6 Fast and Easy Ways You Can Improve Your Company's E-A-T


Google search is free to use. It's not a freemium app and has no paid plans to let you remove ads. The "free to search" business model works. I don't see that switching anytime soon, especially with everything Google tells us about how to make our websites better and improve our search engine optimization (SEO).

To me, it shows Google only plans to invest further in it. Why mess with success?

As a general rule of thumb, the more searches, the more revenue for Google. It goes way past actual Google Ads clicks. It makes sense why Google prefers to show YouTube videos in the search results. Google owns Youtube. and Youtube generates revenue from your searching and watching videos on the streaming platform.

To start, what is Google E-A-T?

E-A-T is a concept that Google first made available to the public in the search quality evaluator guidelines. It helps quantify the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) of a website, page, or content creator who created the page or website.

So at the end of the day, E-A-T is about helping Google determine and feel confident you will not be counterproductive to its efforts. The better job you do at demonstrating your E-A-T to Google, the more confident they will feel endorsing you and putting your page at the top of the search.

By showing Google that you are at the top of your field regarding your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, you make it easier for Google to trust you. When Google's algorithms trust you, it can feel good about sending referrals your way by ranking you at the top of the search results.

Behaviors that counteract E-A-T cause people to put down their phones out of frustration and stop searching, which means less money for Google. So with E-A-T, you are aligning yourself with Google, which makes for a winning SEO strategy. 

Upping your E-A-T game and your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in the eyes of Google is not that hard, and that is what I seek to show you in my list of six quick, diverse steps you can take to improve your website's E-A-T and page quality.

Define your company name and brand

Not taking the time to define your company name and brand is a significant oversight. Many companies fall into this trap in their quest to rank at the top for generic keywords. These are the keywords related to the product and service instead of the company name. For example, with my business, "legal funding" is the generic keyword, and "Express Legal Funding" is the branded keyword. Let's take a moment to understand why having a strong brand identity increases your website's E-A-T, especially the "T" in trustworthiness. People trust brands and companies they have seen and heard about. Fly-by-night companies can't deliver that, an inherent byproduct of their operations. 

It takes time to build a brand, but there are things you can do to speed up the process and wield the ranking algorithms in your favor. 

Brand name on web pages and meta titles

  • Focus on using your company name throughout your website and as part of your meta-titles. It's imperative to make sure your homepage meta-title has your brand name within it. You want Google to know when anyone searches your company's name; they are looking for you.
  • Make sure you have a non-generic company logo and use it on your website. Your goal over the long term should be to have Google Lens to be able to distinguish and connect it to you.

Pro tip: Set up an LLC if you have not already done so already and register as a foreign corporation in each state you plan to do business. More than anything, you are buying yourself legal protection. However, the more financially successful your company is, the more likely you will see a significant return on investment in tax savings annually and at the time of a potential sale. Whether you generate revenue through an affiliate blog or a local small business store, these concepts apply to you.

Publish high-quality content on your website

This is the most misunderstood concept behind E-A-T. Over time, more professionals have come to me for my SEO consult. During those discussions, it's clear that publishing great content is the most intimidating part of E-A-T. People think publishing quality content equates to quality blog posts, which are time prohibitive.

However, they forget the website's foundation and most critical part: The Home Page. 

So for the first easy E-A-T task: improve the web copy of your homepage. Without a good homepage, you are hamstringing your efforts from the start. 

An engaging homepage that draws website visitors in and keeps them reading is what you should go for, and focus on, to beat your competitors in the search results.

This is one way you show Google it made the right choice by putting your site at the top, why you want to keep your bounce rate low, and time on page high. Smith.ai can help with this. More to follow.

How to make engaging quality content for homepage E-A-T

Write web copy that has your voice and energy behind it

Write web copy that reads as one would speak. Talk to your customer as you would to a family member or friend about a business challenge you are facing that you have the solution for.

People want to feel. Give them something to feel. So a good place to start is by reading your homepage from top to bottom.

If you don't feel enthused by it, that is a problem because how could you expect your potential customers to? Experts and authorities in their field are passionate about the topics they write about, so keep that in mind with your sales and marketing copy.

Speak to the customer directly and make them feel heard

Speaking to your customers is an important one. It increases the engagement factor. Even more than that, it clearly defines the services and products your company provides. Some examples of helpful wordings to accomplish this are:

  • We can provide you with
  • We are there for you
  • When you need
  • You can call

When addressing your customers' pain points, you should speak to them in the first person. That helps them feel heard.

Find a unique angle and perspective and make it yours

Figure out what makes you better than your competitors and focus on that. Why should they choose you? You have to back it up; that is where the quality content comes in. If every law firm says they are the best and get the largest settlements for their clients, the claims begin to lose meaning.

Create social media pages for your business and gain followers

This next step is in continuation of step one, which centers around building your brand and company name, so it is recognizable in the eyes of Google. 

Google employees have said their search engine is made for humans, so it thinks like a human. That directly translates to putting your business on social media. For millenials and their gen z counterparts, social media is stop number one when you want to find out more about someone. We have all heard the helpful "Do they have a Facebook page?".

When you find that person's profile on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., and the info does not show any red flags, you become more comfortable with the person. It's because it's a form of social proof. This person exists and is out in the real world. The more platforms they are on, the less concerned we are with being catfished.

That's why you should emulate the same practice for your business. It makes you visibly more trustworthy right off the bat, and it is far from nuanced, so it should not take long for Google to pick up on it. It counters Google's concern that you might be a fly-by-night operation making spam timeshare calls out of a struggling hotel's basement. So be forward thinking and sign your company up for business pages and profiles.

Social media platforms all businesses need to be on

  • LinkedIn - I recommend it most, as it is the least spammy mainstream platform. Fake accounts and bots have not become a problem. So I am confident that translates into a more significant increase in your E-A-T than it would for Facebook. Don't pass up on creating a LinkedIn company page. It's an easy win. Unfortunately, the platform has lost much of its professional expertise since Covid-19 hit. It seems a lot of professionals who never jumped on the Facebook bandwagon began to use LinkedIn in the same manner. One sidetracked note on LinkedIn: if you receive a message that says, "how are you adjusting to the new normal?" they are trying to sell you something.
  • Twitter - I recommend the tweeting social media platform as a strong number two on your list for social media business profiles. My reason is that Google respects and indexes Twitter by providing rich results of tweets. Although that, getting your company's tweet into the search results is far from easy, even for brand name searches. So don't hold your breath hoping for this one.
  • Meta (Facebook): People say none of the "young people" use Facebook. Well, they are incorrect. Plus, Facebook pixels can make retargeting ads a very cost-effective use of your ad dollars.

Pro tip: Keep your information consistent between your social media profiles. Google, like people, thrives off consistency. So when possible, replicate your info across all of your social media bios: same logo, description, and contact info.

Ensure your website is easy to navigate, user-friendly, and looks good

Having a website that is accessible and user-friendly is essential. More from the standpoint of the lack of these features will hurt your E-A-T and SEO than having them help you. Essentially, you need to have a technically user-friendly website that loads fast in order to not get penalized by Google. 

Google's Webmaster Guidelines provide an excellent resource to quickly read and take action on how to best accomplish compliance in these areas.

These steps will help your website's E-A-T

Protect visitor data: secure your site with HTTPS

Use HTTPS security to protect your website's visitors’ data by encrypting the information sent between their device and your website. Google is extra wary of e-commerce sites that do not implement HTTPS, as unencrypted credit and debit card info pose a greater risk than an email address used for a newsletter sign-up.

Most likely, this has already been done for you, as most WordPress domain hosts automatically include it for free. However, if your website shows as not being HTTPS secure, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your domain host to see what is required to get a secure sockets layer (SSL) key installed on your site. It might cost extra per year (less than $100), but it's worth it if you rely on getting customer leads through your website.

Avoid keyword stuffing

Google wants websites to create great content intended for readers and not search engines. Keyword stuffing is an example of website owners and copywriters forgetting that.

Even as Google gets more intelligent in understanding nuances of the topics, on-page and keyword SEO is still relevant and needs to remain a focus. Don't let any content marketer tell you otherwise.

However, this is an area people tend to get carried away with and begin to keyword stuff, which is not hard to detect for both the Google bot and humans.

The giveaway for keyword stuffing is that it reads and sounds unnatural. So if I were to write an article about pre-settlement funding for car accident cases, it would be keyword stuffing to have the keyword pre-settlement funding for car accident cases in every sentence or even every few sentences. The same goes with adding a bunch of zip codes in a paragraph at the bottom of the page to try and geotarget leads. 

The primary issue is it makes the content less helpful for the reader, and Google does not like websites taking shortcuts via spammy tactics. So to mitigate this behavior, Google will penalize webpages for keyword stuffing. 

You don’t have to do this alone, as there are some helpful SEO plugins that can help you include the targeted keywords your page needs without going overboard. I have become a big fan of Rank Math to help optimize my blog posts and avoid keyword stuffing. I switched away from Yoast to Rank Math in early 2021 and have seen the benefits. 

The WordPress SEO plugin has a relatively small file size and keeps adding new features, which allows for consolidating your plugins into a single plugin, which can reduce the amount of time it takes your page to load and reduce the amount of money you have to spend on SEO plugins. The built-in Schema markup module feature is impressively thorough.

Avoid intrusive interstitials and pop-ups

Google is not against pop-up windows. However, when notifying your visitors with pop-ups, Google is particular about what is acceptable and what is not. 

So, if you use pop-up windows to score new leads and build your newsletter contact list, you should run what I just dubbed "a pop-up audit." You want to ensure you are not decreasing your monthly website traffic numbers in hopes of increasing leads. Or in short, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Examples of harmful pop-ups according to Google: 

  • Pop-ups that take up the entire screen.
  • Any pop-up ads (running ads are OK, but not pop-up ads). 

What to use instead of harmful pop-ups:

  • Use banners that do not take away from the page's main content.
  • Use exit intent pop-up. This type of pop-up is shown when the plugin detects the website visitor is about to leave the website. So it does not interfere if the user is going anyway.

Page speed: make your pages load fast

Starting in August 2021, Google officially rolled out Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor. That boiled down to slower websites getting penalized and ranking lower in the search results. Although, Google reiterated on multiple occasions that Page Experience is not the number one thing website owners and creators should focus on. A page that loads super fast but does not have any relevant or meaningful content on it will not see an improvement in the search.

Still, this is an area you should not ignore. People search less when page load times increase, which means that by Google sending you website traffic, it inevitably risks hurting its profits if your site takes several seconds to load.

So by making your website load fast, you are ensuring Google feels confident the time it takes to load will be of benefit to the search engine company.

A few $30-60 (with promo codes) annual subscriptions can go a long way:

  • WP-Rocket ($49 annually for 1 site. $39.20 with the promo link)
  • Imagify (Free plan with a 20Mb monthly limit. $4.99 per month subscription sufficient for most websites. WP-Rocket provides discount.)
  • KeyCDN More technical to set up. However, next to no long term maintenance is needed. ($4 per month for most websites. Get $10 of credit with promo link.)

You can find promo codes and links for all three of the speed optimization plugins.

Pro tip: Invest in an accessibility plugin for your website. Besides it being the responsible and inclusive thing to do, it will protect you from getting sued. ADA website lawsuits are on the rise. The US Department of Justice has made it clear that it has taken the position that websites of organizations covered by Titles II and III need to be ADA compliant. 

From a trustworthiness perspective, having a WCAG(Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and ADA compliant website should help your E-A-T, as a fly-by-night operation does not take the time to be in compliance with government regulations. It acts as another data point for Google to factor in.

Get online reviews from multiple sites and reply nicely

Getting reviews online has become a company's ultimate form of social proofing. That means businesses who get online reviews can significantly improve their E-A-T. It gives them a super boost for all three components of E-A-T.

However, the critical factor about reviews on third-party websites like Trustpilot, Facebook, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is that they make potential online customers more comfortable choosing your company over competitors. Customers reviewing and rating their experience with your business or service legitimizes your company for your potential customers to see.

Benefits of online reviews for websites:

  • Provide social proof to gain customer confidence that your company "is actually real."
  • Improves your website's E-A-T to search engines. It helps you rank higher in search since Google is more confident you are not a scam.
  • You can have reviews displayed in review widgets on your website. They provide real-time social proofing while visitors read your sales copy. 
  • Google can read the review widgets markup and connect the number of reviews with your website or a product page.

Diversity is always a plus in organic and off-page SEO. It's more natural and not likely to be considered spammy tactics by Google. Along the same line, getting reviews across multiple sites is better than a single review platform.

YMYL: Add web pages that show who you are and why your clients and Google should trust you

The search quality evaluator guidelines from Google discuss the important pages websites need to support the required level of E-A-T for particular websites. Google uses the acronym YMYL to classify some websites: "Your Money, Your Life." YMYL websites need an exceptionally high level of E-A-T, especially in the trustworthiness (and transparency) category. 

Google goes on to explain the repercussions caused by a website that provides information or services that directly impacts one's health and financial well-being. The level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness expected for non-YMYL websites is less than what is expected for their YMYL counterparts.

For example, a website with guides to medication options for people who suffer from depression or life insurance advice for senior citizens is YMYL. They need to have high levels of E-A-T due to the repercussions and harm that incorrect medical and financial advice can cause. Tolerant comedy websites are not YMYL; making a mistake in telling the punchline of a joke won't have serious repercussions.

However, an article titled, How to Survive High School for Depressed Teenagers in 2022 is about as YMYL as you can get. The severity of the harm resulting from incorrect or insufficient information within the article makes it a YMYL. That reality of this potential harm necessitates it to have the utmost levels of E-A-T.

How to demonstrate E-A-T for an author

  • Have a byline with the author's name.
  • Have a bio of the author that shares why they are qualified to write this article. 
  • What to include in the author bio 
  • Write in the third person.
  • Make it a couple-paragraph resume turned into an elevator pitch.
  • Explain why this author is the best.

Important pages to improve E-A-T of websites

  • Contact Us page
  • About Us page
  • Our Team page (Can be built into About Us)
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Terms of Service (TOS), especially for SaaS
  • A website footer

Contact Us page for E-A-T

A good Contact Us page should include multiple ways for website visitors and customers to contact you: phone, email address, mailing address, and live chat option. Contact Us pages are a foundation for YMYL websites. Google operates to a great degree on probability, as we humans do.

Not only would you be extra wary of a New York-based hedge fund if their website shows you can contact them by mail to a P.O. Box inside the one UPS in Kingsman, AZ, and Google would too. Although I give this example jokingly, the principle remains the same. You should move in the polar opposite direction of untrustworthy behavior.

About Us page for E-A-T

Transparency. Yes, experts now say the word "transparency" has become an overused and annoying term in corporate America. However, I believe when focused outwards toward your customers and clients as a mindset, it is beyond crucial, especially for YMYL websites that deal with legal, financial, and medical topics.

Use the Wizard of Oz, for an example; you should never have a "who's the man behind the curtain" format with your website. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of appearing as the Wizard who was a phony and a fake. That lack of expertise and authority pushed him into adopting the man behind the curtain persona.

So back to the concept of probability. The Wizard was hiding his identity for his lack of E-A-T, which meant he ended up causing harm to the residents of Oz by producing less than trustworthy content.

So too, in the real world, when a company has an excellent website that has everything complete, except for the About Us page, it's rarely an oversight, especially if they are focused on SEO. The pre-settlement funding industry, unfortunately, does an exemplary job of displaying this pattern.

Some of the most robust websites lack a quality About Us page. However, that lack of transparency makes sense when you do a quick Google search and see that the various CEO and Founders have been charged and prosecuted for fraud and other crimes, whether the FBI or CFPB is involved or still involved. Transparency of their identities would lead you to the CFPB and DOJ websites, which is counterproductive. 

By being transparent and informing your potential clients of who you are, you show them that you have nothing nefarious to hide. Google can feel confident referring leads to you via Google search. If you can make it so that those referred clients have a positive experience and continue to search more, which means Google is set to make more money in the process, all the more likely, the Google referrals will keep coming to you.

Privacy policy and terms and conditions pages are important for E-A-T 

Having Policy Pages on your website are further steps you can take to improve E-A-T. 

First, your website should have Privacy Policy and Terms & Condition pages to protect you from lawsuits.

From a Google E-A-T perspective, you want these pages to increase your website's trustworthiness. 

I believe it comes down to two concepts of why privacy policy and terms and conditions can help E-A-T:

  • If the site owner cares enough to invest the time and money in a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, etc., that means the website is not a fly-by-night company pulling a quick scam.
  • Policy Pages and Disclaimers tell Google that people it sends to your website will have legal recourse if problems arise.

This all comes back to probability. The better job your website does to show Google's search algorithm that visitors are at no risk of being harmed and, instead, their lives will be improved, the better you are succeeding at E-A-T.

Google E-A-T: It’s how you improve your website today  

I hope you found this a helpful resource about how to improve your website's E-A-T in the eyes of Google. 

Remember, it's not that you aren't an expert or authority in your industry or that you can't be trusted. Quite often, all it means is that you have to do a better job of telling that to Google and, most importantly, your website visitors.

Business Education
Marketing Advice
Written by Aaron Winston

Aaron Winston is Strategy Director at Express Legal Funding.

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