Establishing credibility and trustworthiness in your digital reputation takes time and effort. Truth be told, there are no shortcuts to authority – domain authority, or otherwise. Accordingly, it pays to be aware of strategies designed to boost your domain authority and the associated search engine optimization best practices. Internet search is the largest digital marketing channel in 2019, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
As one of the highest converting marketing channels available to us, search is incredibly important, often more important than some are willing to admit. Ask anyone who has had to push for a larger budget for their SEO work – they’ll tell you that it’s incredibly difficult to prove the value of link building and SEO work to many organizations. It isn’t that companies aren’t open to it, but the people with the checkbooks aren’t easily convinced about the ROI of SEO and link building. It’s too easy to focus on the price per link rather than the overall value of high quality backlinks.
There’s no mystery behind backlinks. It is very clear that search engines love them, digital marketing teams want them, and SEO pros chase and create them. Links are endorsements from trusted websites. Just like you want Michael Jordan to endorse your sneakers, you want links for your website. They prove to search engines that your content is worthy of being the best answer to someone’s query. But with that being said, not all links are created equal. Google loves quality links and that’s where your leadership team comes in.
You can use your experiences and unique characteristics or credentials to create content Google is looking for. Content that reinforces expertise, authority, and trustworthiness in your organization. And that’s where E-A-T comes in.
You Are What You E-A-T (Acronym definition: Expertise – Authority – Trustworthiness)
Just kidding. You are what Google sees you as.
So how do you present yourself and your brand as a trusted, authoritative expert? You follow the E-A-T guidelines, and you use the expertise and experience to help you tell your brand story through a digital PR strategy.
If you are what you eat, then it’s important to pay attention to the way you’re presenting yourself online. Your digital reputation precedes you. It’s important to steer the conversation in a way that benefits you, your brand, or your clients.
While it’s notoriously difficult to measure expertise, authoritativeness, and trust, there are ways you, as a digital marketer, can leverage the knowledge or experiences in your organization to supercharge your authority.
If links are endorsements that provide credibility, you can boost your authority by supporting your expertise with your experience. By showing what you know, either through sharing your work, content distribution, networking, or otherwise, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Somewhere, someone is asking a question only you know how to answer.
Use your own accomplishments and your teams’ achievements to establish your expertise on paper. If you’ve spoken at a conference, take your session and publish your slides. If you spoke on a podcast, share the podcast on social platforms made for distribution.
The next step is to promote said accomplishments, experiences, or characteristics in a way that reflects your knowledge and thought leadership.
One effective way to do this is to mind and monitor your “About Me” pages. Are they descriptive, showing the expertise of the Project Manager who recently just won an award for his team’s campaign last year in the ‘Best Use of Search’? About me pages present a fantastic opportunity to describe the unique traits you or your company should be known for.
Are there other credentials you have that you could add to your author bio page on your company blog? There are all sorts of ways to establish expertise and document it. It could be as simple as mentioning you’re an award-winning Content Marketing Manager.
There are all sorts of ways to establish your authority and take incremental steps to increase it. However, credentials matter. Use them as tools to establish expertise when you’re telling brand stories.
Being an expert is only the beginning. You can begin to create and promote your brand authority once you’ve established your expertise. Doing this requires outreach to media to mine for links from trusted websites. And this is where it’s time to get creative.
Getting Creative With Promotion
We know that “Content is King” but that isn’t the end of the story. One of my favorite things to keep in mind about content creation comes from the head of the Outreach Team at Go Fish Digital. David Cusick reminds us about the importance of creating relatable content in his analysis of what can be learned about content creation from The Office.
Spoiler alert: it’s the human element.
Get creative with the content you’re creating about yourself and your team to market your expertise to the people who need it. Follow the articles published in their general interest areas, pay attention to news in industries that might affect you, your brand, or your clients.
If you pay close enough attention to relevant news, you’ll be plugged in to developing stories you may be able to relate yourself to. The key is to provide value based on your expertise or authority.
Position yourself as an expert by finding a gap in the newscycle. You do this by asking what stories aren’t being told that are relevant to your experience. This uncovers gaps in coverage about related industries or the content creating in one of your client’s industries.
There’s a gap somewhere. And if you can find it, you can fill it.
Finding Where You Fit
If you can, consider a content audit of your industry of choice, or maybe a priority client’s industry. Conducting this audit will help you systematically identify content gaps you can take advantage of to further your efforts. Jennifer Wright, a talented SEO from Go Fish Digital, does an excellent job of describing what filling a content gap can do for the internet search visibility of a brand in a recent podcast interview.
Get your name out there to establish authority by taking over a content gap in your industry and being creative about how you market your brand’s expertise.
There are a lot of ingredients that go into any recipe. The recipe for trust is no different. Establishing tangible things such as a location or a physical address on your website is a trust signal. Quality content is a trust signal. Expertise on author bio pages and about us pages makes a bit difference — it’s a trust signal.
Detailed reviews, educational opportunities, and even real life experience documented on-page can serve as a trust signal to Google.
Emphasize the trustworthiness of your brand by looking to your leadership team’s human element. What do they do that is worth talking about? Do they treat employees with genuine respect?
Find a way to make your expertise or experience relevant to the online conversation, and plug yourself in with outreach to boost your trustworthiness.
At the End of the Day
Not every trend is worth following in the marketing industry. However, following the E-A-T guidelines as a framework for your digital marketing efforts means you’re taking on a very wholesome approach to your content marketing.
Utilizing E-A-T guidelines will help you propel your brand forward by growing your digital presence in a natural way. Remember, there are no shortcuts to authority but you can use your expertise and accomplishments as resources to tell strong, trustworthy brand stories.
Obtaining quality backlinks for your brand helps boost your authority on a subject, niche, or within an industry. There are all kinds of ways to prove authority, much like endorsements on LinkedIn. Some matter more than others. Use E-A-T to create and promote content that helps you acquire links that matter.
Rebecca Wright is a digital marketer at Go Fish Digital, specializing in earned media for the content marketing team with a love for all things SEO.
This blog post was written by a guest contributor. The views within this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of AMA Triangle.