The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Allrss.

It’s an old marketing cliche that people buy from people, not brands, and if you spend any amount of time on LinkedIn, you’ll be inundated with personal branding gurus explaining to you exactly why that is.

Ultimately, it all comes down to trust — the T in Google’s E-A-T.

People are more likely to trust a brand or organization with a real human face. In a crowded e-commerce space, that trust (or lack thereof) can make or break a website’s fortune in the SERPs.

This, combined with a move away from historic link-building activities, such as link exchanges or broken link building, has seen brands of all sizes from household names to e-commerce start-ups jump on the thought-leadership bandwagon.

Free and easy-to-access tools such as HARO and the Twitter #journorequest hashtag offer a low barrier to entry and give the misleading impression that this is an easy route to links in top-tier publications — without the need to invest in a long-term strategy.

When done right, this type of digital PR can deliver a range of benefits for both SEO and brand awareness, but building trust both with search engines and consumers takes time and consistency.

Below I’ve included some examples of best practice, as well as explained how to avoid common pitfalls.

About who?

A strong “About Us” page is one of the most important on-page trust signals for a content SEO strategy when it comes to E-A-T. Whether you’re using the page to introduce one subject matter expert or a whole team, make sure to include a decent headshot and a bio clearly outlining their credentials, role, and expertise.

The Huel “About Us” page is a great example featuring a photo and quick bio of their founder Julian Hearn:

Don’t invent a subject matter expert just to put a face to the website and suggest that content is written with authority. And don’t be tempted to use a stock photo on an “About Us” page or author profile — we all know how easy it is to reverse image search a profile picture. If a journalist is impressed with an expert’s credentials, and reaches out for a phone or Zoom interview with someone who doesn’t exist, it’s going to be very awkward.

Don’t fake it until you make it

Google has made it clear that it values everyday expertise, so there really is no need to fake a doctorate. Instead, find an…