It’s estimated that there are more than 4.6 billion internet users worldwide today. And that number will continue to grow. With the increase of users, new websites are also being created every day. For website owners, that means keeping up with new trends and developments on how to stay on that valuable piece of real estate—Google’s first page.
Sure, creating top-notch, high-quality, SEO-optimized content can get you there, but sometimes, it’s not enough. Your content’s rank on target keywords might be great, and your content may be getting a lot of attention from users, but there’s still something that’s preventing you from blowing past your competitors and landing on that coveted SERP (search engine results page) spot.
To get over that particular hurdle, you need to dominate your area of interest or niche. You have to become the established authority. Put another way, you need to secure topical authority. But first, you have to understand the concept of topical authority.
What Is Topical Authority?
It can be described as a site’s authority over a certain topic or niche. It can convey to Google and other search engines that your site has a depth of expertise and is, therefore, trustworthy. You can establish topical authority by producing unique, professionally written content that expertly covers certain topics.
When different search engines, including Google, consider your site as an authority on certain subjects, then you’ve achieved topical authority. You’ve established your expertise on a particular topic.
And if your site consistently produces authoritative content, then Google and the rest of the search engines will regard your site as worthy of higher rank. That means many of your keywords can also rank highly. To find out if your content has what it takes, you can use a content grading tool to find out.
Establishing Topical Authority
The first thing you have to know about establishing topical authority is to determine the area in which you’d like to optimize. Google’s algorithm update in 2013 introduced the use of natural language processing (NLP) and made search results smarter and more relevant. This provided an incentive to sites to improve their content.
The algorithm update means Google no longer relies on the number of backlinks or how many keyword mentions there are in content. Instead, Google search results now use synonyms and semantic searches that show better comprehension of the content. At present, your site gains authority if your content satisfies a user’s search intent. Building topical authority for your site could mean boosting your keywords’ rankings, which is a vital part of your SEO.
Using Topic Clusters
A great way to achieve topical authority is by using topic clusters. A topic cluster refers to a group of connected web pages. You can make topic clusters that are connected to a pillar content via hyperlinks. Pillar content is a substantive piece of content about a particular topic that you can break down into several sections or pieces, like reports or eBooks.
With your topic cluster connected to a pillar content, you’d be producing content that’s connected with other topics. This setup could help boost your topical authority. But before creating topic clusters, you have to first understand your target audience and how you can satisfy their queries and provide value.
Provide Answers To User Questions
Another important step in establishing topical authority is giving users relevant answers to their questions. To discern the types of questions that your audience has about your and your competitors’ industry, you can use tools to assist you. Basically, these are tools that help you research topics, not keywords for better content. After you’ve determined the topic, then you can start producing content that contains relevant answers to the questions.
By providing relevant information that dovetails with people’s questions, Google will notice the quality of your content. In turn, your industry-related keywords’ rankings will surge and your SEO will experience a boost.
How Topical Authority Helps SEO
With topical authority, your site’s rankings will definitely improve, which can lead to more visitors. Having a respectable SERP rank, plus having higher-ranked keywords, means more exposure. Your site will be more visible to users. You’ll have no trouble getting users to click on your site if your content satisfies their search intent.
Moreover, if you’ve established topical authority, you won’t have any difficulty in building natural links. Topical authority leads to organic link building. People will naturally link to your sites once they see that your content ranks high, as well as being relevant and created by people who are experts in their fields.
Researchers, students, and others who want to learn and know more about your particular niche or subject will gravitate towards your website. If that happens, your authority will be established further.
You can use topical authority to boost your SEO by creating valuable content that is interrelated, relevant, and expertly created. They should also answer users’ questions in a way that makes Google’s algorithm take notice. If your website is recognized as a topical authority, then you’ll have an excellent chance that your keywords connected to the topic will rank, thus improving your SEO.
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