Search engine optimization is a data-driven industry, full of metrics that inform marketing teams' strategies. It is not enough for companies to implement marketing efforts based on intuition, or write SEO-friendly content. Though marketing team members might have a nose for what’s trending and know how to persuade audiences to avail of services or buy products, they must still justify their efforts in measurable ways. The most common discussions about the quantifiable success of a website revolve around a website’s authority. This metric affects how humans and computer programs measure the relevance of a website.
Why Does Authority Matter In SEO?
If you have a request or do not know where to begin researching a topic, you seek information from someone you consider an expert. For instance, someone who wants to know how to file taxes would ask an accountant to teach them the basics. They would not go to their hairdresser for information on taxes, even if their hairdresser is good at financial matters. People are likely to trust authoritative resources, and searchers tend to keep coming back to the same sources for follow-up questions.
Your accountant is authoritative, at least in financial matters, since you can trust them to know what they are talking about regarding taxes. In marketing, when you have the audience's trust, you build a meaningful relationship with them. Building trust and authority in your industry brings more benefits. Beyond cultivating positive relationships with your customers, it lets you generate leads, earn quality backlinks, and drive traffic to your website.
How Do Search Engines Assess Authority?
Search engines rely on information they gather about your content and your links to assess how much value your website brings to online users. The content you put out cannot be for the sake of it; you should create a content strategy that answers questions of buyer personas you want to target. Having a blog for the sake of it will not cut it today; your posts should be relevant and have fresh insights. A search engine bot will look at the structure, language, and other signals that help it understand how your content could benefit people searching for answers.
Besides content, bots will also look at backlinks, which act as votes of confidence among websites online. The process of building backlinks strengthens your foothold online. The more high-quality links you have, the easier it is for you to rise in SERP rankings.
You cannot just create content and cross your fingers that people will link to you. Though high-quality posts generate good word-of-mouth for your brand, and loyal readers might share your content, you need to be more proactive with link building. Doing this will help you improve your SEO metrics by a large margin. High-quality content and a good number of backlinks work together and affect your website authority.
What Is Website Authority?
Website authority, which marketers use interchangeably with domain authority, describes how relevant and authoritative a website is in a subject area. Aside from providing the most useful sources related to certain keywords, search engines also measure a website's popularity. Something important to note is that you do not need a high ranking to have website authority. As long as you fulfill these items, you're sure to be highly visible in your niche.
Concentrate On Serving A Small Audience
At first, you should have just one ideal audience or persona in mind. You can extend it later on, especially when you have established an audience, but serving one audience at first will help focus your efforts. You are there to solve their problems, so everything you publish should provide people with solutions to their problems. It is better to write few articles well instead of filling your blog with articles that do not serve your audience in any way.
Ensure That Your Content Is Well-Written
One of the common mistakes that businesses make when doing inbound marketing is writing an article for the sake of it. If you want to have an authoritative website, your content should set your business apart from competitors. Aside from writing SEO-friendly content, you should ensure your articles are free from your biases or emotions and give people an answer to their specific problems. Besides doing keyword research, talking to your customers will help you identify issues they experience, especially those your products and services can address.
Be Accessible, But Don't Forget To Market Yourself
Your target audience needs to see the information you publish, but you should also be visible to search engines. You need to strike the right balance here; one of the crucial aspects of content marketing is producing resources designed to encourage people to leave you their contact information.
For example, you could make a downloadable, free e-book of tips beginners can use in your industry, but keep it behind a form. People who want to access the e-book must provide you with their e-mail address or another way to contact them. Also, ensure that anyone who visits your website is safe from malicious intrusions like trojans and malware. Put in measures to help keep people's data secure as well.
Establish A Link Building Strategy
Gaining links for your website is a time-consuming process, but it is worth the effort. You can start by being active on social media, especially Twitter; you can post links to your articles or information your audience could use. When you have a new article on your website, make sure you advertise it on social media. People might miss the occasional new post, so give them a nudge by appearing in their timeline.
It also helps to link with your partners and distributors, so you can have a domain-oriented web that both prospects and search engines can explore. If possible, collaborate in posts with your partners. Aside from your partners, you can also team up with researchers, students, and universities; offer to participate in graduate projects or Ph.D. studies. Researchers will always speak about their findings, and they will mention your name when they do! Finally, to gain inbound links, you have to do external linking as well. Quote other experts in your field; they will likely point their community to your domain.
To be an authoritative source, you need to show people that you know what you are talking about. To do this, you should create meaningful content that will convince your audience that you are worthy of their time. Establishing an inbound marketing and link-building strategy, especially early on, will coordinate your efforts. Make sure you consult SEO and marketing experts so you’re sure that your plans hit the ground running.
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