Cillian Bracken Conway
17th Nov, 2021

Are you a healthcare brand that sells its products through third-party retailers? Are you unsure how or why you should differentiate your website and your brand from these third-party retailers?

Your website plays a vital role in your sales cycle, even if you don’t sell anything on it. It’s a hub of information that allows your brand to speak its voice and communicate with consumers directly. Remember, consumers might only know as much about your brand as what is provided on a third-party eCommerce retail website.

Your brand needs to be the authority when it comes to its products, not retailers. Brand authority builds trust with your target market, helping you gain new customers while retaining existing ones.

You can build your brand authority online with high-quality content that helps your website outrank eCommerce retail websites.

In this article, we’ll cover how through your website, your brand can become a thought leader, differentiating yourself from third-party retailers.

 

The Importance of E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness

Before we get into specific methods and strategies, we must cover something first.

It was 2015 when Google officially released its Search Quality Rater Guidelines. For the first time, we were given an inside look into what Google considers good content and bad content.

One of the concepts emphasized in the document is what Google refers to as E-A-T: an acronym that stands for:

  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

Google wants content on the internet to satisfy these three qualities. No, E-A-T isn’t a ranking factor specifically, but it’s what Google’s algorithm is aiming for. It’s what they tell their human website evaluators to look for.

So, in other words, Google is telling us to do these things. The Search Quality Rater Guidelines is an SEO manual and E-A-T is one of the biggest, most important factors.

 

How to Maximize Your Website’s E-A-T and Boost Organic Traffic

Below, you’ll find several strategies you can use to improve your website’s E-A-T rating. These will help you stand out from your retailers, potentially earning you more organic traffic.

Get Your Content Written or Reviewed By a Medical Expert or Medical Content Writer

If you want to maximize your website’s E-A-T your healthcare content should be written or reviewed by someone with accreditation. This individual, individuals, or organization should have the appropriate expertise to give out this advice.

It’s even explicitly stated on page 20 of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines:

“High E-A-T medical advice should be written or produced by people or organizations with appropriate medical expertise or accreditation.”

When it comes to healthcare-related websites and pages on the internet, Google doesn’t play around. It understands the influence that it can have on the well-being of search users. Google realizes the inherent danger that misinformation on the internet poses.

It wants to promote credible, evidence-based, fact-checked content on its search engine. It wants Doctors and Professors to write and/or review healthcare content.

It’s also important that you make it observable on your website. Look at how this website does it:

When Google sends its search quality evaluators to inspect your website and content, it must be easy to find out:

  • Who wrote your articles
  • Who reviewed your articles

Remember: these are actual human beings coming to rate the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of your website. The easier it is for them to do their job, the better your rating will be.

If your healthcare content fails to be written or reviewed by a medical expert, it’ll likely be deemed low quality. It states this very clearly on page 33 of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

“Low quality pages do not achieve their purpose well because they are lacking in an important dimension, such as having an unsatisfying amount of MC (main content), or because the creator of the MC (main content) lacks expertise for the purpose of the page.”

There’s also another part further down on the same page that supports this:

“The creator of the MC does not have adequate expertise in the topic.”

Lastly, there’s an actual example of a poorly rated medical page: an article about how long the flu lasts. The article wasn’t written by a medical expert, such as a Doctor or Professor.

As a healthcare brand, having a medical expert write or at least review your content is extremely beneficial.

Create Profile Pages for Your Medical Experts

Building on the first strategy: every medical expert that contributes to your website should have a profile page. This is where Google’s search evaluators can verify the individuals who are writing or reviewing your healthcare content.

Use the page to add as much quality information about the medical expert as you can. The screenshot example above has a 200-word blurb that covers:

  • Who the Doctor is
  • What his credentials are
  • What his relation to the website/brand is
  • What his main focus of research is

There’s also a link to a blog post about the Doctor’s personal story. It provides even more information for Google’s search evaluators to understand who this supposed expert is. The more information you can provide about your medical experts, the better.

There are also contact links, a list of all the articles this particular Doctor has written and reviewed. However, what’s most notable is that the profile page includes a “Potential conflicts of interest” section.

Remember: E-A-T includes trustworthiness. By disclosing any potential biases, you’re being completely transparent. It’s common practice in academic research, so for healthcare content, it should be as well.

Use External Links to Reference Credible Sources

Are you aware that Google judges you not only on who links to you, but who you link to? External links can give context and understanding to your brand’s level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

When it comes to healthcare content, you should be referencing scientific research and studies. Look at how the example below does it:

The more evidence-based your content is, the higher your E-A-T rating will be.

Frequently Update and Review Existing Content

Along with having your healthcare content written or reviewed by medical experts, it should be frequently updated. Google wants information on the internet to be as recent and up to date as possible, to ensure accuracy.

There’s even a small line about it in the Search Quality Rater Guidelines:

Make it a routine to update all your content every few months; there might be new research you can reference. Also, make sure that Google knows content has been updated. Make the activity on your post visible, like so:

Feature Testimonials and Case Studies

Testimonials and case studies can help boost the E-A-T of your healthcare brand. Retailers aren’t able to provide this level of depth when it comes to reviews of your products. Being able to provide extensive detail through transparency is what’ll elevate your brand.

Avoid Using Overly Invasive Ads and Secondary Content

Given that user experience is a priority to Google, you should avoid using ads and “secondary content” that is distracting. Secondary content is things on your page that aren’t related to the specific, main content on the page. Examples include:

  • Menu links to other pages on your website
  • Links to other content/articles/blog posts
  • Email opt-in forms

Ads and secondary content are fine, as long as they aren’t intrusive and hurt the user experience of the page.

Here’s an example of a page having too many ads and secondary content:

It’s a balancing act; Google understands that ads and secondary content are necessary. You just need to do it in a way that doesn’t disturb the purpose of the page.

As a healthcare brand, you’re most likely competing for ranking and branded keywords with your third-party retailers on Google. Even though they’re selling your products, they’re limited on information they can provide. Your website is a platform where you can strengthen your brand’s authority.

In this article, we outlined several strategies you can implement to maximize E-A-T. If applied successfully, you can improve your visibility on Google, earning more website traffic. We hope you found these insights valuable.

Are you looking for professional help with your healthcare brand’s content marketing strategy? Consider hiring our content marketing team to find out how Vine Digital can grow your website’s organic traffic today.

Glossary

E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)

E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) is a qualitative criterion that Google uses to evaluate the quality of a webpage. It’s a concept that’s outlined in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. Google uses humans to evaluate websites, not just numbers and data.

Thought Leader

A thought leader is an individual or group, such as a brand, that is respected and viewed as an authority in an industry, field, or niche.

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy concerned with improving the search rankings of web pages.

Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines

Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines is a 172-page document that informs Google’s human website evaluators. It tells them what to look for when rating the quality of pages that are ranking on Google.