Jack Moore and Bob Misita
Search engine optimization “experts” write thousands of words each time Google releases a new update—i.e. Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird. While many of these pieces provide exceptional detail of each enhancement, most fail to point out that the fundamental basics of a good website have remained the same for the past decade: if your site satisfies a searcher’s intent and answers their questions, you will rank well and turn visitors into sales opportunities.
Today, satisfying user needs means showing E-A-T—Expertise, Authority and Trust. If Google’s algorithm and quality raters see that you satisfy all three criteria, it will determine that you do—indeed—satisfy a searcher’s intent.
To become vital to both Google and to searchers, you need to show E-A-T in your site’s overall main content as well as on its individual pages.
What Does Google Think of Your Site’s Main Content?
How Google perceives your overall website plays a key role in whether it thinks you’re worth showing searchers. Showing E-A-T enables your site to compete with millions of other web pages to vie for a searcher’s attention.
Expertise: In general, your overall website needs to adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines [link: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769], which includes good page design and lack of unscrupulous search engine optimization tactics. It also needs to include about us and contact us information. Fresh, unique content that demonstrates your overall industry knowledge and experience is rewarded.
Authority: The number of times your site is referenced by external sites indicates you are an authority on your subject. Google also considers the quality of those external sites. For example, a link to your site from an online profile site is useful. A New York Times Online mention is much better.
Trust: How well is your reputation developed across the internet? Google examines the number and quality of your overall reviews. Specifically, the quantity of your 3rd party-verified ratings and reviews plays a pivotal role in your site’s trustworthiness. While the individual reviews provide directionality of your reputation, the total volume of reviews outweighs any individual positive or negative review.
Do Your Pages Satisfy Local User Intent?
High-quality individual page content needs to satisfy a local searcher’s three main questions:
Do you solve my problem?
Do you work in my area?
Do you do good work?
Local intent pages that use high-quality, relevant content to answer those questions will get better attention from both Google and your proposed users.
Expertise: According to Google’s Hummingbird update, your local intent pages need to use natural, conversational language to answer a searcher’s specific questions. A simple description of the work you do each day (phrased in such a way as to show what problems you solve) will suffice. Using a tool to automatically integrate this content with your site formated with schema [link: schema.org] toshow location, authorship, frequency and freshness is ideal.
Authority: You need to have a dynamic mechanism to share citations from your individual subpages and receive citations back. This includes social media posts.
Trust: Finally, these pages need to showcase third party-verified user ratings and reviews that are integrated with your site using schema. Here again using a tool to automatically integrate this content with your site is ideal and provides excellent local intent and trust for both search engines and your visitors.
Formatting the dynamic content of your local intent pages using schema ensures that when your pages show up in search engine results, they’re likely to have review stars and ratings along with an excerpt of the conversational expertise content you wrote.
Together, this demonstrates to both Google and its searchers your knowledge and authority in your subject matter. It ensures a high click-through rate from search engines to your landing pages, further reinforcing the likelihood the visitor will convert to an opportunity contact and result in the highest probability of a sale.
Article provided by co-authors Jack Moore and Bob Misita @ LeadsNearby