Authority based on topical relevance is not yet widely exploited, so if you are new to SEO, it could be unfamiliar and sound complicated. Maybe you even heard about it but didn’t know what it was. Either way, this type of authority is a valuable SEO strategy that can boost your rankings and attract a lot of organic traffic to your Internet location.
When a website becomes an expert in one or more topics, it practices an SEO strategy that we call topical authority. Google and other search engines recognize this site as an authority on a given topic. The more original and helpful content a website produces, the more search engines trust it and find it reliable. Of course, topical depth is critical: you want to cover all possible keywords, make many articles, and link them to the main content.
We will explain this type of authority, how to achieve it, choose the best keywords for clusters, and why search engines give credits to sites that practice this strategy.
When did topical authority become a thing?
Have you ever heard about Hummingbird, the algorithm? It was released in 2013, and things began to change. Until then, Google and other search engines used to rank sites according to the keywords and number of backlinks. Many site owners had significant positions on SERP thanks to solid domain and page authority that relied on these two, often misused, factors.
However, the release of Hummingbird brought a revolution to the SEO world. Keyword stuffing went to the past, where it belongs, and topical relevance has become an imperative.
Hummingbird algorithm enabled Google better understand natural language, content context, and search intent. Therefore, it could offer more relevant results to users’ queries.
Web locations that practice topical strategy have one or more primary topics, each branched into subtopics. The primary topic and subtopics are interconnected with natural and relevant keywords and interlinked for a better user experience. Of course, the content is well-written, authentic, and answers the users’ questions.
The topical strategy creates a more extensive content library which is helpful to both users and search engines. That is why Google values this type of content and rewards its creators.
Example of topical authority
Websites that have thematic authority are places where you will find all the information about your interest. You won’t need to search other web locations. A site that practices this strategy will have it all covered. It could be more apparent in this example:
- There is a web location of a famous cosmetics reviewer. She has numerous pages about different cosmetics: all sorts of makeup products, skincare, body programs, and among others, there are pages about her favorite perfumes.
- Other web locations strictly are all about perfumes. It covers all perfume manufacturers, all editions, from the oldest to the newest, and talks about reformulations and withdrawals, but that’s not all. On the same site, you can find information about the type of perfume, the group to which it belongs, and all its notes – from the top, quickly evaporating notes to base notes that stay on the skin for a long time.
What do you think? Which of these two websites will Google value more regarding perfumes? Which will be more helpful and answer the searchers’ questions? Of course, number two.
Site number two is more helpful for users, but Google prefers its SEO strategy, which is why it will consistently achieve higher rankings.
How to gain topical authority through SEO clusters?
Now that we know what this type of authority is, let’s see how to gain it and position as an expert in the eyes of Google and your targeted audience.
Conduct detailed research
Research is an irreplaceable part of content strategy. You don’t want to write about similar topics randomly. That won’t gain topical relevance nor authority. Instead, offer Google and your audience comprehensive coverage of a specific topic.
It would be ideal if your subtopics answered all the users’ search queries. To find out what keywords they are searching for, use SEO tools, such as Ahrefs. Type a primary keyword into Keyword Explorer, and you’ll get many new ideas. You can check the “People also ask” section on SERP for further insights.
Create content map
Guess you’ll have one primary topic that branches to many subtopics. While researching for keywords, create a content map and dedicate one primary keyword to every article. This step will prevent keyword cannibalization. You’re competing with other websites, but your articles don’t need to compete between themselves.
Google priors quality and authenticity, so your goal should never be only quantity. Focus on writing well-researched in-depth articles. It is better to write one long-form article that matches the user’s search intent than three generic texts with no value.
When you publish a new piece of content, interlink it to the primary topic and other relevant subtopics. Interlinks will help google index and understand your content and improve user experience. Also, use external links to point to good information sources. Google will value your research.
Publish content regularly
Don’t wait for the main topic to be ranked to start publishing subtopics. Publish new subtopics as soon as you write them and advertise them on all available channels. Your audience is eagerly waiting for it, and Google likes fresh content.
Why is topical authority significant for SEO?
A topical dominance of your Internet location is beneficial in many ways.
Not only will you achieve better rankings by practicing this strategy (and you will), but it will also bring more organic traffic to your web location. You’ll become more visible to the users by ranking higher for many related keywords. If you did research well, your headlines would match users’ search intent, and they will open your pages.
Another great advantage of in-depth writing is a natural link-building process. People who recognize you as an expert in your field will link to your pages, pointing to you as a relevant source of information. Natural link-building will improve your authority, and your SEO will bloom.
Hopefully, we explained the importance of topical authority well enough. Consider adopting this multi-beneficial SEO strategy. Position as an authority in your niche, and the results of your SEO efforts will come.
Nicole Kelly from Raleigh, North Carolina, US is a young graphic designer with a passion for digital marketing and content writing. Actually, as she would say, she loves writing about digital marketing and business topics too! She’s currently part of the DigitalStrategyOne team where she continues improving her skills.