The concept of E-A-T, otherwise known as expertise, authority, and trust, has been in the spotlight since July 2019. That is when Google updated its Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG), attracting more attention to E-A-T. How? By referencing it over a hundred times (135 to be precise) throughout the QRG. It was Google’s “subtle” way to show the world that it is a factor one has to consider when trying to improve traffic using SEO.
10 Ways to Optimise E-A-T for eCommerce Websites
But before getting to the bottom of E-A-T, there is one thing that demands clarifying first. E-A-T is not an official ranking factor. It is only a human-understandable concept of how Google’s search algorithm should work. It does not mean it is something you should underestimate, though. On the contrary, when it comes to eCommerce, E-A-T can often make a massive difference. Why? Because eCommerce sites fall under the category of YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) pages.
YMYL refers to websites that can affect people’s future wealth, health, and happiness. Considering the impact such pages have on an average user, Google treats them with more caution. And since people visit eCommerce sites to spend their money, it should not come as a surprise that their quality has to be second to none. How to make them that way, though? The following guide has all the answers.
Create Superb Content
It goes without saying that the content you publish on your website is kind of a big deal. It has to be top-quality, with no grammar or spelling errors, SEO optimised, and, more importantly, informative and authoritative. However, when it comes to eCommerce and E-A-T, there are even more things you need to consider when creating content for your website.
First and foremost, your product pages have to be rich and valuable. They should prove your expertise and provide your customers with as much information as possible in a unique way, including comparison tables, images, or videos. Copying and pasting products’ descriptions will not do.
The second thing is to build additional content around your product pages. Write reviews and product comparisons, create tutorial videos, and boost your visibility with top of the funnel blog content. Also, remember to include the ‘About’ section. Showing customers that someone takes responsibility for the website plays a significant role in E-A-T as it improves credibility.
Assure Top-Quality User Experience
Creating great content is one thing. The other is ensuring your customers will actually read it. However, for that, they need to stay on your site for a more extended period. How? By providing your visitors with a fantastic user experience. You can achieve it by making several adjustments to your website, including:
- Designing a professional-looking layout,
- Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly,
- Making it easy to navigate (creating sections, sub-sections, implementing internal links, adding product filters, etc.),
- Minimising loading times.
All these factors have a significant impact on your eCommerce website’s E-A-T. Keep in mind that you want to build your online authority, and it is something one can’t achieve without a website no one wants to stay on.
Secure Your Website With HTTPS
HTTPS sites provide a more secure connection than standard HTTP ones. HTTPS significantly reduces the risk of data getting stolen every time it circulates between the server and browser. And since your eCommerce website process your customers’ sensitive information, ensuring it is double protected will help build trust among new visitors (remember what ‘T’ in E-A-T stands for?). It will also boost your Google rankings, although not by a lot. In a nutshell, investing in an SSL certificate is definitely worth considering when optimising E-A-T for eCommerce.
Take Care of Broken Links
Broken links and product pages have an immense impact on every website. They can be a real deal-breaker for most visitors, not to mention that Google does not like them either. In other words, broken links are double-jeopardy. Not only do they negatively affect your E-A-T, but also search engines. With that in mind, perform regular audits and fix any issue immediately. Otherwise, you risk ruining your whole effort.
Control Your URLs
When optimising your eCommerce website, make sure you take special care of your category pages. That is because they are often at risk of index bloat due to filters and pagination. Google reads them as low-quality URLs, diluting your overall site website quality. Keep an eye on them using the Search Console Coverage Report.
Earn Trust Through Backlinks
Times are changing, but links still play a significant role in SEO. And yes, they can also boost your E-A-T. Using links, Google can measure a web page’s popularity and importance. Based on that, they can determine whether a site is relevant and trustworthy. The only thing is, what should your link neighbourhood look like?
As a rule of thumb, you should always get natural backlinks from authoritative and popular sites. Doing that is the best way to gain trust and build your online reputation, which, as you already know, has a significant impact on your eCommerce website’s E-A-T. Another thing to keep in mind is the backlinks’ contextual relevance.
Communicate With Your Customers
Building customer trust and loyalty is the core of every eCommerce business. It also plays a massive part in optimising your E-A-T, and that is why you should do everything possible to ensure your customers receive top-quality service. For that, though, you need to keep open communication with them. That is why you should:
- Provide helpful customer service,
- Use FAQs based on your customers’ feedback,
- Make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you,
- Address and respond to good and bad reviews,
- Measure your customers’ happiness through surveys and reviews.
Doing all that will allow you to not only build a reputation among your customers but also help you see what works well or wrong on your website. In short, if you want to optimise E-A-T for your eCommerce web page, taking care of your customer service is absolutely essential.
Offer Transparent and Honest Pricing Policy
Do not try to hide anything from your customers. Be transparent about all the costs involved in buying products available on your website. Nothing can kill your conversion rates and E-A-T more than the hidden costs. If you try to deceive your customers into paying more than they expect, it will negatively affect your reputation and make you look less trustworthy.
Show Off Your Achievements
Do not be afraid to show your audience that your eCommerce website is worth their trust and money. If you have any awards and achievements, be sure to display them on your landing page. A good rule of thumb is also to show great reviews and positive testimonials from your clients. Such evidence is a great way to improve your E-A-T.
Avoid Over-Optimising for SEO
The days of keyword stuffing and paid link-building might be over. Yet, some people still try to deceive search engines by implementing blocks of SEO text at the bottom of their category pages. It is something you should avoid at all costs. Search engines do not like being played, and users will also see something is not right with your website, which might hurt your E-A-T.
Expertise, authority, and trust, E-A-T for short, might not be an official Google ranking factor, but underestimating it can severely hurt your eCommerce website. With that in mind, you should do everything possible to optimise it. By implementing such measures as creating top-quality content, controlling your URLs, or providing excellent customer service, you will be able to gain your visitors’ trust and your authority, improving your conversion rates and visibility.
Take control of your site’s E-A-T now, and help your business grow in the highly competitive eCommerce industry!
Albert Konik – Junior content writer at SUSO. Geek, passionate book reader, and sports fan. He has written dozens of top-quality articles for various niches. Currently studying International Business at the University of Economics in Poznan to obtain his Master’s degree. In his free time, he pursues other interests, including business, culture, and learning new languages.
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