Search engines like Google are constantly evolving and trying to make things more convenient for users. Google’s goal is to help find the most valuable and helpful information related to your search. Gone are the days where a content writer could find a keyword and then stuff it into the blog post or article they’re writing as much as possible.
If you want your website to rank higher, your search engine optimization strategy (SEO) might need to change slightly. To get ahead of your competitors in the search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to be creating authoritative content.
Fortunately, this is easier than it sounds. The reason being—the way people search for things online has changed.
Nowadays, your content needs to find a balance between demonstrating expertise and matching the search intent and key phrases being searched.
What is Authoritative Content?
Simply put, authoritative content is unique content that informs the reader, demonstrates subject expertise, and provides the right level of depth for the target audience.
It’s a piece of content that will help the reader answer their question or find the information they’re searching for.
Authoritative content establishes your website as an expert on the subject and a trusted voice.
Different Types of Authoritative Content
To help you get started, these are some of the most popular types of content to get people to visit and engage with your website.
- Tutorials and Instructables: help people complete a task like changing a tire
- Blog posts or long-form articles that educate the reader about a topic
- Buyer guides that help people make purchasing decisions
- Videos that make it easier to learn about a product or see its action
- Evergreen content that speaks to the target audience’s interests and won’t become dated
How To Write Authoritative Content
According to Google, expertise, authoritativeness, and trust are three essential factors in how their algorithm ranks content. Therefore, when writing content with authority, you should consider these three factors to be extremely important.
Check out these tips if you want to create more content authority.
There are several ways to demonstrate expertise on your website and through your content. Make sure to fact-check everything and reference different facts throughout your content.
Your website needs to be technically sound. Make sure it’s free of any errors, uses alt tags and meta descriptions, and everything is optimized to make it easier for search engines to crawl.
If you have a blog on your website, make sure to attribute work to an author. If you can include an author bio that outlines their expertise on the subject, this helps show the content is being created by a subject matter expert.
Try to get an expert author to write insights on a given subject. When experts speak on their subjects, people want to listen, and they will go searching for this information. If you can’t get experts, then try to become experts. Learn as much as you can about a given subject and convey that information accurately.
Other markers of expertise are confidence, clear writing, infographics related to your content, using reliable resources, and citing your sources.
Become an Authority
The simplest way to create authority with your content is to have other authoritative sites create backlinks to it. If you can produce evergreen content that gets other trusted sites and authors to reference your work, it shows that your content is accurate and valuable to people as a reference.
This is also known as domain authority. This suggests that others in the field recognize your work as authoritative.
Now getting these backlinks is easier said than done. Sure, you can reach out directly and ask for a backlink, but that might yield few results.
If you want to become an authority on a topic, network with other authors and experts. Comment on their work, share it, and offer your own feedback. By starting dialogues like this, you can begin to engage with others and, in turn, have them refer to and engage with your work.
Everyone’s been to those websites where there’s nothing but clickbait ads and content sporadically laid out across the site. You know the ones, they basically look like a cross between a website and tabloid magazine. These types of websites just scream scam or, at the very least, untrustworthiness.
If you want your website to be an authority and position yourself as a subject expert, you need to build trust with your visitors. There are a few easy ways to do this.
- Make your contact details easy to find on the website
- Credit each article to an author
- Reference facts and link to other content supporting it
- Provide customer FAQs and make it easy to request support help (if you offer a product or service)
- Limit any third-party ad placements
Search Intent and Writing Content
Authoritative content also has a lot to do with addressing search intent and writing articles around that intent. Great content isn’t determined by what article has the most keywords anymore. Long-tail keyphrases matter more than keywords do.
This is all because of the way advancements in technology have changed how we use search engines.
Here are some examples of how authoritative content might differ from just smart or strongly worded content:
Years ago, your only option was to visit a search engine and type in your question or topic. Today, though, you just say “Hey Siri” or “Hey Google,” and your phone performs a voice-activated search.
A typical text search on Google is often concise and around 1-3 words such as “tiramisu recipe.” A voice search, though, is not. Instead, it is done by asking a question or making a statement, such as: “Hey Siri, how do I make tiramisu?”
As you can see, the words used for the search can be quite different. These are, therefore, two very different ways to search for information.
Content that addresses voice search queries will be seen as more authoritative as they are searched more often and recognize the wide range of ways that a person can search for information.
It’s possible to search for something on Google and not even need to visit a website to find the information you’re after. Google’s answer box will provide a snippet of information that relates directly to your search. These are known as zero-click searches.
Typically, this is often in the form of steps or a checklist to follow, but it can also just be a list of information that relates to your search. Say, for instance, you search for something simple like “how to change a tire.” You’ll find an answer box that outlines eight steps you need to follow when changing a tire.
The great thing about answer boxes is the information it pulls isn’t always from the top-ranked article. If you can format the content on your website to answer someone’s question concisely, it’s possible to get your website to appear in the snippet.
Search engines have gotten so good that they can find the results a user seeks with just pieces of information. Even when someone doesn’t know exactly what to search for, Google can still understand the context of a search.
The search engine’s algorithm is so robust it can go beyond the words being used in the search and understand the deeper meaning behind them. This is just another way Google aims to be a helpful and reliable source of information.
Google can pull relevant searches using related key topics or terms. Therefore, even if the query is ambiguous, authoritative content will account for that and include related key terms, which might connect to the vague phrasing.
Conducting Keyword Research
As you can tell, keyword research plays a large role in creating authoritative content. Keywords help your content by:
- Showing users and Google that you are addressing the right search intent
- Showing users and Google that you are relevant and addressing pain points
- Directing your content marketing strategy so that your URLs and content are created in relevant topical clusters
- Including long-tail key phrases for relevance and topical authority
Keyword research is incredibly important. To make sure you get this right, don’t just research what keywords and phrases are used the most. Study other content on the topic and think about the person making the search.
Follow these tips if you want to create better SEO-focused content:
Consider the Search Intent
Before you start writing any content, think about why the reader would search for it. What’s their intent? What are they hoping to get from the information?
There are four main types of searches someone might make online:
Once you understand the intent behind user searches and the topics that you want to write about, you can create quality content to fulfill their needs. For instance, if someone is seeking information on a topic, a blog post like this one offers details on the subject and helps the reader learn more about it.
Likewise, if someone wants to purchase something and is doing a transactional search, writing a buyer’s guide that helps someone make a purchasing decision would be the best route to take.
Study the SERPs
If you want to establish content authority and make your website rank higher, study what the results look like when searching for your topic or idea. For example, if you work in graphic design, then you’ll want to study “graphic design and…” This might direct you to topics that address “what is graphic design,” graphic design salary types, job examples, software, examples, and more. Identifying your target audience and topics will help to hone in on the niche that you want to address.
If you think your content has a chance to appear in a featured snippet like an answer box and there isn’t one appearing for that topic, write with that in mind.
Another tip is to look at the bottom of the page and see related searches. This will help you better understand some of the phrases people are using to find content on a particular subject. If you can include some of these phrases in your content, it increases the likelihood of your website’s position on the result page improving.
Remember, don’t keyword stuff just for the sake of having it in your content. Make sure that any keywords or phrases you use fit naturally within the text.
Review Top-Ranked Websites
If you want to rank highly on search engines, study the content on the sites that are currently ranking at the top. This will give you a better idea of what kind of content performs well and helps give you a place to start.
Don’t just make a cookie-cutter copy, though. You shouldn’t be looking at what they’re writing about; look for what they aren’t. If you can identify gaps in their content or stats and facts that are now dated, you can improve upon that work and produce a more well-rounded piece of content that goes above and beyond what currently exists.
Need Help Writing Authoritative Content?
As you can see, different situations call for different types of content and information. By studying the SERPs and understanding search intent, you can improve your content marketing efforts and build an authoritative website.
If you want to succeed with content marketing and build an authoritative website, we’re here to help!
okwrite’s content marketing managed services can help your business attract more website traffic organically. Working alongside a dedicated team of writers, editors, and strategists, we’ll help you develop a comprehensive plan to reach your goals. Our talented team can craft authoritative content that speaks to your audience and helps establish your business as a subject matter expert!