In a world where ‘alternative facts’, ‘corpspeak’ and pushy sales tactics are all too common, the importance of user-focused content (UFC) has never been greater. Indeed, despite the meteoric rise of AI-generated content in recent months, this is a conclusion Google also appears to have reached. While it’s true that an emphasis on trustworthy content has been a consistent aspect of each algorithm update for nearly a decade now, the last few months have seemingly seen the search engine double down on its quest to reward brands that are committed to producing the right type of ‘high-quality content’.
Perhaps surprisingly, nowhere has the importance of this type of content become more apparent than in the finance and insurance sector. Gone are the days in which the brand that shouts the loudest and pushes sales the hardest wins. Instead, when it comes to content marketing at least, the insurance industry is having to embrace a fresh, more enlightened form of content creation in order to reap digital rewards – one that adheres to Google’s E-E-A-T principles and places the needs of the customer before anything else.
The question is, why is this shift in content creation strategy such a salient topic for insurance companies right now? And, just how profound can the effect of E-E-A-T-based contract strategies be in this industry? In this article, we answer both of these questions and more as we take a deep diveinto the impact of E-E-A-T on the insurance industry.
Understanding E-E-A-T E-E-A-T refers to the set of principles, outlined by Google, that are designed to determine the quality and relevance of a piece of content. Broken down, these four principles are:
Experience – the reputation and track record of the content creator or company.
Expertise – the knowledge and skills possessed by the actual author of the content.
Authoritativeness – the perceived credibility and reputation of the content source.
Trustworthiness – the reliability and integrity of the information provided.
Implementing E-E-A-T principles in content strategies involves producing high-quality, informative, and trustworthy content that caters to the needs and concerns of the target audience. This can take the form of FAQ-style guides that answer relevant search queries, for example. It can also include listicle-style blog posts that provide top tips and helpful advice on specialist topics. By prioritising these principles, brands can make their online output more user-friendly, establish themselves as reliable and authoritative sources of information, and earn the trust of their customers.
E-E-A-Ting through Google’s hoops? Of course, by tapping into the potential of E-E-A-T, businesses are not simply striving to bridge the knowledge gap and foster a sense of trust that resonates with their clientele. They are also making a conscious decision to follow the best practice guidelines set by Google in order to ensure their content is fully optimised for organic search. While this might appear cynical for those on the outside looking in, the fact is, this is a reality of modern SEO. Although deemed ‘organic’, in order to compete when it comes to search rankings in 2023, brands must be willing to not only create content with user experience and their target audience’s best interests in mind, but also with Google’s ever-changing algorithm at the forefront of everything they implement.
Why E-E-A-T matters for insurance brands In the continually evolving landscape of the financial services industry, embracing the E-E-A-T principles holds major importance for insurance businesses. The complexity of insurance products, combined with the abundance of technical terminology used, can be overwhelming for potential customers. Indeed, insurance companies have traditionally relied on hard sales tactics and jargon-filled content that in many cases only adds to the confusion. However, as consumer expectations shift and search engines place greater emphasis on helpful and informative content, insurance providers have had to adapt to remain competitive.
By incorporating the E-E-A-T principles into online content strategies, providers and brokers are able to demystify their products, cut through industry jargon to provide clear answers to commonly asked questions, and establish themselves as trustworthy and authoritative sources of information.
But what does this mean on a practical level for insurance businesses? Well, the benefits of content that satisfies Google’s E-E-A-T principles are fourfold:
Building customer confidence: The insurance industry relies fundamentally on trust. This means, for an insurance provider to be successful, they need to demonstrate to potential customers that they possess the necessary expertise and experience to meet their needs. Google understands this. With this in mind, brands that are able to demonstrate their experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness through their digital content are not only more likely to instil confidence in their target audience, they are also signalling to Google that they are a trustworthy authority in the industry, and that this should be considered when it comes to search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Educating and empowering consumers: User-focused, E-E-A-T-based content creates a way for insurance providers to educate and empower potential customers. When a brand is able to frequently and consistently produce clear and comprehensive information that answers common search queries, they are actively helping users to make better, more informed decisions about their insurance needs. This education not only fosters trust but also enhances overall customer experience – qualities Google rewards through better ranking performance. Overcoming the complexity barrier: As discussed already, the insurance industry and various associated products are notoriously complex. By simplifying and explaining these topics in user-friendly language, insurance providers can bridge the gap between the technical aspects of their products and the understanding of their customers. This approach removes a potential barrier to entry for customers and encourages engagement. Once again, this not only helps on a direct business level, but it also demonstrates to Google and other search engines that a business is a trusted authority in its specialist area. This brings with it a range of benefits when it comes to organic search performance. Differentiating themselves from competitors: In a crowded insurance market, standing out from the competition is crucial. By focusing on a content creation strategy based on the E-E-A-T principles and delivering valuable content early, insurers can differentiate themselves as trusted advisors and thought leaders. This differentiation helps attract potential customers seeking reliable and informative resources, and signals to Google that the insurance provider is serious about helping the end user and not just about making quick sales. This shift away from traditional sales-driven content to helpful, user-focused copy is not merely an aesthetic overhaul. The implementation of E-E-A-T strategies also represents a fundamental recalibration of digital content’s core principles, and by adhering to these principles, insurance companies can reap the organic search rewards.
We have seen that search engines – led by Google – are increasingly favouring websites that prioritise E-E-A-T style content. This means that insurance providers already doing this are being rewarded with improved search engine rankings and increased visibility. By aligning their content strategies with these principles, insurance businesses can improve their organic search presence, drive more relevant traffic to their websites, attract a larger customer base, and ultimately generate more conversions.
Final thoughts In today’s digital landscape, the insurance industry is witnessing an evolution when it comes to digital content strategies. The days of hard sales tactics and jargon-filled web pages are gradually giving way to genuinely engaging and helpful user-focused content that satisfies Google’s E-E-A-T principles. By embracing these principles and adopting UFC strategies now, insurance businesses can improve brand authority, enhance their search engine rankings, and build stronger relationships with their customers.
As the old saying goes, ‘you are what you E-E-A-T’. This is certainly the case when it comes to the content strategies of insurance providers in 2023. It’s time for insurance companies to recognise the importance of optimised and helpful content and adapt to the changing demands of their audience. Only by doing so can they position themselves as trusted advisors in the insurance marketplace and thrive in the rapidly evolving technological age.
This article was originally published in issue 12 of Benchmark magazine. For more insightful articles on search marketing in the Professional Services industry, read the latest issue now!