Demonstrating Expertise, Authority and Trust with Digital PR and Content
Google is well known for its algorithm updates. A major change called the E-A-T update – also known as the Medic update – occurred in 2018, primarily affecting your money or your life (YMYL) websites making it a must-have for businesses in these sectors to produce high-quality, useful content that satisfies search intent. We call this E-A-T content.
Taking it one step further, we’ve found an opportunity to make the most of high-quality E-A-T content through our digital PR services. It isn’t unusual to see businesses invest in content marketing and digital PR to bolster their SEO efforts. But what is unusual is having these services work collaboratively, boosting your visibility in the SERPs, driving traffic, establishing authority and building trust among your target audience.
Our in-house experts, Cheryl (PR Associate Director) and Emma (Head of Content and Social) share their insight into the role of expertise, authority and trust in your organic presence. Take a read to understand how digital PR can help you get even more from your E-A-T content, pushing your organic visibility to the max.
What is E-A-T content?
E-A-T stands for expertise, authority and trust. Google’s Search Evaluator Guidelines specifies that this update revolves around providing high-quality content that captures search intent. At its core, it’s about showing a level of expertise, authority and trust within the content displayed on your website. Since the update occurred, there have been iterative changes since, with the most recent one in May. Each update aims to further improve the quality of content on websites.
The primary industries impacted by this update are known as YMYL websites with finance and medical sites being hit the hardest in terms of rankings and traffic. However, this also extends to include any sector that can have an impact on your life such as personal injury, insurance, automotive, housing and even travel.
There is a broad scope when it comes to creating E-A-T content. If it’s something you’re considering but unsure on whether it would be right for your business, we’re happy to advise you. So, what does expertise, authority and trust actually mean in terms of your content?
Expertise considers the volume and depth of the content and whether it is sufficient for the topic. For an eCommerce page advertising a black dress, you wouldn’t need two thousand words of content. However, if the business covers gap insurance or personal injury claims, you will need to display much more content to cover the necessary information. This also considers whether the content has clear purpose. Does it have a clear structure? When was it written? Has it been updated since publishing if necessary?
What authority does the content creator have on the subject? This factor was introduced to prevent sites from claiming to be authoritative in a certain arena if they aren’t. It stops them from ranking higher on subjects that can actually cause harm to people’s health or finances.
Small changes can be made to your website to show authority such as having a named author on the blog post highlighting their industry experience. But to really increase content authority, we work with experts, whether that’s individuals from the client’s business or us finding industry experts to interview. Authority also looks at the sources the content links out too and the website’s reputation.
Trust centres around reputation signals such as reviews and customer service information. This is particularly important for eCommerce sites who will need to cover their delivery and returns processes. This information needs to be really clear and will ideally include features such as Trust Pilot reviews and genuine customer reviews.
For YMYL businesses, this covers whether the on-site content follows the accepted consensus of a particular topic. For example, for a medical business, does it follow the general consensus of doctors in the medical industry?
Writing E-A-T content for your website
There are two pieces to the E-A-T content puzzle: experience in writing and Google’s Evaluator Guidelines. For example, no matter what content we write, we’re always thinking about the end user and their search intent. In our team of 12 content writers, many come from a journalist background. Fortunately for us, E-A-T content follows a journalistic style of writing covering the who, what, why, when and where combined with a balanced viewpoint.
The E-A-T content we produce is done so by our most experienced writers. These pieces involve a lot of desk research and take a lot of man hours to put together. Using the data-led insight and keyword research from our SEO team alongside the evaluator guidelines, we can structure the content in the best way possible and write to satisfy search intent. Quite often, E-A-T content falls into being a Q&A style. For example, what is gap insurance? Who is gap insurance for? What kind of gap insurance is there? What are the benefits of gap insurance?
How do we work with clients on E-A-T content?
When working with a new client, the team begin by conducting a content audit. Broadly, this considers client’s existing pages before looking at competitors to understand the opportunities the client may be missing. Included in this is the client’s Content Quality Score. This is an in-house, exclusive tool that our R&D team developed, enabling us to quantify the quality of a website’s ranking content out of a score of 100. Evaluating different metrics, this tool considers:
- How good is their content?
- How good is competitor content?
- What is the depth of their content?
The team then craft a roadmap covering which pages need creating or improving, and when this will be done. Dependant on the website, our analysis and the client’s objectives, they may focus on a particular category first or, it could be spread across the website under different categories.
The most important aspect of our processes is the collaborative work between our content team and technical SEO team. Led by data, we define and prioritise areas that need work in order to generate results.
How long does it take to see results with E-A-T content?
The answer to this often-asked question is that it heavily depends on your website and how much it is crawled. It could take a few months to begin seeing the effects of E-A-T content on your rankings and organic visibility.
Like with SEO, E-A-T content is not a quick-win. It’s something that builds up over time, gaining authority and results the more it is worked on. However, on some sites that are crawled by Google more regularly, you can start to see movement within the first month. That’s why our technical team provide detailed monthly reports to our clients on their SEO highlighting where progress has been made or where changes will come.
To provide context on the results E-A-T content can create, we have worked for a number of businesses in various industries such as:
- A travel company: We increased their sessions by 131 percent and revenue by 109 percent.
- A personal injury business: We moved them from position eight to position three in their market using E-A-T content.
- A printing company: We increased their organic traffic by 36 percent and moved their Content Quality Score to 99 out of 100.
E-A-T PR: Making your content work harder
Although not every piece of E-A-T content is a perfect fit for PR, Cheryl shared insight into why these two tactics can often be a winning combination:
“There is an increased demand for advice led content from journalists. This has particularly escalated in the last few months during the coronavirus pandemic due to the public having a lot of questions they want answering. To answer these questions, we can take a piece of well researched, well written, detailed, authoritative and expert-led piece of E-A-T content and adapt it to fit the paid media landscape.” – Cheryl Crossley, PR Associate Director at WMG
Taking E-A-T content and adapting it to craft a more concise, linkable piece, it can then be pushed out proactively to the press. In doing so, you leverage exist content that you’ve investing in creating and can make it work harder for your business. As the content has already been keyword optimised, you have a better opportunity of using editorial PR articles to rank on SERPs.
Examples from the SERPs
Let’s take a look at some examples direct from Google’s first page results. Searching for questions that we know have high search volumes, we can see which businesses have created E-A-T content.
As you can see from the examples, many of the top results are from businesses offering advice on their associated service or product. However, further down editorial placements begin to show (highlighted in yellow). As these topics cover high-volume search terms, the press also want to rank highly. As such, while you’re aiming to feature your business high in the SERPs for a specific question or search term, you’re also battling the press. So why not work together?
The benefits of E-A-T PR
On-site E-A-T content requires investment. Once it has been posted on your site, don’t just let it sit there. These pieces can work broadly across a number of channels for maximum benefit.
A consumer within a research phase of their purchasing journey is likely to look at editorial sites covering “The Top 10 Beauty Brands” before clicking directly to a specific brand. Using E-A-T PR, you have the potential to be featured twice on the SERPs, satisfying different stages of search intent through the use of both onsite E-A-T content and detailed editorial content. By allowing the two tactics to work collaboratively, your content works harder, driving more traffic and ranking higher for the terms you want to rank for – all without fighting the press for first-page exposure.
If you want to hear more from our experts, Cheryl and Emma recently did a webinar on the subject, or, contact our team today who are always happy to chat about your digital marketing requirements.