“E-E-A-T content” isn’t a real term.

It’s just something I (and many other marketers) use to describe content that shows Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. 

We use this term because Google started it.

They introduced E-E-A-T, emphasizing its importance for search rankings.

And since then, everyone in the SEO industry has been doing what they can to publish content that complies with this new guideline.

In this article, I’ll share how seven marketers (and myself) create content that shows E-E-A-T.

Let’s jump right in!

How do you create content that shows E-E-A-T?

Thank you to the amazing marketers who showed up sharing insights from their wealth of experience John Blust (SEO director @ New Relic), Jennifer Long (SEO Content Manager at Zoom), Amy Copadis (Content Marketer @ Close), Liam Carnahan (SEO Coach and Content Strategist), Ines de Campos Pinto (Head of Content @ Oneteam), and Daniel Tay (Founder at With Content), and Kody Wirth (Inbound Marketing Manager at Palo Alto Software).

1. Involve SMEs early in the content creation process

One of the most common mistakes I see around is writers and content leaders inviting subject matter experts (SMEs) at the final stages of content production.

They’d pick out their topics, create content briefs and outlines, complete first drafts, and after all’s said and done, invite SMEs to come review and insert quotes.

But that’s a classic cart-before-the-horse method.

Unless you already have expertise on a topic, your job as a content leader or creator is to echo the industry experiences of your SMEs.

They’re the ones with stories and insights your target audience wants to consume.

Asking them for insights after you already created your content isn’t the best way to create expert-led content. 

Creating expert-led content should start with experts, not “Google research” or AI.

And when it comes to E-E-A-T, that’s what Google wants to see in its ranking content — content from the experience of subject matter experts.

So, when the SEO manager at New Relic shared that they typically bring in in-house SMEs to create content once they decide on topics, I could relate to that. Here’s what he does:

John Blust headshot

John Blust

SEO Manager @ New Relic

“So the first step is to get honest about:

what kind of products you’re selling or services you’re offering,
what kind of people care about those products,
the topics that they care about, and 
making sure that any content that you’re creating is aligned with those very specific problems.

The second step is to look at your SMEs — the people that you’re relying on to help inform that content either writing it holistically or through a form of interviewing or contribution in the same way that I’m doing right now.

“You want to map those SMEs to the pillars or content themes or topics that closely align with all the other content on your website and ultimately the product or service that you’re offering.

“So I work for SaaS companies primarily. 

“Luckily, we have teams of either customer advocates or product marketing managers who tend to be subject matter experts within either certain verticals or certain product skews. 

“So when we ultimately come up with a content plan or a campaign, we’re making sure that those SMEs are looped into the planning process as early as possible. 

“So they’re aware of the kind of content we’re creating and the kind of contribution that we’ll need from them. Secondly, when it comes to the actual execution of the content, even if they may not be writing the content themselves, ultimately those mapped SMEs or assigned SMEs are the authors.
“Our marketing team or technical writers shouldn’t really be the “author” of that piece of content. 

“Because let’s be honest, I work for a company that markets to developers. No one cares that John the marketer has something to say on infrastructure monitoring. 

“They want to hear it from either another engineer or they want to hear it from someone who spent a long time building something on the product side. 

“So make sure that they are the author and their unique insights are being brought to light. One thing that helps with this is the process of interviewing.

The third step then is executing the content. That’s pretty self-explanatory, but from a technical perspective, you want to make sure you’re laying authority on this page by outlinking to sources of content that you may be referencing whether that’s an internal outlink or an external outlink — both are very important.”

John added other critical points about internal linking.

“You also want to map that content with internal linking in your site’s knowledge graph. 

“So there’s a bunch of ways to do that; a site search in Google is a great way of understanding how Google perceives the relevance of your content to certain topics or keywords. 

“Make sure that this new piece of content is being linked to and from those pages as well as your site architecture. You want to make sure that this content is living in the proper place and associated with similar topics or areas of the website.”

2. Use AI to transcribe and summarize expert insights

If you know one thing about SMEs, it’s that they can talk. 

They’re often passionate about their industry so they have lots to say about it.

And that’s a good thing for content creators!

But it becomes a burden for writers and content leaders when it’s time to make sense of all those insights and package them nicely into digestible content.

Close’s content marketer — Amy Copadis — shares how she uses AI tools to make the job easy: 

Amy Copadis

Content Marketer @ Close

“I maintain a good relationship with several in-house experts who can give good ideas or thoughts on our main blog topics. 

“I’ll send them a message, or schedule a 15-minute call to talk through a few questions. Then, I use AI tools to transcribe + summarize those ideas and use them as the basis for the article.

“Talking with SMEs before you finalize your outline is the best way to create truly expert-driven content. 

“Most content don’t have a clear opinion, it’s just a regurgitation of other ranking posts. When you start with the experts, you can create opinionated content that stands out in the SERPs. That’s what E-E-A-T is all about.

“I think a lot of content marketers just slap in a quote from an expert and call it even. 

“But true E-E-A-T content is expert-driven, meaning the main meat of the article (and the opinion therein) is based on a true expert’s ideas and thoughts.”

3. Avoid treating E-E-A-T as the all-important determinant for rankings

Is E-E-A-T important? Absolutely.

But does is it the only important factor? No.

To show your site has E-E-A-T, you mostly need: 

  • content that shows expertise,
  • interlinks that tie related topics together to show topical authority
  • and so on…

But before search engines, especially Google, rank your content, they look at even more factors like:

  • Technical SEO: Mobile-friendly, fast-loading, crawlable, structured website and pages.
  • Content relevance: Content matching user intent & query, uses relevant keywords & entities.
  • Freshness & updates: Regularly updated site that addresses feedback and fixes outdated info.
  • User engagement: High dwell time, low bounce rate, clicks to other pages.
  • Backlinks: High-quality links from trusted websites.
  • Security & UX: HTTPS encryption, clear navigation, no intrusive ads.
  • Local SEO (if applicable): Optimized GMB presence & local citations.

So, yes… E-E-A-T is crucial, but think holistically: combine it with top-notch technicals, relevant content, great UX, and more.

I love how the founder of With Content puts it:

Daniel Tay headshot

Daniel Tay

Founder @ With Content

“A common misconception many marketers tend to have is that E-E-A-T is the all-important determinant for search rankings, and other areas such as backlinks and on-page optimization don’t matter as much. 

“The thing is, E-E-A-T isn’t even a ranking factor per se, but an aggregate of signals that indicate if content conveys E-E-A-T or not.”

Daniel also shared his steps for creating content that demonstrates E-E-A-T:

“Think from the perspective of the reader, and not the search engine. What would make a reader feel like the content meets the E-E-A-T criteria?”

“For instance, firsthand interviews with industry experts are a necessary step in our editorial process at With Content. 

“Any facts and figures referenced by the writer must also be thoroughly fact-checked. And we always pause after each draft to ask ourselves, ‘Is that everything that the reader would want to know about this topic?’ Basically, put yourself in the reader’s shoes and it will all fall into place.”

4. Tie your brand messaging to every content piece

The crux of E-E-A-T is telling stories from your experience that your website visitors can use.

For brands, this means sharing the behind-the-scenes stories of your brand. 

Stories about:

  • Why you built your brand
  • Challenges you solve with your offerings
  • Results you’re driving for customers with your products/services
  • Challenges your teams go through and how they’re solving them

… and so much more. All those experiences make up your brand messaging and stories.

So they’re a huge advantage for creating E-E-A-T content.

This has been the experience of the Head of Content at Oneteam:

Inês de Campos Pinto headshot

Inês de Campos Pinto

Head of Content @ Oneteam

“In my perspective, great E-E-A-T content is customer-centric and led by the brand messaging. 

“That’s how you ensure that you are a) supporting the right audience (customers and potential customers) and b) providing a unique and expert opinion (because it’s based on your own pre-existing brand messaging). 

“SEO comes in with a supporting role to make sure that your content gets seen by the right people. In practice, what this means is that the topic/content should come from the brand’s very own messaging framework — not keyword research. 

“The keyword research should come after the content topic is defined to fit into the content that will be produced.

“Marketers are sometimes afraid to niche down (or they want to niche down but external stakeholders won’t allow them to).

“One of the keys to great E-E-A-T content is that it will be highly relevant to a specific audience — and that’s who we need to speak to. 

“For instance, at Oneteam, we’ve developed an all-in-one employee experience app that connects HQ with deskless workers. 

“Our vision as a brand is to bridge the deskless gap and our messaging is therefore very focused around that — in every piece of content we create. 

“Will every company with deskless workers resonate with that message? Maybe not. 

“But that’s not the point. We know who we are as a brand, how we help our customers, and what we want to say — and that’s what our content is all about.”

Ines went ahead and shared her steps for creating E-E-A-T content:

“E-E-A-T content creation starts at a foundational level for me:

“1. If you don’t have one already: develop a brand messaging framework. This should clearly demonstrate what the main message your brand/company is trying to communicate and the content pillars below it. 

“Creating a brand messaging framework takes time and should be a cross-functional effort within your company.

“2. Brainstorm content ideas for each content pillar. 

“3. Choose a topic and create a brief. Even if I’m writing the piece myself, I like to give myself a brief to follow. This is also where all the SEO insights come in: meta title and description, main keyword and supporting keywords, content outline with headlines, resources, and similar articles if any.

“4. Start writing. Every piece of E-E-A-T content should have 3 key elements:

a) Our unique point of view (drawn from past experiences with customers or thought leaders within the company);

b) A clear ‘outcome’ for the reader (new knowledge, actions, or next steps to follow);

c) A clear connection to our overall brand message.

Ines also shared how she collaborates with SMEs and gets their insights for content:

“Specifically for SMEs that I work regularly with, I like to follow a more structured process:

“1. We have a recurring weekly meeting where we discuss the content production pipeline: what’s been published, what I’m working on, what I need from them, what they need from me.

“2. In this meeting, I also assign tasks to the SMEs. Typically, I gather the content I need from them in written format (Google Docs). But, if they prefer it, I can also record an interview-style call where I ask them the questions I need and they respond in the video.

“3. When the piece of content is finished, I send it to them for a final review before publishing.

“Additionally, I also like to host a monthly meeting with these SMEs (especially if they are more senior stakeholders within the company) to report on the performance of the content we’ve been working on together.”

5. Use 10% AI, 90% human for content

I’ve always maintained one perspective when it comes to using AI in content:

Use AI as an assistant, not an independent creator.

AI is not a thought leader.

AI is not a subject matter expert.

AI doesn’t have real human experiences.

The only experience AI has is the one its makers fed it.

You know where I’m going with this already: using AI to ideate and create 50 to 100% of your content is almost always a recipe for disaster.

Your target audience doesn’t want it. Google doesn’t want it either.

I love how SEO coach, Liam, puts it:

Liam Carnahan headshot

Liam Carnahan

SEO Coach and Content Strategist

“E-E-A-T is Google’s way of saying, “We want your content to be explicitly human.” 

“[Yet,] I still see lots of businesses and SEOs out there trying to game the system by churning out 20 mediocre articles that are 80 – 90% AI-generated, with a human doing the last 10% of the work. 

“Wise SEOs and businesses will flip that ratio:

“A human should be doing 80 – 90% of the work, and the robots can help with around 10-20% (usually outlining and expanding on what the human has done).”

Liam continues by explaining the steps he typically takes to create E-E-A-T content in this context:

“I start by asking my clients to provide me with a list of representatives from different departments: salespeople, customer-service folks, people in the C-suite, etc. 

“I ask them to choose people who are proactive and like being involved. Then I contact those people and tell them I want to interview them and give them options to make it easy.

“Depending on what they prefer, they can just give me a few ideas for topics they’d like us to cover with content, or they can write a brain dump in an email and I’ll turn that into an article, or I’ll offer to get on a call with them if they prefer.

“The key is to make it simple for folks to participate, so we can use their human perspective (quotes, videos, names, photos) in our content, to send “human” signals to Google (and readers).”

6. Find authority beyond your walls

So far, we’ve hammered home the importance of human input and expertise in E-E-A-T content. 

But creating truly authoritative content sometimes goes beyond just your own team’s knowledge.

I like how Jennifer, SEO Content Manager at Zoom, put it.

Jennifer Long headshot

Jennifer Long

SEO Content Manager at Zoom

“I think sometimes SEOs and content marketers shy away from using other authoritative sources and thought-leaders as a source in their content when they should embrace them. 

“Linking to sites and sources that are established in the topic/industry can actually help your page. It helps with Authoritativeness and Trust.

“Depending on the topic, I take a look at what is currently showing in the SERP. 

“I also look at the pages that Google is using as a source in the People Also Ask section. These are great ways to find sources to reference in your content.”

Speaking about how they choose SMEs for E-E-A-T content, she says:

“We typically like to leverage thought-leaders we’ve worked with in the past at events. 

But sometimes we start totally new relationships by reaching out to experts we’ve identified in the space.” 

7. Beyond showing expertise, think value

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you collaborate with 1000 SMEs for content.

Avoid getting lost in the optics of showcasing SMEs in content.

What your target audience cares about is value.

And value to them is any site or resource that satisfies their search intent.

If they need a product review, give them the review.

If they’re looking for a buying guide, give them the guide.

You get my point already; publish content that matches and satisfies their search intent.

The inbound marketing manager at Palo Alto Software mirrored this point excellently:

Kody Wirth headshot

Kody Wirth

Inbound Marketing Manager @ Palo Alto Software

“A lot of folks confuse E-E-A-T being a ranking signal vs. a quality signal. 

“You’re not trying to optimize for it and there’s no specific checkboxes for achieving it.

“But by writing with E-E-A-T in mind and referencing the quality rater guidelines directly when putting together content, you’re more likely to produce content that people find to be valuable. 

“The more valuable it is, the more engagement it produces, and the more likely it will perform well organically.”

Kody further shared his steps for creating content that demonstrates E-E-A-T:

“If you can, always start with an SME.”

“Even if they’re not writing it, you want their input and ideally you’ll come away with several quotes to reinforce the legitimacy of your content.

“Just be sure that other material they’ve written, their author bio, LinkedIn, and any other sources help verify that they are an authority in a given subject.

“You then need to consider the perception of your site related to the piece of content. Which comes down to interlinking. 

“Are you known for this topic? What else do you have covering it? Are you covering enough of it to be seen as an authority? Have you updated it recently?

“If your answer is no to any of that, then you need to consider follow-up work to make it a yes. This may mean finding gateway topics that connect your current authority to what you’re attempting to now rank for. Or scheduling additional new or reworked content to bolster your coverage.

“TLDR: Focus first on who is writing and what unique and verifiable information they bring to the table. Keep in mind your larger footprint and how accessible and deep your coverage is across the rest of your site.”

Key takeaways

  • Involve SMEs early and authentically.
  • Use AI responsibly to enhance human expertise.
  • Prioritize user needs and brand message alignment.
  • Seek out and leverage external authority.
  • Remember, valuable content trumps mere E-E-A-T signals.
  • By following these insights from industry experts, you can create content that not only adheres to E-E-A-T principles but also resonates with your target audience and drives success.
Co-founder at Leaps | Website | Articles

Hi, I’m Victor 👋🏽 — co-founder @ Leaps — a tool that makes it super easy to run SME interviews for content at scale without calls & meetings.

This way, you're better able to create content that:

- truly connects with decision-makers
- shows thought leadership and builds brand
- moves deals forward, drives pipeline, and so on