An SEO Expert’s Playbook To Optimizing Websites For E-E-A-T

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It has been more than a year since Google incorporated “experience” into its search quality rater E-A-T guidelines, thereby evolving it into E-E-A-T. Nonetheless, numerous websites continue to grapple with establishing a digital presence aligned with these regulations. Although many presume that optimizing for E-E-A-T merely involves adding an author bio to their website, the reality is more complex. Let’s delve into what E-E-A-T encompasses and what it entails to meet these criteria.

A Quick Recap Of E-E-A-T & Its Relevance In 2024

Annually, Google introduces algorithm updates aimed at enhancing its capacity to surface high-quality content. The most recent update occurred in December 2022, wherein Google’s algorithms were adjusted to emphasize the following factors:

Experience (E): This assesses whether the author and website proprietor possess real-world experience to provide credible advice or commentary on a given topic.

Expertise (E): This evaluates whether the author holds the requisite education, credentials, or industry presence to speak authoritatively on the subject matter.

Authority (A): This measures the author’s and website’s overall authority, typically gauged through industry recognition, backlink quality, and indicators of reputation such as awards, citations, and recommendations.

Trustworthiness (T): This determines whether a website offers a trustworthy user experience by combining the E-E-A aspects with the end-user experience to ascertain overall quality.

Trustworthiness serves as the overarching criterion that encompasses the other elements, as noted by SEO consultant Taylor Scher. However, Scher warns against prioritizing the Trustworthiness (T) element at the expense of user experience (UX), emphasizing that sacrificing UX for SEO can lead to counterproductive outcomes.

E-E-A-T is fundamentally centered around enhancing page experience and demonstrating trustworthiness. Therefore, it’s vital to approach improvements with a focus on providing a superior experience for readers and website visitors.

For instance, suppose you’re offering guidance on YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics like “How to treat a cold at home.” While from an on-page SEO perspective, including an author bio and having a high domain rating may seem sufficient, overlooking technical SEO and UX considerations, such as the absence of SSH encryption on the website, could result in a subpar experience. This deficiency might lead users to perceive the site as a duplicate of another medical website.

Success hinges on the synergy of these four elements—Experience (E), Expertise (E), Authority (A), and Trustworthiness (T). Consequently, even non-YMYL websites must elevate their strategies to maintain relevance in search engine results pages (SERPs).

7 Strategies For Optimizing Websites For E-E-A-T

Achieving optimal E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) involves conducting a thorough examination of technical SEO and implementing various strategies. Below are the key areas you should focus on for optimization:

1. Create An Author Bio & Editor Schema For Each Article

A finely crafted author bio serves two crucial purposes:

  1. Demonstrates personal experience.
  2. Establishes the author’s expertise.

Consider this scenario: Would you prefer to visit a finance website authored by the company’s team or by someone holding a PhD in Corporate Finance?

With that in mind, it’s important to note that your authors don’t necessarily need a PhD; rather, they should possess a degree of accomplishment within the industry.

How To Create An Authoritative Author Bio

Highlighting your authors’ credibility involves including the following details:

  1. Years of experience.
  2. Areas of expertise.
  3. Education (if relevant).
  4. Professional achievements.
  5. Social media or website links.

Additionally, incorporate schema markup for editors and reviewers, even within industries like SaaS and renewable energy, to underscore the editorial integrity of your brand. While author bylines aren’t a direct ranking factor, they provide trust signals to Google’s quality raters.

Pro Tip: Consider hiring experienced freelancers to integrate this information into your CMS’s backend efficiently.

2. Don’t Forget To State The Obvious

Wirecutter excels in highlighting the obvious: their product reviews consistently kick off with a concise paragraph detailing the extensive efforts invested in crafting the review,” remarks Jamie Sutton, Marketing Lead at HeadshotPro.

Taking a cue from Wirecutter’s approach, they elucidate their testing methods and highlight key distinctions between products.

Moreover, they transparently reference their sources for every interview and bedding example, instilling confidence in the product.

Likewise, you can elucidate your review process, outline criteria for data selection, or elaborate on expert contributions to enhance transparency and trustworthiness.

3. Source Expertise To Improve Your Reputation

Accessing internal expertise isn’t always readily available, particularly for newer brands striving to enhance their E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).

However, this shouldn’t deter you from seeking outside help. Collaborating with industry experts can be highly beneficial.

Here are some effective ways to engage external expertise:

  1. Send quote requests via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  2. Participate actively in relevant LinkedIn or Facebook groups.
  3. Extend invitations to thought leaders for interviews.
  4. Solicit subject matter experts to contribute guest posts.
  5. Extract insights from podcasts or webinars (ensuring proper attribution).
  6. Alternatively, pitch your brand and internal experts to be featured on platforms relevant to your industry.

By leveraging external perspectives, you can enrich your content and enhance your brand’s credibility and authority in the eyes of your audience.

4. Write High-Quality Content With Attribution

At the heart of everything lies content.

Your reputation, both with users and search raters, thrives on the quality of your content. Google itself has laid out clear guidelines emphasizing the importance of prioritizing people-first content over tactics aimed solely at manipulating search engine rankings:

“Crafting content with people in mind is key. Rather than focusing solely on boosting search engine rankings, prioritize creating content that genuinely serves the needs of your audience.”

Therefore, aim for content that offers genuine value and insight, prioritizing depth over breadth. With advancements in artificial intelligence, such as AI tools like ChatGPT, setting new standards, it’s crucial to elevate your content strategy to surpass the bare minimum.

Here are some key best practices to bear in mind:

  1. Focus on core topics directly relevant to your business.
  2. Foster collaborations with other experts or companies in your field.
  3. Build topic clusters to showcase your expertise and authority.
  4. Steer clear of superficial insights that lack depth, even those that search engines can generate.
  5. Expand content distribution across various channels to send external signals.
  6. Regularly conduct content audits to pinpoint gaps and opportunities for refreshing your content.
  7. Recognize that Google’s algorithm favors recent content, so aim to publish regularly.

Moreover, remember to cite your sources. Google’s algorithm closely monitors both inbound and outbound links. Therefore, ensure to reference and link to reputable websites within your industry. For example, Medical News Today consistently cites esteemed scientific journals like The Lancet in every article.

5. Build Backlinks From Relevant Websites

In 2024, the significance of backlinks remains paramount.

According to a study conducted by Backlinko, an analysis of search results reveals that top-ranking web pages consistently possess a higher quantity of backlinks compared to lower-ranking counterparts.

However, it’s crucial to bear in mind two key factors:

  1. The diversity of referring domains.
  2. The quality of backlinks.

Backlinks should originate from relevant websites within the same niche. For instance, ecommerce fashion websites stand to benefit most from backlinks originating from fashion and clothing publications.

Additionally, focus on crafting valuable content that naturally attracts links, acting as link magnets.

Anurag Surya, an SEO specialist at Freshworks, advocates for this strategy, citing the use of research articles as an example.

“I prioritize creating industry-research articles that provide unique metrics derived from primary research. These exclusive numbers set my content apart, attracting visitors searching for such data and increasing the likelihood of them linking back to my page.”

Therefore, while actively building links, do so strategically.

Pro Tip: Collaborate with seasoned link builders who possess the expertise to pinpoint and leverage such opportunities to enhance your brand’s link profile.

6. Focus On Your Online Brand Reputation

Evaluate your brand’s online presence.

Conduct a thorough examination by gathering feedback from customers, monitoring incoming reviews, and observing discussions on public forums. These channels provide valuable insights into how your brand is perceived by the public.

Utilize tools such as UserTesting or Maze to assess whether users perceive your website as trustworthy. Incorporating social proof enhances your credibility among users.

Include social proof not only from satisfied customers but also from reputable industry publications.

Respond to both positive and negative reviews courteously. Consistently handling feedback in a positive manner enhances brand perception over time.

Ultimately, cultivating a positive brand perception enhances your overall authority in the market.

7. Attract & Use More User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content (UGC) serves as a powerful tool for boosting your website’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).

Why? Because unsolicited or unpaid reviews carry significant weight in shaping your brand’s perception.

Examples of UGC encompass:

  • Case studies.
  • Forum posts.
  • Public comments.
  • Ratings and reviews.
  • Social media videos.
  • Personal blog posts.

Google’s crawlers can scan social platforms like Reddit and Quora. Thus, it’s crucial to ensure that your reputation exudes positivity.

UGC provides essential social proof and signals to Google that your site is a credible and reliable source of information.

It’s Your Time To Become Relevant

Enhancing your website’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) demands a strategic approach.

While the endeavor may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. One effective strategy is to entrust your operations to SEO professionals who specialize in monitoring these shifts and adjusting strategies to maintain or enhance search rankings.

Ultimately, outsourcing can be a strategic decision that propels you toward improving your website’s E-A-T.

Original news from SearchEngineJournal