How to Use Expert Content to Win at Online Marketing in 2016

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Learn a key secret of how to win in Google rankings and win with your readers to create expert copy.

Enough studies have been done to show that content production is on the up and up. In fact, the amount of content is expected to soar by 500 percent by 2020.

Too many agencies are trying to get money out of this by producing way too much content that is way too high quality (yes, there’s such a thing) that consumers are merely going to snack on. This isn’t the way to go about it.

These days, creating amazing content is just the starting point. No doubt you’ve already heard about Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines. (If not, get reading.)

It came out late 2015, and these guidelines have been developed to help Google’s site evaluators become masters of their jobs while sifting through the search engine’s complex ranking system.

The full doc itself from Google is a whopping 160 pages of everything SEO related.

But what is Google actually saying when it comes to success in your web content, and what does your content need to stand out?

Let’s focus on arguably the most important point made in the guidelines: the need for expert writers. If you want to truly add authority to your content, it needs to come from the pros those people, according to Google, who have real experiences in what they’re writing about.

It’s simple: writers need to be writing about what they already know and know well.

First Things First: What Defines an Expert Content Creator?

Before we get to the nitty gritty of why you need an expert copy creator if you want your content to stand, let’s look at what an expert is.

Of course, this is a debatable term. However, Google clearly contends that it all depends on the topic you’re dealing with. Take a book review as an example. You don’t need to be a New York Times bestseller to review a book, but you do need to provide a helpful, detailed review for readers.

That’s when Google sees it as expert content. The essence is that different pages and topics require different levels of expertise. While advice on how to write a novel should come from an acclaimed author, reviews can certainly be written by readers and even lay-writers with enough experience under their belts.

Why Do You Need Expert Writers to Succeed Online?

We all know how much Google loves well-written, well-researched, useful and fresh content. Their recent algorithm updates are designed to reward those high-quality pages of content that feature expert writing and penalize or at least down-rank those pages filled with careless and duplicated content.

Google’s newest guidelines, though, place massive emphasis on the importance of expert writers, especially for pages the search engine views as important. And that’s where authority comes into it.

Google Is Pushing an Expertise, Authority and Trust Web Environment

Have you heard of E-A-T? No, wait, don’t go running for lunch just yet. Well, unless you’re hungry, but come right back.

E-A-T is Google’s acronym for the points that make a high-quality page. It stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. What the search engine is saying is that high-quality sites and pages need to sport enough expertise to be deemed trustworthy and authoritative on the niche. It’s not that hard to understand.

Googles EAT acronym defined

For a page to possess E-A-T, it has to feature expert content and expert content comes from expert writers. So while you don’t need to have a shopping list worth of Masters Degrees behind you to write about finance, for example, you do need to know the ins and outs of the industry and have written and experienced enough on the topic to be considered an expert.

Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) Standards

There are certain pages that the search engine places under special scrutiny.

Googles YMYL quality standard of web pages defined.

Examples of YMYL pages include:

  • Pages offering legal information on topics including divorce, child support, custody, writing a will and becoming a citizen.
  • E-commerce pages that have platforms for money transfers and purchases.
  • Pages offering advice and information about mental health, nutrition and health conditions.
  • Pages offering information on purchasing a house, bonds, stocks, tax filing, purchasing insurance or even financing school.

Why does Google scrutinize these kinds of pages? That’s because low-quality pages can quickly have a negative impact on a user’s happiness, health and finances. So if you’re involved in these kinds of sites, it is so important that they feature an extremely high level of E-A-T and are written by expert writers if you want to soar above the sea of content in 2016 and beyond.

Worried About Standing Out?

There is an assortment of questions to consider for creating great online content that are worrying marketers today. These include:

  • Should I enter the race for content and start frantically publishing stuff?
  • How can I split my content across social networks?
  • How can I maintain my interaction rates on social networks?
  • How can I stand out with video, particularly on Facebook where it is muted by default?
  • What are best practices for expert writers?

5 Ways to Win in Your Online Marketing

The trick is in igniting your content: do this by creating copy with an expert voice that appeals to your audience, and write to ignite (engage) your reader. You may be able to write expert, authoritative and advanced content, but that’s no good unless you can grip reader’s attention. So, you need both aspects.

1. It’s All Becoming Visual

It’s so easy to realize that customers are always going to drift towards visual storytelling since it talks to their gut and is the easiest type of content to understand. It goes faster too, which is key in today’s content-swamped era. That doesn’t mean quickly throwing together an infographic, for example. You still need expert writers to research and have a thorough understanding of the niche.

2. Visual Listening

So many brands forget that the most important thing they can do on the web is listen. How many people out there are actually using your product without even mentioning you? It’s critical that you visually analyze web content as you’ll learn a lot from your customers and what exactly they associate your brand with.

3. Become a Hub

Why try and put your awesome content on existing websites? Become the center, or the information hub in your specific niche. There’s no reason not to once you have expert writers on your side.

4. Creating Useful Content

And we come back to the importance of advanced, authoritative content that your audience can relate to. When marketers want to reach millennials they often head straight to Snapchat or Instagram. But look at the figures those are still relatively small platforms. The coolest platform for teens, suggests the Global Web Index, is YouTube.

That’s their search engine. It’s where they try to learn and understand. So it’s the perfect platform for answering questions, creating how-to’s and so on. Whether your audience is hanging out on YouTube, reading Reddit or following your blog, it remains that to stand out you need to offer advanced, informative and helpful content – be it written or visual.

Influencers Have Become the New Online Leaders

Let’s go back to millennials and YouTube. When teenagers are asked who their favorite celebrities are, they’re usually famous YouTubers. And that means integrating them into your content strategy. What I’m trying to say is influencers have an incredibly strong relationship with their communities. They’ve become the new leaders in their respective niches and if you want to be considered a leader in yours, you need expert content. Failing that, you’re going to lose all that you have invested in building.

If You Haven't Been Creating Expert Content, Start Right Now

We’ve always been well aware that Google goes gaga for high-quality content but it’s even more the case nowadays. Google absolutely adores content that has been developed by trustworthy, authoritative experts. As we sail through 2016 we’re going to be seeing content that possesses all these necessary traits be highly rewarded in the rankings.

Low-equality, nonauthoritative content, though, is going to find itself well and truly down-ranked. Expert writing has always been a necessity, of course.

But Google’s latest guidelines make it crystal clear that having expert writers on your side is an absolute necessity if you want to earn those rankings. Gone are the days of a general, dabbles-here-and-there SEO guy that you catch up with now and then. It’s time for real authors who really know their niche. It’s time for industry writing experts. Got your expert?  

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