For many local service businesses (painters, plumbers, electricians, cleaners, etc.) getting found on Google search results is one of the most effective ways to generate leads and attract customers.
However, Google’s constantly changing algorithms can be quite a challenge to keep up with. What are the latest updates and what do they mean for local service providers?
In Google’s recent Page Quality Rating Guideline, the term “E-A-T” was mentioned extensively. This guideline is used to train the Quality Raters who are responsible for assessing page quality, which affects a website’s search engine ranking.
In this article, we’ll look at what “E-A-T” is and how it impacts SEO for local service businesses.
What’s Google E-A-T and How It Affects Your Local Service Business Website
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. They’re used as indicators of a high-quality page in Google’s Page Quality Rating Guideline, which evaluates the creator of the main content, the main content, and the website.
For instance, advice pages on topics such as home remodeling will get better SEO ranking if the content comes from experts or experienced sources that readers can trust.
For many local businesses, publishing high-quality content is one of the most effective ways to improve SEO ranking and gain exposure to prospects that are actively looking for a service professional online.
By improving the E-A-T of your website content, you’ll increase the chances of ranking higher in relevant search results.
How To Increase “Expertise” and “Authoritativeness” Of Your Content
The rater guideline prioritizes website content created by subject matter experts. Here’s how you can boost your SEO ranking by positioning yourself and your business as an authority in your areas of expertise:
- For blog posts and other informative content, make sure the authors have a good online reputation (e.g., having online profiles and being published on reputable sites) and their information is readily available so raters can evaluate their expert status.
- Moderate user-generated content (e.g., blog comments) to ensure that the information is accurate. Encouraging constructive discussions in your community, which leads to the generation of relevant and valuable content, can help improve the E-A-T of your website.
- Define your niche and position your company as the “go-to” expert in your geographic area. Then, create relevant content that caters to the needs of your target audience.
- Share personal experience and success stories to position yourself as the subject matter expert.
- If you’re the face of your company, invest in personal branding to augment your online presence since raters are encouraged to research reputation information from sources outside of your website.
- Improve your personal brand by fleshing out your social media profiles, getting published on trusted platforms, and creating content that is helpful to your audience.
- Generate buzz to improve your business’s online authority. For example, by using traditional PR and getting mentioned in authority sites.
- Whenever possible, link to authoritative sources to back up the claims in your content. These external links can boost your SEO ranking while improving trust in your site.
- Build backlinks from authoritative websites to demonstrate that others in your industry trust your content as well.
- Minimize spelling and grammatical mistakes in your content, which can diminish your expert status and project an unprofessional image that could damage the authority of your website.
How To Improve “Trustworthiness” Of Your Website
When Google sends users to a website, it wants to ensure that they’re getting accurate information and a satisfactory user experience. As such, its page quality guidelines require raters to evaluate if visitors can rely on your website’s information, trust the quality of your services, and have a good browsing experience while interacting with your content.
Here’s how to improve the trustworthiness of your website as a local service business:
- Monitor your reputation on BBB (Better Business Bureau) since poor ratings could cause Google to assess your business as low quality. If you come across negative comments, be sure to respond in a timely manner but not in haste or anger.
- Resolve negative online reviews by reaching out to the reviewers. Be professional in your response and focus on resolving the issues. Flag reviews that violate the site’s policy and ask others to do so as well.
- After you have resolved negative reviews on third-party sites, ask the reviewers to either remove the reviews or write a follow-up comment that indicates your effort in addressing the issues.
- Be transparent about your business’s information, such as company name, physical address, terms and conditions, etc. Make sure that customer support and contact information is easy to locate on all pages, e.g., as persistent elements in the header or footer areas.
- Include an easy-to-find “about page” with information about the company, who’s responsible for the site, and those who contribute to the content.
- Foster trust by improving your website’s user engagement. For example, simplify the navigation so visitors can easily find what they need, include multiple ways for visitors to provide feedback (e.g., a web form), and focus on providing high-quality and relevant information.
- Invest in technical security, e.g., by installing an SSL certificate so your website will show up as “Secure” on the Chrome browser address bar.
- If you process payment on your website (e.g., visitors can purchase services packages) include trust seals on the transaction pages to give customers the peace of mind.
- Ensure that your content – whether it’s on your blog, about page, services page, or ads – is not deceptive or misleading. In addition, be transparent about any affiliate relationships, business associations, commissions, and other monetization information.
It’s important to keep improving the E-A-T of your website so it can rank high in relevant Google search results.
Focus on making your content informative and helpful instead of simply funneling visitors into sales (e.g., to fill out a form or call a number) based on the nature of each page.
You should also periodically remove or rework pages with low E-A-T and minimal traffic since those pages could negatively impact the overall reputation of your website.
Building E-A-T isn’t just for ranking high in Google. For many local service professionals, your website is your storefront. When potential clients perceive you as an expert and trust your business, you’ll get more clients in the long run.