E.E.A.T. SEO checklist: Supercharge your healthcare and medical website visibility

Our SEO expert Jon Rayner gives you the scoop on how to align your website with Google's ‘helpful content’ guidelines through E.E.A.T.
5 mins | 09/05/2024

This guide is your go-to resource for pharmaceutical marketers ready to turbocharge their brand objectives. Implementing these guidelines will give your brand and disease awareness sites a spotlight in search engines, and ramp up user trust in your content.

Take a dive with me into the world of Google's E.E.A.T. guidelines – ‘Experience. Expertise. Authority. Trust’. In this guide, I not only break down E.E.A.T.'s importance, but also spill the beans on how to optimise for it, complete with a couple of nifty infographics!

Why did I create this guide? With over a decade in the healthcare and digital marketing arena, I've noticed a trend – many websites are aiming for that organic traffic boost, but surprisingly, E.E.A.T. optimisation often takes a back seat. That's why I've put together this actionable guide to help pharmaceutical marketers dominate the search engine optimisation (SEO) game.

In this guide, I'll cover:

  • Decoding YMYL and E.E.A.T.
  • Google's Search Quality Rater Guidelines
  • Unveiling E.E.A.T. core elements
  • Optimisation checklist
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

Decoding YMYL and E.E.A.T. – what do these acronyms mean?

Before we plunge into the realm of E.E.A.T., let's unravel the mystery of YMYL, or ‘Your Money Or Your Life’. Google uses this concept to define pages or sites with the potential to impact health, happiness, safety, or financial stability. These YMYL pages are judged against more rigorous standards than others, and Google places a high focus on E.E.A.T. when judging how to rank these in search results. Pages containing medical information fall smack bang in the middle of this category, along with pages tackling financial advice, legal content, and news about current events.

Attention, pharmaceutical marketers! Your sites fall into the YMYL category. That's why it's crucial to ensure your website it is doing the most it can to appease Google's E.E.A.T. rating criteria. This isn't just about improving your organic performance – it's about fostering trust in your content and making a lasting impact!

Definitions of E.E.A.T. and YMYL

Addressing E.E.A.T. as part of Google's Search Quality Rater Guidelines

E.E.A.T. takes centre stage in Google's Search Quality Rater Guidelines – a game-changer for websites aiming for the top spot. Google's ‘Quality Raters’ are a group of evaluators (yes, real humans!), who follow a set of guidelines to manually dissect websites. These evaluators use E.E.A.T. criteria to gauge content quality and credibility.

Google sees the ‘trust’ part of E.E.A.T. as the bedrock of its quality assessment. It's not just important; it's pivotal. According to Google, a page's E.E.A.T. score takes a hit if signals of trustworthiness are missing. Experience, expertise, and authoritativeness are the signals Google looks for to measure just how trustworthy your site is.

Now, buckle up as we delve into the core elements of E.E.A.T. We're uncovering both on-site and off-site tactics to supercharge these signals. Get ready to transform your website into an E.E.A.T. powerhouse!

Experience, expertise, and authority come together to build trust

Cracking the code: Unveiling E.E.A.T. core elements for medical and healthcare SEO

Prefer visuals? Check out the infographic below.

Before we immerse ourselves in the world of E.E.A.T. optimisation, let's acknowledge that the degree of optimisation needed can vary based on the website type. If you run a disease awareness site (e.g. a site that includes non-promotional content that doesn't mention a brand or product) that is not explicitly linked to a pharmaceutical company, then thorough E.E.A.T. optimisation is needed.

On the flip side, if you run a site containing branded content affiliated with the pharmaceutical company that makes the product, less optimisation is needed, as the trust factors associated with the pharma brand are already there. I've laid out the core elements involved in optimising for E.E.A.T. below, specifying the type of website ideal for each recommendation.


Suited website type:

Cross icon
Brand site
Tick icon
Disease awareness

Now, let's talk ‘experience’. Google rewards content creators who have real-life experience in what they're talking about. This becomes even more critical in the era of generative AI content. AI struggles to replicate human experience, making the real deal stand out.

Here's your roadmap for experience optimisation:
  • Splash that pharmaceutical company logo boldly. Let the Quality Raters know that there's a powerhouse behind the content, showcasing experience in the topic
  • Craft a dedicated page, spilling the beans on the pharmaceutical company's role in crafting life-changing medicine. No need for brand mentions (as this won't be compliant in some markets), just a crystal-clear connection to the topic through real-life experiences
  • If you can swing it, introduce your medical reviewer or expert with a killer bio. Showcase their co-creation of content, proving their experience in the relevant therapeutic area


Suited website type:

Cross icon
Brand site
Tick icon
Disease awareness

Expertise isn't your run-of-the-mill experience; it's the secret ingredient wielded by the author, the reviewer, or both, validating the content. Experience might cover a company, but expertise? That's about the individuals connected to the material, and ensuring that they have a rich depth of knowledge.

Enter Google's Quality Raters. They're on a mission to dissect the expertise of authors or reviewers. Demanding more than just experience, they want a profound understanding of the subject matter.

Here's your playbook for expertise optimisation:
  • Include a dedicated section on each content page introducing the reviewer(s), linking back to an ‘editorial team’ bio page on the same site, flaunting the qualifications that scream expertise
  • Create an editorial policy page, showcasing the process that leads to the factual correctness of your content

Healthline is a great example of effectively optimising for experience and expertise:

Healthline screenshot showing E.E.A.T. featuresPro tips for that extra oomph:
  • Spotlight the expertise of reviewers. Agencies often craft content on large pharmaceutical sites, and it might be harder, and unsuitable, to include the name of a content author who might not work for the associated pharma company
  • Team up with your medical squad at project kick-off to pinpoint which medics are happy to feature on the website
  • For a grand slam, co-create content with a field expert and feature them on the website. In their bio, add some outbound links to other sites citing their credibility, reinforcing their expertise

Take a look at how we've optimised for experience and expertise for one of our clients.

Screenshot of a disease awareness website showcasing E.E.A.T. features


Suited website type:

Tick icon
Brand site
Tick icon
Disease awareness

Authority is the golden ticket to credibility and influence in both your users' and Google's eyes. It's a concoction of top-notch content and plenty of relevant backlinks.

Here's your roadmap for authority optimisation:
  • Dive deep into the content topic: Google's got a handy checklist to catapult your pharmaceutical content to the top. Your website's content offering needs to be helpful, reliable, and people-first. You should have content available that spans the full user journey. Craig Johnston, one of the SEO experts at AMP27, says: “Creating one article on asthma symptoms won't cut it. To be authoritative, you've got to cover it all, from symptoms to diagnosis to management and beyond, with content for every stage of the user journey”
  • Jazz up the user experience: Infographics, videos, animations, podcasts, webinars... serve content in engaging, digestible formats. Watch the natural backlinks roll in as user engagement skyrockets
  • Bridge content gaps: Offer fresh perspectives on overdone topics, going beyond what the search results currently dish out
  • Keep it fresh: Regularly update your content, but make it count. Stay ahead of the curve, incorporating the latest data and opinions into your arsenal
  • References are key: Always cite your sources. It's not just for show; it builds trust and credibility with your audience
  • Strategic link building: Analyse competitors' backlinks using tools like Ahrefs, and craft a manual outreach plan. Create linkable content that speaks for itself. Remember, link building isn't essential for every website. If your site boasts relevant backlinks and a score above 50/100 in authority, it may not be a top priority

Pro tip: Use the Ahrefs SEO toolbar to check the power of your backlinks and authority score. Navigate to your site, click the Ahrefs toolbar, choose ‘Metrics’, and analyse the ‘Domain rating’ to see if it exceeds 50.

Example Ahrefs SEO toolbar

A screenshot of the Ahrefs toolbar

Now let's looks at who's doing authority well

The backlink authority score of the My Menopause Centre website is 43/100, notably lower than other top-performing websites that dominate topics related to menopause. Despite this, they excel in driving organic traffic for menopause-related keywords. Their success lies in their dedication to crafting in-depth and helpful content on menopause, establishing them as an authority in Google's eyes.

Screenshot of the My Menopause Centre website


Remember the trio of experience, expertise, and authority? They are the architects of trust, shaping the very core of your content.

But here's the revelation: E.E.A.T. optimisation isn't just a maneuver to impress search engines and spike organic traffic. It's a secret ingredient for the ultimate user experience, a trust-building tactic that transforms your content into a reliable haven that users will return to for information.

Think of trust as the heartbeat of your content's impact. It's not just about search engine results page rankings; it's about weaving a tapestry of credibility and assurance that resonates with your audience.

E.E.A.T. optimisation checklist infographic

Supercharge your healthcare and medical SEO with Google's E.E.A.T. guidelines. Download our helpful checklist here and use it to inform your strategy!

Download the checklist
Image of the E.E.A.T. optimisation checklist infographic

Optimise your site for E.E.A.T., reach out to AMP27 today for a free consultation call!

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In conclusion

This guide serves as a beacon, illuminating the paramount importance of E.E.A.T. in driving organic traffic and user trust for healthcare websites categorised as YMYL by Google.

To pharmaceutical marketers, I like to highlight a vital point – even if your primary goal isn't centred on organic traffic or SEO, embracing E.E.A.T. principles is so important. It transcends mere rankings; it's about nurturing trust in your content from a user's perspective.

At AMP27, we are experts in healthcare and medical SEO. If you're eager to explore how AMP27 can elevate your website content and optimise it for search engines, let's start the conversation.

Cheers to a future where your content not only ranks highly, but also resonates deeply with your audience! 🚀

Frequently asked questions

Is E.E.A.T. a ranking factor?
  • Not precisely. Google doesn't explicitly designate E.E.A.T. as a standalone ranking factor. Instead, it functions as a guiding principle, shaping other crucial ranking elements. Consider E.E.A.T. as a compass rather than a direct factor. Google sees it as pivotal in assessing the inherent value your pages provide to users, underscoring its significance.

What is the difference between E.A.T. and E.E.A.T.?
  • E.E.A.T. takes E.A.T. a step further by not only assessing the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the content creator, but also considering their extended experience within the specific topic.

Is E.E.A.T. important for all types of websites?
  • E.E.A.T. is crucial for all websites, but especially vital for YMYL pages. These include content impacting users' health, happiness, safety, or financial stability.

Does E.E.A.T. affect my website's ranking on Google?
  • Yes, E.E.A.T. can influence your website's ranking on Google. Pages with higher E.E.A.T. scores are more likely to be considered authoritative and trustworthy, positively impacting search engine rankings.

Jon Rayner

About the author: Jon Rayner

Jon Rayner is one of the founders of AMP27 and the Campaign Director. He has 14 years’ experience in medical communications, and is an expert in the digital space. Jon is one of our SEO specialists at AMP27. Find out more about Jon’s background in digital marketing on our Meet the team page.