E.A.T. SEO: 7 Steps for Trusted Website Content

E.A.T. SEO: 7 Steps for Trusted Website Content

Mary Lou Brink   |     November 29, 2021

When you plan a trip, which website do you visit to learn more? Many of you would probably answer TripAdvisor. Right? Most would say they choose TripAdvisor because it appears to be a vetted and trusted source.

According to Merriam-Webster, trust is an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. That something can include content on your website.

Can you confidently say that your website is a trusted source in your industry? No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And it’s easy to get ahead of the competition. All you have to do is learn how to E.A.T. 

Watch what you E.A.T.
Expertise, Authority, and Trust — the three components Google uses to measure how much confidence it should place in a brand or website. It’s also referred to as page quality.

Together, they gauge whether a business should be considered a leader in its field. Google’s algorithm considers details such as who created the content (a PhD in the field?), the thoroughness of the content and its usefulness to the reader when evaluating a site for each of the three components. Of course, this looks very different depending on the type of website.

Without going deep in the weeds, let’s break down EAT SEO a bit more. 

No matter the subject, if you can demonstrate a greater expertise than others, you’ll be identified as the expert. Your website falls under the same scrutiny.

Google examines your website to see if it demonstrates a higher level of expertise than similar sites on the internet. Has your company won awards and are they reflected on the website? Is your brand well known? If so, Google places your site higher in search ranking factor.

Authority, on the other hand, is measured to see how well your website and the content within it stand apart from all the others.
Are you well reviewed on third-party sites, like Yelp? Do other websites link to your content when referencing your industry or topic? When someone searches the internet, they’re looking for someone to give them answers they can trust, but not just anyone. They want an authority on the topic. 

It’s one thing to create a lot of content, but it’s another for it to be trustworthy. And once trust is lost, it’s rarely regained.
Google measures trust based on the backlinks it detects from other domains. The higher the trust in the linked from domain, the more trust it puts into the linked to domain. Google now measures the trustworthiness of a website using the same factors a real person would use – repeatedly proving themselves to be trustworthy.

To help uncover your content’s trusted voice, follow these seven steps (inspired by a recent Inbound conference seminar):

  1. Talk openly about who you are – and are not – a good fit. For example, clearly state you may be the most expensive option in your widget-making industry, then give several reasons why your product costs more, such as higher-quality material, handmade or locally sourced ingredients and so on. People don’t mind paying a little more for quality and over-the-top service if they know what they are paying for.
  2. Talk about pricing, costs, rates (oh my!) on your website. Don’t force people to dig deep for pricing or require them to contact you for a free quote. That’s not putting the customer first. Of course, I realize, this depends on the widget or service you offer and the pricing structure. But even listing the base or starting price is better than keeping your potential customer guessing!
  3. Learn the skill of “disarmament.” Anticipate what your customers’ questions and concerns will be, then answer them! Do they want to see a comparison between your widget and your competitors’ widget? Then show it to them. How? See No. 4.
  4. Show how your “secret sauce” is made. No, you won’t give away the farm, but you will gain the trust of future customers. A series of short videos on how your widget is made is both educational and trust building.
  5. Be willing to compare … without bias. Which widget is right for me? Weigh the pros and cons of your competitors’ options.
  6. Be willing to address the negative. For example, write blog posts about the seven most common problems with one type of widget, or five common mistakes when using that widget, or three myths busted pertaining to your widget. It might not even pertain to your specific offering. It could be a blog about five most common mistakes people make when shopping for industry items. Empower your customers to make the right choice.
  7. Talk about the competition. Not in a down and dirty way, but in a factual, trust-building way. For example, gather reviews for both you and your competitors and turn those into a blog posting. In other words, save your future customers time doing all the compare research that you know they’re going to do any way.

Now you know what Google algorithms are looking for and how they determine high-quality content from low quality. Don’t rush it. There are no shortcuts here. There’s only persistence and patience.

Mary Lou Brink

Mary Lou Brink is senior director of content at Falls & Co. She has spent more than two decades as a newspaper editor. In her integrated marketing career, she shepherds digital content through the strategy, creation, review/approval and publication processes to ensure timely and high-quality deliverables for a wide range of clients.