Otherwise known as page quality, E.A.T. stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust which are the three factors Google relies on to measure the trust it should place in a website or brand. Google strives to give its users (search engine users) the best experience possible, so it only wants to promote websites that it trusts fully.
TLDR (The quick and dirty)
Practices and websites with the best display of their Expertise, Authority, and Trust will not only see themselves promoted by Google but also have a correlative result with improved trust and conversion by their target audience.
There are various ways that a practice can improve its display of E.A.T. on its own website as well as other places such as review websites like Google My Business, Feefo, TrustPilot, and more.
For example: If someone googled “How do I cleanse my system?” and the top search result yielded the answer “Drink a bottle of Drano®” then Google would find themselves in some major trouble. Technically, it will cleanse your system, but it will also most certainly kill you. Not a good look for Google.
Let’s Break it Down
- Expertise – As a medical practice, it’s imperative that you be an expert in your field. Expertise means you need to show the skills for the Main Content (or MC) and make sure to mention it repeatedly in your content. This is less critical for gossip or humor websites, but it’s vital for medical websites. Your website can show its expertise if the content on the site is truthful and useful for users.
- Authority – Just as you would with your patients in person, you need to show that you are an authority online as well. This comes largely from the expertise of your writer(s) and/or yourself. If the blog section on your medical website has a comment option, the quality of the conversation drives authority as well. Credentials are a necessity, but personal experiences like reviews are also extremely important to building authority.
- Trust – It’s important to show your patients that they can trust your practice and the creator of the Main Content and the website. Trustworthiness is especially important if your medical practice sells products online and has an eCommerce page that asks users for their credit card information. Everything about your website should make visitors to your site feel safe. To start, you should immediately implement an “SSL certificate” on your website as it’s one of Google’s many (and more important) scoring signals.
If your lawyer lacks expertise, authority, and trust, you’re absolutely going to search for an alternative. Google’s users are the same way. When we find a website that lacks E.A.T. we’ll look around for an alternative as well. This can mean different websites or, more importantly, different search engines. Google doesn’t want this, they want their search users to trust in them for quality results and answers so they place a heavy emphasis on promoting websites with the highest E.A.T.
Google continues to train its algorithm to look at these measurements and use them as identifying signals to determine whether they should trust a practice’s medical website to satisfy its search user’s (and your potential patient’s) needs. If you fail to satisfy those needs, Google will select someone else to do it instead.
Put simply, if Google finds another medical website that provides a better user experience than your own, it will promote them instead of you. This means lower ranking, lower traffic, and lower revenue.