Each time Google changes their search algorithm, best SEO practices change with them. As companies plan out their 2020 marketing strategies, then, it’s important that they pay careful attention to Google’s current ranking system, and one shorthand that’s helping businesses hone their strategy is “EAT.” Short for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, this approach is allowing businesses to identify the elements of SEO that matter most and calibrate their efforts to align with those demands.
While all the elements of the EAT framework are important, one supersedes – and can ensure the others: authoritativeness. There are several reasons for this. First, authority and expertise often go hand-in-hand. A big part of modern SEO is learning to link strategically; you want to get content published on high-DA sites. But if you’re going to get content published on high-DA sites, it’s going to have to demonstrate expertise. And, one of the advantages of quality content that’s published on an authoritative site is that it tends to make your business seem more trustworthy.
Content That Works
In the quest to craft and place quality content, many small businesses run up against the limits of their expertise. They may be pros within their industry, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got the marketing and SEO chops to match – and that’s where SEO professionals can help. Rather than trying to generate content and identify publishers in-house, businesses can benefit by working with an SEO digital marketing service that can create custom content for publication on high DA sites. Such companies have pre-existing relationships with publishers, and they’re staffed by professional writers – people with the expertise to express your business’s vision.
Written content remains central to SEO performance and brand authority, at least in part because it’s what Google is best able to evaluate right now; it’s comparatively harder to crawl video, especially given the low-quality of voice recognition software, as well as the challenges involved in evaluating production quality. That doesn’t mean you should eschew video entirely, though.
Instead of skipping video or, alternatively leaning too heavily on it, businesses should take advantage of video because it drives traffic, but consider connecting any video content with a transcript or other supplementary information in a way that’s easier for search engines to digest. The same is true when using infographics and other visuals – it needs to be supplemented with searchable content. Mixing and matching content styles is always to your advantage in today’s search ecosystem.
Relative Authority Matters
Authoritativeness is central to content performance, but because small companies lack the SEO expertise to understand how the stakes come together, they tend to make mistakes on the execution side. For example, while publishing on high-DA sites has a number of advantages, it’s also important to recognize that DA is a relative value. What’s considered a high-DA site in one industry may not be as valuable in another and comparing DA values only matters within a given industry. It’s also important to remember that DA values are constantly changing. While a site like the BBC or the NYTimes isn’t about the plunge through the rankings, smaller sites see frequent fluctuations.
Just as DA is relative, many of the other metrics that determine search rankings also exist in constant flux. Creating content that demonstrates your expertise is great, but if it doesn’t also fulfill a need, such as driving your site to position zero, then it’s not really serving you. It’s all about balancing that expertise with exposure and precision and ensuring that what you’re providing also meets clients’ needs. You should be generating SERPs that answer questions and creating content that blends your brand’s style with what users really want to know. That’s how you take authority to the next level and live out the EAT ethos.