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How E-A-T Impacts Your Financial Advisor Website

If seeing E-A-T makes you think of lunch more than your financial advisor website, you’re probably not alone. However, rather than food, E-A-T is yet another way Google determines the quality of a financial advisor website. The acronym stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness and it’s one of the many tools that Google uses to determine the quality, accuracy, and relevance of a website’s content. 

Because anyone can create a website, Google is constantly battling bad content. To weed out the websites that don’t meet its standards, Google uses E-A-T to deliver the most accurate, high-quality, and truthful content to searchers. 

Read on for an in-depth explanation of the components of E-A-T and how it affects financial advisor websites.

 

What Makes E-A-T Different Than Other SEO Elements?

What makes E-A-T different is the human component. Rather than other forms of SEO that rely on computers and automated bots, web crawlers, and AI, E-A-T is driven by the humans working on behalf of Google to evaluate websites. Known as Search Quality Raters, these people come from all over the globe and adhere to a set of guidelines, which Google has made available to everyone here. 

 

Want a more productive website? Don't know how to make that happen? Contact the digital marketing experts at Paladin!

 

Expertise

This refers to the creator of the main website content. Google’s Search Quality Raters are looking for the experience and/or credentials of the content creator to back up the information given on the site. For financial advisors, this means listing relevant experience, education, licenses, and certifications where visitors can see them. 

For some types of websites, Google takes into consideration that what qualifies as “expertise” can be subjective and leaves room in the E-A-T guidelines for the rater to interpret the definition of that expertise on a case-by-case basis.

 

Authoritativeness

Going a step further than expertise, the authoritativeness of website factors show how other people and online sources view the content creator. For example, is the author quoted or mentioned on other websites within their area of expertise? These can come in the form of your content being shared (i.e., white papers, blogs, etc.) and backlinks that take visitors to your website from their websites.

 

Trustworthiness

This is where reputation – both online and offline – matters. Some factors that Google uses to determine trustworthiness pertain to the website itself. Websites without secure connections (SSL) and other technical security flaws will hurt a financial advisor website’s E-A-T. 

Other considerations under this term reflect how trustworthy the content author/creator appears based on reviews and testimonials, and how/if they are responded to. If this seems extreme, remember that Google’s main purpose in all aspects of the platform is to deliver the best possible result to any search request at any given time. And they will use whatever information they can find to help them deliver the best result.

 

Optimize Your Website

Taking E-A-T a step further, Google recognizes that certain types of websites can have greater impacts on the lives of their visitors. Of course, financial advisor website content falls under this umbrella. These websites are given a closer look and scrutinized more than other types of sites. 

How does this process impact financial advisors? 

For starters, it means that the expertise portion of E-A-T is the most important. Google wants to see that a licensed financial advisor is authoring the content versus a person with an interest in financial advising, but no real experience (i.e., a blogger or someone from another industry). This is where financial advisors can shine with the quality and accuracy of their content along with the nod from Google’s Search Quality Raters as being written by an expert.  

 

How Can a Financial Advisor Website’s E-A-T Be Improved?

When thinking about improvements, remember that E-A-T is determined by a combination of the creator, the content, and the website. Here are some ways to enhance these website elements individually to improve overall E-A-T:

Creator
As mentioned earlier, the content author/creator’s expertise and trustworthiness are major factors in E-A-T rankings. And because these are determined by human beings looking at the pages for evidence of a creator’s experience in credentials, those qualifications must appear on the website in an easy-to-see location. For financial advisors, be sure to include years of experience and any licenses, certifications, and association memberships plus any third party recognition or awards that help establish the credibility of the professional or firm.

Content

The quality of a website’s content is always a factor when it comes to SEO. For E-A-T SEO, the quality and relevance of the content on financial advisor websites is paramount. And because of the unique value proposition for financial advisor websites, their content comes under even more scrutiny. 

To  improve E-A-T, financial advisor website content should be comprehensive, current, and - most importantly - factually correct. It never hurts to have a second (or third) set of eyes reviewing your content for factual errors, typos, and relevance. This is where a digital marketing platform can help. Digital marketers with E-A-T SEO experience have a keen eye for problems that can hurt rankings as well as ways to improve upon them by upgrading the quality of the  content on the websites. 

Websites

Determining the overall quality of a website is at the core of what E-A-T is about. Financial advisor websites can make a positive impression on Google’s Search Quality rankers by following the above guidelines and making the website as user-friendly as possible. This includes mobile optimization, ADA compliance, and overall solid SEO practices. 

One way to greatly improve the quality of a website is to have as many backlinks as possible. This requires networking and self-promotion to get other, reputable websites to link to a financial advisor website. One quick way to get started with this is to create a Wikipedia page for the financial advisory firm and link that back to the financial advisor website. Just be sure the Wikipedia page is accurate and as thorough as possible.

While E-A-T is just one more way to enhance overall online visibility and traffic for financial advisor websites, it also reinforces all of the critical elements of a positive online presence and reputation. While not directly related to search rankings – according to Google – there’s no denying that a positive E-A-T ranking will benefit financial advisor websites when it comes to their overall digital marketing success. 

 

Stick to Your Strengths 

Let’s agree to do what we do best and stick to our strengths! Schedule your call with a Paladin digital marketing expert who can take the best parts of your online financial advisor image and make them a source of new clients. 

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