Content writers and SEO professionals know that keyword authority is important for generating traffic. The better your authority, the higher your rank. However, ranking high on a few keywords isn’t enough to get you to the top of the list anymore.
There is a deeper SEO concept called topical authority that can push your pages over the top. Topical authority is the perception that your site is the expert source on a particular set of ideas or a niche. It’s broader than keyword authority and it’s something that Google watches closely.
Why Is Topical Authority Important?
Essentially, the more topical authority your site has the more Google will want to use it to answer related queries within the same niche. Instead of considering your site to be a one-hit wonder for a keyword, Google’s opinion of your site grows as you build topical authority through multiple related pieces of content. This creates a virtuous cycle that pushes your pages higher and higher, if you do it right.
Going Beyond Good Pages
Everyone in content marketing knows that you need to have quality in your content to get the attention of others, but topical authority isn’t just about quality. It’s about consistent quality within a domain of information.
So, you need enough content across the topic that’s relevant and high-quality to gain topical authority. How do you do this? The first is to do a deeper level of keyword analysis. The first thing you want to do is fill in any content gaps between you and your competitors. Content gaps are areas in a topic where your competitors have information and you do not. Concured has a tool called Voice of the Customer that can help you figure out where these gaps are.
After patching these gaps, you can further grow your authority by using keyword research to find related terms and creating content around them. A great way to do this is to research which questions people are asking about in your niche. You can ask your sales team, your current clients, visit sites related to your niche, Twitter, Quora, or anywhere else people are seeking an answer about the topic.
Once you have those questions, create content that answers them. We recommend creating pages that go in-depth rather than many shallow pages. Why is that? Featured snippets is one reason. Searchers need a reason to click through to your page rather than just getting the straight answer from Google, so short pieces aren’t the way to go. As you grow your content library opportunities for internal linking will grow. Making pages big enough to fit in internal links naturally will entice readers to stay on your site and click around rather than hopping right back to Google once they get their answer.
In summary, here’s the process:
- Research which keywords you’re already ranking for.
- Do keyword research for related terms you’re not already covering.
- Use tools like Concured to identify content gaps between you and your competitors you may not know exist.
- Seek questions about your niche from internal sources, clients, and online query sites like Quora and Twitter to write topics on.
- Create high-quality long-form content to fill in the gaps.
- Link these pieces internally to encourage visitors to stick around.
Give this a try and we think you’ll see your ranks rise!