In 2014, Google announced that content that demonstrated expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T)1 would greatly influence how it evaluated page quality – a ranking factor that contributes to a higher position in search results. How important is E-A-T for local SEO? Google doesn’t specifically mention it in its explanation of how it determines local rankings. Local businesses may want to prioritize content in addition to other ranking factors like NAP (name, address, phone number) and business directory citations.
What Google Says About Ranking for Local SEO
Google states that it evaluates local SEO by looking primarily at relevance, distance, and prominence:
- Relevance – How closely a business matches what someone is searching for
- Distance – The proximity of the business to the location of the searcher or the location search term
- Prominence – How well known the business is
Google goes on to say that prominence is also based on the information it can find about a business. This information includes its ratings and reviews, articles, and links, and that “search engine optimization (SEO) best practices apply.” 2 Google’s statement about how it evaluates prominence indicates that page quality is also a ranking factor for local SEO. So, it stands to reason that E-A-T content – on the business’s own website and other channels – should help local businesses rank higher.
What is E-A-T Content for Local Businesses?
A local SEO subject matter expert at Moz wrote that local businesses should create content that positions them as the authority in their industry and geography.3 In other words, your business must be the entity Google associates with a particular topic in your region.
How to Create E-A-T Content on Your Website
Content isn’t just blogs and articles – especially when it comes to local SEO. The content you include on several pages of your website can help to establish your business prominence. In addition to reinforcing your relevance to the searcher, you need to consider your E-A-T content on the following pages of your site:
Your Home page is generally the first place a potential customer will land. So, it’s vital to use compelling copy to quickly establish what your business does and identify its competitive advantage. And good copy can encourage visitors to explore more areas of your site if navigation to your most important pages is clear and well-structured.
On your About page, you have the opportunity to humanize your business, tell a story about its history, and detail your mission. Of course, this should be customer-centric!
Customers searching for a business to solve a problem have a lot of questions. Collect real questions commonly asked and include them on this page. It’s also a good place to solicit additional questions and prove that you’re a business that will swiftly follow up to provide an answer.
Store location pages
Location pages let customers know where they can find you. But they are also an ideal spot on your site to create local content and establish your business to understand and support the local community.
Product or Service Descriptions
Descriptions should be detailed, answer anticipated questions, provide spec information if applicable, and include high-quality images that communicate benefits. You can also increase your credibility by including testimonials, offering guarantees, highlighting competitive differences, and showcasing any awards your company has received.
Testimonials or Reviews
If you decide to use a separate Testimonials page, make sure the endorsements are detailed and address common pain points or hesitancies customers may have before selecting a company to do business with.
Blog posts can answer customers’ questions and allow the business owner to demonstrate industry expertise, especially related to the local area. More importantly, make sure you utilize the people that work for you as authors of your blog content. Knowing that blog content is written by someone in the industry is helpful to the reader, and even to Google! Google likes knowing that content is coming from an expert.
If your employees don’t have time to do the writing (because who does these days), work with a content creation company that can know your voice and work with an author at your company to get the heavy lifting done for them.
The contact page includes all relevant information about visiting the store or getting in touch. Because this page includes NAP, maps, driving directions and parking, accessibility options, types of payment accepted, and hours of operation, it’s one of the pages that Google is most interested in for learning about a local business.
E-A-T Content Outside of Your Website
Local directories and Google My Business optimization can impact your local SEO by establishing your presence in the community when someone searches for a business like yours or includes your name in a Google search. But other channels and activities can give your business ample opportunity to create content that matters to local customers and potential patrons.
Local companies should have a well-established presence on social media networks that appeal to their customer base. By finding out what matters to customers, answering questions, and resolving complaints, businesses can build relationships with the local community and develop trust. And when social media users trust a company, they’ll promote it by sharing it with others. Social signals are one of the ranking factors Google includes in its algorithm.
Events, tie-ins, or promotions with well-known local organizations
Associating your businesses with highly-regarded and trusted organizations in your local community can pass credibility and trust onto your own company. You can mention these events on your site or your social media pages, and it’s a great approach for getting mentions (and possibly links back to your site) within your local service area.
Full Circle SEM Can Create E-A-T Content to Boost Your Local SEO
The digital marketing experts at Full Circle SEM have the knowledge and tools to create a content plan that will help you rank better in your local service area. We’ll research your industry, the local market, and your target customers to develop the kinds of content your customers are looking for – all while demonstrating your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. If you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, contact us here. We’re eager to help you meet your business goals.