Trust Signals: The Importance of E-EAT in the Helpful Content Age

Two hands sharing a handshake - one dressed in a suit and one in a bright red jumper

Trust signals are elements on your site, both on-page and off-page, that show to the user (and to search engine crawlers) that they can have confidence in your brand and product. Google’s most recent algorithm updates have further pushed the importance of these signals. We break down what they are, how e-commerce brands are being impacted, and what to do if you don’t already have trust signals online.

Table of Contents:

What Are Trust Signals?

Trust signals are elements on your website and elsewhere on the web that showcase to users (and to search crawlers) that you are a legitimate entity and are worthy of customer consideration. These signals include:

Customer Facing Signals:

  • Product reviews from genuine customers (in particular on PDPs)
  • Third party reviews e.g. Trustpilot 
  • Clearly displaying payment providers clearly presented in the footer (similarly to how retail stores have accepted payments in their windows)
  • Authors and Experts clearly showcased on site
  • About Us pages
  • Clear transparency about sourcing and creation of products

Technical Signals for Google:

  • HTTPS/SSL certification
  • External links to reliable sources e.g. if you’re quoting a statistic from the NHS, link back to the page it was originally on.
  • Backlinks from trusted sources e.g. publications such as Vogue for fashion brands.

Is Google Promoting Brands & Sites with Strong Trust Signals?

One of the many factors that goes into Google’s ranking algorithm is E-EAT – experience, expertise, authority, and trust. In the age of AI generated content and people trying to push out as much on their sites as possible to target keywords and increase sessions, it’s no wonder that Google has placed extra importance on trust online. They are also pushing experience signals, which has led to a rise in Reddit results in Google as well as an increase in video results.

image of someone holding a tablet that says customer reviews and has four yellow stars

Users want search engines to highlight sites they can trust with their information and even their money. In the March 2024 core update, we’ve observed that sites that showcase genuine customer reviews, are clear about who has written the content and why they’re qualified, and general background information about the organisation, have seen an increase in those top positions. 

Brands that have failed to implement these e-comm trust essentials, however well-known their brand is, have seen their positions displaced by those that have.

Why You Need to Focus on Improving Trust Signals for SEO Success

As an SEO consultancy, we’re always looking one step ahead to ensure our clients remain stable throughout Google’s changes. If you’ve found that your site has been impacted by the latest update, it’s likely that you need to work on improving trust signals across your website. Without these, it’s going to be hard to win that lost traffic back.

By focusing on E-EAT now rather than later, you could see:

  • Increased visibility in SERPs for both commercial and editorial elements.
    • Getting your brand in front of more people could not only lead to an increase in traffic and potential sales now, but it could also help direct and branded traffic in the future. 
  • A higher conversion rate (as customers lean on positive reviews to finish that final stage in the buyer’s journey).

Ways to Improve On-Site Trust Now

Now you know the importance of trust signals, what should be your next steps? We’ve put together a list of actions you can take now below. This isn’t an exhaustive list however, and if you want help to meet your SEO goals, you can get in touch with us today!

image that showcase the key trust signals to implement now

Commercial Steps

If you’re an e-commerce brand, these should be the first things you focus on improving:

  • Genuine customer reviews on product pages – Allowing users of your product to give feedback and assist potential buyers with their intel.
  • Featuring third-party reviews on your site – Already have a Trustpilot for your brand? That’s a great place to start – you could feature some of your top reviews on your homepage (make sure you link back to your Trustpilot page)!
  • Put payment providers in your footer – Customers want to know before they get to the checkout page if their preferred payment type will be accepted – pop these in your site’s footer now for a quick win.
  • Write a great About Us page – Not yet got a page that tells your customers all about your business? Now’s the time to get writing and share your story. 

Editorial Pages 

Whether you’re an entirely editorial site or an e-commerce site with a content strategy, ensuring your posts showcase trust and expertise. Here’s a few tips to help you on your way:

  • Clear authorship – Make sure each post clearly states who has written or reviewed it. It can include a short bio as to why they’re qualified to talk about the topic in the post.
  • Unique images – Experience goes alongside trust, and having images that are unique to your company that Google hasn’t seen before can help to showcase that you have had hands-on with the product you’re talking about.

SEO Consultancy for E-Commerce Brands

Organic search is one of the most important channels to a website’s success. Our team has the up-to-date knowledge to help you reach your business goals through content creation and optimisation, technical analysis, and reporting. Take your first step to Escaping Gravity with SEO and get in touch today.