you can see the rating here, it had an About Us page on the restaurant, provided a lot of information about what to expect and when they're going to be open. They obviously provided a lot of content about themselves to establish credibility about their business. So the Search Quality Raters said, "Hey, this site is really good. It's authoritative, it's trustworthy because they're giving the potential customer as much information that they need to know."

If we look below, we see another small business, a local preservation center. Again, they met the high level for the purpose of the page and they had a satisfying amount of content. And one of the reasons that they were getting this type of high-quality score is that they were providing a lot of good information about local preservation, selling local poultry, vegetables, and more. They were being very timely at the time, as well. If you see here, this was added in 2014. It met the timeline when they expected timeliness for when this was live. But this is one of those examples for small businesses. Again, we see here that it's contextualized.

Next, we can see a shopping page. Again, a satisfying amount of comprehensive content, high E-A-T for this purpose of this page, and it had a positive reputation. If you're shopping, having a good reputation can play into the quality of your content. If you have a poor reputation on your site, you might not have as much visibility. As you can see here, the site had, or this page in particular, had a large quantity of main content. They had tabs for More Information, Customer Reviews, and Going Deeper. That's why they scored high.

Next, we have a page with a video; they were using a Saturday Night Live video and they had a satisfying amount of comprehensive content. Again, they met the purposes for this page. It's contextualized. Because they leveraged Saturday Night Live video and it's a popular TV show, it's something that Google or users would recommend or recognize pretty quickly. It was something that it was able to easily make that connection.

The last one we're looking at here is An Engineer's Guide to Cats. This is a humorous video. This isn't a video that's super deep it's not going to change your life, but it might make you laugh. And it had a high satisfying amount of content, and it had a high E-A-T, everyday expertise on the topic of cat ownership.

They saw this person as somebody who obviously owned cats. They showed that they understood what it was like to be a cat owner. And because of that, they received a high level of expertise. Now, this is a humorous video. It was well-produced, had a lot of views illustrating the practical care for benefiting cats. It was two engineers, they made it funny, and they engage with their user, and they met the intent, which was to be funny. That's why they created this piece of content.

As you can see here, there are lots of different types of content, and you're going to score differently based on the context, based on the category that you find yourself in. As we've said multiple times, it's contextual. Depending on the site, depending on the industry, there's a different level of expected E-A-T.

Leveraging for Content Strategy

How do we leverage this in our content strategy? What do we do ahead of time before we just start creating content? The first thing we need to do is understand what's expected. We need to do SERP Analysis of our target pages and not rely on tools.

Tools are great. We use tools every single day. You want to use those to get volume and competitiveness and see what's going on in the SERPs, but you actually have to look at the SERPs themselves. What rich features are available? Can you leverage that? What type of content is showing it? Is it videos? Is it list articles? Is it news pieces? What's actually happening, and how can you use that to understand the type of content you need to create?

The second thing you need to do is be consistent. You need to be consistent in your publishing schedule and also the style of the content you produce. If you've got multiple writers and multiple types of content that don't match and build together, it's going to be hard for you to build trust. It's going to be hard for you to show that you know exactly what you're talking about, because you've got so many different types of things going on and they don't gel together. When you want to build authoritativeness and trustworthiness, you need to have consistency.

Consistency over time builds results. I did a video on blogging and I showed how we were consistent in creating that style, and creating our messaging, and creating the type of content that we knew our audience was looking for. And it produced results over time. And it continues to compound, just like compounding interest.

The third thing you can do is build your author profiles. Google Authorship definitely got abused in the world of SEO, and it's something that they removed from the SERPs, but it doesn't mean author pages don't matter. You can show the expertise and the authoritativeness of your authors by having author profiles, where you publish their credentials, who they are, and why they can be trusted. Why should somebody pay attention to you? What is the level of authority that you have to talk about this specific topic?

Next, you can look at linking to high authoritative sources. A lot of people, when they create content, are afraid of linking out. The reality is if you use sources and you use articles to source what you're creating, you need to, one, give attribution because that's the right thing to do. And then two, sometimes you don't have enough authority to make a statement, and your site might be young, or you might not be well-known in the industry. But when you link out and you connect yourself to an opinion of somebody who does have high expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, you can increase the validity of your points as well.

The last thing you can do is eliminate that low-quality content. Remove the content that you maybe rushed through, or the content that doesn't perform, and the content that doesn't meet the end goals or the end needs of your users. This is going to help make sure that your site is providing value to both users and the search engines.

These are five things you can do to leverage E-A-T in order to increase your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness with your content. As I said before, if you want to learn more about leveraging E-A-T, I highly recommend that you check out that article on Search Engine Journal. I don't go very deep into that content. I didn't feel like I needed to duplicate that because it's already well done. You can take what you've learned there, and then use these five tips, and apply them to your content strategy and start to raise the level of content on your website. If you've got any questions about what we talked about today, please comment below. I'd love to continue that conversation with you. And until next time, Happy Marketing.

Easy Guide to Content Marketing

 

Share this Article:
Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

Blog Comments

Get Awesome Content Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!

Learn SEO
Help us Help Others

Popular Posts

Related Post

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.