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Every business should want to win the hearts and minds of its target audience but this is easier said than done. Content marketing is one area that, if done right, can really help create strong brand credibility, and awareness and earn audience top-of-mind positioning.
One term that has gained prominence in recent years is E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a concept that has been pushed to the forefront by Google’s Rater Guidelines.
But what exactly is E-A-T in marketing and what is the significance of Google’s Rater Guidelines – let’s dig in and find out.
What is E-A-T in Marketing
Before I talk about Google Rater Guidelines, let’s understand what E-A-T in marketing actually means and why it’s important to know, especially in content marketing.
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
These three words form the foundation for how Google evaluates the quality of content on websites and if that content is good enough to be shown in search results – SERPs (search engine results page).
Expertise refers to the level of knowledge and skill you demonstrate in the content you create and share. In real-world terms. it’s about showing you know what you’re talking about so that your audience builds up trust in your content and you become a go-to for guidance and help.
Authoritativeness is all about establishing yourself as a credible source within your industry.
Trustworthiness centres on building confidence and reliability among your audience.
Poor quality E-A-T content, low to zero chance that Google will pay any attention to it.
What are Google Rater Guidelines (QRG)?
Google Rater Guidelines (QRG) serve as a reference for the real-life evaluators (also known as raters) whose job it is to assess the quality of search results.
Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines are a set of instructions provided by Google to a rater team.
As of 2022, there were around 16K Google raters around the world.
Their primary goal is to help Google fine-tune its search algorithm, ensuring people searching Google receive the most relevant and highest-quality content in its search results.
One of the core principles within the guidelines is E-A-T, which as explained stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Google places a strong emphasis on these three factors when determining the quality of content created on website pages.
Google pays particular interest and validation of page content that offers advice on topics that could impact a person’s physical and mental health, personal safety, finances, or overall well-being. As you can imagine, such advice left unchecked could significantly impact a person’s life.
If you are really keen, here’s a link to the 176 pages GRQ – Search Quality Evaluation Guides
What Impact Does E-A-T Have On Content Strategy?
E-A-T and content strategy go hand in hand.
To create content that aligns with E-A-T principles, you need to focus on:
Ensure that you or the person producing your digital content know what they’re talking about. Producing well-written, high-quality content is the only way to go.
Producing poor quality, rubbish content serves no purpose, can damage your brand and is a complete waste of time.
Show off your authority by citing reputable sources, including data, statistics and links to other authority content. Referencing experts in your field and being transparent about your affiliations and certifications in your content is also important.
Think about the content you read – you only want to spend time reading quality content so you learn quickly and confidently about what you have searched for. This is what your content needs to achieve.
Build trust with your audience by providing accurate, up-to-date information.
DO NOT use clickbait or deceptive tactics. Again it damages your brand and is just annoying to the user and they’ll remember that annoyance, associating it with your brand.
Do use testimonials, reviews, case studies, how-to guides and whitepapers. Be transparent, be yourself and share what you know freely and willingly. This will build trust, respect and a following.
Building a digital following sends trust signals and builds domain authority for your website which helps in search rankings.
Does E-A-T influence SEO?
Yes, E-A-T influences SEO (search engine optimisation)
Google aims to deliver the most reliable and accurate information to its users. To achieve this, the search engine favours websites that exhibit strong E-A-T.
Writing high-quality E-A-T content and combining that content with on-page SEO is totally the right thing to do. It’s not that difficult either as the content you are writing about should naturally include many of the relevant search terms and keywords anyway.
Let’s say I ran my own burger place and all I sold was 100% grass-fed organic beef. Let’s say I decided to write a blog post about how I sourced my beef from farm to grill.
I would use words such as quality beef, highest quality beef burger, organic beef burger, grass-fed beef burger, organic beef, organic beef farm, grass-fed beef, high-quality beef burger etc
These words within your post would match certain keywords that are searched in Google.
High-quality content created by experts is more likely to rank well. This means that not only does your content need to be informative and well-written, but it should also come from a credible source as reference points.
I could link the post to the farm, to independent organic beef statistics and health benefits. I could ask for my post to be shared on other authority websites.
These practices can help increase your website’s E-A-T score and domain authority.
How To Create Marketing Content Using E-A-T?
Creating E-A-T content isn’t a one-time gig, it’s a methodology that should become a second nature approach where all the content produced by your company, irrespective of format follows the principles of E-A-T.
Here’s some guidance on using E-A-T in your everyday digital content creation.
Research: Ideally, your content should be aligned to the products and or services you provide. I’m a business and leadership management consultant so this post makes 100% sense for me to create as it’s directly connected not just to business in general but is also aligned to business growth, SEO and content marketing – all fields that provide guidance and solutions for.
Write down 10 sub-topics that align with your company’s core mission. Take on topic per week and create 2/ blog posts, case studies and digital content. Stay on point and aligned with the sub-topic and associate your core products and services.
Your strategy for E-A-T should be:
Know your audience, their pain points and where they live digitally.
Become top of mind for your target audience.
Provide helpful, informative and useful content to your reader.
Be the go-to expert, the place where people want to read more of your content.
Use SEO to gain traction with Google search rankings.
Encourage the sharing of your content always.
Use a mix of Video, written and reference content.
Be consistent, show up and keep showing up
Become Top of Mind within your sector. Be the Knowledge that people seek out.
Marketing E-A-T Final Thoughts.
You should not underestimate or worse completely ignore the business benefits of producing content based on E-A-T. Make E-A-T a company content mantra and insist it is used in all aspects of your business content and communication.
Strive to be Top of Mind – Be the knowledge source – The go-to for trustworthy, helpful content.