What You Need to Know about Topical Authority

When it comes to becoming an authoritative information source that search engines recognize, a web page requires backlinks from popular websites. Recent changes to the Search Engine Optimization landscape have changed the rules, however. Also, some backlinks may be detrimental to your website’s search engine ranking. As algorithms continue to become complex, many website owners wonder:

What does it really mean for a landing page to earn “authority?”

What is Topical Authority?


What You Need to Know about Topical Authority


According to a Search Engine Journal post, “Topical authority is a perceived authority over a niche or broad set of ideas, as opposed to authority over a single idea or term.”

For example, you are an online shoe retailer who wants to become an authority in running shoes. You focus on optimizing every web page, blog post, and other types of content related to running shoes. Although your other products may not be similarly recognized, you become acknowledged a topical authority on running shoes.

Topical optimization helps ease the burden of ranking dozens of keywords and phrases, and establishes your authority on a single page/topic. It allows you to focus on a specific niche and accurately zero in on users’ search intent. In fact, Backlinko research in 2016 showed that relevant information is more significant to SEO than online content that does not cover a topic in-depth.


Importance of Topical Authority


What You Need to Know about Topical Authority


Topical authority is established when your site ranks for searches related to your established area of expertise, encompassing the whole topic, not just one keyword. This is generated by volumes of quality content around a specific topic.

The near-perfect scenario includes:

  • Users looking for places to reference, link to, or share on social media
  • People searching for detailed answers to supplemental questions; users stay on your website for more information rather than seek answers elsewhere
  • Google looks for an answer to a question
  • Google checks if you have extensive information that is useful to users

Building Topical Authority


 What You Need to Know about Topical Authority


Instead of focusing on individual keywords, turn your efforts toward “long-tail keywords,” where the user’s question (and search intent) is satisfied. A web page gains authority when its content provides relevant and useful information on a specific subject and provides solutions for the readers.

Here are some ways to create useful content:

  • Use keyword data using your favourite tools
  • List common questions and problems your sales and support team regularly receive (“FAQs”)
  • Visit relevant forum websites and take note of questions and problems your target audience has
  • Building successful authority and brand loyalty take time. It may take trial and error until you finally get it right.


If you need professional SEO assistance to become an online authority in your niche, call John Vuong at (416) 888-8756 or 1-877-689-5268. My SEO team and I will provide you with full SEO service to help your business succeed.

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