Learn all about Google EAT guidelines and how you can apply those principles to your plumbing website’s content for a sweet SEO boost.
Gone are the days when a website or blog post could rise to the first page of Google’s search results overnight. Now, ranking for your plumbing website’s primary keywords is all about following the Google EAT guidelines and adapting your SEO (search engine optimization) to the mogul’s ever-changing algorithm.
So, what does Google E-A-T even mean? Why is it important for your plumbing company? How can you use Google’s E-A-T criteria to improve your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs)? Read on as our SEO experts here at Relentless Digital answer your questions about Google EAT and more.
At Relentless Digital, we’re a top-rated plumbing SEO company and digital marketing agency. With our tried-and-true SEO tactics and considerable industry expertise, you can feel confident that your plumbing business will be in expert hands. Since we started in 2020, our clients have experienced substantial online growth – from 30% to over 500%!
What Is Google E-A-T?
The acronym E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This relatively new concept (2018) is not directly part of Google’s algorithm. Instead, it’s part of its search quality rater guidelines. E-A-T is a standardized way for third-party search quality raters and automated systems to evaluate web pages and determine ranking order in the search results.
Over the years, Google has remained tight-lipped regarding its search algorithm and the 200+ ranking factors it uses to rate and categorize websites and content quality for the SERPs. Even during broad core updates to Google’s algorithms, only minimal details ever become public knowledge.
Fortunately, the search engine giant hasn’t upheld that same reticence regarding the E-A-T criteria. You can find a PDF with the search quality rater guidelines (SQRGs) here that discusses E-A-T in detail.
So, let’s break down the concept of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness as it relates to your plumbing page quality and content:
Expertise: How much direct knowledge or experience does the content creator have on the topic?
Authoritativeness: Does the content, its creator, and the website have legitimate authority or substantial value?
Trustworthiness: How trustworthy is the content, its creator, and the website?
Here’s the takeaway: Google is looking for authoritative sites with high-quality content that experts have written. The search engine also prioritizes websites with insightful analysis of the main content or a unique perspective that provides value to the reader’s lives.
Search Quality Raters Guidelines
In the SQRGs, Google discusses the desirable qualities of high-quality content and a website’s E-A-T score:
- The entire website should contain an adequate amount of high-quality page content, including a clear and descriptive title.
- The web page should also contain information about the website owner, or for an eCommerce site, customer service information
- Authoritative websites also have positive user reviews and a good reputation among page visitors and customers.
Is Google EAT a Ranking Factor?
As you already know, the Google algorithm for ranking websites contains over 200 factors and constantly changes. For example, some of the E-A-T factors Google mentions as most crucial include page load speed, high-quality content, mobile-friendliness, authoritative links, and user experience.
Technically, Google’s E-A-T guidelines are not a direct ranking factor. However, that doesn’t mean that having a website and incorporating Google E-A-T principles isn’t essential for ranking higher on the search engines or getting more organic traffic.
Google’s search quality raters use page quality and E-A-T principles to evaluate and rank content and websites, just not in the same way as its algorithmic ranking factors.
What Are YMYL Sites?
YMYL sites (YMYL stands for “your money or your life”) are web pages that create content Google considers to be influential on the reader’s health, well-being, or finances, such as a news site, medical site, or online shopping. Therefore, in Google’s eyes, the E-A-T guidelines are more important than ever for evaluating the validity and quality of these YMYL websites.
Google wants to be sure that these individual pages containing YMYL content are accurate, trustworthy, and won’t negatively affect the reader. Google holds YMYL websites to a higher E-A-T standard than other pages, such as sites with pictures of cute pets or recipes. Here is a list of YMYL topics:
- Current event and news sites
- Shopping and e-commerce sites
- Financial advice sites
- Law, government, and civics sites
- Medical, health, and safety sites
- Sites discussing cultural groups of people, such as religion, race, age, sexual orientation, etc.
- Sites concerning significant life decisions, such as finding a job, choosing a college, and so on
How Can I Increase My Google E-A-T Score and Write E-A-T & SEO-Friendly Content?
So, how difficult is the process of improving E-A-T SEO scores for website owners? As a plumbing business owner, you likely have little free time to handle the entire scope of marketing responsibilities and SEO efforts necessary to see your desired results. However, creating your own content that establishes your authority as a plumber and offers a superior user experience doesn’t have to be an all-consuming process.
Fortunately, our team can help. At Relentless Digital, we focus on working smarter, not harder. That’s why we’ve compiled these tips: to help you elevate your company’s website and give you an SEO boost that will improve your ranking in the Google search results.
However, if you don’t have time, just give us a call so we can handle all the hard work for you. Here are our best tips for improving your E-A-T score and creating content that Google will consider authoritative, informative, and engaging.
Focus on High-Quality Content and User Experience
Content quality is one of the most important guidelines for E-A-T, but it’s by no means the only ranking factor. However, just having high-quality pages with excellent content doesn’t ensure a high E-A-T score; it takes more than that. Remember, Google E-A-T guidelines focus on expertise and authority.
For example, high-authority websites with helpful, informative content and a superior user experience have higher E-A-T scores regarding the length of page stay and lower scores for bounce rate and page abandonment.
Some of the best ways to improve page experience include:
- Increasing page load times
- Ensuring that your page layout is easily navigable
- Using a responsive, mobile-first approach
- Focusing on a solid link-building strategy
- Boosting site security
- Decreasing page bounce rates
- Adding interactive page elements
- Using visuals like pictures and videos
- Optimizing picture size for faster loading
Target Industry-Specific Keywords
The best time for users to discover your website is when they’re actively seeking your plumbing services. One method you can leverage to reach consumers at that stage of the buying process is by posting articles written with optimized keywords and high-priority search queries.
If you can rank for the most relevant keywords, potential customers can find your business when they’re ready to hire a plumber, giving you a stream of qualified leads. What’s more, by posting pillar content about popular topics and keywords, you can provide in-depth information to your readers and establish trust, credibility, and authority for your website.
Investing some time into keyword research is an excellent way to rank for target keywords and get a good E-A-T score. Ensure that your website content targets individual and cluster keywords so you can optimize for search intent rather than just a few queries.
Some free tools you can use to research keywords include:
- Google’s “People Also Ask” and “People Also Search for”
- Keyword Surfer
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator
- Keyword Sheeter
- Rank Tracker
- Google Search Console
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Keywords Everywhere
- Google Correlate
Use Well-Researched Information
One of the worst mistakes you can make when creating content for your page is to use scraped, spun, stolen, low-quality, false, or inaccurate information. Don’t try to copy and paste or change a few words here or there – Google can tell if you’ve done this, and it causes significant harm to your page ranking in the SERPs and your E-A-T score.
When it comes down to it, there’s no substitute for research, analysis, and originality regarding your website’s content. If you want to improve E-A-T scores for your plumbing website, create original content using your experience or official research. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, the Relentless Digital team can help you.
For example, your company website should contain a blog with posts on ranking topics related to plumbing. Some ideas would be “How to unclog a drain” or “Signs your hot water heater needs replacing.” Of course, we’re not suggesting that you give up all your trade secrets. However, by posting content that adds value to your readers’ lives or solves their pain points, you can rank higher under the Google E-A-T guidelines.
Get Wikipedia Mentions or Create a Wikipedia Page
If you read the E-A-T search quality rater guidelines, you’ll see that Google mentions Wikipedia frequently. It’s clear that Google recognizes Wikipedia as a trusted site and authority on countless topics. But that wasn’t always the case. In the past, the SEO community thought Wikipedia links weren’t beneficial to increasing a site’s ranking in the SERPs.
Now, though, getting a mention on such a large and well-known website can significantly help your E-A-T score by establishing a level of authority for your web page.
Another great way to increase your E-A-T score is by getting an actual Wikipedia page. However, this may be challenging. Wikipedia uses a strict vetting process to increase its own level of authority and trustworthiness. All of your plumbing company’s information must be 100% verifiable, and it must have significant digital coverage from various reputable sources.
Those criteria sound very similar to Google’s guidelines for E-A-T, right? As you can see, it’s all connected. Consider adding mentions to your website or creating an actual Wikipedia page for your company.
Audit Existing Content
Performing regular site audits is one of the best ways to boost your E-A-T score. While you should always try to post evergreen content, it’s not always possible. That’s why auditing your website consistently is important to follow E-A-T guidelines. If you don’t update your content regularly, time inevitably erodes your site’s accuracy, trustworthiness, and credibility.
Some great ways to audit and refresh your content include:
- Running programs for content optimization
- Updating with interactive content
- Adding new information to your posts
- Researching and optimizing keywords
- Adding visuals and videos to your website
- Searching blog post comments for new keyword topics
- Relaunching old posts with updated information
A quick note: Relaunching old posts means more than just slapping a new date on them and calling it a day. Instead, be sure to take the time to research further information about the topic, discuss a unique perspective, or add new pictures/videos.
Add Your Credentials and a Company Bio
Another way you can improve your Google E-A-T score is by adding your credentials and an “About Us” company page. You may want to add author boxes or links with a bio page discussing credentials.
Some examples include:
- Awards or community recognition your company has earned
- Your plumbing certifications, licensing number, and insurance information
- Certifications of your employees
- Links to relevant posts or publications that mention your company
- Information about your BBB rating or accolades from sites like Angi (formerly Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor)
Add Structured Data to Your Website
You can also use structured data (aka schema markup) to increase your level of trust and credibility. Schema markup is a type of microdata that creates rich snippets to appear in the SERPs. With that type of improved visibility, you can considerably boost your SEO and E-A-T score.
Schema markup establishes the relationship between various item types, entities, and information and links them between their online mentions. As a result, the data provide information Google can use to better understand the content on the page, making its E-A-T evaluation of your page much more efficient. Furthermore, it can reduce ambiguities and help create connections that Google could’ve missed in its Knowledge Graph.
Add Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Every website should contain positive reviews and testimonials from past customers to establish more credibility and trust per Google’s E-A-T ranking criteria. If you think that online reviews can’t affect the success of your business, you’re mistaken. Consider this data from Statista:
- 94% of respondents said that positive reviews made them more likely to patronize a business
- 92% of respondents said that negative reviews made them less likely to patronize a business
- 79% of respondents said they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from family or friends
Even more data from the World Financial Review show that websites containing user reviews or testimonials have 18% more sales on average. Displaying positive user reviews from customers on your website also creates a level of trust, authority, and credibility and also gives potential customers a vote of confidence in your business.
Plumbing repairs aren’t cheap. Customers want to be sure that their money is being well-spent on quality services. As a service-based contractor who relies on local business and word-of-mouth referrals, having positive customer reviews can be a huge boon to your E-A-T score.
Improve Your Google EAT Score with Help from Relentless Digital
If you’re having trouble with your website’s Google E-A-T score, we can help. As you know, the acronym E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. While you won’t find any magic tricks to increase your score overnight, you can establish SEO best practices and boost your E-A-T score by using the tips we just listed above.
For example, creating high-quality and well-researched content, using industry-specific keywords and clusters, executing a link-building strategy, auditing your existing content regularly, and adding user reviews on your website are all effective techniques.
At Relentless Digital, we’re the industry experts regarding Google EAT and SEO practices. We know how much hard work, time, and effort goes into building an authoritative website that ranks highly on the SERPs. As a plumbing company owner, we know you have a lot on your plate. If you don’t have the time to handle the many responsibilities and tasks that go into maintaining a good Google EAT score, we can help.
Our team caters exclusively to service-based contractors – including plumbing companies – and we know precisely how much time goes into website building and SEO. So call us at Relentless Digital today at (262) 393-4241 to schedule your free consultation with our team of digital marketing experts.