Image of someone surfing the web with a search bar over the image. This depicts how a therapist searching for an SEO consultant can do SEO themselves with SEO training.

EAT as a Ranking Factor

The world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is confusing and certainly overwhelming when you first start out. And just like any other field, we use a ton of acronyms and short-hand terms. One of the common acronyms we use in discussing SEO is EAT. This stands for expertise, authority, and trust.

What is EAT?

A graphic of web statistics on a computer screen. Learn more about SEO for counselors and how we can support your private practice website with online SEO training.Expertise, authority (or authoritativeness), and trust (or trustworthiness) are used as ranking factors for Google. However, there’s not really a true measure or “score” for EAT. This is more of a guideline for aspects we’d like to build in terms of the way Google views your site. And while each of the aspects of EAT are important for Google, they are even more important when evaluating user experience. So yes, we are trying to show Google that you have expertise, authority, and are trustworthy on a subject. But even more than that, we are trying to show the actual human beings reading your content the same.


The first aspect of EAT is expertise. Your website should show that you are an expert in your respective field. So, our clients’ sites should show that they are experts in the mental health field, as well as an expert in whatever services they provide. This is where having a niche can help.

If you’ve been on a call with any of our SEO specialists, you know that we want to know exactly what kind of client you’re looking for. This is so that we can help you tailor your website content and strategy to show expertise for that specific demographic. If you can show your ideal clients that you are, in fact, an expert on the struggles they’re facing and services they need, they will be more likely to spend time on your site. And hopefully, they’ll turn into clients for your practice.

Authority or Authoritativeness

Image of someone scrolling on their phone and computer. This image depicts how a therapist can hire an SEO consultant for help on their private practice website. The next factor of EAT is your site’s authoritativeness. This refers to the credibility of the knowledge you share on your site. Have you heard us talk about backlinks yet? Backlinks are an essential part of building your site’s authoritativeness. Imagine if you went to a website about a health condition you were recently diagnosed with, and nobody was linking to the site and the site was not linking to any other sites. This would be cause for concern, right? You want to know that the information you’re gaining is accurate and backed up by others in the field. Gaining authority for your therapy practice’s website is quite the same.

Now, website users will not be able to easily see your site’s backlinks. This is more important for Google. If you have spammy backlinks, like from a porn site or other sort of scam site, it’s likely Google will question your site’s authority. On the other hand, if you don’t have any links on your site going to other sites, Google and readers will question your authority. A website owner who has authority on a subject will not mind referring out to other authoritative sites.

Trust or Trustworthiness

The last aspect of EAT is trust or trustworthiness. Essentially, Google wants to have a sound “conscious” when it shows searchers your website. So, your website should have accurate information about your services and the locations in which you provide those. Having an up-to-date Google My Business account and routinely responding to reviews left there can increase Google’s trust in your site. Having new and accurate content on your site can be another impactful tool to increase Google’s trust.

EAT Overview

An image of letter blocks that spell SEO. We can offer help with SEO training for therapists. Those searching "how to rank on Google for therapists" can get help from an SEO consultant.The three aspects of EAT, expertise, authority, and trust, should be used as a guideline for creating timely, truthful, and helpful content. It should be noted that new or relatively young websites typically take longer to achieve these factors with Google. And older sites should be revamped and cleaned up to have the most relevant and applicable content. Again, EAT is not something that can actually be measured but should be kept in mind when thinking about the user’s experience when surfing your site. You can learn more about EAT as an aspect of SEO by listening to a podcast one of our team members, Danica, spoke on recently!

Are you a private practice owner in need of SEO help?

We’ve got you! Simplified was started by a private practice owner just like yourself. So know that we’ll take care of your site and your rankings. With the help of our skilled SEO specialists, your website can bring in the clients you’d truly love to work with. While SEO is so impactful, it does take time and energy. Learn more about our packages

  1. Book a free 30-minute consultation call.
  2. Get connected with an SEO specialist.
  3. Begin moving up in Google’s rankings and meet your practice’s goals!

SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting

When you work with Simplified, you have a few different options for boosting your Google rankings. These include our Done For You packages, Done With You training program, and even DIY online courses. Speak with one of our team members to discuss the best fit for your practice needs.

SEO Specialist for mental health therapist websites, Olivia. Copywriting for SEO and trauma specialist for private practice SEO.

About the Author

Olivia Bahr is a proud team member of Simplified. She has been helping private practice therapists across the nation (and even beyond) work on their websites to start working with the clients they love. Olivia helps the Simplified team with content writing, strategy sessions, page optimization, and more! Additionally, Olivia is currently a Master of Social Work student at the University of Denver working toward a concentration in Health and Wellness and a certificate in Human-Animal Environmental Interactions.

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