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Building Trustworthiness in an Online World

Building Trustworthiness in an Online World

If you have been following our journey over the last few weeks, I’ve been talking quite a bit about Google’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness). Here I share how businesses can build their expertise online and in this followup article I share on the authoritativeness and its importance to a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)  listing.

Trust is everything – today let’s explore how to achieve this!

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Trustworthiness and Its Place in Google’s Ecosystem

The definition is quite simple. Trustworthiness is defined as: The ability to be relied on as honest or truthful.

Demonstrating trustworthiness online to consumers who haven’t bought products and/or services from a business before is more of a challenge. Especially with it being so easy for literally anyone to give a business a positive or negative review with a few clicks.

While Google and many other online review sites such as Yelp try to make sure the reviews are real, relevant, plus provide valuable insights into the business, it’s not easy to accomplish. It’s left up to the business to prove their trustworthiness.

As shown below in the screenshot from their most recent Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, Google directs their Quality Raters to understand the purpose of a website’s page, the E-A-T, the quality of the content, the person who is responsible for creating the main content (MC), as well as the reputation of the person responsible for the MC.

Quality Raters Website Main Content Guidelines From Google

While Google draws out E-A-T as a separate line item, all of the bullet points tie back to E-A-T. If a business doesn’t have the expertise the content will not be accurate; if they don’t demonstrate their expertise they will have no authority; and definitely, if they don’t demonstrate both of these there will be no trustworthiness.

How Can a Business Demonstrate Trustworthiness

Trust can be tricky, especially when fake reviews are rampant (as I mentioned above). Trust isn’t something that happens overnight. A business can’t just decide they want to be trusted, snap their fingers, and then become “trusted.” To become trusted they must demonstrate it in all that they do. Knowing that fact, here’s how to get a business to that place of trust.

  1. Make sure their website reflects what they actually do. Sometimes a business will list information on their website for the sake of getting keyword rankings. While this strategy can help their business to potentially surface for more searches, it can bring them the wrong type of search traffic. It can also damage their reputation online.
  2. Take the necessary steps so all the business’ online business listings around the web are accurate. This is actually pretty simple, since Advice Local’s listing management solution can correct this bad data online.
  3. Ensure the business’ Google Business Profile (GBP) listing is accurate, maintained – and includes all the crucial components such as an optimized business description, products and/or services that match their website.
  4. Leverage all the features available in a Google Business Profile listing such as photos, GBP posts, plus Questions & Answers to highlight the business’ expertise. (This will build trust over time.)
  5. Respond to all reviews – good and bad. If the review isn’t real, take steps to report it to Google. If Google doesn’t take the review down, make sure to reply to the responder with class, while also dispelling any damaging untruths.

As shown below, you can see that Google directs its Quality Raters to look at the reputation of the creators of the MC.

Demonstrating E-A-T - Screenshot from Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

Much like Google, when a consumer decides who to buy from, where they shop & dine, or even who they hire and allow into their home, they are also going to look at E-A-T.

Trustworthiness is everything, and E-A-T is how the business can demonstrate this.

We Can Help You Build Trustworthiness

Our listing management solution has all the keys to building E-A-T built right into the partner dashboard. To learn how we can help you to help your local business and brand clients build their expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness online, request a demo right now.