Why Building E-E-A-T Signals Is Vital For E-commerce Brands
Updated on: 1 December 2023
Shopping trends have evolved over the years. With the evolution of modern technology, online shopping is never more popular and preferred. Not only does online shopping allow consumers to shop from the comfort of their homes, but it also allows brands to reach a broader range of consumers internationally.
Online shoppers have become even more discerning when making their purchases. They are looking to purchase from real experts with authentic experiences, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, also known as E-E-A-T. Hence, e-commerce brands must build foundationally strong E-E-A-T signals to earn consumers’ trust.
What is E-E-A-T?
E-E-A-T is derived from Google Search’s Quality Rater Guidelines, which is a document that Google’s global team of search quality raters uses to measure and rate the website’s quality. It is not a ranking factor, and there is no ‘score’ that Google puts up to decide your e-commerce site’s ranking.
E-E-A-T is simply a concept that Google develops to inform brands, marketers, digital marketing agencies, content creators, and web designers about what their search algorithms are looking for in an e-commerce site. All in all, it is about the quality of your e-commerce site, and you can refer to the QRG, as well as some common sense, to concur with what you have to do to improve your site’s content.
How E-E-A-T transcends beyond boosting SEO
As a consumer making an online purchase, nothing is more frustrating than being offered generic information when all we are looking for is some sort of first-hand experience, recommendation, insight, or advice on the associated services or products.
Modern consumers are making purchases based on authentic reviews from other consumers who have had experience with the related services or products they are looking at. They are looking for authentic recommendations, actual-life photos, and critical details to make their decisions.
With that being said, user-generated content (UGC) has become an integral part of that decision-making process. Instead of hearing from an anonymous or endorsed individual, UGC offers a more authentic feel and look to consumers. It displays credibility and trust that consumers can rely on in their consideration.
George Foreman: The man that e-commerce brands can learn from in regard to E-E-A-T
Four years before Google was founded in 1998, when television advertisements were still primary, former boxer George Foreman was well-known for being the original “influencer”. He was the face of the Lean Meat Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, a renowned countertop grill. In his advertisements, he would consistently deliver his famous catchphrase, “It is so good I put my name on it!”
That catchphrase alone managed to build trust among consumers, leading to the brand selling over 100 million units. In a couple of years, his countertop grill could be found in every household’s kitchen.
This is what it means to build E-E-A-T signals through UGC. E-commerce brands must be willing to put their brand, face, and name into every content they generate. Just as how bylines inform readers of the journalist who wrote the article, e-commerce brands can establish trust and credibility with their consumers by becoming experts in their niche.
Here are five areas that you can focus on to develop your e-commerce website’s E-E-A-T signals.
1. Content E-E-A-T
The written quality of your e-commerce site’s content can make or break consumer trust, especially for ones that are new to your brand. Fundamentally, you need to ensure that your content is free from any grammatical or spelling errors.
If your e-commerce brand operates within a specialised niche, it is vital that every generated content is vetted by a subject expert. If it is not generated by an expert individual, it will shine through the content.
On top of ensuring quality generated content, other ways you can boost your content E-E-A-T include:
- Creating beneficial and rich product page content
- Providing product aftercare content
- Developing a detailed “About Us” page that showcases who your brand is
- Displaying your team of experts
- Publishing value-adding blog content
- Creating fresh, frequent, and timely content that demonstrates thought leadership
- Providing helpful and detailed customer service information
- Display happy customers’ reviews and testimonials
2. Technical E-E-A-T
Needless to say, a reliable e-commerce website must be secured with HTTPS, which ensures a more secure connection than regular HTTP pages. As an e-commerce website that processes and handles sensitive customer information, this is something you must provide. Even Google alert its users when they access a non-secured page, triggering instant credibility concerns.
With an HTTPS e-commerce website, Google will even boost your SERP ranking. Acquiring an SSL certificate is worth every bit of investment for your site’s technical E-E-A-T.
On top of securing your e-commerce site with an SSL certificate, other ways you can boost your technical E-E-A-T include:
- Regular maintenance of broken links and pages
- A well-designed UX, such as product filters, intuitive navigation, and well-taken images
- Indexing only high-quality URLs
3. Reputation and marketing E-E-A-T
The QRG informs raters on how to discover independent sources of reputation. One way is to use Google search operators (-site:yourdomain.com “Your Brand Name”), which will help you scour through Google for SERPs that mention your brand that is interdependent from your domain. This is advantageous for your brand as you can get an indication of how other sites talk about you.
If your search ends up uncovering significant negative results, then it is a clear indication of your brand’s poor reputation among other sites. While we don’t believe that it will affect your ranking directly, it is a broad measure of how reputable your brand is to others.
In that case, you need to find ways to shift the general population’s negative sentiment towards your brand and improve your reputation in a genuine manner. On top of monitoring your SERP’s reputation, other ways you can boost your reputation and marketing E-E-A-T include:
- Earning trust through quality and relevant backlinks
- Promoting your e-commerce brand website with a Google Business Profile
- Utilising an independent review system
- Leveraging your customers to help promote your brand
4. Operational E-E-A-T
You need to differentiate your website from your competitors in order to be considered an authority or expert in your niche. As an e-commerce brand, what can you do or what do you do that is unique and special? Why must shoppers purchase from you instead of another brand?
Consider the unique attributes of your brand and how they can be translated onto your website. On top of differentiating your website from your competitors, other ways you can boost your operational E-E-A-T include:
- Addressing and responding to bad reviews
- Offering a reasonable, transparent, and honest pricing policy
- Not optimising solely for the sake of promoting SEO
- Display achievements and awards
5. Performance E-E-A-T
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is not solely about increasing sales. It is also about finding new ways to improve your customer’s experience with your e-commerce site. There are several friction points that can affect your customer’s purchasing progress, such as an ambiguous call-to-action. You need to find these points and conduct A/B tests to improve your site’s UX.
This is vital for E-E-A-T signals because we know how crucial consumer satisfaction is in the QRG. If you foster a culture of regular experimentation and on-site testing, you are going to be able to improve your site constantly and make it better for your customers.
Improvements in on-site experience will naturally lead to a better quality of search traffic due to the satisfaction of your customers. On top of using CRO to boost user experience, other ways you can boost your performance E-E-A-T include:
- Finding ways to measure your customers’ happiness level
- Meeting your customer’s needs and expectations
- Using feedback tools and mechanisms
- Using FAQ schemas and functions to receive and answer customers’ queries
The reality of E-E-A-T is that while it does little to influence SEO in a direct manner, it is a vital factor that affects the quality of your e-commerce site. Hence, rather than considering it a ranking factor, consider what it represents – Signals that search engines, such as Google, as well as online shoppers use to measure the reputation and quality of your website.
Always prioritise a user-centric approach when designing or creating content for your e-commerce site. Consistently demonstrate E-E-A-T in both AI-generated content and self-written ones. Be authentic, professional, helpful, and honest.