What Is Topical Authority?
While there isn’t a definitive definition of topical authority in Webster’s Dictionary, the SEO community views it as a measure of your site’s expertise on a particular subject. It aims at making a website the go-to resource for one or more topics.
Building topical authority involves developing more high-quality, informative articles to make people trust your website. It is a significant parameter as it reflects how well you understand your audience and their requirements on the Internet. A strong topical authority website helps you rank higher on Google compared to a weaker topical authority website.
Importance of Topical Authority in SEO
Topical authority leads to better search engine rankings. It also leads to more website clicks. When you rank higher on SERPs for many keywords, you are more visible to users, who will click on your website when your content meets their search intent.
Another reason topical authority is essential for SEO is that it can result in natural link-building. When you publish a lot of content about a specific topic, it allows for more relevant internal links, which allows Google and users to find your content more easily, thereby giving you more natural backlinks.
Why Should Content Producers Be Concerned?
Topical authority should be a priority to improve your SEO and search engine rankings. As a result, content creators must incorporate the process in their content creation and marketing plan.
Content producers must create more informative and comprehensive articles for search engines and readers to view the website as a subject-matter expert. A website focused on topical SEO in its content is likely to get more clicks and views from users searching for information on those topics. The objective is to build credibility by consistently producing high-quality content on a chosen topic.
What Is the Process of Topical Authority?
The first step to establishing topical authority is understanding what you’re optimizing your website for initially. After the Hummingbird update in 2013, Google’s algorithm used semantic associations to assess content effectively.
The process of building topical SEO authority is as follows:
- Perform keyword research to understand which ones you’re ranking for.
- Search for related terms you have not targeted yet.
- Identify content gaps between you and your competitors using online tools.
- Find questions in your industry from clients, internal sources, and community forums like Twitter and Quora for topic ideas.
- Produce high-quality and informative content to seal the gaps.
- Build internal links to make visitors stay on your website.
How to Measure Topical Authority?
The concept of topical authority isn’t clear to everyone. Thus, there is no definitive way to measure it. Of course, as your rankings increase and you receive more traffic than before, it indicates that your website’s authority is improving. However, these results could also arise from the efforts of link-building and other SEO activities.
A method to roughly measure topical authority is based on using the Traffic share by domains report in Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer.
- Enter the search keyword and filter for a minimum volume of 10.
- Download the keywords and upload them again into Keywords Explorer.
- View Traffic shared by domains.
- The traffic share is the topical authority.
Strategies For Building Topical Authority
You cannot build topical authority without creating a strong and detailed content strategy. The strategy must have a plan of action for a consistent flow of authority-building content pieces, including topics and keywords your audience wants to explore.
Identify popular user queries and their topics of interest. Help your readers by sharing knowledge about these subjects. Google will consider your website authoritative if you write about all the talking points within a topic. Check out what others say in your industry, and share your ideas and opinions on relevant topics you know about.
A topic cluster refers to many related pages around a single topic. The prime benefit of using a topic cluster strategy for building topical authority is that it is an organized and structured technique to produce multiple pages around a particular theme. The content’s quality and quantity help establish authority on that subject and achieve higher rankings on SERPs.
Brands can create a topic cluster in various ways. The recommended approach focuses on blog posts and pillar pages. Topic clusters develop a solid content structure through which search engines better understand a page’s theme and how it associates with the users’ search queries.
Google’s search engine algorithm understands the user’s intent very well. An interesting way to improve topical authority is by implementing a plan focused on user intent. When a user enters search terms on Google, the search engine tries to decode the intent behind that particular search and display the most relevant results.
Brands must develop a content strategy based on the user’s intent to search for a subject using specific keywords. For an informational user intent, produce a how-to article. If the intent is transactional, it helps to target an e-commerce page.
Building topical authority involves the creation of an effective site structure. It should incorporate SEO indicators, like relevant keywords describing your content.
Perform keyword research to understand which produces results for different topic clusters and specific content pieces. Content producers should add these keywords in titles and meta descriptions for all content pieces on the website.
Another technique to improve authority is by adding relevant links to the different pages on your website. Regarding site structure, brands must also build a sitemap so that the content and landing pages make sense for the customer’s journey.
Topical authority is a powerful tool for achieving high Google rankings. But it is not an instant strategy for all your SEO goals. Building a realistic and effective SEO topical authority plan can take time. You must pursue the strategy if you want to rank for all the keywords in your niche. There is no chance of going wrong if you write about everything your audience wishes to read.
Topical authority is different from domain authority. The former evaluates your credibility on a particular subject, while the latter focuses on how your site stack ranks against the competition in search results.
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