This article about the priorities of content generation in the context of Search Engine Optimization in 2019, fired up my imagination. The days of merrily stuffing generic pieces with keywords and creating quick and simple, but, ultimately, vacuous ‘ten top hints and tips’ fluff are over. Instead, producing comprehensive, in-depth and authoritative articles is the way to ensure your website stays high in search results. It’s all about EAT, an acronym that neatly sums up the ravenous need for good quality content for websites in all sectors. EAT stands for: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Attaining these qualities has become one of the most important goals of content writing.
The main thing that the article triggered was the realisation that the key to the challenge of EAT isn’t in faking authoritativeness or trustworthiness. Instead the key is to know how best to translate or to transmit these qualities. With this, I realised how this new focus on structured and well-researched writing plays exactly to my strengths.
Coming from an academic background it becomes second nature to produce writing that is researched and structured and to ensure that the content you produce is underpinned by authoritative sources. Through research, you can build on the expertise of others like a journalist getting to the essence of a complex subject. This is the key to producing SEO friendly content in 2019: providing a medium through which voice of other people can be heard, whether they be accountants, lawyers, mortgage advisors, concrete manufacturers or fudge producers.
In short, there is still room for dedicated content writers in the new world of expertise and authority, but these content writers need to have a particular set of skills. They need to become amplifiers, getting to the heart of a business and magnifying the voices of the specialists who are there, whether that is through interviews or questionnaires. It’s about spending time with the company you are writing for and listening to them, understanding what interests them. Finally, it’s about understanding the best medium to express their interests be that a case study, a white paper, an interview, a podcast or (and yes they can still exist) a top ten hints and tips blog post – speaking of which…
My top five tips to generating authoritative content for a business
- Speak to the experts in the business – listen to them – find things that interest them and decide on subjects based on this.
- Draw up a series of questions about the subject – remember introductions and conclusions. Use keyword research to refine the wording of the questions ensuring that they are phrases with search ‘currency’.
- Put these questions to the experts, either informally in conversation or formally by email or an interview and use the responses to structure your content. Remember that the article will be viewed by the expert before publication so it is acceptable to reword their responses to make the writing flow better.
- If there are gaps, go back to the expert for clarification or for further quotes.
- Finally, make sure you cite the expert in the content linking to their contact webpage or perhaps a social media account such as LinkedIn – here’s mine for example. Make their role clear – emphasise their authority.
You don’t need to be an expert in a subject to write about it with authority, you just need to know who the expert. Content writing is an acquired set of skills, but these skills revolve around the ability to research, structure, interpret and translate complex ideas in a way that amplifies the authoritative voices and to get them heard.
Get in touch for more about how we can help you get your voices heard and to produce content that is authoritative.