Not just another acronym to commit to memory, E-A-T is an acronym that stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. It is also the measuring stick by which all websites with health-related information are assessed.
Mikaeya Kalantari, DDS.
To put this into perspective, let's say you are asking Google questions about how to treat a sprained ankle. Well, the powers that be at Google realized a few years back that anyone with knowledge on how to properly place keywords could potentially have their website shown for a query such as this. But what if websites that pop up are not offering accurate, reliable health information? What if these websites are just looking to profit from viewership and actually have no authentic medical advice to give?
Google developers understood that some sort of algorithm needed to be put into place to ensure that the websites popping up related to health are, in fact, valid. Once this algorithm went live, many medical websites suffered with their organic SEO. And while everything seems to have steadied a bit in the Google SEO world, the E-A-T principle is something that all offices should keep in mind to help with their organic search rankings. After all, with so many popular and trending health and wellness bloggers out there, how can you get your health-related content to rank higher naturally? The answer is in the E-A-T philosophy.
Expertise is viewed by Google as delivering information to those searching that matches exactly what they are looking for. When you can match exact search terms of a Google searcher, your website can be viewed as an expert in the topic. Information aside, you also must have great delivery. You need to be able to present the information in a way that is easy to digest and is also engaging.
Authority is likely the most important of the three. Authority will set you, a doctor, apart from all the other health and wellness gurus out there. So how can you and your website gain authority?
For starters, be sure that you have an "About the Doctor" section on your webpage.
Next, ensure that each blog post that you publish includes an author box. An author box is a short description of who wrote the article, their educational credentials, and a short description.
And, in this era of social media importance, be sure to include links to your social media profiles throughout your website. The more likes, shares, and comments you have across your content on your webpage and social media channels, the higher your overall authority.
Another component of authority is trying to be highlighted on as many different media channels as possible. Examples include TV, radio, magazines, newspaper, conference speaking, event hosting, and guest blog posting, which can all lead to a huge boost in authority. This type of media authority is also a double blessing as it will get you known in your local community and also lead to a boost in SEO.
When it comes to trustworthiness, both Google and online reviews will be one of the biggest ranking factors at this time. Ideally, you want a large number of good reviews, but it also goes without saying that you also want to keep the truly negative ones to a minimum.
If you do happen to have a negative review, the best thing that you can try to do is address it with the person directly and try to fix the issue, with the possibility that the poster may voluntarily remove the review if the problem is corrected. Of course if legal counsel or common sense tell you to not respond to a review in a particular situation, then it is OK to let it go.
While many of the suggestions mentioned here are things that many dental websites already do, I encourage you to look through your own website and make a list of things that you can do to better align with the E-A-T philosophy. After all, we want to make Google happy, right?
Mikaeya Kalantari, DDS, is a pediatric dentist at Sunshine Smiles of Orange County and the founder of Thinking Outside The Drill.
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