The Importance of EAT – And Your Blog Strategy

Alice Morgan and Tamara Warren from Alta Digital shared some valuable tips with us on how to ensure your content is of great quality focusing on EAT (expertise, authority and trust) and building authority of your blog. They have expanded on their recommendations in the post below:

You shouldn’t regard E-A-T as a part of the algorithm. It’s not about that and it’s not really about Google, either. It’s about presenting content in a way that adds value. E-A-T is just the framework for doing this – the guidelines if you like – which enable you to deliver high quality content that people can trust, because it’s useful to them and adds value. Why? Because the authors are experts who themselves are authorities on the topic in some way. The importance of E-A-T permeates everywhere and it goes beyond just the writing stage. It has to be present in the strategy and processes you design to support it. Ultimately, it’s what will make your blog resonate with your audience and succeed.

Three tips to improve your blog strategy

1. Get off on the right foot

  1. Make sure your blog – or the blog you’re creating for a client as a service to them – is not a vanity project. It can’t be a question of “our competitors have a blog, so we need one”. If you’re going to have a blog, believe in it and allocate adequate resource. Acknowledge that it will require this if it’s going to work and educate your senior management, get their buy-in and backing. You’ll need it.
  2. Consider the blog as a service to your customers. By building trust through authoritative and expert content, your blog can become the “go-to” place for information and advice. It’s a branding exercise and a differentiator.
  3. Document your strategy, establish editorial principles and build intent into it. Map user journeys and identify where tonality pivots according to the content you’re writing.
  4. Agree suitable KPIs to measure success, associated to your intent pathways. So, for example, if the subject matter of the blog article is transactional (based on a high volume keyword you’re targeting), describe how a product can solve the problem at hand and include CTAs to a conversion page. If it’s informational, suggest further reading on the blog. These pathways are measurable.

2. Get the right authors

  1. It’s worth spending the time to find the right people to write for or contribute to your blog, so research and think outside the box.
  2. Get a good mix of standard authors and contributors, including peer-to-peer examples. From a customer point of view, it’s always good to hear from other people in your situation, facing the same issues as you.
  3. Establish the principle of authors (whose name goes on the by-line) and writers who may actually do the writing. Writing a good quality blog article takes much more time than you think, so it’s a good idea to use ghost writers for time-poor senior management.
  4. Kick the project off with writing training for those who are unused to writing content for the web.
  5. Build and link to the authors’ bios, or include a bio at the bottom of the page to help build authority.
  6. Use author schema markup on your blog.

3. Get your act together when building authority

You may be wondering about this. How does process and organisation contribute to E-A-T? The short answer? In every way.

  1. Topics: research and plan them carefully, aligning to business objectives, search volume/opportunity, what you can unearth about the target audience and what their concerns are. Use tools, use in-site search, call centre feedback – whatever. And of course, you need to weave in topical issues where these are relevant and useful. Don’t just think “Christimas, Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween”.
  2. Create and actively run an editorial calendar. Define end-to-end workflows (don’t forget approvals and legal input, which is sometimes needed) and make people accountable and use your project management software you assign tasks and deadlines. Crack the whip!
  3. Use standard templates for writers which help them write the posts without too much hand-holding. They need to know what the intent is, how to pivot to a more salesy tone if needed, whether it’s evergreen or short-term, what the target keyword and semantic support keywords are and how to integrate them. Standardise all of this to make it easier, but give them permission to break the rules, too.
  4. When it comes to publishing, align with other channels to cross-promote. Remember, your content is useful to the social team, too. Don’t be afraid of putting some media budget behind some of these – especially if you’ve been asked to publish content for which there is no obvious demand. Know when you have to push, not pull.
  5. Last but not least, keep a close eye on maintenance. There’s so much to say here, but essentially, set alerts to perform updates, re-dates and refreshes, maintain citations and links. Mistakes, out of date content and broken links will erode the trust and authority you’ve invested so much to establish.

Thanks Alice and Tamara for sharing your insights on building authority of your blog, you can also have a look through their presentation on slideshare For those of you who have missed out on any of our sessions, sign up or subscribe to our YouTube channel where you can catch all of our Tea Time SEO talks!

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