What information can’t you find online these days? While it’s handy, it’s also dangerous — and Google is well aware.
Google obviously checks every website against ranking factors to decide where it sits. You can influence this by doing Search Engine Optimisation on your website and online presence.
However, your job of optimising your website is a whole lot harder if you have what is called a YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) site. As these sites are considered those which can drastically alter someone’s life, Google cracks the whip on how they meet the ranking factors.
In this 2021 guide to Google, E-A-T and YMYL, we’re going to show you:
- What YMYL and E-A-T are.
- Why YMYL is so important to know about.
- How to easily boost your YMYL site.
If you find this article useful, be sure to share it on your social media and subscribe to our Digital Marketing Newsletter. Now, let’s get into how to boost your SEO in 2021 the easy way with Google, E-A-T and YMYL.
E-A-T is an acronym for Expertise, Authority and Trust. It is one of the ways Google may assess a website’s Page Quality Rating. This influences where a website is shown in a search result to a user’s query.
While E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor, what it implies is — the quality of your website.
Is E-A-T important in 2021?
Google says in their Search Quality Rater Guidelines E-A-T is more important to some websites than others. AHREFS describes how to know when E-A-T is most valuable as what can impact or benefit someone’s life.
“E-A-T is important for all queries, but some more so than others. If you’re just searching for pictures of cute cats, then E-A-T probably doesn’t matter that much.”
“If you’re searching for the correct dosage of aspirin when pregnant, on the other hand, then E-A-T is undoubtedly important.”
These influential websites are known as YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) sites.
What is YMYL?
YMYL is an acronym for Your Money or Your Life. It refers to websites or content which could impact a user’s financial stability, health, happiness or safety.
As this type of content can severely alter someone’s life, Google requires them to have extremely high Page Quality, which is where E-A-T comes into play.
Examples of YMYL sites and content:
- Medical websites, such as those for doctors, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, etc.
- Financial websites, such as accountants, bookkeepers, financial planners, etc.
- eCommerce sites where a user can make an online purchase.
- News and current event websites, including international relations, politics, technology, etc.
- Government websites, such as government agencies, social services, etc.
- Civil knowledge websites, such as that about voting, etc.
- Legal sites, such as those for lawyers, solicitors, etc.
- Group websites, such as those for topics on religion, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, age, disability, etc.
- Fitness and nutrition websites.
- Blogs or online content published about any of the above.
- Video content relating to any of the above.
7 Easy Ways to Boost Your SEO with E-A-T in 2021
1. Establish your reputation as an expert.
Google wants to know who is publishing content (including author, business, etc.) can be trusted for providing expert, informative content. When publishing blogs, this is why it’s important to have your by-line about you, linking through to reputable sources about you, such as your LinkedIn.
Ways to build your online reputation:
- Receive online reviews on Google, Localsearch, Trustpilot, etc.
- Embed your reviews on your website.
- Have people link back to your website when the content is relevant.
- Publish your qualifications, awards and/or recognition on your website.
- Have guest blogs published on websites other than your own.
2. Make your pages specific and thorough.
Google wants to provide the most informative websites to their searchers to ensure a good experience. So, it makes sense they’ll prioritise a web page with a lot of quality content about a topic — if all other factors are there too — over one with very thin (minimal and/or fluffy) content.
To help you make your content thorough enough, have a page per product or service. It’s fine to have main product and services pages, but ensure you have the singulars too. Then, ensure you answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions about said product or service.
There are many other aspects of writing for SEO, but this will give you a good starting block when writing any type of content.
3. Work on off-page SEO.
While most people are aware of on-page SEO — i.e. what you do to your website — they aren’t as aware as off-page SEO. As off-page SEO is optimising your presence outside of your website, Google relies on this to help measure your expertise, authority and trust.
Some of the top off-page SEO you need to work on include:
- Gaining online reviews.
- Other reputable websites linking to your website relevantly.
- Feature in guest blogs on other websites.
- Ensure your name, address and phone number (NAP) are consistent everywhere online.
- Create a Google My Business listing.
Businesses can create a free listing on Google My Business, also known as GMB. An optimised GMB listing helps put your business in relevant search results on Google Maps, in the local search results box and more.
When you create a Google My Business listing, Google verifies your business through an automated phone call or by mailing a postcard to your business address. When you attach your website to your GMB — which you should — you gain a level of trust from Google.
To further increase your SEO through E-A-T using GMB, you’ll also need to be posting updates at least twice a week. Updates are like a social media post, except they show with your GMB listing on some search engine results. These posts will help Google know your business is still active and reliable to show to users.
5. Join relevant and trusted industry associations.
Professional associations will often allow you to join as a member and be listed as a verified industry expert on their website. As these associations normally require you to verify your expertise, search engines will cross-reference them when they see your name listed.
How Google and other search engines see it is if a person would trust an official organisation of high calibre and only paid experts in that field can network themselves on them, then they should too. There are trade organisations for almost any industry you could think of including medical, financial, automotive, funeral services and more.
A membership to an industry organisation may be tax deductible, but you’ll need to talk to your accountant or bookkeeper about that.
A backlink is a link published on one website directing users to another website. When a website with high E-A-T ratings links to your website, Google follows the link path. They then take into consideration that a reputable website is linking to yours, giving you a little bit of their reputation juice.
An easy way to get backlinks for free is by using quality online directories, like localsearch.com.au. You can create a starter profile for free and add a link to your website. To further optimise your profile, prices start from only $1 a day.
Online reviews are taken into consideration by Google, including those on your GMB and platforms Google pulls into local results, like localsearch.com.au. When Google can see you’re respected and liked by those who have had first-hand dealings with your business, they gain trust in your business.
There are many ways to gain more reviews, but some top ways include:
- Asking your customers or clients at the point of transaction.
- Using a reputation manager, which automatically encourages your customers to review.
- Add a message to your invoices or receipts.
- Include a ‘rate us’ button on your client email communications and in your staff’s email signatures.
In Conclusion About E-A-T & SEO
There are more than 300 SEO factors to consider, but all of them are about providing a good experience to Google and other search engine users. Your goal when building a website should be to design, develop and write it for the users and your potential customers — not you or search engines.
If you’re doing everything you can think of to gain better positioning on search engines, but it’s still not happening, talk to an expert, like our SEO specialists. We can run a free website audit to ensure you’re doing all the right things and where we can possibly help. Book your audit today.