Topical authority - what is it and how can you achieve it?
Posted on 4th November 2021
‘Topical authority’ has become something of an SEO buzzword in recent times. Here at it’seeze Web Design Nottingham, we’ve been using the term ‘Subject matter expert’ for years and there is certainly an element of synergy between the two phrases. However, topical authority is slightly different. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what topical authority means, how it can benefit your SERP rankings and steps you can take to achieve it.
What is topical authority?
In a nutshell, topical authority is all about narrowing down your perceived level of expertise to a highly targeted subject, product, or service, with the aim of flagging this up to the search engines as well as to website visitors.
For example, a bathroom manufacturer might have specialist knowledge around accessible bathrooms designed for people with mobility problems, whilst selling standard bathrooms as well. They could therefore be considered to be a subject matter expert on bathroom design in general, with topical authority on accessible design.
The benefits of topical authority
As far back as 2013, Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update began prioritising topical authority as a ranking factor, by creating a formula that analyses user intent whilst evaluating the quality and relevance of web page content.
Having topical authority means you can generate high quality content that shows off your knowledge and expertise, packed with keywords relating to your specialist subject, product, or service. This not only helps people find exactly what they’re looking for when searching online, but Google et al will love you for it.
Building topical authority has been proven to improve SERP rankings for existing keywords and phrases. Your ability to answer questions that both consumers and search engines are looking to answer is a powerful combination for creating the magic search engine formula of Expertise, Trustworthiness, and Authoritativeness, or E-A-T, that will boost your rankings.
How to build topical authority
Content is king here. That means starting with detailed, keyword-rich descriptions of your products or services, with a focus on helpful, relevant content. Rather than just describing something, explain its features and benefits, how to use products or access services, and what’s unique about your offering compared to your competitors (i.e. your USP).
You can build your Topical Authority by adding content that covers all aspects of a particular topic area.
That means writing regular blogs, articles, and case studies packed with useful, informative, and original content; posting regularly on social media and linking back to relevant pages on your website; and setting up high quality backlinks from third party websites. Try to produce content in a variety of formats – text, audio, video, infographics etc – to maximise SEO and appeal to different segments of your target audience.
You can also make use of digital PR techniques such as distributing (genuinely newsworthy) press releases; commenting on discussions around your specialist area on social media, forums and articles; and offering to provide quotes to journalists carrying out research.
In addition, there are various offline opportunities to be explored such as guest speaking, attending trade shows and exhibitions, and getting involved in community or charitable events that link to your specialist area. These are especially valuable for local businesses looking to drive physical as well as online custom.
Not sure where to start? it’seeze Nottingham can help!
As SEO experts, we know a thing or two about topical authority and how to build it. From advising you on how best to optimise your website with our SEO Boost service, to taking care of everything for you (including content research and creation) with SEO Accelerate, our experienced team are here to help.
To find out more, call us on 0115 777 3001 today. Or, to book a free health check of your existing website, complete our quick online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
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