- Addressing expertise, authority and trust (E-A-T) is the process of communicating why people and search engines should trust your website as a credible source.
- All websites can strengthen their expertise, authority and trust.
- 80% of E-A-T can be achieved with onsite customer education.
- At the time of writing, E-A-T has no direct ranking factors or score.
- Links may play a role in E-A-T.
One of the reasons why your site is not ranking well on Google Search is because you have poor E-A-T.
To learn more about E-A-T, I highly recommend that you check out Lily Ray. Lily is an expert on E-A-T, having reviewed Google’s documentation and has presented her thoughts on the subject matter on number occasions.
The good news is that any website can do things to strengthen its expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
Let’s get started.
Communicate clearly what services you provide.
Tell website visitors what you do.
One of the biggest sources of user frustration on the internet is landing on a website and not being able to quickly know how the business can help you.
Communicate in lay-terms what your business does.
- If you’re a dentist, show a list of procedures that you provide (e.g., root canal, emergency dental, cleaning).
- If you’re a lawyer, show a list of law that you practice (e.g., divorce, family, criminal, class actions etc.).
- If you’re in the pest control niche, show a list of pests that your service can help remove (e.g., cockroaches, termites, ants, birds, possums, raccoons etc.).
- If you’re a photographer, DJ or florist, show a list of events that you can cover (e.g., weddings, christenings, bar mitzvah etc.).
Make it super easy for the user to know what you do.
This can be done on two levels:
- Via your primary navigation; and,
- On your services page (or homepage).
In the following example, the website has clearly communicated what types of photography purposes it offers in the primary navigation.
And in the following example, this law firm has segmented its legal services in its “Our Expertise” section in language that makes sense to its target audience.
When the user clicks on these areas of expertise, the website provides the user with more information that helps the user understand what it is, how the law firm can assist and why they’re a good fit for the user.
Demonstrate your expertise in what you do through content marketing.
Show that you’re knowledgeable in your area of expertise via topic clusters on your website.
In the above example, the website ranks for they keyword ‘pest control’.
From their homepage, a user can navigate to the problem they wish to solve (e.g., getting rid of cockroaches). They then serve a page with customer education that demonstrates the business’ expertise in the subject matter.
Here’s how Rentokil have built out topical authority and E-A-T:
- There is a service page that is only about cockroaches.
- On this service page, they have provided better information about cockroaches than their competitors.
- They have understood the problems their target audience have and paired it with 20+ pages of informational content (e.g., prevention, extermination methods, types of cockroaches, FAQs).
- All this informational content is internally linked so that a user can easily navigate from one page to the next.
- I call these topic clusters (see below diagram).
By doing this, a user feels reassured that the business is credible and can be trusted to remove cockroaches from their home. This can increase conversions, gain more relevant search traffic as well as strengthening the topical authority and E-A-T on pest control.
Tell users where you are.
If customers come to your business premise, make it easy for people to find out the location of your business.
The easiest way to do this is to provide the full address. You can also embed a Google Map of your GMB location and provide Google Maps directions to your location of business.
If you don’t have an office or if you go to where your customers are (e.g., plumber, pest control, photographer), provide a physical address even if it is your home. Doing this puts you ahead of websites that do not list a physical address because people want to know that they’re considering a legitimate business.
You can do this across various opportunities:
- About page
- Contact page
- Site-wide footer
- Floating call-to-action button
You should include your physical address on your about page and contact us page as this is where most people will go to find this type of information.
Take a look a how this dental practice in Seattle has incorporated trust signals to its footer.
The website has included not only business hours, phone number, email address, and its physical location, they have included a link to their Yelp reviews. If you have been collecting Google My Business reviews, you should definitely link out to these as they’re significant trust signals.
This is how a divorce attorney in Chicago have made it super easy for people to find them.
In the above example, the website has clearly stated its physical address where customers can visit as well as a phone number to call. They have also included a Google Map of their office as part of their contact form.
Tell users what areas you serve.
People tend to look for solutions that are close to their location and will exclude businesses ones that are outside of their comfort zone.
If you’re a business that travels to where your customers are, it is important to communicate where you are willing to go.
In the above example, this website has listed suburbs in Utah that they serve.
Leverage your ‘about’ page.
Almost all web visitors will look at an about page if it is easily accessible from the homepage or primary navigation.
This is because people want to know whether they can trust you and your about page is an opportunity to explain why they should trust you to solve their problem(s).
If you don’t have an about page, create one.
To make the most of your about page, do the following:
- Communicate how long you have been doing what you do. If you’ve been in business for X-years, communicate this as this conveys experience. People tend to hire people that have professional experience relevant to the problem they have.
- Communicate why you do what you do. If you started your business to address a particular gap in the market, tell people! Chances are, the reasons why you’re in business are relevant to their own experiences.
- Include photos of you, your team, and of your business location. People buy from people and when they can see fellow human beings behind a business, they are more likely to feel an emotional connection with your business.
- Communicate cities, suburbs, regions that you service.
- List awards that you have won.
- List noteworthy clients you have served.
Communicate payment methods.
Tell users how they can pay you on your Frequently Asked Questions page. Alternatively, you can incorporate a FAQ content block on your About or Contact page as this is where most users will visit when looking for this type of information.
To do this, mention the payment methods that your business accepts (e.g., credit card, , cash, cheques, PayPal, Apple Pay, bank transfer).
If your business invoices upfront, has an initial consultation or setup fee, or offers instalments, communicate this clearly on your website.
Make it (super) easy for people to contact you.
People lose trust when they cannot see clear contact information for a business. Search engines apply the same logic – if a website does not clearly state how a use can reach them, it may not pass a credible business litmus test.
You can make it super easy for people to contact you by:
- Displaying your email and phone number in the header and footer of your website.
- Embedding a contact form in the footer section on your website so that users can email you on any page of your site.
- Having a dedicated contact page where users can choose to call, initial live chat, or email you.
- Making all phone numbers clickable links.
- Have a floating call-to-action button that takes the user to your contact page.
As you can see, the tactics for strengthening E-A-T are quite basic. Everything that you can do for E-A-T works on improving the experience for the user. Doing this will help Google recognize you as a credible source.
Most websites have a contact and about page – optimize these for users.
Most service providers have a page that describes what they do – make sure that this page is clear.
All websites have a navigational menu – use this is communicate what you do.
Most CMS platforms allow for site-wide footers – include your hours of operation, phone number, and address here.
And every one of you have professional experience that makes you the best fit for your intended audience – share your knowledge, expertise and insights so that web visitors feel as though they can trust and hire you.
At its core, E-A-T is about providing the best source of information/solution to a human reading it and the fail-proof way to do this is through effective communication.
Want to learn how to apply SEO like this?
For years I have recommended clients to invest in customer education to showcase their expertise. So watch me practice what I preach by showing you the exact process I deploy for my clients.
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