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December 15, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
An authority blog or authority website is one of the top sources people visit when looking for information on a topic or in a specific niche. When a blog reaches authority status it helps build thought leadership, brand credibility, and a loyal audience following. Today, we’re discussing how to build an authority blog to help your brand reap these rewards and other SEO perks to grow and maintain your digital audience:
Use these steps to build an authority blog for your industry or niche that attracts the right audience:
You can’t go into any marketing venture without a plan. You’ve probably heard the saying, “fail to plan, plan to fail”? Yeah, a marketer probably said it first, because it’s true. Don’t let your authority blog fail before it even gets off the ground. Hold a brainstorming session with your team to consider the blog’s purpose, goals, and action plan. In the session, ask questions like:
The better prepared you are to launch your blog and have a long-term content plan, the easier it is to focus on other areas of gaining authority and attracting an audience.
Image via Know Your Meme
Like Fin, people and brands gain authority when they “just know stuff.” The more you can prove your team’s or company’s expertise through content, the more trust you build with your audience. That trust brings thought leadership in your niche and authority to your blog or website. You can build expertise in multiple ways, including working with subject matter experts, encouraging training and education for your team members, or through extensive hands-on learning.
Related: Subject Matter Experts: What Content Marketers Need To Know
The simplest, and likely most effective, step in this process is to create the best content for your audience. And while content creation isn’t that simple (as any marketing team knows), it’s likely already something you do well. The development process includes keyword research, sourcing experts, outlining, writing, editing, and publication. Make sure you have a solid workflow and content calendar to develop and publish your pieces on a schedule. The more regimented you are in your posting, the more content you can create. And this pulls more traffic from search engines and other promotion channels.
Related: Why Is High-Quality Content Important?
Original, useful content is the driving force behind developing an authority blog, but it’s not the only factor. If you don’t set your site up for a quality user experience (UX), you’re going to lose people’s patience and trust. That means no authority or credibility for you. Make sure that your blog and site are easy to navigate. Make sure people can visit all the most important pages from your navigation and you have an internal site search for the things they can’t.
It also means including other authority-building pages that aren’t quite content but help establish your brand’s credibility in the field and trustworthiness with its audience. Make sure your site includes pages like:
Having an authority blog isn’t all about convincing your audience that your brand is knowledgeable and trustworthy. You have to convince the search engines of it too. Establishing domain authority (DA) is a way to get search engines to recognize your brand’s expertise and clout. DA is an SEO ranking score that measures the number of relevant backlinks your site gets from other high-quality ones around the internet. This metric looks at how trustworthy your site is as a whole, not on an individual page level. The more trustworthy you are by Google’s standards, the higher you can rank in search.
Related: All You Need To Know About Domain Authority for SEO
If you want to get the most eyes on your authority blog, working with search engines is one of the best best. Beyond gaining DA for your site, focus on the SEO for each piece of content. That means doing your keyword research, structuring your posts with a hierarchy, and taking advantage of image alt text, among other things.
Depending on what hosting platform or site developer you use to build your authority blog, you may be able to use certain plugins or tools to make your SEO checks easier. For example, anyone who uses WordPress and Shopify blogs can use the Yoast SEO plugin to check for a variety of common issues to improve your content.
Related: How To Humanize SEO for Your Brand
Use these tips to increase the chances of developing and maintaining an authority blog in your niche:
If you really want to push the authority of your website, you have to dig deep into the details. Whether you’re creating your business’ first website or adding a new blog section to build authority content, consider the domain name and URL structure of every page. Make sure your company name is in your site or blog URL. You may have to get creative if you have a common business name. For example, if you run a dry cleaning service called “Target,” you’re not getting that name for your URL. The retail giant beat you to it.
Instead, try something with other keywords related to your business, like “targetdrycleaning.com” or “targetcleaners.com”. Follow a similar naming convention for all your content pages. If your blog is a section on your main site, make sure the URL to every blog post includes /blog/ in the URL. When naming each blog post, you don’t have to use the full article name in the URL.
Instead, shorten it to only the most important keywords. If Target Dry Cleaners is creating a post called “5 Ways To Save Your Sweaters This Winter,” that entire name doesn’t have to appear in the URL. It may look something like this instead:
Related: What’s in a Name?: Parts of a URL Structure
Authority blogs hold pages and pages of relevant content. Make it easier for your audience to find their next informational article by creating a strong internal linking strategy. When you create content using the topic cluster method you create a variety of pieces that branch from your main keyword. For example, if you’re writing about SEO, your main post may contain definitive, informational content about the topic.
Then, you can create a variety of branch articles like SEO for different industries, technical SEO, or how SEO affects certain marketing activities. Each one of these branch articles is an opportunity for an internal link back to the main article and other relevant branches. Your internal linking strategy isn’t just for your audience either. A good structure also makes it easier for search engine bots and crawlers to navigate and rank your site.
Related: Contextual Link Building: How To and Why It’s Important
Though authority blogs often have more content than other industry or niche sites, that doesn’t mean creating pieces just for the sake of creating them. Each piece of content you develop should have a purpose and its own unique message, angle, or spin. Avoid creating duplicate content on your site by doing thorough topic and keyword research. If you have a seemingly endless supply of new topics to cover, there are fewer chances you’ll repeat yourself over and over.
Doing a content gap analysis can help you find some of the best topics to cover. This analysis highlights keywords and topics your brand isn’t covering yet but should attract more audience members and provide more value to them. To get a head start on your gap search, request your free content analysis report from CopyPress. This tool allows you to check your SERP rankings and content performance against your top three competitors. It also provides a list of gap keywords for your brand to cover in your next content creation cycle.
“CopyPress gives us the ability to work with more dealership groups. We are able to provide unique and fresh content for an ever growing customer base. We know that when we need an influx of content to keep our clients ahead of the game in the automotive landscape, CopyPress can handle these requests with ease.”
Director of SEO at Auto Revo
When you’re creating tons of content at scale and trying to avoid duplicate pieces, it’s tempting to Frankenstein your blog posts. You know what we mean, grabbing a snippet from one site and rewording it, then grabbing another line from somewhere else and changing a few words. Boom. you’ve got yourself a brand new piece of content. Unfortunately, that method won’t help you build authority in your niche. Why? Because there’s nothing original about it.
Though this kind of content isn’t plagiarism, it’s likely not what your audience is looking for. Why would they waste time reading a post or watching a video that doesn’t tell them anything new? Instead, get original with your content. Do something that sets your pieces above the rest. Conduct internal brand research and publish the findings. Work with exclusive subject matter experts to provide stories and insights your audience can’t get anywhere else. The more original you make your content, the more authoritative it becomes.
Your brand doesn’t get to decide if your blog is an authority in its niche. Your audience does. Even with all your best efforts, if your audience doesn’t trust what you have to say, or like the content you produce, your blog isn’t an authority blog. One of the best ways to make sure you’re reaching that status is to consider the search intent of your audience and what they want to see when they type specific keywords into Google.
For an authority site, this means you need to target all four primary areas of search intent with different blog posts. They include:
Though most of your authority comes from building informational content, don’t let your entire blog get stuck there. As a brand, one of your primary marketing goals in anything you do is to make conversions and sales. You can still do that, even with a highly informational authority blog. You just have to make sure you’re creating content that targets each area of the marketing funnel and provides value to the audience searching for that information.
Related: How To Target Search Intent in the Marketing Funnel
Authority isn’t something that comes solely from within your organization. It also comes by association with other high-quality, influential organizations and partners. When developing content, remember to link out to other authoritative sources in your niche to provide additional resources and value to your audience. Not only does this kind of external linking help your audience and prove your team is good at its research, but it also encourages backlinks to your content.
f you give a link to another authoritative website and its team notices through its backlink profile, they may be more likely to look into your content. If they find something their own audience might deem useful, they can link to it, too. Though giving external links to other sources doesn’t always lead to this kind of reciprocation, it’s a good place to start. The more you flatter another brand by sharing its content, the more likely they may be to do the same in return.
Related: External Links vs Backlinks: What’s the Difference?
You can’t control who links to your site. While you want all your links to be high quality, there’s nothing stopping a spammy site from linking to yours in its content. Fortunately, you can remove or disavow those lowbrow links in Google so that your site keeps its high DA ranking.
You can use Google’s built-in tools to report spam backlinks. The report tells the search engine not to associate those links with your site. And if you have to link out to a questionable site in your content, use a nofollow link so it doesn’t affect your SEO.
If people don’t know your blog exists, it’s never going to become an authority site. One of the fastest ways to spread the word is to share your blog posts on channels where your brand already has a following. Link to your blog content in posts, stories, and other features on social media sites. For most brands, you’ll get the most traffic and engagement from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
Sharing your content on social platforms allows it to get more reach, attention, and engagement. It also opens up avenues for discussions and further trust-building in the comments sections or community pages on the platforms.
Building authority in your niche and with your audience is just one step in creating a winning content marketing strategy for your business. To learn more about the other secrets to success for your brand in the upcoming year, download our latest eBook. Our Director of Content Analysis, Jeremy Rivera, brings his expert insights on topics like:
Download your free copy today and start your content marketing in the new year off with a bang.
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