This month our engineering PR team fielded a call from a utility business that is a customer of one of our clients. They’d found a story online that contained some factual inaccuracies and wanted to check whether we’d pitched and placed it, and if so, correct it.

When we checked, we quickly realised that the story was a blog published by a recruitment company that wanted to boost its authority in the field of high-voltage electrical engineering. In theory, posting authoritative content will attract more candidates with relevant experience and ultimately win more business.

The trouble was, the writer didn’t know how the industry works. They’d found an old undated piece of content from 2011 and relayed it as though it was new. They failed to spot that our client’s brand name has changed. They also included a definition of a technical term that was incorrect, to target a featured snippet.

As for the utility, the story claimed that it owned energy storage assets, which is not permitted by the UK’s regulatory body Ofgem.

By publishing a story with so many factual errors, the recruiter has undermined the authority they were trying to build.

There are a few lessons to take from this:

  • As a business that wants to write authoritative SEO content, you’ll get the best results if you ask your writer to focus on topics where your team has the most expertise. In this case, a recruiter could talk about the skills gap in electrical engineering, their current experience of placing candidates and the questions asked by recruiting companies.
  • As a consultant or a writer, if you don’t understand the jargon, then don’t write about a topic. You’ll just store up trouble for later.
  • For the times that a brand wants to cover topics that are outside their normal remit, remember that fools rush in where angels fear to tread. You need to dig deeper if you want to demonstrate authority. It’s a good idea to hire a specialist (or a specialist agency) that’s worked in engineering for decades, knows how to navigate the content and can lend authority to it – expertise, authority and trust ‘for hire’ if you will.

Search is the index of all human knowledge and as society, we rely on it to provide accurate answers to questions. Google works hard to ensure that its index of results is populated with expert-led content, as opposed to novices trying to lay claim to technical definitions on behalf of a provider that doesn’t know basic facts about an industry.

This was recently re-emphasised in Google’s ‘Helpful content’ update – the search engine posed questions such as:

Tells you everything you need to know right!?

Never has it been more important to emphasise the expertise, authority and trust behind the content your business publishes. Talk to our B2B SEO team if you want to find out how to best position your experts and consolidate their authority and trust signals – get it right, and you’ll outrank sites with far more ‘traditional’ SEO signals than you, as Google continues in its quest to provide its users with the best content possible.

Written by: Elaine Cobb, Senior Comms Consultant (and mechanical engineer) at Definition.