How to use Google’s EEAT To Improve Your Search Rankings – A Step-By-Step Guide.
Last Updated: November 28, 2023
Google’s EEAT criteria are the secret ingredients that can take your content from good to irresistible. Keep reading as we explore what EEAT means, why it’s crucial for high-quality content, and how to optimize it to tantalize Google and your audience.
Written By: Awah Mohamed
Awah is currently the Strategic Partnerships Manager at Elegant Themes, the company behind the Divi WordPress page builder. Divi powers over 8 million websites worldwide. Awah also manages Elegant Themes' affiliate program which has over 57,000 affiliates and oversees all of ET's strategic partnerships.
Trying to win the SEO game today can feel like a high-roller poker match where the rules keep changing. One day your content strategy seems unbeatable, and the next, Google reshuffles the deck with an algorithm update.
Understanding and optimizing for EEAT—Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, and User Experience—is essential to play your cards right in the long run. Let’s break down this vital concept.
What’s Google’s EEAT?
EEAT refers to the criteria Google uses to evaluate the overall quality and reliability of a website. Specifically, Google assesses your:
- Expertise – How knowledgeable and experienced are you on this topic?
- Authoritativeness – How credible and influential is your brand?
- Trustworthiness – How transparent, ethical, and honest is your content?
- User Experience – How satisfying and seamless is the user journey?
EEAT helps Google divide high-quality sites that provide value to users from low-quality, misleading, or manipulative sites just trying to rank.
Optimizing your content for EEAT is not optional. It’s mandatory if you want to produce content that earns trust and authority in Google’s eyes.
EEAT is the Swiss Army knife of content creation, with applications across strategy, research, writing, and UX design. Every content creator needs EEAT in their toolkit.
Demystifying Google’s EEAT Criteria
To embed EEAT into your content, you need to understand what each element entails:
Your content should demonstrate deep knowledge and first-hand experience with the topic.
Optimize site speed, navigation, and mobile-friendliness. Make the user journey smooth and satisfying.
Become an authoritative industry voice. Earn backlinks from reputable sites and gather positive expert reviews.
Write ethical, unbiased content backed by facts. Ensure your site is secure and transparent about ownership.
Understand EEAT’s First “E” – Expertise
Your content should demonstrate deep knowledge and first-hand experience with the topic. Back claims with credible data sources.
Google’s updated Search Quality Rater Guidelines say this about experience:
“Consider the extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic. Many types of pages are trustworthy and achieve their purpose well when created by people with a wealth of personal experience.
For example, which would you trust: a product review from someone who has personally used the product or a “review” by someone who has not?”
Optimizing the user experience is an important aspect of Google’s EEAT. Along with focusing on site speed, navigation, and mobile-friendliness, it is crucial to create a seamless and satisfying user journey.
By crafting intuitive interfaces, streamlining interactions, and prioritizing user needs, we enhance the overall experience… And Google loves that and rewards sites with Google user experiences.
Understand EEAT’s “A” – Authoritativeness
To enhance your credibility and visibility in Google’s EEAT, it is crucial to establish yourself as an authoritative figure in your industry.
Connect with reputable sites to earn valuable backlinks and aim to gather positive expert reviews. These efforts will not only solidify your position as a trusted voice but also boost your online presence, improving your chances of ranking higher in search results.
Stay committed to building your authority by consistently producing high-quality content that showcases your expertise and sets you apart from the competition.
Write ethical, unbiased content backed by facts. Ensure your site is secure and transparent about ownership.
“Pages with High E-E-A-T are trustworthy or very trustworthy. Experience is valuable for almost any topic. Social media posts and forum discussions are often High quality when they involve people sharing their experience. From writing symphonies to reviewing home appliances, first-hand experience can make a social media post or discussion page High quality.”
The Critical Role of EEAT in Today’s Digital Landscape
In an era of misinformation and manipulation, EEAT is Google’s compass for surfacing high-quality results. If you ignore EEAT, your content risks drowning in the sea of digital noise.
Optimize for EEAT, and Google will reward your expertise and integrity with higher rankings. It’s your VIP pass to success.
How EEAT Factors Into Google’s Ranking Algorithm
EEAT now plays a central role in Google’s efforts to combat low-quality and misleading content.
Recent algorithm updates like BERT and the Core Web Vitals rollout have placed more emphasis on EEAT elements when ranking sites. Google wants to steer users toward authoritative sources.
Make EEAT your North Star, and you’ll reap the rankings rewards. Ignore it at your own peril.
Assessing Your Current EEAT Levels
Before you can optimize for EEAT, you need to thoroughly audit your website’s current levels across each criterion. This will reveal your biggest areas for improvement.
There are several powerful tools you can leverage to evaluate expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness, and user experience:
Auditing Expertise with SEMrush
- Use the SEMrush Content Audit tool to analyze your content’s depth, uniqueness, and formatting. This reveals expertise gaps.
- Check the Keyword Difficulty scores of your ranking keywords. Higher difficulty indicates greater expertise requirements.
- Review your Position Tracking data. Drops may indicate declining expertise perceptions.
Evaluating Authoritativeness with Moz
- Moz’s Domain Analysis shows your Domain Authority and external equity metrics like backlinks and referring domains. Higher values signal greater authoritativeness.
- Analyze your top linking domains. High authority sites suggest strong authoritativeness.
- Check your presence and links on expert review platforms like Yelp, G2, and TrustRadius. More reviews and higher ratings boost authoritativeness.
Measuring Trust Factors with Google Search Console
- Review Google Search Console for manual actions, security issues, or spam flags that may harm trustworthiness.
- Check your site’s Core Web Vitals scores. Poor UX metrics undermine trust.
- Verify your site is secure (HTTPS), mobile-friendly, and free of intrusive ads. These build user trust.
Auditing User Experience
- Use Google Lighthouse to analyze page speed, accessibility, SEO, and best practices. This reveals UX flaws.
- Review analytics for high bounce rates, low pages per session, and short time on site. These indicate UX issues.
- Conduct user tests to identify navigation, content, or functionality problems.
By thoroughly evaluating your website’s current EEAT levels, you gain invaluable insights to inform your optimization strategy. Don’t skip this critical audit step!
Strategies for Building Each EEAT Element
Crafting irresistible content that wows Google requires mastering all aspects of EEAT – expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness, and user experience.
Let’s explore some key strategies for leveling up each element:
Demonstrating true specialization means moving beyond surface-level content. Instead, publish advanced analyses that dive deep into topics with:
- Thorough explanations of technical concepts, data, and research
- Comprehensive details even on complex subject matter
Creating educational tutorials and explainers is another excellent way to highlight your qualifications. Teach readers step-by-step skills and clearly explain complex processes or ideas.
You can also showcase expertise through multimedia content like:
- Infographics convey information visually
- Videos demonstrating specialized techniques
- Webinars and podcasts as learning resources
Optimizing for voice search with conversational content tailored for spoken results is another smart play.
The key is continuously publishing fresh, evolving content. This proves you are an authority who stays on the cutting edge.
This is where you’ll be building credibility through partnerships and endorsements. The most powerful way to do this is by:
- Earning high-quality backlinks from industry authority sites and publications
- Getting contributor spots on reputable third-party platforms
- Partnering with influencers on co-created content and resources
Promoting press features and interviews you’ve received on popular podcasts, publications, and platforms also boosts your authority. Displaying certifications from respected organizations demonstrates your credentials too.
Okay, onto building user trust with ethical, transparent content.
This starts with an unwavering commitment to accuracy:
- Rigorously fact-checking articles
- Citing original sources
- Promptly correcting any errors
Avoid hype or manipulation tactics that undermine integrity. Be upfront about potential biases as well.
Brand transparency is also key – provide visible contact info, ownership details, and clear policies. Maintain open communication through blogs, FAQs and social media. Let users get to know the real you!
4. Lastly, Optimizing User Experience
This requires both design and content finesse. Boost site speed and performance for fast page loading. Refine navigation menus and site architecture for intuitive flows.
Enhance content itself by:
- Breaking up text with scannable formatting
- Embedding relevant images, charts, and videos
- Following accessibility best practices
Keep honing your EEAT elements, and your content will be irresistible to Google and users alike. This is an ongoing process as you continue learning. But implementing the right strategies pays off with higher quality, visibility, and trust over time.
The EEAT Content Creation Checklist
Refer to this checklist when creating content to ensure you hit all the EEAT bases:
- Fully fact-check the article and cite credible sources
- Demonstrate deep expertise through advanced analysis
- Use multi-media like images, graphics, and videos to enhance content
- Optimize page speed and navigation
- Interlink to related authoritative sources
- Include schema markup for rich snippets
- Update old content regularly with new facts
- Disclose any potential conflicts of interest
- Follow accessibility and UX best practices
Step-By-Step Guide to Embedding EEAT
Want to truly optimize your content for Google’s EEAT factors? Let’s walk through the process of expertly embedding expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness, and user experience from start to finish.
Step 1: Conduct In-Depth Keyword Research
Thorough keyword research lays the foundation for high EEAT content by revealing user intent.
- Target conversational search queries where users need expert guidance like “how to”, “what is”, “why” etc.
- Dig into related long-tail keywords with high difficulty scores that indicate complexity.
- Identify topics where you can provide an authoritative, comprehensive answer.
This allows you to demonstrate your specialized knowledge and credentials through content.
Step 2: Produce Advanced, Educational Content
With your high-EEAT keywords in mind, develop content that dives deep into the topic to teach and assist readers.
Optimize for Expertise
- Include thorough explanations of technical concepts, data, research, etc.
- Provide step-by-step guidance and actionable takeaways.
- Showcase your sophistication and mastery through depth and detail.
Optimize for Authoritativeness
- Establish your credibility and qualifications around this subject.
- Answer the user’s question completely and definitively.
- Leverage your experience to educate readers.
Optimize for Trustworthiness
- Rigorously fact-check all claims and cite original sources.
- Adopt a sincere, authoritative (but not arrogant) tone.
- Avoid fluff, hype, or unsubstantiated claims.
Step 3: Link to Authoritative Sources
Reinforce your own reliability by linking to credible third-party sources.
- Reference research studies, data sets, expert interviews, etc.
- Earn high-quality backlinks from authority publications in your niche.
- Interlink-related first-party content to highlight your depth on this topic.
Step 4: Incorporate Trust Factors
Actively build visible trust signals into the content itself.
- Include author bios highlighting relevant qualifications.
- Provide contact information and demonstrate transparency.
- Feature testimonials from satisfied customers or clients.
- Display certifications and security badges where applicable.
Step 5: Optimize User Experience
Refine all aspects of UX to allow your expertise to shine.
- Boost page speed and site performance for fast loading.
- Streamline navigation menus and site architecture.
- Use scannable text formatting like headers, bullet points, etc.
- Embed relevant images, charts, videos, and media.
- Follow accessibility best practices.
Methodically developing content this way – with EEAT woven throughout – creates pages that attract Google and users.
However, cultivating true expertise and trust takes time. Stay diligent, and your authority will compound exponentially.
Pro Tips for Elevating EEAT
Ready to go beyond the basics and truly maximize your EEAT? Let’s dig into some advanced tactics to take your expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness, and user experience to the next level:
Implement Schema Markup
Leverage schema markup like FAQPage, HowTo, and more to generate rich snippet opportunities. This allows Google to showcase your content directly in search results, amplifying your expertise.
- Carefully select a schema that highlights your authority, like ExpertiseLevel and Qualification.
- Add review and rating schema to build social proof.
- Use BreadcrumbList schema to optimize internal site architecture.
Pursue Relevant Certifications
Earning certifications from well-respected organizations demonstrates your qualifications and commitment to a topic.
- Identify recognizable governing bodies that offer certifications in your niche.
- Display certification badges prominently on your site.
- Promote new credentials heavily on social media and press releases.
Publish Content with Influencers
Partner with prominent industry figures to co-create content like:
- Co-authored articles, ebooks, or whitepapers
- Joint webinars, podcasts, or video series
- Compilations of quotes from experts
Publishing respected minds vouching for your expertise boosts authoritativeness tremendously.
Spotlight Company Values
Prominently displaying ethics pledges, codes of conduct and values builds user trust.
- Explain commitments to transparency, honesty and accountability.
- Highlight internal policies that ensure integrity.
- Share stories that exhibit values in action.
Curate Authoritative Resources
Become a go-to resource for your niche by curating specialized industry research, data, glossaries, etc.
- Aggregate credible studies, reports, and expert insights.
- Compile definitions of key terminology.
- Link out to reputable resources.
Position yourself as the expert facilitator of authoritative information in your field.
Optimize for Voice Search
With the rise of voice assistants, voice search optimization is critical for showcasing expertise.
- Use natural language and a conversational tone.
- Answer common voice questions featured snippets.
- Incorporate audio content like podcasts.
Tracking EEAT’s Impact on Content
Use analytics to measure how EEAT-optimization impacts your content’s performance:
Key Metrics: Pageviews, bounce rate, time on page, rankings
Tools: Google Analytics, Search Console, Moz, SEMrush
Adjust your strategy based on the data. EEAT is an iterative process!
EEAT is the secret sauce that makes content irresistible to Google and users. Master it, and your content will be unforgettable.
With a solid EEAT strategy, you gain lasting search visibility and user trust. Keep learning and optimizing to take your content to the next level.