Write with expertise, authority, trust (E-A-T) and DEPTH
There is a LOT of content on the web. More than most of us can ever conceive.
And the vast majority of it is rubbish. It's thin content - full of promise but light on substance. Click bait.
Google's algorithms trawl and catalogue this content all day, every day. But they're essentially machines - they don't get bored and they have all the time in the world. It's their job. They exist purely to do that job and that job alone.
Add Value. And Do It Quickly.
Your readers are NOT like those algorithms.
They're impatient, time-poor and wary of all that thin content. They want content that adds value - a solution to their problem, or an answer to their question.
So they move quickly until they see something that actually seems to offer some genuinely useful information.
They know that all that content - good or bad - useful or useless - is just a click or two away. They're spoilt for choice.
They're not going to studiously read every word on the page. They're going to skim read, looking for words and phrases - or even images - that catch their attention and connect with their user intent.
They scan - quickly running their eyes down and across the page, and maybe back up again - like bees searching for nectar, seduced by the bright floral displays blooming exclusively for them.
Nectar + Pollen = Sweet Success!
Your challenge as a Content Writer is to create those flowers and fill them with lots of tasty nectar.
You can think of the actions these readers take when they land on your copy (your flowers) as the pollen needed for your very survival - the cross-fertilisation that occurs when someone clicks on a link and ends up on a different part of your site - whether it's another blog post, a sales page or any other CTA you're tasked with crafting.
That's your endgame.
Write Deeply, Not Generically
You need to know how to write for the web. But you also need to know your topic!
We don’t need generic, non-specific, vaguely written articles. Instead, we need articles that convey a sense of expertise on the topic, authority to teach and that eventually engender trust with the reader.
Over time, as you work on articles, you'll develop expertise in particular topics. Use this expertise to dig deeper and write even more specifically and deeply on the topic at hand.
Thin Content is content that has no value.
It lacks quality and resolves nothing for the reader. Most of it isn’t remotely relevant to the user’s intent, or what initially brought them to the particular page.
With thousands of $10-a-page copywriters available and content strategies that lack a long-term focus, thin content is one of the largest epidemics in modern digital marketing.
Publishing thin content on a website can quickly damage a brand’s reputation and perceived value.
It can also destroy any possibility of engagement and stop users from taking any profitable action.
So, Google invented a new addition to its algorithm that disengages from Thin Content. It's called E-A-T.
Google has a set of guidelines that are used to measure whether writing is from a trusted expert who has authority to teach on that topic. It's called E-A-T.
With 10,000 employees checking the web and painstakingly grading a website's content for quality, Google is making sure that their users find the best content out there.
Their aim is to find high-quality content that helps users improve their lives in some way.
Here is a guide to the ABCs of E-A-T: https://moz.com/blog/google-e-a-t
Take a few moments to pause this lesson and jump over to the above link.
It's a step by step explanation of EAT and how it will affect you as a freelance copywriter. Complete with help video to keep you engaged on the important topic.
Example of Writing Generically Instead of Deeply
The below screencast shows how easy it can be to end up writing generic content, especially if you don't pay attention to the idea of creating an outline before you start writing.
The point that Katrina is making is that the writer has written generically on the topic of cleaning equipment. The writer hasn't gone into depth on the topic and therefore adds very little value to the reader's understanding, problems and solutions.
Avoid Thin Content
Here's a great example of a recent job application. The writer provided a sample article showing her writing skills. Clearly, she can write quite well. But, her content and therefore her ideas, are thin.
Thin means that she hasn't fully explored the topic. We can't produce content like this or our clients won't continue to hire us. Avoid thin content, always. Watch the screencast to see a good example.
You'll find some repetition among these articles, but keep reading. Consider bookmarking the articles that you found most helpful. Return to them when you need a refresher.
Repetition of the topic is what will help you learn how to write for Google's E-A-T.
There will be some areas that you might feel are too technical for you. However, as you absorb more technical terms they will become familiar over time and create context for your learning.
- Google is looking for articles and webpages that improve the user experience. You want to be producing content that ultimately helps the reader. This is the type of value that Google is looking for YMYL articles and webpages.
- Great piece that goes into detail about what it means to be an EAT author. Learning how to improve your EAT ranking will help your articles score better with Google's algorithm.
- To make your content stand out, you need to understand how Google ranks the internet's content. You need to demonstrate EAT in every article you write if you want to gain traction against the algorithm.
- So now you have an idea about Google's EAT algorithm. But you need to learn how to make your content reflect your Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. This article spells it out for you. Simple as E A T.
- Helpful article from Exposure Ninja goes into detail about what Google's EAT means for your understanding of SEO. Helpful video if you're getting tired of reading articles!
- Improve your content immediately with these 5 helpful tips. The bottom line is that Google's new algorithm means better content gets a better rating. There is no better time to start improving the quality of your posts.
- Like an EAT101 course. This article takes your step by step through every important change and upgrade you need to make to your website (can be applied to content) to improve your Google quality rating.