How SMBs can EEAT Better and Improve Google Search Results

Know Google's EEAT principles to keep your site visible in search.

That’s not a typo. Google tossed the extra “E” into EEAT to denote their four core SEO ranking criteria: Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.

The better your small or medium-sized business (SMB) can understand and optimize for EEAT, the better its online visibility, credibility, and qualified traffic will be. Let’s learn how.

Making sense of EEAT

Experience

“Experience” and “expertise” get tossed around a lot, and while they’re tightly related (expertise is hard to come by without experience), they’re not synonymous. Think of experience as the depth of knowledge, unique insights, and demonstrated customer success that your site exhibits over time. 

Expertise

What are you good at? What are you awesome at? What do you do that no one else in the known galaxy can do better? That’s your expertise, and the Google algorithm seeks proof of your site in the form of qualifications, unique (and honest) POVs, and customer success stories. Because when you’re a bona fide expert, you’re entitled to speak with…

Authority

Authority encompasses how your site and brand are regarded for their reputation, influence, and prominence within your target market. To assess your site’s authority, the Google algorithm takes into account citations of it in authoritative publications, backlinks from high-authority sites, and your overall online reputation. (As of this writing, I’ve heard some rumblings that Google may be giving less SEO juice to backlinks. Stay tuned.)

Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness — with users as well as search engines — applies to both the honesty of your site’s content and the robustness of its security. Transparent disclosures, accurate information, and up-to-date security features are among the assets that Google takes into account.

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3 reasons why EEAT matters now more than ever for SMBs

1. A more visible website.

Excelling in experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness can improve your site’s search rankings, leading to increases in organic traffic and, ideally, revenue.

2. Higher perceived credibility and reliability

Think about the brands you trust most, why you trust them, and why you spend so much more time on them than all others. What are the trust factors that attract customers to YOUR brand? Your website should be amplifying them.

3. Competitive differentiation

When Google sees your brand as a leader in experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, it will more likely prioritize you on SERPs, distinguishing you from competitors in your market.

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7 strategies for SMBs to EEAT better and improve their search results

1. Produce and publish authoritative, insightful content.

Ensure that your content amplifies experience, expertise, and trustworthiness in your specialty. It should anticipate your site visitors’ needs and deliver unique, valuable, and accurate perspectives and solutions.

2. Showcase experience, expertise, and credentials.

Author bios, professional qualifications, accolades, certifications, industry affiliations, and testimonials all help convey authority, expertise, and trustworthiness.

3. Gather backlinks from reputable sources.

This isn’t a one-and-done: Set aside time on the reg to solicit high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites within your industry or niche. Here’s how to get started.

4. Optimize website security and UX.

Also an ongoing effort. Commit to up-to-date security and best-it-can-be user experience (it can always be better!). Don’t sleep on page-loading speed and mobile-first design.

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5. Publish user-generated content, testimonials, and case studies.

As a content strategist, I’m thrilled whenever authentic, user-generated content crosses my desk. It carries a dozen times more authority and impact than anything an internal team can say (“show, don’t tell”), and it takes a fraction of the time to publish. A true win-win!

6. Engage with your audience and community.

Be the first to get the conversations started with social media interactions, email correspondence, and community forums. Respond as quickly as possible to queries, feedback, and concerns. Participate in industry dialogues to show your expertise and trustworthiness, and experience.

7. Stay informed, adapt continuously.

Google’s algorithm doesn’t sit still, so neither should you. Stay informed about updates and trending best practices for EEAT optimization. Become fluent in Google Analytics so you can regularly monitor your website’s performance AND take action on the data you discover.

I’ve written in some depth in the StitchDX blog about many of the discrete on-page and technical SEO attributes you can tune and optimize to potentially improve your Google rankings. I like to think of EEAT as a framework for not only a better website, but also a stronger brand whose experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness place it head-and-shoulders above its competitors.

Can YOUR site EEAT better?

Let’s talk soon. Contact our Digital Marketing Team or click the orange chat button below right to get the conversation started.

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