With Google announcing changes to the algorithm every few weeks, it’s hard for an SEO to keep up. But when you are in the medical ecommerce field, there is one concept that you really need to pay attention to.
This search ranking factor has been around since the Medic Update 2018 and our SEO experts have been testing and evaluating it since then. With strategies properly implemented, we’ve found great success for our medical ecommerce customers – including one that is a 300% increase in organic sales year-on-year.
In today’s blog, we’re going to dig deeper into what EAT SEO is exactly, how to optimize it (using our client’s example), and what kind of results you can expect.
What is EAT SEO?
EAT stands for expertise, authority and trustworthiness. The concept was introduced as part of Google’s ongoing efforts to deliver not only relevant content, but also accurate and trustworthy content to its users.
EAT SEO came about around the same time as the infamous Medic Update 2018, which affected many health and medical advice websites, including some of our own clients. Google’s goal was clear: when it comes to health, finance, and safety, content needs to be top notch and accurate to keep searchers safe.
But the EAT concept doesn’t just apply to copying on your website. This also applies to your blog authors.
In turn, the more credible and experienced your blog writers are, the more trustworthy your site content will be. Author bios and pages have become an important foundation for communicating with Google’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (so much so that you will hardly find a blog without author pages these days).
We could go on talking about Google EAT SEO for days, but if you want to learn more we recommend Moz’s in-depth review on the subject.
How To Improve EAT SEO: A Case Study
How is EAT SEO actually applied in the wilderness of the internet?
In our work with health and wellness clients, we have identified two strategies that really advance this concept:
- Make sure that the content on your website is as accurate and medically sound as possible.
- Include trusted medical experts in your content strategy.
We’ll walk you through these two strategies in action with a real world case study from one of our clients (brand name withheld on request).
A little background: prior to our partnership, this customer was unable to experience growth in blog and basic website content for over a year. Since they were wholeheartedly rooted in the health and wellness niche, we suspected EAT SEO was the problem – and developed a custom eCommerce SEO proposal to address that problem.
We did the following:
Step 1: create accurate, medically sound content.
Thanks to EAT, all medical content (including health and wellness content) is scrutinized by Google’s algorithm. Websites can be severely penalized for medical claims, so any “medical” content must be approached carefully and with a detailed strategy.
In order to meet these standards (and in turn increase organic performance), our customer had to establish himself as the authoritative source of information in his e-commerce niche – without selling “medical advice” and angering the Google gods.
Our comprehensive SEO EAT approach for this client consisted of a few key elements.
Update the top performing content first
To get the most out of our EAT strategy, our SEO team started the path of least resistance: updating older content that was already performing well but had a lot more opportunities for growth.
We knew our client’s site had to have authority in order to increase its authority. So instead of updating underperforming content, we started with the top 20 blogs that are already bringing in traffic and users. We revised what was already working, tweaked keywords, and added more detailed, helpful educational content to these blogs.
(Visiting these top performers again would also uncover opportunities for not only that specific content, but later for further downstream content as well.)
SEO isn’t often an obvious cause and effect strategy, but it’s clear our content updates have worked. On a specific blog updated in May 2021, The traffic skyrocketed by 1,100% from month to month Thanks to our changes.
Links to authoritative sources
Our comprehensive updates included adding well-researched and informative content to the blog – and we wanted to make this clear to Google with a first-class strategy for external linking.
In accordance with medical standards, every claim made on our customers’ website is backed by evidence from credible authorities such as the National Institute of Health, academic and scientific journals, and published studies.
Step 2: Engage medical experts as content writers.
How else have we ensured that our customers’ content is medically impeccable? By asking industry experts for help.
Our Strategy: Have our website and blog content reviewed by objective external medical experts and make it clear to readers that all content has passed the medical exam.
We also avoided any scheme that would mark this content as “medical information” for Google.
As part of this, we’ve added a “Content medically reviewed by” field on each web page with the name of the associated expert / author for this post. This markup signaled to the Google bots the credibility and authority of the content in accordance with the EAT standards.
And it worked! Keyword footprints and organic traffic grew rapidly on updated blogs, as you can see in the Ahrefs graph below. This particular blog was updated in April 2021 and a short time later we saw organic improvements.
Create an “About the Expert” page
In order to further strengthen the credibility of the external experts who review this content, each “Content medically reviewed by” field on a website is linked to an “About the experts” website. Readers (and Google bots) can find more information about these medical assessors, including their qualifications and certifications, here.
With this “About the Experts” page, we have signaled to Google that it is worth listening to the experts selected by our customers – and a high rating by the quality assessment team.
The results: EAT SEO is well worth the work
After just a few months of EAT optimization, our customer achieved amazing results. And when we look at the full scope of the 14-month, 26-page project, it gets even better:
- 291% increase in organic sessions YOY
- 279.5% more organic users YOY
- 295% more clicks compared to the previous year
- 375% more organic impressions year-on-year
All of this is great, but what was really important to our client was the sales numbers. Was the EAT SEO project worth the pressure?
Thanks to an increase in organic target achievement of 235% compared to the previous year, our customer has overall 300% increase in organic sales from this SEO content strategy alone!
Bottom Line: Whether your e-commerce business is firmly entrenched or just has a few products in the health and wellness industry, EAT SEO cannot be ignored. With just a few tweaks, you can go from passable to industry-leading your content – and Google will reward you for it.
Do you need help putting together your personalized EAT strategy? Our e-commerce SEO experts are happy to help. Request a free quote anytime to find out how EAT and other SEO factors can boost your website’s organic performance.