How can we drive better and more consistent organic search results for our clients? I’m so grateful to have Lane A Houk of Signal Genesys in this session on how Google E-A-T, authorship, and unique GMB signals can positively impact your SEO efforts. Even if your SEO strategy is already sound, this session can help you gain insight into the E-A-T process.

Outline of This Episode

  • [5:45] Lane’s introduction to the session
  • [10:40] E-A-T: Expertise, Authority, and Trust
  • [15:06] What if there are multiple authors?
  • [17:00] YMYL (Your Money, Your Life)
  • [19:55] Why Schema is so important
  • [22:05] How to optimize article content
  • [50:12] Authorship and E-A-T
  • [1:00:30] Q&A Session

E-A-T 101: Expertise, Authority, and Trust

E-A-T is part of Google’s algorithm and a core component by which Google’s quality raters grade a website. It encompasses the core of a quality page. So of course Google is looking for E-A-T signals. Because of this, you want to orient your content toward demonstrating these three elements.

You want to purposefully and intentionally structure content in a way that demonstrates expertise in the relevant topic and target keywords. You want to position the author as an authority on the topic. Doing so builds trust.

But how do you demonstrate E-A-T in your content? The author of the article should be connected to the entity that you’re trying to rank. It must be a person or individual. If it’s not tied to an individual, you won’t reap the benefits.

What if there are multiple authors? The more the merrier. If you have staff members with subject matter expertise they should be contributing content.

YMYL (Your Money, Your Life)

If you’re in finance, healthcare, civics, government, nonprofit, shopping, home services, etc. Google audits your content even further for quality. Why? Because YMYL websites directly impact people’s money and life. They should face a higher level of scrutiny. If you’re in this space, you must be extremely careful with Google my Business listings. The content that you write for those entities must demonstrate a high level of E-A-T.

How to optimize article content

Lane shares an SOP that he provides all of his writers for optimizing content:

  • Get your research right. If the research is wrong, the page won’t rank well.
  • Every article should target 1–2 target keywords at most. The keyword determines the topic.
  • Include semantically related keywords in the content (you can get a list from SEMrush, Surfer SEO, etc.). Work as many of these related keywords into the content as possible while maintaining the integrity of the piece. These tools scrape the articles that rank top 10 on Google for your desired keyword and provide the related keywords that must be used to beat out the competition.
  • Properly use h1, h2, h3 tags to create sections in your content. Discuss relevant content under each h tag. It guides Google’s bots to read the relevant content. It also makes it visually easier to digest the content.
  • Use “People also ask” or “People also search for” questions as your section headings. If you’re targeting “white label website design” search Google for that keyword. Take the “People also ask” question and make it a header in your article. Then answer the question in your content. This can also be marked with FAQ schema.
  • Make your first link on the page a do-follow link to a target asset that you want to rank (i.e. another page). We use two do-follow links per article to focus where authority is being sent (you’re sending authority to the page that you’re linking to). You don’t want authority sent out to a different page. Lane usually makes the first link to your GMB listing and the other link to an inner page on the website.
  • Do-follow links should be anchor-text optimized and linked to a CID, PID, or Knowledge Graph ID link whenever possible. NOTE: Not every GMB listing will have a place ID or a CID—that’s up to Google to assign. The PlePer chrome extension can provide the knowledge graph link (KG ID). It resolves to a SERP with the unique knowledge-graphed ID associated with a particular entity. Add this into your linking strategy to use intermittently.
  • Include images from a related or relevant GMB post whenever possible. The image is stored on a Google server. This fires off numerous signals. Images also add to the user experience. You can bring in images through Twitter (another strong signal). Why Twitter? Google will bring up Tweets for different keyword searches. Don’t underestimate the power of images.
  • The same applies to videos. Google loves them.
  • You want to send proximity and local signals to Google in your content. City names, zip codes, and more. You can even use them in hashtags.

When you look at everything you can do to send signals, you see more strategies. You need to expand your thinking because everything that’s indexed online can send signals. Lane discusses each of these topics in-depth, so listen or watch the video for more detail!

Authorship and E-A-T

When you’re setting up an authorship profile, you’ll note that people can have similar names. So how do you differentiate between all the others? Use unique identifiers tied to that person’s name. What does that mean? Use a three-letter abbreviation like Ph.D. Odds are “Pam Smith, Ph.D.” is available on social media platforms versus “Pam Smith.”

Google loves it when you link to people’s LinkedIn profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest—any place you can author content). Once these profiles are set up they can be linked to a WordPress site using Gravatar. When you set up the Gravatar, use the same email that’s associated with every profile. Now Google sees a unique author connected to different profiles. You’re creating a footprint and signals around a person.

What if you have profiles that aren’t named properly? What if you don’t want your personal profile associated with your company? Can you use a pen name or alias? Listen to the whole episode for a Q&A session with Lane Houk.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Lane Houk

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