Let’s assume you’re looking for alternatives to a product like VEED, and you type “veed alternatives” into Google.
This is what comes up:
If you’re in the majority of searchers who focus on the top search results, which of the first two would you click on?
As a rational searcher (if there’s such a thing), you’d most likely click on the first result, but you have to admit the second one seems more intriguing.
Why is that, and what does a company like Sendspark try to achieve in this case?
This is what we’ll cover coming up, as well as why adding experience to your content is becoming increasingly important in today’s search world.
The Increasing Role of Experience in Today’s Content
Google recently announced the latest addition to its E-A-T factors, which is an extra “E” indicating experience, in what we now call E-E-A-T; a set of guidelines Google uses to determine whether content demonstrates enough:
…for it to be high-quality, valuable, and accurate for users (especially for YMYL content, this can be crucial).
In this piece, we’ll focus more on the new E, rather than the older factors.
In fact, according to Google, the new factor indicates whether the content is produced with a degree of personal and firsthand experience on a certain matter; something that’s now more important than ever for Google.
Going back to the example of the veed alternatives query we saw earlier, it’s now clearer why the result from Sendspark is more intriguing.
A title like…
…which includes “tried” indicates exactly what Google mentions above; content that’s produced by someone who has first-hand life experience on the topic at hand, since whoever wrote the piece has actually tested those alternatives.
This, of course, makes the content appear more trustworthy for the user, and the personal touch makes it stand out in the SERPs.
Especially with the rise of generative AI and tools like ChatGPT, some of our predictions include that AI content will result in more inaccurate and outdated content and less valuable content in general.
Plus, the SERPs for certain keywords will look increasingly similar; something we’re already witnessing in the SaaS industry, but if a large number of people use ChatGPT to come up with their title tags, this phenomenon will escalate.
You can see what we mean by simply having a look at the SERPs for two popular keywords in the SaaS industry: “video editing tools” and “project management tools”…
…they’re both saturated with list posts that are too similar to each other, and lacking differentiating elements; a phenomenon the rise of generative AI is only making worse.
Going back to ChatGPT, if we use the tool to come up with a title for a list post on “email marketing platforms”, for example, these are some of the ideas it comes up with:
As you can see, they’re not too different from each other, and none of them demonstrate something unique, especially experience or expertise.
As we see things, it’s clear that Google will start favoring content that showcases experience, so topical authority and expertise, combined with experience on a topic, is something marketers should pay close attention to.
So how can you add more experience to your content in order to stand out?
How to Add Experience to Your Content
In the SaaS industry, especially for comparison and alternative keywords, the SERPs are becoming increasingly saturated, with the search results looking more or less the same.
If we search for the keyword we saw earlier, this is the SERP that comes up:
As you can see, almost all results are list posts, and they look very similar to each other.
So how can one of the results above make itself stand out and demonstrate more experience and expertise on email marketing platforms?
This can often be done by turning the content from a simple list post into an actual review and by adding the right verb form to the title that indicates experience.
In this case, the only result that has used this tactic is the one from Moosend, which has added “reviewed” in its title.
Image Source: Moosend
This allows them to showcase that the email marketing services have been critically examined and not simply listed.
Of course, “review” is only one of the many verbs that indicate experience, with some of the others including:
You can use these yourself in your own content.
If you’d like to explore our full list of 200 verbs indicating experience (with examples), you can make a copy of it here.
By creating content based on them and adding verb forms like these to your titles, you’ll demonstrate first-hand experience that searchers will get value from, and you’ll satisfy search engines at the same time, considering E-E-A-T will matter more and more.
Let’s now see how you can add experience based on different content types, as well as the formats of each one.
Each case might require a different approach but the element of experience is equally important for all of them.
Content Type #1: SEO
SEO is a type of content most websites use, especially in the SaaS industry, and has been proven to work.
As you know, it’s content created for a search audience to attract as much targeted organic traffic as possible.
However, this content type can be broken down into different formats, such as:
- Informational content
- Commercial content
- Linkable assets
And more, each with its own characteristics.
Let’s have a look at how experience can be added to some of them.
To begin with, informational content aims to inform and educate people on a certain matter, by satisfying the informational search intent, and usually comes in the form of guides with modifiers like:
- How to
Especially in the SaaS industry, this format is usually highly saturated with a lack of differentiation in the SERPs.
For example, this is how the SERP looks for an informational keyword like “what is evergreen content”.
Although we have a mix of guides and list posts, no result stands out for experience or expertise.
However, a great example is from Backlinko which has managed to create a data study on evergreen content:
Image Source: Backlinko
Once again, the SERP lacks firsthand experience and is saturated with what we call “copy-cat content”, where almost all results are similar with minor differences.
We’d say that the only one that stands out is the list post by Ecommerce CEO:
Image Source: ecommerceceo
By including “compared” and “rated”, it demonstrates that it has taken the content a step further, by analyzing each platform and rating it; instead of simply listing the platforms like most results.
Especially for keywords with such intent, where users are actively looking to conduct a commercial investigation, they need to see firsthand experience from someone who has already used/tested something.
When it comes to Commercial Tier-B, the SERP for a comparison between two SEO tools like Ahrefs and Ubersuggest looks like this:
Almost none of the results show clear expertise or firsthand experience; instead, they look more or less the same without offering something unique to searchers.
An exception could be the comparison from TheDigitalMerchant, which actually compares and reviews the two tools:
Image Source: thedigitalmerchant
As we’ve mentioned, “compared” adds experience to the content which users actively looking to purchase something will appreciate.
Let’s have a look at another content format of SEO.
Linkable assets refer to content created in a way that tends to attract online attention and backlinks more easily.
Statistics, infographics, and surveys are some of its most prominent formats.
When it comes to linkable assets that are original content with findings from primary research, this shows a degree of experience by itself, but many linkable assets are often recycled.
What we mean can easily be explained by the SERP on “seo statistics”:
Apart from titles that look really similar to each other, the vast majority of those statistics have been recycled from one website to another, which doesn’t show originality or firsthand experience.
So what can a website do?
Apart from being based on data from primary research, showing experience in its titles also plays an important role.
In this case, the content piece by On the Map uses “verified” to show a certain degree of experience and stand out from the other results as much as possible.
Let’s continue to the next content type.
Content Type #2: Original Content
Original content refers to truly unique content that also showcases experience on a certain matter through:
- Data studies
- Invented concepts
And more formats.
Although experience can’t easily be demonstrated through all of them, there are some where it’s important to do so.
Starting with surveys, what’s great about them is that by presenting original findings, you get to showcase your expertise on a certain matter or industry, while tending to attract more online attention than other formats.
While the following survey by Semrush is a great example…
Image Source: Semrush
…what’s lacking is the element of experience, which the following survey has:
Image Source: Screencastify
What Screencastify has done is alter the title so that it demonstrates more experience through “surveyed”.
Just to give you an idea of how you can implement something similar yourself if, for instance, you’ve conducted a survey on the productivity of remote workers, a potential title could be:
This however doesn’t showcase enough experience, compared to:
Which also makes things more interesting and attractive for readers to click on.
Other formats worth mentioning are data studies and data storytelling, which put findings and insights into context.
For example, the following piece by Ahrefs features a data study that demonstrates experience at the same time through “studied”.
Image Source: Ahrefs
It’s something that can’t be found elsewhere and obviously doesn’t only benefit Ahrefs, but also searchers who will get more high-quality results.
When it comes to trends and events, we refer to content that is based on something that’s happening right now, or an event that you can connect to what you do as a company.
In this case, we can use an example of our own, back when we decided to rebrand Minuttia.
Unlike a title like:
Which doesn’t show experience and is—frankly—boring, by adding “built” and explaining why and how our rebrand took place, we got to showcase more expertise and experience; needless to say that it’s more catchy for users!
Let’s move on to the next content type.
Content Type #3: Product-focused Content
Last but not least, we have product-focused content or product marketing.
While this content type aims to inform and educate people about a product/service, it’s something experience can also be demonstrated through.
If you’re wondering how, have a look at the following case study by Gong:
Image Source: Gong
By explaining how Tinuiti benefited from Gong’s product to close more recurring revenue, it showcases a great deal of experience and credibility.
Plus, “used” adds an extra amount of experience since it showcases that the company actually utilized the product.
Of course, this can be further enforced by featuring quotes and testimonials, like the one below:
Generally speaking, a product-marketing content type like case studies isn’t just great for promoting your work, but also for building credibility and expertise through experience.
Another type that can contribute to this is customer stories, which can come in the form of an engaging article featuring testimonials from satisfied customers.
A good example is from Airbnb, which has managed to capture the voices of happy hosts and turn them into great stories, through storytelling and testimonials:
Once again, “used” plays a great role in showcasing experience, as well as quotes:
In a nutshell, users sharing their experience themselves is one of the best ways of adding experience to your content.
This can also be demonstrated through different kinds of product reviews, such as this one on Shopify from Oberlo:
Image Source: Oberlo
How-to guides are particularly useful for demonstrating experience from using a product, especially through detailed steps…
…screenshots and videos…
…as well as extra information that a user might not be able to find easily…
…but the author has discovered through their own experience and research, which further shows that reviews and how-to guides are an effective way of demonstrating experience, whilst promoting the value of a product at the same time!
So far, we believe that the importance of adding experience to your content has been made clear.
Let’s have a look at a few examples of websites that have leveraged this tactic for their own benefit.
Examples of Companies Adding Experience to Their Content
Although we briefly saw the examples of Sendspark and Moosend earlier, there are many more notable cases of companies that have added experience to their content.
Example #1: ElegantThemes
Our first example is from ElegantThemes, a WordPress page builder which created a list post called:
As you can see, “reviewed” and “compared” have been added to show experience and the fact that the AI design tools have been critically examined and contrasted.
On the other hand, the rest of the results are simply listing the tools without showing any first-hand experience with them.
Example #2: Serious Eats
Adding experience to your content doesn’t only apply to the SaaS industry.
It’s important to do so regardless of your industry, and the following case by Serious Eats is a good example.
Image Source: Seriouseats
By adding “tested,” we can see that the author has evaluated the performance of each cast iron skillet, which shows first-hand experience.
Plus, the content differentiates itself from the rest of the search results, which are simply listing the products.
Let’s have a look at one last example.
Example #3: Datapad
Datapad is one of the best KPI tracking tools out there and has done an excellent job in attracting organic traffic through its content.
A certain piece worth mentioning is the following:
Adding “reviewed” shows clear experience of testing the various eCommerce reporting tools and presenting readers the findings, such as key features, pricing, and the pros and cons of each one.
This gives them an all-around view of each tool for them to make a solid decision, and the content manages to stand out from the rest.
All in all, based on Google’s recent announcements, we believe that this is where things are heading; expertise on certain topics and content that shows first-hand experience.
Now Over to You
With the rise of AI content and the saturation of a large number of topics and keywords, it’s hard to make your content unique enough for searchers to click on.
Of course, things are even more difficult with Google’s algorithm becoming more and more complicated and demanding, in a way that content should be helpful and people-first.
However, adding experience to your content and showing expertise can play a key role in creating valuable content that will serve both users and search engines.
Once again, don’t hesitate to explore our list of verbs indicating experience to use in your own content!