Content marketing is one of the leading inbound marketing tactics today. In many instances, the objective (rightly or wrongly) is to attract organic search traffic.
So what if I told you that you might be ignoring one of the most critical aspects of optimising your content for search?
Google’s ‘Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines’ are prepared to help the Google raters (believe it or not, they still use real people to assess the quality of search results). The guidelines help these raters to understand what makes a high-quality web page (among other things).
Does their rating have a direct impact on search results? No, it doesn’t. But the findings of these raters help to guide Google’s search algorithms, and they certainly do have a direct impact. So what is so important in these guidelines that you need to pay attention to?
Have you heard of E-A-T? It’s an acronym for ‘Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness’.
In a world of fake news where there are 4.4 million blog posts published every day, Google has the unenviable task of showing users the most valuable search results. They want to make sure that they are serving you content from someone that has expertise, authority and trust around your search topic.
6 Tips For You To Demonstrate E-A-T
#1. Make Sure Your Author Bio is Compelling
Many readers will come directly to your blog post and many of them may have little understanding of your business at that point. So how can you establish trust? Your author bio is a great way to do it.
Make your bio prominent. Include a clear and professional photo. Make sure you detail your accolades, expertise, experience, etc. Ensure your reader knows why they can trust your information.
#2. Be Careful with Guest Posts
It helps to accept guest post offers on your site but do a little due diligence and research the author first to find out if you can trust them. What do you find? Would you trust what they have to say about the topic?
#3. Cite Your Sources
If you’re making any statements that support your position, then cite them by linking to the source. This allows the reader to double-check what you’re saying and it establishes trust.
#4. Regularly Audit Your Content
You should look at your content on a regular basis to ensure that it’s relevant and up to date. If there has been any changes to the best information you provided, then update your content. You should always aim to publish the most valuable piece of content to your user, so keep it up to date.
#5. Proof Your Content
Good grammar isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to you being an expert in your field, but with so much content available on Google, you want your piece of content to be grammatically correct. You don’t want it to read like it might have been written by someone who isn’t fluent in your language.
#6. Declare Your Affiliate Links
There’s nothing wrong with including affiliate links in your content. However, not declaring them makes it very difficult for your reader to trust what you’re saying. You can do this by stating clearly that you have affiliate links within your post or you could mark them up with Google’s new “sponsored” link attribution.
The Bottom Line
While some of Google’s moves are criticised as being self-serving (and in the case of E-A-T, it still is), I’m a fan of encouraging content publishers to demonstrate their expertise, authority and trustworthiness. It means that all of us as consumers of online content can feel some confidence in knowing that what we’re reading is accurate.
If you do have E-A-T in your given field, then it’s not a lot of work on your part to use it to improve your SEO. If you haven’t done that yet it’s OK, you have to start somewhere and now is the time to start building your personal brand.