Blogging may seem like an SEO strategy from the MySpace era. But as Google continues to refine its algorithm and prioritize content quality over quantity, developing a concrete strategy is more important now than it ever was in the nascent days of online blogging. But where to begin?
Brands and online businesses can leverage backlinks from sites with a higher authority to build the authority of their own content. But syndication alone won’t build the same brand awareness and organic search as developing a high quality content strategy through topical authority.
To find out more about topical authority and optimizing a blog for seo, discover Logical Media Group’s tips for leveraging this underrated SEO tactic to reach new customers and clients today.
What is Topical Authority?
In order to fully embrace and incorporate topical authority into a content strategy, it’s important to understand what it is. As many SEO experts describe it today, topical authority is the perceived expertise a blog or online publication demonstrates over a variety of related topics or a set of ideas. Google uses this perceived expertise and context to determine which website’s content best aligns with user queries and this, ultimately, helps generate results on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Identifying Topical Authority in the Wild
Analyzing SERPs is a great way to familiarize oneself with topical authority, for example, when a user searches “how to care for denim” the first results on the SERP are not surprising. An article published on Levi Strauss & Co. appears in the featured snippet at the top of the page, then content from The Laundress, Martha Stewart’s blog, and Burton Menswear trails closely behind.
Despite being in different industries, all of these brands are relevant to clothing care and clothing manufacturing and Google understands how all four are relevant to that query.
Conversely, on the same SERP, the pop culture blog, Coveteur, appears in the middle of the page, occupying a prime ranking position for this topic. While Coveteur’s content doesn’t directly relate to clothing care, the publication has created enough topical authority around wardrobe-related content to compete with Levi Strauss & Co. on a search for jeans.
This search results page is a great example of the strength of well-written content, and how blogs can use loosely related topics to build a content strategy and go toe-to-toe with brands that have existed in certain industries for almost 200 years.
How Can Content Strategies Use Topical Authority for SEO?
While this example from Coveteur might seem as though the key to achieving topical authority is simply to produce as much content in as many topics as possible, there are other SEO conditions at play that allows the pop-culture site to compete with Levi on a SERP about jeans.
For one, Coveteur has a high domain authority which signals to Google that it is a reliable source. Additionally, Coveteur has connections to other high authority publications like Elle and In Style to build a robust back linking strategy. All of these efforts greatly contribute to a brand’s ability to rank, but that doesn’t minimize the fact that topical authority helped Coveteur rank for this particular topic.
The first step to building a content strategy around topical authority is to understand the message at the heart of your brand. If your brand sells candles, for example, your online store will contain references to different scents, aromatherapy, maybe even ambiance. From these broader topics, you’ll be able to drill down into more loosely-related content and build some of your first blogs. For instance, instead of writing about the “benefits of aromatherapy”, you can create a blog about “fragrances that make people feel sleepy”. The more specific and creative you can be with your topics, the fewer websites you’ll have to compete with in order to rank and start building brand awareness one user at a time.
The most effective topical authority SEO strategies drive traffic from users at the very top of the conversion funnel and get them excited about your brand’s unique ability to speak to their concerns or interests. That is where brand awareness is built and when consumers are ready to make a purchase, you may just find they return to your site to make their next purchase.
If you’re curious about optimizing your blog for SEO or building brand awareness with a creative and data-driven approach, find out more about content marketing services with Logical Media Group and build a great brand today.