Communicating your value proposition is the overarching goal of your website. But at a URL level, messaging needs to be more refined.
This typically means targeting specific keywords and topics on your pages and clearly communicating your expertise and beneficial purpose within your content.
Google’s recent addition of an extra E to E-A-T for “experience” in the updated search quality raters guidelines further enforces the need for ensuring your beneficial purpose is prominent in your main content. I also believe this is another contributing factor to the indexing quality threshold.
So how can you scalably introduce “experience” content into your pages without diluting your messaging or the page’s beneficial purpose?
In this article, I will share tips for incorporating ‘experience’ content for ecommerce sites and demonstrating expertise either at an author or site level.
Defining beneficial purpose and page quality
To recap, Google defines beneficial purpose as “the overall intention of the page, as determined by the creator of the page.”
In other words:
- What is the purpose of the page?
- Is it to sell a product or service?
- Is it to provide information?
- Or is it to generate leads?
On the other hand, Google’s definition of page quality is “a holistic evaluation of the elements that make up a page, including design, functionality, user experience, and content.”
Here, it is vital to determine:
- How well does the page meet its intended purpose?
- Is it easy to use?
- Is the content relevant and accurate?
Displaying product experience and expertise in ecommerce
Demonstrating product experience and expertise is vital in setting your ecommerce site apart from non-specialist retailers and generic quick-buck affiliate websites.
Historically, ecommerce websites interweave product and company reviews into their content and templates as a way of building trust and, to an extent, showing their experience in delivering a quality service.
As search engines are looking for more and more differentiation signals, investing in ‘experience’ content that doesn’t necessarily have target search phrases or an end goal of ranking in SERPs is a must.
As an example, Holts does a good job of demonstrating experience and expertise at a company and author level through content.
Holts’ staff and authors review the products they sell. Their profiles also have information about them as consumers, such as their favorite cigars and strength preferences.
These product experience articles contain good internal links to related products and product use cases (e.g., game nights). They are difficult to falsify without the product experience, as they will stand out among your target customer base.
Similarly, if your product or service is in the YMYL space, you want to build as many trust signals as possible that your service is safe and trustworthy, and will not adversely affect consumers.
A great example of this is Optical Express in the UK, which has a comprehensive portfolio of surgeons and ophthalmologists, with individual profiles listing:
- The governing medical bodies they are registered with.
- The number of procedures and surgeries they have completed.
- Reviews from their patients (aggregated, video, and written).
- Professional memberships.
This content is typically found on small or independent practice websites. For it to be done at scale for a national provider is impressive, and again, serves as a verifiable trust signal that can’t be easily faked.
Utilizing user- and staff-generated content at the product level
The two examples before are great at demonstrating experience at a brand or domain level, but it can also be important to demonstrate experience at a product level.
This can be done either as a direct effort by the website trying to sell the product or through a collection of user-generated content.
For example, Amazon has been doing this for years by putting customer experiences on individual product pages, regardless if they are positive or not. They’ve done this through their “Customers questions & answers” section.
The responses, which can include videos and pictures, create unique relevant content to help potential consumers better forecast their experience using the product.
In the search quality raters guidelines, sharing first-hand experiences is highlighted as a signal of high page quality.
A lot of ecommerce websites already do this by aggregating product-specific user reviews on pages to build trust. Complemented with schema markup, this also gives them a chance to get review stars in the SERPs.
Another way of doing this is to create unique, experience content at a product detail page (PDP) level. Two websites doing this well are CardKingdom and TCG Player.
In this sector, most PDPs use the card flavor text and details. Thus, adding unique content that demonstrates product knowledge (and content useful for users) can be viewed as an additional, positive signal by Google.
An example of CardKingdom’s “Pro Tip!” content on product detail pages.
This unique differentiator can also be useful as a general page quality signal for the indexing threshold.
Developing ‘experience’ content
Many information and studies will likely be published in the coming weeks and months on how to create better experience signals in your content and improve page quality (for your source type).
However, it is important to remember that Google has been collecting data, setting benchmarks of ‘experience’ content currently “in the wild.” The search engine already has an idea of how content can:
- Portray a value proposition.
- Demonstrate a beneficial purpose.
- Have a sufficient “page quality” for the source type.
So we’re not reinventing the wheel or deviating too far from what we’ve already been doing when targeting E-A-T.
If anything, we’re now adding more unique perspectives, opinions, and user experiences to make content more “genuine” – diluting the marketing prose and keyword research-led content pieces with more human notions.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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About the author
Dan Taylor is head of technical SEO at SALT.agency, a UK-based technical SEO specialist and winner of the 2022 Queens Award. Dan works with and oversees a team working with companies ranging from technology and SaaS companies to enterprise e-commerce.