No concept has been more top-of-mind for SEOs in recent years than E-A-T.
As a quick refresher: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness refers to your content’s overall credibility in Google’s eyes.
E-A-T is incredibly important when it comes to topics that help people make important, potentially life-changing decisions, also known as the YMYL (Your Money Your Life) topics.
But what about SaaS or software as a service brands?
While SaaS brands may not be as heavily scrutinized as sites that have information about coronavirus or personal finance sites that help people make decisions about money, it can be argued that people and organizations in YMYL industries harness SaaS tools every day to accomplish their business goals.
Therefore, at Linkflow, we take the stance that E-A-T should be an important SaaS SEO consideration. In fact, we feel that way about sites in virtually every industry. Even a knitting blog, for example, can benefit from demonstrating more expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Read on to learn more about ways SaaS websites can improve E-A-T.
Include Author Bios
To ensure readers are getting the most helpful information possible, it’s important that subject matter experts are writing your content.
It’s okay to have content writers ghostwrite initial drafts, as long as the final version has been reviewed and approved by an expert.
This doesn’t mean that you can just add the title “expert” at the end of the byline and call it a day. The author has to be an externally recognized authority on the topic. An easy check for this is to Google the author’s name to see if they are mentioned in other relevant publications.
For example, in the SEO industry, one of the most recognized SaaS brands is a company called Ahrefs. If you take a look at the Ahrefs blog (which is awesome, by the way), each piece of content ends with an author bio.
Sam’s bio makes it pretty clear that he knows his stuff, but don’t just take their word for it–a quick Google search shows all kinds of different websites, including Forbes, highlighting his SEO chops.
Mentions on high-profile sites are great but the contextual relevance of those mentions is also important. If Sam was quoted in a Forbes article about fly fishing, the mention wouldn’t be nearly as valuable.
Warning: Author bios are one of the most commonly referenced “E-A-T” hacks, but this doesn’t mean that having author bios in your content will magically make your site more E-A-T-worthy. It’s really the other way around: sites that approach content using a strong E-A-T framework are more likely to use author bios.
Cite Relevant and Trustworthy Sources
Just like they taught us in school, make sure to use reputable sources and properly credit them.
What’s a reputable source?
News articles, industry blogs, academic institutions.
You can link to your sources within your content or in a footnote. You can even plug that URL into your SEO tool to see how many backlinks it has/who is linking to the page to determine its trustworthiness.
Update Content Regularly
It goes without saying, but the more timely your content is, the more helpful it is to users.
This is especially true in the SaaS world because it’s a rapidly evolving industry–technologies, trends, and the needs of businesses are constantly changing.
Acquire Positive Reviews
Whether you are researching restaurants or SaaS products, one truth holds constant: nothing is more influential to prospective buyers than reviews.
G2 and Capterra are the biggest review platforms for software products (think Yelp, but for SaaS). If you’re on these platforms, cultivating a positive review profile is critical. A passive approach here is a recipe for failure–make sure to regularly ask your customers to leave a review.
Have you ever visited a website and wondered who is responsible for it? If you can’t figure out who operates the site or how to get in touch with them, this is a major red flag.
Aside from author bios on blog content, consider having a standalone “About Us” page with info on your team. It should also be easy for users to get in touch with you–this is more of a CRO (conversion rate optimization) recommendation than an SEO one–if a customer wants to talk to a salesperson but can’t find their contact information, that’s a big problem!
Obtain Quality Backlinks
One of the most difficult E-A-T signals to game is backlinks, which is why Google’s algorithm assigns them so much weight. Building links to your most valuable pages will help you achieve page 1 rankings (or help you stay there, if you’re already performing well).
There are a number of things to consider when evaluating the quality of a backlink, including:
- The overall domain strength of the referring domain
- Domain rating/domain authority
- The contextual relevance of the backlink
- If the linked page is about accounting software, that link should be in an article (or at the very least, a sentence) about accounting
- The strength of the individual page’s backlink profile
- What kind of links does the page linking to you have?
- Anchor text
- Anchor text gives the algorithm a major clue about the topic of your page.
Link building can be a time-consuming, complicated process.
If you’re limited on time, or unsure of how to build high quality backlinks the right way, we can help
This boils down to: Are you who you say you are?
Internet scams are nothing new, but it’s important to signal to users that you’re not a catfish.
Several years ago, I wanted to buy a pair of sneakers, but I could only find them available on one e-commerce website. I had never heard of the company before, so I did a quick search and found very little–no Instagram, no Twitter, no LinkedIn.
I took the gamble and everything turned out alright. But Google doesn’t want users to feel like they have to take such risks. If you are a newer SaaS startup, having your business profile on major sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc. can help signal legitimacy early-on.
It’s easy to think of E-A-T as a checklist of items to tick off. Instead, think of E-A-T as a habit or decision-making framework: by prioritizing a positive user experience that engenders trust, you’ll end up on the algorithm’s good side.