Becoming the “Topical Authority”

scribendi Blog, Digital Marketing, Google, SEO

Today I attended an SEO webinar that addressed Google’s concept of “E-A-T” (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) and how to become a “Topical Authority.” Here are my key takeaways for professional services.

“Topical Authority, a key of content SEO, requires exhaustive topic research and the inclusion of sub-topics within the main topic of your content.”

Creating a content theme, addressing a larger issue with a long form article and then create sub-blogs, videos, and social media posts that address each aspect covered in the larger theme is proving to be an effective strategy in today’s SEO environment.

Naturally Flowing Content

Working within a theme helps your content creators to stay in the natural flow of how the user reads and researchers. Linking to sub-topics from a main article helps them to choose their own path based on the exact information they are looking for, and creates key internal links. Making sure this all feels natural takes research and it takes writers who understand how to flow the content in the right direction. Google tracks page bounce-rates and if you direct users to irrelevant content and they jump ship, Google takes that as a sign that the content is not useful.

Crafting sub-topics can be as easy as defining key industry terms that are contained in your main theme. It is easy for professionals to write about subjects they know with confidence, but there is a tendency to write in terms that the user may not fully understand. Use that as an opportunity to create more content that explains relevant topics contained within your main theme. For example, one change in a law can effect several industries differently. Writing individual content pieces specific to each industry within the overall theme of “This law changed” is a simple way to produce more quality content.

It Takes Time & Research, But It is Rewarding

At one time, content farms rose to prevalence as an SEO tool because the quantity of content you produced mattered almost as much as the quality. This has changed dramatically. If you work in a niche enough industry or pocket of your industry, one, fully researched and flushed out article can have lasting ranking. The key is to be constantly updating. Don’t publish content and leave it for months without updating it. Things change more quickly than ever. Keep going back to that same subject, linking every piece of content together, to make sure your content remains the authoritative stance.

Expand Your FAQ’s

A small section of Frequently Asked Questions is helpful for current and potential clients to quickly do research. But expanding each question into a theme is a great way to create effective content. If both you and your competition have similar FAQ pages, do the work to expand the explanation of each question into fleshed out pieces of content. You’ll get credit for being the full authority on the subject, you’ll answer the question in a more in-depth way, and you’ll create opportunities for more content as more questions arise. Never think a question is too small to blog about. You never know who else has that question and for the time it takes to write a blog about it you could be the only resource for the answer that a potential client finds while searching.

Who Gets the Credit?

Another subject that was addressed in the webinar was authorship. Is it better to publish content under the name of the company or that of the specific person within the company who wrote it. The answer depends on company structure.

More and more we are seeing professional service firms pushing an owner, President, or CEO as the “face” of the brand. In today’s social world, an active participant on LinkedIn, speaking engagements, and published articles can be more effective than just a logo and a tag line. Today’s generation of decision makers, used to seeing people move from job to job, are more likely to follow the person than the company.

Crediting the “face” of your firm with authorship, which includes properly coded Authorship Schema, and then using all of their authored content for LinkedIn posts and webinars is proving to be an effective strategy.

All of this takes work, but if you are passionate about your industry you already have all the ideas you need. Any time you get caught up in a work-related story at a dinner party or catch yourself going in-depth on a granular subject related to your work – those are blog topics!

The time, research, and writing it takes to effectively utilize these strategies is where Scribendi comes in. You have a wealth of knowledge in your industry but not enough time to create the necessary content to stay ahead in the digital search world. We take your thoughts and ideas and we craft meaningful, relevant content in order to help your business become the authoritative resource in your industry.

by Conor McDonough, Scribendi Digital Marketing