The Role of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) in Legal Digital Marketing

Fuel Web Marketing | Marketing | February 2, 2024
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A growing number of law firms find and acquire clients through the Internet. When people, businesses, and organizations hire an attorney, they are looking for expertise. Your firm’s ability to establish its expertise—and its authoritativeness and trustworthiness—will also play a major role in its SEO. Here, our digital marketing team for law firms provides an overview of the key things you should know about the role of EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) in search engine optimization (SEO).

What is EAT in SEO? (Understanding Google’s Guidelines)

Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines are clear: EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) are key metrics used to determine a website’s PQ rating. Simply defined, PQ rating is a term that means Page Quality ranking. Websites are ranked based on “how well a page achieves its purpose.” A website with a lower PQ rating will be downranked—even if it technically has good SEO practices otherwise. In contrast, websites with a high PQ rating will see benefits. Here is an overview of what the specific terms mean:

  • Expertise: Expertise refers to the depth of knowledge and skill demonstrated by the content creator on the topic at hand. Accuracy and depth help to establish credibility.
  • Authoritativeness: Authoritativeness is the recognition of the content creator (website) as a reputable source of information in their field.
  • Trustworthiness: Trustworthiness in SEO is about reliability and credibility. Google works hard to de-rank scams and other untrustworthy sources of information.

Note: In the context of SEO, you will sometimes see EAT referred to as EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authornativess, and Trustworthiness). The concept is largely the same. However, in recent years, Google’s algorithm has tried to boost content creators with true first-hand experience.

Tips for Law Firms: Establishing Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness

Understanding why EAT is so important for SEO, you may be wondering how law firms can improve their rankings on these metrics. Here are five tips that law firms, large, mid-sized, and small, can implement to show that they are well-established in their practice:

  • Publish In-depth Content: Create comprehensive, well-researched legal content that helps to demonstrate a firm’s expertise and depth of knowledge in specific areas of law.
  • Showcase Legal Credentials: Clearly display your attorneys' credentials, awards, and recognitions on your website to highlight authoritativeness. Doing so improves the PQ rating.
  • Gather Client Testimonials/Reviews: Encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews and testimonials. They are evidence of a law firm's experience and trustworthiness.
  • Get Backlinks from Reputable Sources: Actively seek opportunities for other reputable websites, especially those within the legal field, to enhance your site's authoritativeness.
  • Optimize Website Functionality: A website that functions properly is deemed to be inherently more trustworthy than those with technical problems.

Get Help From the Leaders in Results-Focused Digital Marketing

At Fuel Web Marketing, we are a digital marketing team that helps law firms establish their expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness so that they can find and connect with more potential clients. Contact us today to set up a confidential initial consultation. We provide results-focused digital marketing services to attorneys and law firms nationwide.