Spend any amount of time blogging and you will hear how important it is to build authority for your blog or website. You hear the same phrases and advice over and over again: you need to be an authority, you need to be an expert, you need to show your expertise and value. That’s not to say this advice is wrong, it is on the mark, but how do you go about building authority and what does that even mean?
The key to succeeding here is to recognize that what people consider an authority in a real life field like law or medicine versus what Google considers an online authority. This is great news because it means you don’t need a PhD to talk with authority about marketing or an MBA to talk about online business. You have the ability to build true online expertise and authority – and those two things will make Google push up your site or blog towards the top of the search engine rankings.
What does authority mean online?
This is the key issue to tackle. In the real world a doctor is an expert because she or he has taken four years of undergraduate studies, four years of medical school, and years of internships and residencies to follow before going out on their own as a doctor. This makes sense for the real world, but in the online world authority comes in several different forms.
In the online world a website or blog that has authority is one that provides high-quality and original information that the search engines view as reliable. Any background you can put on an “About Us” page that indicates experience helps your case. Google has become much better at judging this: they know that “Eagle Scout” in referring to your time in the Boy Scouts does give you knowledge of camping and the great outdoors.
The more content you can provide, the better, and that includes having content in the form of articles at article directories, articles for online magazines on related topics, or even running a couple of Facebook fan pages that are related to your website. Throw up a YouTube video or two to complete the authority matrix and you’ll be in good shape to set yourself up as an authority in your field even as it takes time to really build up the quality content.
When it comes to specifically building yourself up in the eyes of Google for SEO purposes, in addition to providing your readers with high quality content of course, you can tackle certain things both on-site and off-site to help build up your status as an authority in your field. Many of the same actions that will make your readers happy and more loyal are the very same actions that will also boost your profile via search engine optimization (SEO).
Ways to showcase yourself as an authority
When it comes to building authority online, it’s important to understand exactly what Google wants to see and the reasons why some of these actions work. Building your website and supporting marketing a certain way can go a long way to getting your site exactly where you want it to go. Showcasing yourself as an authority will go a long way to getting everything you’ve ever wanted for your site and more – but it can be a time-consuming process and it’s one that you have to attack the right way in order to get the results you want.
First, make sure your site is taking advantage of all these actions:
• YouTube videos on your specialty topic. Make sure the account is linked to the same e-mail address as your Google+ account and your website. The more videos you make on specific topics, the more you will be seen as an expert.
• Have a Facebook fan page or a couple Facebook pages
• Have information on your website telling people why you’re a trustworthy source
• Link out to authority websites
• Have authority niche websites link back to your website by blog name or brand name (if possible)
• Have an active Google+ account with information highlighting your specialty
These are a series of actions that you need to take in order to back up your online expertise. I’ll explain each of these in a little more detail. First: on your website you want to include any information you can on why you should be considered an expert. What’s your experience? Classes? Even something like “I’ve loved to study topic X since I was a teenager!” at least gives a reason why you have some authority in this area.
You also want other sites and social media attached to your site. A Facebook fan page, a Google+ account, a YouTube account attached to all of these, as well. You’re never going to be hurt by having a series of Google social media sites that are active and adding content connecting to your main website or blog.
Look at your link work, as well. If you’re an authority, you shouldn’t be afraid of linking out to authority websites. Whether it’s Wikipedia, a YouTube video of a specialist explaining something, or even a top rated niche site on a related topic, linking out shows that you’re providing the best information possible. This is critical to establishing yourself as a go-to source for critical information.
You also want to collect a few quality backlinks from authority sites in your niche or in related niches. The backlinks should be the name of your website or your brand – no keyword stuffing! This looks spammy and it will actually work against you when building links.
Finally, don’t underestimate videos. If you have 0 videos showing off your expertise that doesn’t help you. If you have 10 videos then people can begin to see that you know your stuff. On the other hand if you have 100 videos and they all link to your site not only do you get great SEO from one of the few safe “good” backlinks that Google loves, but you look like a professional who knows your stuff and that’s backed up by video after video. This could be the missing link to making your site a true authority site in the eyes of Google, not to mention amazing SEO benefits!
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to being an online expert, with all the benefits that position brings!