Does the web sometimes feel overwhelming? With over 200 million active websites in the world, how can your business website get noticed?
To grow, you need to attract new customers, convert leads into sales, and grow both your social media presence and monthly traffic.
Although it can seem stressful, your website can easily find success if you follow the guidelines of SEO and Google’s EAT. With a bit of website improvement, you can make sure your website is looked on favourably by Google and other search engines.
But what is EAT? How can I use it to improve my website design?
If you’re ready to improve your website, read to learn the top ten ways that EAT can enhance your website design.
What Is EAT?
EAT is a ranking factor used by Google to determine the authority of a website. The term first entered the SEO world in 2018, as part of a Google algorithm update, and is considered by many SEO experts to be an important factor used by Google when ranking websites.
The term EAT stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Google wants to make sure it is recommending only high quality, trustworthy sites to its users, so they use EAT as a measure to separate high-quality sites from low quality sites.
For your site to do well on Google, it needs to have all the factors Google is looking for when it comes to EAT.
If you’re wondering how to improve a website with EAT in mind, start with the below.
1. Simplify Your Navigation
One of our top web design tips is to think about your site navigation. It needs to be easy to use and allow visitors to quickly find important pages.
Your navigation and design need to be intuitive. Imagine that you’ve landed on your website for the first time— would you be able to easily figure out how to get around? If not, you need to do some updating.
All websites need to have their posts categorised, and the categories should be available from your navigation bar. Too many categories can be confusing, which has a negative impact on EAT, so keep it streamlined and simple.
Make sure your site has an obvious ‘Contact Us’ section so readers can easily connect with you. An embedded contact form works well, but you should have a standalone contact page with your email, phone, and any relevant details for how and when to contact your business.
Include buttons for social media shares on each post and also make sure links to your socials are visible on your homepage so users can easily follow you.
2. Add Bylines to All Articles
Transparency is an important consideration in Google rankings. Who wrote your articles? Are they clearly bylined with both the author’s name and an author bio?
Including bylines establishes credibility and authority. If you want your website to be considered an authoritative site, then it needs to be clear who is behind the site and who is producing its content.
Bylines are especially important for health or medical sites, as Google wants to see that accurate information is being given by experts in the field, not by unqualified business owners who are just trying to sell products by giving incorrect or potentially dangerous information to consumers.
3. Responsive Design Is a Top Website Improvement
Does your website include responsive design? Consumers are dependent on their phones and tablets for web browsing more than ever before, so your website needs to adjust automatically to fit any size screen.
If it’s not responsive, the formatting will look funny and not the way you want.
If you are using an older website design that’s not responsive, it’s probably time to update your website design with some expert assistance.
Google does penalise websites that aren’t mobile-friendly and responsive, so this should be a priority for your business.
4. Increase Loading Speed
Your website needs to load as fast as possible. Imagine you’re browsing the web and you click on a Google search result. If the page takes more than a few seconds to load, will you sit around and wait for it or will you click back to another result?
If your website isn’t fast, you’re losing traffic and potential customers before they even reach your site.
Use Google’s free tool, PageSpeed, to check the speed of your site. If it’s not as fast as it should be, start making changes.
There’s a lot you can do to improve speed when designing a website.
Try compressing your images to a smaller size. There are a lot of free or low-cost plugins that can help with reducing image size. You can also get rid of unnecessary website plugins, or switch to a new website host.
Large video files can slow your site down, as can JS and CSS files.
You can also make some back-end changes to your site to improve loading. Talk to your web designer about what can be done.
5. Think About Your Images
Images, including photography, graphics, videos, or animations, are an important part of your website and can add a lot (or take a lot away) from the user experience.
While original images are always going to be best for your site, if you are going to use stock photography, look for the highest quality and most interesting images that you can find.
Engaging and relevant images complement content and website pages. If your readers are enjoying them, they will stay on your site longer, reducing the bounce rate.
Don’t neglect images on your site, as they are important from the perspective of design and user experience. In addition to images, colour and branding are hugely important.
Include your brand colours in your site and strive to be consistent with your use of colour across the site.
6. Have a Solid SEO Strategy
Having the best website in the world is no good if you don’t have a comprehensive SEO strategy for your website and each new post.
SEO is a complex monster, and best practices in the field change over time. Consult an SEO expert to develop the best possible strategy for your site.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your SEO, study up on keyword researching and long-tail keywords. Make sure you have descriptions for all of your website images, post high-quality content consistently, and audit your site for any broken links.
SEO is essential for growing your site, generating leads, and attracting new customers, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure you understand it.
7. Build Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites to your site. In the eyes of Google, backlinks are a good thing, as they indicate that other sites consider your website to be of enough importance that they want to share your link with their readers.
However, when it comes to backlinks, quality is more important than quantity. In the past, websites often tried to build up as many links as they could to gain credibility for their site.
We know now that it’s better to focus on quality links that are relevant to your niche or industry. While this isn’t always easy, there are a few ways it can be done.
Offer to write guest posts for other websites in your field or see if you can act as a case study or interviewee for another site. If you consistently produce top-notch content, you’ll notice you start to get backlinks organically as well, which is always a good thing.
8. Mobile Optimise Your Website
34% of retail purchases are made on our mobile phones. If your website isn’t capable of handling sales on a mobile device, you’re missing out.
We use our phones for everything from shopping, finding local businesses or restaurants, and writing reviews. Websites need to cater to mobile traffic as much as desktop.
Does your business have a separate mobile website? Although it’s an additional expense, it’s one of the best ways to ensure your customers can easily browse, make bookings, or process purchases on your site from their phones.
Look at mobile websites from companies or brands that you enjoy, and notice what works (or doesn’t work) about their sites. It can be a great inspiration for coming up with new ideas for your own site.
9. Address Any Site Security Issues
How secure is your site? With consumers acutely aware of the frequency of website hacks and data theft, they are more careful than ever about the websites they visit.
At a minimum, your site should contain https. Https stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, with the ‘S’ being the essential component.
If a website has the https distinction, it means the website is encrypted. This protects user data and keeps payments and passwords safe. You should be able to easily update your website through your host if you are still using http rather than https.
Many web browsers will bring up an automatic warning if a user tries to click through to a site that’s not secure, a surefire way to stop traffic from reaching your site.
You can also keep your website safe by using security plugins, changing your passwords frequently, and making sure all software you use is always up to date.
10. Reputation Matters
As mentioned, EAT stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness— Google looks at a wide range of factors when working this out. These include reviews, customer experience, and social media presence.
Together, Google can work out if you’re a legitimate business or a scam. The point being, your online reputation matters! This is especially important when it comes to e-commerce websites, so make sure your site design is created with EAT in mind.
Think about how your business is portrayed both on and off your website. When it comes to social media, do you allow customer reviews on your page?
They can be a great way to build credibility and help future customers. However, don’t forget to take the time to reply to any reviews. Even if you do get a negative review, reply with courtesy and professionalism.
On your website, you can also allow for reviews, or at least include testimonials from previous clients. Do you sell products? If so, why not add a few reviews to each product page?
Try to think about the overall picture when it comes to your business’ reputation online. Is there anything you can do to add to your credibility?
For example, can you add an ‘About’ page to your site? Explaining to potential clients your background, experience, and qualifications in your industry can be a fantastic way to lend credibility.
If you’re a member of any professional bodies, local business bureaus, or other groups, definitely add that information to your website.
Clients and customers also like to see who they’re engaging with, so a photo of yourself or of your staff can be a nice touch.
Contact Us for Expert SEO Assistance
Do you need help with your website or SEO strategy? If so, contact our friendly team today.
We can help with all aspects of web design, SEO, online marketing, or creating email campaigns. Our work is based on EAT principles, giving your business the best opportunity to land on page one of Google.
Reach out today to schedule a free consultation. We’re eager to learn more about your business and to create tailored solutions for website improvement that will increase your traffic and help your business thrive.
Get started today to see how improving your online presence can lead to new growth. Our expert and knowledgeable team look forward to hearing from you.