What Is EAT and How Does It Impact Your Website SEO

How To Gain Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness for Your Website

On today’s Q&A episode, Bob, Jesse, and Sue offer an answer to the question “What is EAT?” They examine how to use EAT for SEO, and ways that you can gain expertise, authority, and trustworthiness for your business so you can climb up the rankings!

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What you’ll learn

  • What EAT is and what it’s important to your rankings.
  • How to gain EAT to improve your rankings.
  • Where to begin developing EAT online to help your website.

Here is the Transcript for Episode 88

Caleb Baumgartner: Welcome once again to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I am producer Caleb Baumgartner and today Bob, Jesse and Sue discuss expertise, authority and trustworthiness or EAT, and how that affects your website. Are you trying to figure it out how to gain authority for your business to improve your SEO rankings? Then this episode will help you understand the process and how to begin making improvements towards your EAT that will positively affect your business. If you have a question, visit us localseotactics.com. Whether a short comment form, email or voicemail, we’d love to hear from you and with that, let’s get on with the show.

Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan, here again with Bob Brennan and Sue Ginsburg. Bob and I are up in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. But Sue, that looks kind of warm in your background there. Where are you at today?

Sue Ginsburg: Yes, it is kind of warm. I am on Hilton Head Island and I’m thrilled to say that that is the view out on my deck.

Bob Brennan: Nice.

Jesse Dolan: It’s not a live photo, but that is actually the spot.

Sue Ginsburg: Yes.

Jesse Dolan: That’s spectacular. Little jealous, lot jealous actually. Late February, still snow outside here. Super. Well, why are we in South Carolina, Sue?

Sue Ginsburg: Because Hilton Head is an awesome place, it’s warmer than Minnesota and just a little real life of where I actually am today.

Jesse Dolan: Very nice.

Sue Ginsburg: Today we are going to talk about how to increase your E-A-T, eat, your expertise, authority and trustworthiness of your website. And we are discussing this as a result of a question from a listener coming in from last fall, I think it was. His business is Music Biz Hub and he asked if good content will increase the EAT of your website? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Today’s quote of the day, which speaks to the expertise part of that is Malcolm Gladwell quote that many people probably have heard, “It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.” We all work hard at becoming ex experts, but as far as he defined and it kind of became the benchmark, it takes 10,000 hours. You may know a little about a lot of things, when you want to get something done, find an expert and they can probably help you a lot quicker than you can do it yourself.

Today’s intention of the show is to talk about how to increase your EAT for your website. And this is concern because how do you even define those three words, expertise, authority and trustworthiness? And more importantly, how does Google define them? Because this definitely is part of the Google game, making sure that your website comes across strong in one, two or all three of those to get Google to rate you high. What we say is the way to do that is work on increasing one, two or three of all them. Be intentional about that and nobody knows what Google’s secret sauce is, but there are certain things that you can do to increase your expertise, authority and trustworthiness and that’s the best that you can do.

I’ll share a short story that happened or is still happening with a client of ours. Was doing competitive research for them. Their niche is commercial odor control and trash chute cleaning and maintaining out of Atlanta. Solid business. They’ve been doing this for 20 years. They’re very successful and one would think that that gives them authority, expertise and even trustworthiness status. They came to us asking us, “How can we help them get known by more potential customers?” And while we are working with them with other things now, the first thing we did was work with them on getting more reviews.

They have all five star reviews. They have more than most, if not all of their customers and they’re looking a lot better when you search them online and see these glowing reviews about how much they know and how good their client service is and everything else. The importance of that really can’t be overstated and reviews are one way that can get this client and can get you higher up in the EAT for your website.

Question for you guys, what do you know that can be done to increase either of those, the expertise, the authority or the trustworthiness? What’s your experience with that?

Jesse Dolan: Kind of kick that off, I think the way you framed it up there is important that it can be just one thing, it could be all things. This is something kind of in the SEO world, it’s more of an overall approach, to help your EAT, to help your EAT, and something I always rely back on, there’s a great blog post by Ahrefs And we’ll put it in the show notes for everybody. I just want to kind of, I’ll define with everybody quick. Because that was kind of part of the question is, what is EAT? Like you said, Sue, it’s the expertise, authoritativeness and trust slash trustworthiness. What does that mean though for expertise? That you just have the knowledge? How does that translate digitally onto the web for Google to understand this?

References, if you’re posting in forums or different groups or message boards online. If you’re getting back links from another organization about the topic. How do you show that expertise? You know what I mean? Not that you have to go write a bunch of blog articles and do guest blog posting, but that your brand, your company or yourself as an author or an expert are mentioned out there, that’s how your expertise can really kind of get out there.

As far as the authoritativeness, like I said, reviews. Reviews are just a natural spot that the public and Google and everybody else can see that you are authoritative. Particularly if there’s that kind of a scoring review, is kind of within other experts. You know what I mean? You’re not just getting a bunch of reviews but within your peer group or within that niche to show that you’re standing out is especially important. However you can kind of be an influencer in that way and have that limelight.

And then last but not least that trustworthiness. If you can just think simply, how do I look like a real business? Or a real person? A real entity? If you have a Google My Business location, that right there, you’re proving to Google that you have a physical location that you do business out of. That’s a huge step towards being trustworthy. Is your website secure? Just these things that you would think of, if you’re going to interact with a business or a person online, what do you want to see with them? They have an actual address, they have a phone number, do they have email addresses or they have photos of them. Again, like I said, security, content, how does it come off?

Some of these things for the EAT are maybe not as tangible as others, but at the end of the day, focusing on these things broadly. There’s no one trick pony in this, where just doing this one thing is going to get you to where you got to go. There’s no scoring system that Google’s put out. There’s no way to grade your EAT. It’s just almost more of a psychological approach to how to look at your online and digital footprint. Where you’re interacting, how you’re interacting, how you’re perceived and trying to come off as being an expert, authoritative and trustworthy. And I think even if we just talk to a person across the table at a wedding or something, which we haven’t done in a while, I guess maybe that’s an outdated example, unfortunately. But how do you come off, with those things to a person to person? Just think about that as it translates to your business digitally and you’re going to be in pretty good shape. Hope that helps.

Bob Brennan: Yeah. And I would just add, a couple dynamics. If this is, again, and we’re talking more locally here. Whatever you can do to bring authority to your site by maybe even going so far as joining the Better Business Bureau membership. We’re not necessarily endorsing it. We’ve had clients do it and we’ve done it ourselves in some situations. And it’s kind of hard to measure that. And then, I would put together, let’s say a 10 point game plan over a quarter or two quarters or whatever, however long it takes you to do this. Because we’re all busy and this can be a little overwhelming and if you can break it down into bite size pieces, it becomes more palatable. And also understand whatever business you’re in terms of services or even trades, the higher you are up in terms of being professional.

If you’re a doctor or whatever, anything you get, your AMA, the fact you’re tied in with AMA and all the various accolades and credentials that go with that. If you can get back links and links with that, I think that’s one way that’s huge. If you’re a dirt farmer, that is going to be a different dynamic and you don’t have to worry too much about credibility. It’s the higher you are up in that element in terms of being a lawyer or a doctor or any professional, CPA, anything that can edify and show certificates and back links to that I think is probably pretty critical. And then again, if you’re part of the local chamber of commerce, things like that, working with them to get those links and tie ins, I think are important. Is there anything that I missed in that area, think of, Jess?

Jesse Dolan: I think just kind of run with that. We’ve talked before about citations, just directories and listings, wherever you can be mentioned that’s as a business entity. And in EAT also can be again with you as your doctor or CPA reference. You’re going to have your organization and your company, you got to do that stuff too, but then you have you yourself as a person with those credentials. In that case, they’re both going to be important. Just think about those areas to be listed, be found and be noted. Great place to start. Like I said again too, this could be an hour episode just on this topic or multiple parts, but we will link, I should say in the show notes, this article by Ahrefs.

And I think they do a real good job of kind of breaking this down a little more, giving even more examples, a little bit more in depth information to help help everybody out. It’s a pretty broad topic. A great question. Absolutely great question. And very important for your SEO. We were talking Bob, before we all jumped on here, you were mentioning effectively, this is a granular thing. There’s no secret recipe here for EAT but if you’re in a highly competitive market, I think it was your phrase, should you do this and focus on it? And it’s, yeah, it’s these little things that you can do being listed in that spot or that spot if your competitors aren’t, that’s going to just give you that little bump, that little edge and gets you ranked and get you that exposure. Good stuff.

Sue Ginsburg: I was also just thinking one of the great things to build trustworthiness is when you reply to reviews as the business owner or when a reply is posted from the business owner, that really can do a lot for trustworthiness, especially if it’s a bad review and the owner is responding and explaining or addressing what that the negative review is about. That’s a trustworthy owner.

Bob Brennan: Absolutely.

Jesse Dolan: Cool. No, good stuff. Great question. Everybody else out there, if you’ve got a question you want us to talk about, let us know. Sue, I know you got some closing thoughts here, but just a good spot to mention going out to localseotactics.com, go down to the bottom, submit a question. If you just want to type it in, send it in, if you want to call in and leave a voicemail, we’d love for you to do that. We’ll play it on the show. It’s great to hear your voices out there, to interact with us and get on here and put it in your own words and your own voice. If you do do that, if you take that step, we’re going to send you a free t-shirt. Free Intrycks t-shirt. Just don’t put it on eBay, these things are highly valuable.

Sue Ginsburg: Much coveted.

Jesse Dolan: Much coveted.

Sue Ginsburg: In closing what I say, if you remember one thing and one thing only from the discussion you’ve heard here today, it is remember that Google considers EAT, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness very important in how it rates a page quality. It’s not your whole site, it’s page by page, so be intentional about that. EAT, be intentional.

Jesse Dolan: Absolutely. All right. Good topic. Hopefully that helps everybody out. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll catch you on the next episode.

Bob Brennan: Bye guys.

Sue Ginsburg: See you.

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