When it comes to setting up a website that will both rank high in Google search results and attract the attention of users, the site must establish the business or website owner as an expert. The business must be an expert in relation to a specific product, as well. This is called topical authority and it’s what will attract users to your site.
For an example, someone writing about yellow products may have much to say about the color yellow, but they’re not an expert. Conversely, a golfing website that writes about the advantages of yellow golf balls can establish itself as an authority on golf or on golf balls in particular. As such, their blog post about the advantages of yellow golf balls will be of interest to golfers searching for golf balls.
Becoming a Topical Authority
Topical authority drives search results for a number of reasons. In keeping with the example of a business that sells golf products, their website can continue to post original content that answers golfing questions, discusses new products, and reviews golf courses. This wide range of subjects related to golf will establish the website as an authority on all things golf. When Google wants to answer a user’s question about golf, your site will be among the top results. Additionally, your posts will organically incorporate keywords specific to the sport of golf, which also boosts the likelihood of your site rising to the top of search results.
So, how do you know what content will attract users and rank you high with Google and other search engines? One method is to use a service like Google Keyword Planner. The words it comes up with in relation to your area of expertise may give you an indication as to what related topics were most searched by users. You can also speak to your sales team and find out what questions they are most asked about the business. Similarly, connect with followers and customers on social media. Ask for their input about topics they’re most interested in.
Your Content Must Add Value
It’s not enough to just ramble about your business and fill it with technical jargon and keywords. In fact, that will likely get you penalized by Google. The search engine giant now employs AI technology that analyzes content for its value. Blog posts that address an issue or answer a question will be ranked higher than those that are just generic in nature or contribute nothing new.
There’s also a degree of importance to backlinking to other authoritative sites. While this doesn’t help you establish your own topical authority, it does improve your legitimacy with Google. Their search engine algorithm identifies sites with links to other authoritative websites and looks for other sites to link back to your website. This can help you rank higher with Google, which ultimately means you’ll appear in more search results.
The issue of topical authority is likely to remain important for another few years, at least. Eventually, Google may find some new criteria for ranking website search results. Before topical relevancy, for instance, they ranked search results primarily on keyword density. As keyword stuffing became a large problem, the focus shifted. For now, however, topical authority continues to drive internet users and search engines, so it’s something you will have to embrace to stay competitive in the digital age.