Why EAT-ing is important for SEO
Unfortunately, food does not play a role here, but using the E-A-T concept for SEO is becoming more and more important. We use real examples to show the impact EAT-ing can have on your traffic and visibility.
What is EAT stand for in SEO?
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness, and should always play a key part in the analysis of your website. Demonstrating these three areas will improve how crawlers (those who ultimately determines where your website should rank), perceive your website, and including these areas into your website and its content will help the user too.
Websites no longer should just be used to gain sales. The “hard sell” approach is never viewed positively by Google, as it’s not providing a pleasant experience for their users. You should not just use your website to generate sales and enquiries, but instead use it as a platform to demonstrate to users and crawlers that you are extremely knowledgeable in your business area, whether it’s party planning, weddings, or designer clothing. Recommendations here would be to improve the quantity and quality of content on your website. A blog or advice section could be the perfect solution depending on your business type.
It’s great to have all of this high quality expert content on the website, but it’s important here to remember to ensure that crawlers and users know that you have learned this information from years in the industry, or through credible qualifications and training. This shows that not only are you informative to your users, but you are ensuring that both users and crawlers are aware of your professions, qualifications and experience. Having a meet the team section with this information included is an effective and simple way to do this.
You may know everything there is to know about your business industry, but just as university students are expected to back up their research with references and citations, websites are too. Several SEOs will advise you to not include any external links to other websites, as this will lead the user off the website, however when used correctly, having external links placed after factual information can show the user and the crawler that what your saying is backed up by larger more trusted websites, such as the NHS or gov.uk, therefore showing both the user and the crawler that you can be trusted too.
Can link building influence EAT?
Short answer, yes. As much as Google tries to deny the influence of link building on a website’s ranking ability, it seems that the amount of links pointing to your website from higher authority websites will help with EAT. A link pointing to your site is after all a Trust signal. It’s important to exercise caution here, however, as excessive link building and gaining paid for links can result in harsh penalties as opposed to benefits in rankings.
Why is EAT important for my website?
2019 has been a key example of why EAT-ing is important for any website. 2019 has been home to a number of key Google algorithm updates which have primarily focused on serving users with the most useful and informative content, a key component of EAT. These algorithm updates have in particular targeted industries from medical, financial, and gambling industries, those of which can play a key part in a user’s wellbeing and health. We take a look at a couple of websites who have suffered and benefited due to the EAT concept.
Website 1 – A lack of EAT-ing causes large drops in traffic
This example is a medical website who suffered from both the June core update and July’s maverick update in 2019. Upon evaluating this website, it was apparent that a lack of an efficient navigation and site structure, poor quality content, and a focus on pricing lead to their vulnerability to algorithm updates. In response to this, we focused heavily on delivering high-quality informative content backed up by credible external sources, whilst ensuring that the professions and impressive experience of the team were clearly presented on the website.
It’s always difficult to repair from traffic drops like this at a quick pace, but already we have seen a positive change as a result, putting the website in a stronger position ahead of the September pre-announced algorithm update;
Website 2 – Reaping the benefits of EAT-ing over a long period of time
We have worked with this medical website since early 2018, focusing on a strategy involving providing users with valuable advice and focusing on the quality of care as opposed to promoting any sales offers or focusing on costs. As a result, the website showed no detrimental effects in the face of these algorithm updates, instead the website continued to grow and thrive while larger competitors suffered. Below shows their growth in keyword visibility for the top 10 positions on Google results.
Below also shows the leap in visibility for our main target keywords after the September algorithm update took place;