EAT was one of the most important marketing trends in the field of SEO last year. Although it has been around for a few years, we have also seen much more attention being paid to it by marketers in the past year. But what exactly is EAT?
EAT is a principle created by Google to evaluate websites for quality and reliability. This is also necessary. After all, anyone can share content on the world wide web. However, this does not mean that all information is correct. Especially for very important searches, it is important that reliable information is presented. Also to ensure the quality of Google as a search engine. EAT therefore stands for Expertise, Authority and Trust. In short, does Google consider the information you share reliable enough to be allowed to appear higher in search results?
In order to score through the EAT principle, it is important to take a number of factors into account. This is especially true for websites that relate to a person's health, happiness and finances. Precisely because they contain important information, Google tries to ensure that they are also correct in terms of content. The following tips can help you achieve a higher rating according to the EAT principle:
- Mention sources when mentioning some scientific facts. It is also a good idea to credit any other authors on your page. This way, you show where the information comes from and to what extent it can be found correctly. This also makes it easier for readers to do further research themselves.
- Make sure that information given on the website is updated regularly. This article is a good example. After all, new trends can be developed during the year. In that case, it is good to mention and add these later on. In this way, you ensure that the information the reader receives is always up to date and that there is no confusion or discussions about it.
- Aim for several positive reviews. Especially when you want to present your company as a reliable source of information. Negative reviews can damage the credibility of both your company and what you are sharing. Besides, most people research a company online. If you can then show multiple negative reviews, this can cost potential customers.
- Try to get authoritative links from other websites. For example, link to sites with a good position in Google and let these websites link to you too. This has to be done carefully. Quality over quantity. If you don't do this, Google can quickly see through this strategy and consider it as spam (with all its consequences).
- Secure the website with an SSL certificate.
But why do SEO marketers pay extra attention to the EAT principle this year, when it has been around for many years? This has simply to do with the innovations of Google. Google is increasingly doing its best to provide users with an even better experience. In this respect, valuable and authoritative websites are worth their weight in gold. In order to achieve this, they are working daily on new techniques and algorithms to expand their information even further and to be able to read and assess websites better. In 2021, Google will devote more attention to improving the EAT principle and its follow-up.
Online videos have an increasing share in effective SEO strategy
Very striking this year is the enormous increase in the use of video. This is actually not so strange when you look at the growth of YouTube. What many people do not realise is that YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world. It has thus just taken the position after Google. It is therefore strange to focus only on better findability within Google and thus to lose sight of the second largest search engine. It is expected that videos will already account for 80% of all online traffic this year.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to include video content in your SEO strategy. By optimising your video for SEO, you improve your position in Google and give your customers an even better experience. Moreover, it also offers the opportunity to present information in a playful and creative way to your target audience.
Do you sell bedroom accessories, for example? Take your viewers on a bedroom makeover and show them what the right use of accessories can mean for a bedroom. Or, as a photographer, offer a day behind the scenes. Video sharing offers a lot of possibilities. Not only to share additional information, but also to get closer to the customer and offer a whole new personal experience.
Local search results
A major change in the field of SEO this year is the increasing number of local search results. More and more people are searching for services and products in their neighbourhood. Local SEO has evolved tremendously in recent years. This is largely due to the fact that people are using search engines more frequently. Whereas before, people mainly followed the advertisements in local newspapers and found local goods and services by word of mouth, now they are increasingly using search engines.
This is certainly something that a company should take advantage of. Moreover, it also ensures that you tackle your SEO more selectively. You do not only go for findability on a larger scale, but try to apply this selectively in order to only reach your own target group. Perhaps your reach is less, but at the same time it is much more profitable. As a butcher in Utrecht, for example, it is of little or no use if they see your website in the southernmost part of the country. You want to be found by people from the province. Scoring in local search results can help you enormously.
At the beginning of 2021, a whole new SEO trend was announced by Google. A new algorithm was created, called Passage Indexing. You may have seen this term before. Whatever the case, it probably raises some questions. What does it mean exactly?
Google never looked at the whole of a page when indexing. But it was not yet possible to rank the paragraphs in the text. Since the arrival of Passage Indexing, it is now possible. This is a game changer for many content creators, because it offers the possibility to show off a better user experience and at the same time it also offers the possibility to further optimise websites and thereby rank them higher in Google.
Payment Indexing makes it possible for Google to provide more targeted answers to search questions from users. Where previously only a page was shown when a question was asked via Google, it is now able to recognise a quotation within this page and display this directly. It is not necessary to click on the website itself. This makes it easier for users of the search engine to find exact answers. Without having to search through huge chunks of text. Does one click through to the page? Then this quote will be highlighted by Google. This way, the focus is on the answer to the question and not on the accompanying text.
But what does this mean for your SEO? First of all, it is important to realise that not much changes in the way the search engine indexes all content. It does, however, treat the results it produces differently. Writing the right content is therefore more important than ever. Not only the content needs to be looked at, but also the way the text is built up and to what extent the content matches the corresponding search term.
The technical side of the website
SEO specialists have been claiming for years that the loading time of a website can have an influence on the ranking. Yet this was always denied by Google itself. This year, however, several discoveries have been made which show that the foundation and especially the technical side of the website are essential for a higher ranking in Google. Of course, this does not only mean that you need to have a faster loading time, but it certainly helps to be found better. All these data are also called The Core Web Vitals. If these data are not in order, achieving a higher position within Google will be very difficult or even impossible.
That is why we keep hammering away at this: first lay a good, solid foundation with a quality website and, based on that, devise the right SEO strategy. Without a good website, you simply will not be able to offer a good user experience and that all affects the way Google gives out its ranking.
When looking at The Core Web VItals, the following three components will be looked at in particular:
- The LCP, Largest Contentfull Paint, indicates exactly how long a page takes to load the most important elements. This does not only include the text, but also the images, videos, etc. It is necessary to inform the visitor of this. It is necessary to offer the visitor of this web page the right experience by quickly providing the right content. Long loading of important parts is disastrous for your ranking. After all, nobody likes to wait a long time for the information they need. If it takes too long, there is even a chance that people will click away and you will miss out on potential customers. Fortunately, you can easily assess the loading time of your pages with a few programs. You should aim for a loading time of less than 2.5 seconds for an optimal user experience.
- The CLS, Cumulative Layout Shift, is essential to provide a good user experience. It looks at the way elements shift during loading. As a result, it can happen that you press the wrong button during the loading process and suddenly find yourself confronted with an advertisement or in a completely different part of the website. Even though this was not the intention. The unnecessary shifting of elements is often caused by the use of different fonts or dynamically loaded content. It is important to have your website checked by a marketer and possible flaws within the CLS are resolved.
- FID, First Input Delay, stands for the response time of a web page. How long does it take for the webpage to respond to an action performed by the user? Simply put: if I press something, how long does it take for that action to be answered by delivering the correct content/page. The interactivity of a web page is essential in order to provide visitors with a better experience. You can easily measure the FID via Pagespeed Insights.
Outdated SEO marketing trends
Now that we know more about the latest SEO marketing trends of 2021, it might also be a good idea to look at the outdated SEO techniques. These are techniques that now yield little and are sometimes even punished. In short, SEO techniques that should really be avoided. Below we have listed the most outdated SEO marketing trends:
Paying too little attention to URL architecture
Those who have little understanding of website building and internet marketing will probably have little knowledge of this outdated trend. In fact, WordPress (one of the most used tools in creating a beautiful website) uses a flat URL architecture by default. As a result, few people are aware of the fact that these very URLs can cause problems for their website. There are several reasons for this.
Please realise that it is not possible for Google to employ people who check all possible websites and their content on a daily basis. The world wide web is simply too big for that. Therefore, robots and their algorithms are used to carry out these checks. It is important for these robots to be able to read the website and thus rank it. If you do not structure the URLs, none of them will be understood by Google. How can it be that every page has the same importance? How can this website communicate how each page should be ranked?
By changing the permalink settings via Wordpress, you ensure that your website will be better read by Google and therefore benefit from a higher findability. A beautiful website is useless if it simply cannot be found.
Placing multiple pages on the same subject
Previously, search engines were not that intelligent. This meant that they had to formulate a completely different marketing strategy than we are used to now. A good example is the creation of multiple pages for the same subject. Nowadays, however, this is no longer necessary. In fact, you will be punished if you still use this strategy.
This is made possible by RankBrain. An intelligent algorithm which allows Google to better understand a search query and thus to rank for keywords, without having to explicitly mention them in the pages.
If you make dormers, Google knows that your company is a good match for people who search on:
- Buying dormers
- Cleaning dormers
- Dormer costs
- And so on
Previously, a whole new page was created for each keyword to help Google. This was necessary in order to become visible. Nowadays, this is no longer necessary. This means that you really have to change your website as it was before. Useless pages have to be removed in order not to be marked as spam.
There was a time when it made little difference what you wrote as long as you wrote something. In short, your website became more findable when multiple updates were posted. The content and whether it was really valuable content did not matter. This was mainly due to the fact that Google did not yet know how to make a distinction. Since 2011/2012, however, Google has become a lot smarter and is able to detect poor quality content and even penalise you for it.
It is now not a question of publishing a lot of content in the hope of achieving a higher Google Ranking. No, it is about the content and the way you publish it. Rather spend a week publishing one good article than posting several articles a week of questionable quality.
Fortunately, this does not have to mean that in addition to running a busy business, you also have to invest hours in creating quality content. SEO marketers, copywriters and other content creators can take these tasks off your hands. What's more, you can be sure that it's done in the right way.
Did you know that the length of a text hardly matters anymore? Whereas copywriters used to have a standard minimum and maximum length in order to obtain the best SEO position, this is no longer necessary. What matters most is that the search query is answered and that sufficient time is taken to do so. Sometimes this can be done in just two hundred words, other times it means writing more than a thousand words. The length doesn't matter, the quality does.
No more shortcuts
Around the year 2010/2011, it was still possible to fool Google a little. Search engines were not yet equipped with the best algorithms and by taking some smart shortcuts you could circumvent these and thus generate a high findability within a short time. Nowadays, however, this is hardly necessary, if at all. And that is a good thing, because such shortcuts affected the quality of the content on the web. After all, in the end it is not only about the findability of a web page, but also about the user experience. You really want to offer your target group the right information. And Google helps with this by improving the algorithms ever so slightly.
The fact remains that you need a long breath for SEO. You can't reach a high position in the organic search results within a day. This requires a lot of discipline and attention. Sometimes it takes months before you really see results from an SEO marketing campaign. However, once you do achieve results, they will be permanent - if properly maintained. Therefore, SEO is an investment for the future and shortcuts are no longer necessary.