6 min read  | Website

B2B SEO: Building Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust (EAT)

When your potential B2B clients have a problem that needs solving in their business, there’s no doubt that they want to find a company with expertise and authority on the subject at hand - and to work with someone they can trust.

And they very often begin their journey with a Google Search.

A recent study from HubSpot revealed 49% of B2B buyers use Google’s search engine to find a new item or product. Today, having a B2B website that demonstrates your expertise, authoritativeness, and trust isn’t just a good idea from a sales perspective, it can impact your search rankings as well

While there are over 200 factors that Google uses to assess your website and where your pages should be placed in search results, there has been a particular focus on 'Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust (EAT)' in recent years.

What is 'Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust?

In 2014, Google introduced this new concept as part of their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, Google highlighted the need for their evaluators to focus on the following when evaluating website content:

Expertise: Does the person/business know what they are talking about?

Authoritativeness: does the content creator and the website have authority to speak on this subject?

Trustworthiness: can this business and its website be trusted?

Google uses the feedback from their Search Quality Evaluators to train their algorithms. So while EAT may not be one of Google’s direct ranking factors, these signals are highly likely to impact your ranking.

What does EAT mean for your business?

If your website shows that you have a high level of expertise and authority in the industry, and that you are a trustworthy, reputable business, you may gain a significant advantage in search rankings.

This can fuel your SEO competitive advantage - leading to increased traffic, higher conversion rates, and more B2B customers.

What can I do to boost my B2B website’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust?

To be honest, it’s a little bit of everything. Step back and ask yourself - what makes you trust a business when you visit their website, and how can you replicate that on yours? 

Here are some of our top tips to boost your EAT: 

Be real

Have you ever been to a website, ready to make a purchase, but something seemed off? Maybe you couldn't find out where the business was located, if anyone really worked there, or something else just seemed fishy? 

To demonstrate trust, it's a good idea to ensure your website has the following:

  • An 'About Us' page: this can showcase who works in the business, what qualifications and experience they have, the origins of the company, and where your offices are located. 
  • A 'Contact Us' page: Provide your website visitors with a real local phone number and contact form, and show where you are physically located. 
  • A Google Business profile: When setting up your company profile on Google Business, you must go through an address verification process. This helps to show you are genuinely located where you claim. 
  • Get the basics right: As covered in our previous blog article, having a secure, user-friendly, fast website helps demonstrate that your business is trustworthy. 

Mange your online reputation

If people look around the internet, will they see your business in a positive light or as an entity to avoid at all costs?

Managing your online reputation is essential - not only because customers do their homework, but because Google is also paying attention and factoring that into your search ranking. 

Here are a few key things to focus on:

  • Reviews and feedback: What are people saying about your company and products on Google/Facebook reviews, industry forums and websites, and in the media? To increase trust in your business, consider asking happy customers to post reviews on these networks and address any complaints quickly. In addition, you can reach out to industry thought leaders to review your products and write press releases for newsworthy events. Another idea is to consider adding case studies and client testimonials to your website. 
  • Build your social presence: Social media signals can impact your search ranking and leave an impression on potential clients. Work to build a healthy social media following and regularly share helpful content and updates. Engage with your community and offer value at any opportunity. 
  • Build backlinks: Having other reputable websites link to yours helps show Google that your business is a respected source of information. 

Be the expert and authority in your field

You can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your field by showcasing your in-depth insights on subjects your potential clients are looking for help with.

Aside from having well-written product pages that answer potential clients' key questions and highlight your unique selling proposition, it's a great idea to have a blog with regular, helpful, informative content. For example, if your business provides software for medical clinics, you could post regularly on the benefits of using medical practice software, streamlining patient enquiries, reducing overheads with automation etc. 

We'll cover how to develop an effective content marketing strategy in a future post, for now, here are a few tips on demonstrating expertise, authority, and trust:

  • Show the author: Blog content with a credible author with domain expertise helps reassure the reader that they can trust the information. Try to include a name, job title, and bio if possible. 
  • Keep content up-to-date: Content is not a set-and-forget asset. Update your content regularly to keep it relevant and boost the chances of it being found on Google. 
  • Link to high-quality sources: Back up your statements with trusted third-party sources. 
  • Be clear, and help your audience solve a problem: Avoid overcomplicating topics and using industry jargon. Instead, decide what problem you are helping to solve with your content and be clear, concise, and accurate. 
  • Go off-site: You don't just have to stick to writing on your blog. Demonstrate your expertise by guest blogging, being featured in the media, etc. Try and get links back to your website where possible. 

Conclusion

As you can see, this is a big topic, and there is much more to cover. 

But in summary, to help your SEO, it's essential to focus on communicating that your B2B company is honest, can be trusted, is an authority in the industry, and has expertise in its field. 

If you have questions or need support boosting EAT in your business, we're standing by for a no-obligation discussion. Get in touch here.

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