E-A-T is an acronym used in SEO and organic marketing, which stands for Expertise, Authority and Trust.
Google added the new guidelines to its ‘search quality guidelines’ in 2014, receiving recent further emphasis in their “Search Quality Guidelines” released in late 2021.
Since then, they have continued to modify their algorithm to give E-A-T substantial weight when ranking websites for Google.
So essentially, by demonstrating E-A-T within your content, you can improve your website’s ranking in Google search.
It is now a core consideration in website optimisation, and can provide holistic insights into your business’s potential to increase its organic search results.
E-A-T is particularly important for websites that fall under Google’s Y.M.Y.L categories (Your Money, Your Life).
These sites would include:
- Wealth managers, financial advisors and any other financial specific websites
- Medical and health (including nutrition and fitness)
- Current news and events
- Websites for government
- Health and safety
So let’s get into it, starting with the E in E-A-T (Expertise)
Expertise by definition is your ‘expert skill or knowledge in a particular field’.
Expertise in your chosen field or knowledge of your products can prove that you are a trustworthy source of information for clients about to make big financial decisions. This will help convert prospects into clients, and also help you rank higher in search engines.
How to show expertise
Your financial website should display any credentials, accreditations, and formal qualifications that relate to your industry, products, or areas of expertise.
If you are a chartered accountant, or qualified financial adviser, it will be helpful for both search engines and users to identify you and your website.
You may have a Gold Standard Pension Transfer, be a member of the Equity Release Council or be CeMAP qualified. All of these, plus many, many more qualifications in the industry, will showcase your expertise in your field.
Demonstrate your expertise
Refer to the sources of your information. For example, linking your qualifications to your certificates or online profiles. This will allow your users to verify its authenticity and accuracy.
It’s a great way for prospective clients to feel confident in your abilities.
Sharing your knowledge is another great way to demonstrate expertise.
You can record footage, create infographics, write long form content or post informative social media posts linking back to your website.
It’s a great way to show your expertise by being a voice in the field.
Your content should be unique and valuable to users, not copied from or redacted by other websites in the same fields as yours.
It is also worth having your content peer reviewed and signed off by your compliance team to ensure all regulations are met.
The ‘A’ in E-A-T stands for Authority.
Authority by definition means ‘the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience’. Although in practice in financial SEO, it essentially means proving to Google that your website and business are reliable sources of information on specific topics or subjects.
Google believes authority cannot be paid for and must be earned.
You can earn authority for your site by doing the following:
- Offer practical, actionable advice on topics related to core financial products and services.
- Create valuable financial content of high quality
These metrics should include:
High quality links from websites related to your products or services
Writing about topics you are familiar with or breaking down complicated topics into simple terminology can help pages rank higher and, in turn, improve your website’s ranking.
Google is a search engine that uses authority to answer users’ questions.
Our team can help you gain high-quality links to your website. We can also help you develop a successful link acquisition strategy that provides results.
How to showcase authority
You should first focus on acquiring links from relevant websites to position yourself as an authority in your field.
You should try to get links from relevant websites in your industry, particularly if you believe their visitors or client base could also be your ideal client.
Your website’s content should also be used to showcase authority.
First things first, a content strategy that is effective and well-planned is essential.
We also suggest making technical improvements to your site. This will improve page speed, UX, and provide useful, actionable amends through your website content.
Search engines love websites that offer quick answers. They do not only look for the right answers, but also the most accurate ones. This is why content quality is particularly important.
Prospects naturally trust the best websites and most well known businesses.
Also, logically, people do business with people they can trust, especially in the financial service industry.
You can achieve this by building a strong personal brand, and also by developing your digital social proof.
You should regularly communicate with your prospects and clients about research updates, news, and other opinions that will benefit them. A financial newsletter is a great way to do this.
All of these things were once done in person. But as you’ll know, almost everything is now done online.
The best form of social proof within financial services is reviews. Commonly these are Google Reviews, VouchedFor, or even video testimonials.
By showcasing positive experiences from your client base, it quickly and easily builds trust among your audience.
Ways to Showcase Trust
- Collect client reviews via Google, Vouchefor etc
- Add client testimonials to your website
- Reply to both negative and positive reviews
- Use case studies to showcase the amazing work you do
- Add details about awards to your website
- Keep your pages clear of ads
- Never deceive a prospective client/lead
- Avoid bad UX and design, which could trick your users into clicking on your products or sites without their knowledge.
- Create an About Us page. Clearly showcase who they would be dealing with. This page is a great place to tell your story, and to highlight your expertise to visitors.
- Enter industry awards. If you win awards relevant to your industry, you will naturally get additional coverage and recognition from peers. It will also help you stand out among potential prospects looking for the products and services you offer.
E-A-T in Financial SEO Concluded
Improving your E-A-T is a two-part process:
- Be legit. Hire experts. Take care of your clients. Showcase your values.
- Work on cementing your expertise and values in a way that Google recognises.
It may sound easy. However, it takes investment in both time and effort.
Google does not owe you anything, as irritating as it is. A nice looking website does not equal high ranking.
Google will send traffic to websites that show expertise in their content, who are more authoritative in their technical set-up, and who showcase their trustworthiness.
It’s important to note that Google regularly changes its Rater Guidelines, which can be unwelcome. E-A-T criteria will evolve and change over time.
Not only do we have in-house financial SEO experts and copywriters, but we are also Google Partners, meaning we are the first to know about changes that could affect rater guidelines and ranking factors.
If you have any questions or if this blog has sparked any ideas that you would like to implement, please contact our friendly team.