The internet is full of websites that share similar ideas. But when it comes to rankings, search engines like Google tend to value one website’s page over another, even if their pages say the same thing about a certain topic. These rankings are where a website’s topical authority comes into play – and the higher your perceived content authority, the better your organic search rank.
Think of authority as how Google measures your website’s trustworthiness and credibility on a particular niche, industry, product, or service. Topical authority is how Google sees you as an authoritative resource based on your content quality and how your website establishes itself as a credible source for your industry’s topics.
For instance, the website of an industry expert and the website of a beginner in that industry may have similar blog posts. However, the industry expert has more comprehensive content and has already established themselves as an authoritative expert, so they’re more likely to have better page authority and rank higher for an industry-related keyword than the beginner.
Building topical authority is essential for any effective digital content strategy. Here’s what search engine optimization (SEO) writers should know about building topical and content authority, the SEO content best practices associated with them and creating strategic content with SEO content services that can improve your authority online.
Topical Authority: Why It Matters for Your Digital Content Strategy
Topical authority measures how your website’s content stacks up against the expertise and trust of similar websites in your industry. Suppose that your website and another have a similar page for a particular industry-related keyword. In this case, your topical authority helps search engines like Google determine which one of you is more trusted for talking about that topic. This can put you in a higher position in search results.
Remember that topical authority isn’t the same as domain authority, another crucial factor affecting ranking. The former is built with quality content, on-page SEO and creating informative and relevant content based on content marketing best practices. Domain authority, on the other hand, focuses on the technical side of SEO outside of the scope of SEO content creators, such as web design and web development.
Google’s algorithm considers all these when generating search results and determining which websites rank the highest. In addition, websites that have better topical authority are more likely to have better content authority over topics concerning their niche. Therefore, Google will see your website as a trustworthy resource that can rank higher over less authoritative sources.
Topical authority also isn’t limited to your SEO content strategy. When your website becomes an informational resource that can thoroughly cover a niche or topic, you can establish your credibility among users.
Most potential customers are likely to patronize a business that can prove it knows what it’s doing through the content it provides rather than a business that offers very little information about its products and services.
How Does Topical Authority Work?
Although topical authority has been gaining popularity recently in digital marketing, its effect on search engine results dates back to 2013 with Google’s Hummingbird algorithm.
In the past, Google’s search algorithms relied on the context and frequency of keywords. It didn’t consider user intent, content quality, or whether content had the information people were looking for. As a result, the typical SEO content strategy focused less on creating content that users were looking for and more on content optimized for algorithms.
Following the new algorithm, building your authority on a niche became a staple in effective digital content strategies. Content authority was given to websites that have organically established their online presence for a certain keyword or topic.
This was based factors like:
• Keyword optimization
• Latent semantic index(ing) (LSI)
• Other on-page SEO factors
As a result, websites with original content that’s designed for users’ search context jumped up in rankings. This provided users with relevant quality content, which led to a shift in SEO content creators focusing on user-based content.
Benefits of Boosting Your Topical Authority
We can look at the benefits of having a strong topical authority for your website in two ways.
First, it’s a part of content marketing’s best practices and how it can affect how users see your website. And second, it’s how search engines see you as an authoritative figure.
Think about the last time you looked up a fact on Google. Most people know that not everything on the internet is true. You might find a claim posted online, but you’re unlikely to believe it until you fact-check using credible sources. The same applies to users looking for information about businesses like yours. Since boosting your authority means creating original, informative and relevant content, you’re establishing credibility and your brand’s authority on an industry-related topic.
And when you look at it from an SEO perspective, emphasizing your authority through your strategy can benefit your website. Search engine algorithms can now base authority on things like keywords and LSI. If you’re creating quality content, the keywords you want to rank for and other relevant words will be added to your content, intentionally or unintentionally.
Best Practices To Boost Your Content Authority
Just like creating organic results, topical authority isn’t an instant thing your website can earn. Working with an SEO content strategist and SEO consultants can help you start the foundation of an effective content strategy to build your credibility and authority. There are some ways you can do this:
Use an Effective SEO Content Strategy
A good content strategy that uses content marketing best practices can help you improve your current topical authority or establish your website as a credible resource for that topic. Let your SEO content strategist go through your website, your existing content and the topics and keywords you want to rank for.
Your content should be:
• Consistent: Writing content that’s consistent means regularly posting content about the topic you want to establish your website as a content authority figure. While evergreen content isn’t the only content you need to focus on, having content that provides up-to-date information can help boost a steady stream of users without having to make significant changes to your content.
• Intentional: Aside from content quality and incorporating keywords and LSI organically to improve SEO, your intention should also be user-oriented. Writing content with the right keywords won’t help if the content you create doesn’t really match the context and the purpose of users searching.
• Informative: On a user-facing side, producing informative content establishes your website as an authoritative figure for that topic. It’s what gets users to stay on your website and read more. From an SEO perspective, comprehensive content tends to have organic keywords and topics that algorithms can pick up to improve your authority.
Build Content for a Niche Industry Topic
Some of content marketing’s best practices for your digital content strategy include using the most relevant topic clusters for your website. Your industry may have a lot of topics you can discuss, but it does no good to spread your resources thin to cover more ground. Your strategy has a better chance of boosting your rankings if your content is clustered around specific topics.
A good strategy is to use pillar pages and cluster content. Pillar content is one page that discusses a broader industry topic while including a number of keywords focused on different aspects of the topic. To support this, you have cluster content that provides more information to the different clusters featured in your pillar content.
Your cluster content isn’t meant to compete with your pillar content. Rather, you’re using less competitive keywords for your cluster content that supplement your pillar content. This also creates more opportunities for quality content to establish your topical authority.
Write Intentionally for Your Users
Ranking is no longer about quantity, but quality.
One of the SEO content marketing best practices includes not writing for the sake of adding content to your website, but writing content that’s relevant to user intent. Algorithms can now better understand a user’s intent and context behind their search, so adding keywords for the sake of adding them in is no longer enough for gaining page authority.
When adding a keyword to your page, you should know the context behind it. Some keywords are easy: those that are posed like a question such as “what is the best gaming laptop in 2022” are informational and you can tell that users are searching for content that helps them start their buyer’s journey.
But then you have keywords like “brand x gaming laptop” and “brand x model y in arlington texas”. These also talk about the same topic of gaming laptops, but the intent is different. “Brand x gaming laptop” now has users who are delving deeper into their buyer’s journey to learn more about a particular product’s features. And then “brand x model y in arlington texas” are users who are now looking for places to purchase the product in their area.
Because these users are in different stages of their buying journey, you can’t give them the same piece of content expecting that that’s what all three of them need. Are they looking to learn about the product they want, differentiating the products on the market, or finding a place to buy the product? You’ll need original content that’s relevant for all three.
Measuring Your Results
There’s no exact way to measure topical or domain authority, nor can you determine how search engines see your website. However, you can infer how authoritative your content is based on your share of traffic from the keywords your content ranks for.
Using any SEO tool, you can search for the keywords you want your content to rank for. From there, you can gauge your page authority by looking at the traffic share of your ranking keywords.
In a best case scenario, you’re getting a significant part of the traffic for high-traffic keywords. You may also have a high share for keywords with less traffic, which means you’re high in terms of topical authority. However, if the volume isn’t that high, you might not see the results and the numbers that drive traffic to your website.
Establish Your Topical Authority With Thrive
No matter how knowledgeable you are about your industry, getting to the top of search pages requires a strategic content plan that’s based on SEO content best practices. At Thrive, our SEO content writing services ensure you have informative content that’s optimized for your users’ queries.
We create relevant content that thrives in the spotlight. Our team of SEO consultants and SEO content strategists perform extensive keyword research to find the best keywords to target and which niche of your industry your brand should highlight. Then, our SEO content creators write well-researched content that supplements users with your products or services.
Topical authority is essential to any SEO content strategy that wants to establish organic authority on search engines. Taking steps to build your authority is one of content marketing’s best practices to see long-term organic growth on search engine results. At Thrive, we can take steps to turn your website into an authoritative figure in your industry with top-quality content.
To learn more about Thrive’s SEO content service and how we can boost your domain authority and online presence, reach out to our SEO consultants. We can discuss your business website’s needs and what we can offer to help. Get the SEO content writing services you need to build your website’s authority today.