What is Topical Authority? How to Build It in 7 Simple Steps?

Emily Thompson
Emily Thompson
June, 7 2024
topical authority

Table of Content

If you have come around an SEO person, you must have heard some or all of these terms like “topical authority”, “search intent”, “domain authority”, and more.

If yes, you must have questioned yourself what are all these? Does it really impact my website and business? How to build it?

This blog is the answer to all your questions related to topical authority.

What is Topical Authority?

Topical authority is the matrix to gauge the expertise and credibility a website holds on a subject or topic. When a website demonstrates its expertise on a topic, it becomes a trusted resource for users and search engines alike when it comes to information on that topic.

In simple words, topical authority measures how well a website delivers information on a particular subject, category, or industry. When a site consistently provides detailed, accurate information on a topic, it becomes a go-to resource for both users and search engines. This helps the site rank higher in search results and builds trust with its audience.

The higher the topical authority, the higher the trust and recognition from search engines.

How does Topical Authority Matter to SEO and your Website?

Topical authority is an important factor that can significantly impact your website's search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and overall online success. Let’s understand how it influences both search engine rankings and user engagement.

1. Enhanced search visibility:

Search engines like Google are made to deliver the most relevant and authoritative content to a user’s query. When your website consistently produces well-researched content on a particular topic, search engines recognize it as an authoritative source. By increasing your topical relevance, you increase the likelihood of your website appearing prominently in search engine results for related search queries.

2. Increased organic traffic:

As your website gains relevance on a particular topic and ranks higher in search engines, it is likely to attract more organic traffic from users seeking information within that niche. With each click and visit, the SEO topical authority of your website grows, ultimately solidifying its position in search engine rankings. When this virtuous cycle continues, it leads to sustained organic traffic over time.

3. Higher Click-Through Rates (CTR):

According to FirstPageSage, the top three organic search results receive more than 68% of clicks. This means that the higher your website ranks on the SERP, the more likely people are to visit it, and more will be your CTR. Over time, your website will establish a reputation, and users will begin to prefer it over other results. From an SEO perspective, a higher CTR signals to search engines that users find your content relevant and trustworthy.

4. Authority signals for search engines:

Search engines use various signals to assess the authority and relevance of a website's content. In this process, topical authority plays a significant role in this evaluation process. When users stay on your website for a long time or it receives backlinks from other authoritative sites, these actions signal to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. By establishing topical authority, you strengthen these authority signals.

7 Steps to Build Topical Authority

1. Conduct in-depth research

The most effective way to build topical authority is to create effective content for your audience. To do so, first understand their needs and pain points. It will help you create customized content for them. Next, analyze your competitors to identify their strengths and weaknesses in products, services, and marketing strategies, which helps you find opportunities to offer superior or unique content.

Once you are done with these steps, identify content gaps by assessing what is currently available and needed, allowing you to fill these gaps and establish authority in your niche. This comprehensive research will enable you to create unique and organic content. 

2. Develop a content strategy

The next step is to create a content strategy. In the process, first form the foundation by choosing core topics that align with your expertise and interest audience. Use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to identify keywords and topics that address your audience's needs.

Create content pillars, which are main categories organized under your core topics, and develop topic clusters within each pillar. A topic cluster consists of a central pillar page supported by related subtopic content that links back to it. Plan your content delivery by setting a schedule for producing and publishing various types of content, such as blogs and product pages, ensuring consistent output to build trust and authority.

3. Produce high-quality content

Prioritize creating high-quality, well-researched, and engaging content to attract readers and encourage sharing and backlinking, essential for building topical authority. Diversify content formats, including blog posts, videos, infographics, and landing pages, to keep your audience engaged.

Maintain a consistent publishing schedule to keep your audience informed and engaged, delivering content that addresses their pain points, answers their questions, and provides actionable insights to establish trust and authority.

4. Optimize for SEO

Incorporating strategic SEO tactics can improve your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and reaching a wider audience. Conduct keyword research to find relevant terms your target audience uses, using tools to understand search volume, competition, and user intent.

Optimize your content with on-page SEO techniques like headings, meta descriptions, URL structures, and image alt tags, integrating keywords naturally. Practice technical SEO by maintaining a fast, mobile-friendly, SSL-encrypted site with proper structured data markup. Following these SEO practices, create content that meets user intent, providing valuable information that answers questions, solves problems, and addresses pain points to enhance its relevance and usefulness.

5. Build a strong internal linking structure

Having a strong internal linking strategy signals search engines the interconnectedness of your topically related keywords and topics, ultimately strengthening your topical authority. Interlinking related content helps users discover relevant articles and pages which improves user experience and encourages longer site visits.

Use descriptive, keyword-rich anchor text to provide context about the linked content to both search engines and users. Strategically interlinking your articles distributes authority and relevance across your website, making pages with more internal links appear more in search engines. Strategic link building potentially boosts search rankings of your web pages.

6. Monitor and adjust your strategy

Once you have consistently created and published SEO-optimized content, you need to monitor if the efforts are bringing any impact or not. Monitor performance metrics such as organic traffic, search engine rankings, engagement metrics, and conversion rates using tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Ahrefs.

Use these insights to refine your content strategy, optimize SEO efforts, and make informed decisions, experimenting with new approaches and iterating based on what works best for your audience.

Conclusion

It requires consistent effort, quality content, and strong SEO knowledge to establish topical authority. By proving yourself as a trusted expert in your niche, you improve your search engine rankings and create lasting connections with your readers. Remember, the key to achieving topical authority is to consistently provide valuable and relevant information to user searches.

As you build and maintain your topical authority, you'll find that your audience's trust and loyalty will grow, ultimately driving sustained success for your website and business.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does semantic SEO help in building topical authority?

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Semantic SEO helps build topical authority by focusing on the context and meaning of content rather than just individual keywords. By optimizing for related terms, synonyms, and conceptually linked topics, semantic SEO ensures that your content comprehensively covers a subject. This approach signals to search engines that your site is a reliable and authoritative source of information on the topic, improving your site's visibility and rankings.

2. Why is topical authority important for my website?

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Topical authority is important for your website because it establishes your credibility and expertise in specific subject areas. By consistently producing high-quality content on a particular topic, you become recognized as a trusted source of information by both users and search engines. This not only enhances your site's reputation and trustworthiness but also improves its visibility and rankings in search engine results. Ultimately, topical authority helps attract more organic traffic, engage your audience, and achieve your business goals more effectively.

3. Are domain authority and topical authority the same terms?

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No, domain authority and topical authority are not the same terms. Domain authority refers to the overall strength and credibility of a website's domain, considering factors such as backlinks, site age, and overall authority. On the other hand, topical authority focuses specifically on how authoritative a website is within a particular subject or topic. While a website may have high domain authority, it may not necessarily have strong topical authority in every subject it covers. Conversely, a website with lower domain authority may still be considered an authoritative source on a specific topic if it consistently produces high-quality content and earns recognition within that niche.

4. How to measure topical authority?

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Topical authority can be measured through various indicators such as the depth and breadth of content coverage within a specific subject area, the quality and relevance of backlinks from other authoritative sources within the same topic, user engagement metrics like time spent on page and bounce rate, as well as search engine rankings for relevant keywords. Tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz can also provide insights into topical authority by analyzing factors such as keyword rankings, backlink profiles, and content performance within specific topics.

5. Does AI-generated or plagiarised content help me build topical authority?

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No, AI-generated or plagiarized content does not help build topical authority. In fact, relying on such content can be detrimental to your website's credibility and reputation. Topical authority is built through the creation of original, high-quality content that provides valuable insights and information on a subject. AI-generated content often lacks the depth, nuance, and authenticity that are essential for establishing authority within a niche. It could be achieved only if an expert content writer writes the content. It's essential to invest time and effort into producing original content that demonstrates your expertise and builds trust with your audience.

6. What is semantic search?

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Semantic search is an advanced search technique that aims to understand the intent and context behind a user's search query rather than just matching keywords. It uses natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to interpret the meaning of words and phrases, considering their relationships and context within a sentence or query. By understanding the user's intent more accurately, semantic search delivers more relevant and personalized search results.

Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson

Digital Marketing Consultant

Emily Thompson is a seasoned professional in the digital marketing realm, currently lending her expertise at LabsMedia a leading white label partner for digital agencies. With a wealth of experience in crafting bespoke solutions for clients, Emily specializes in navigating the ever-evolving landscape of online marketing. Her commitment to staying abreast of industry trends and delivering results-driven strategies makes her a trusted advisor in the field. She has been featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Social Media Today showcasing her thought leadership and contributing valuable perspectives to the industry. As an accomplished author, she shares her insights through thought-provoking content, offering valuable perspectives to both peers and clients alike.