Content marketing is one of the most important strategies in establishing a solid online presence for SEO, but it's not as simple as "writing lots of content." There are dozens of factors you'll need to carefully consider if you want to be effective, including the content's topic, appropriateness for your brand and audience, practicality, length, and entertainment value. But there's one factor many marketers end up neglecting: the authoritativeness of a piece.How Authoritativeness Factors Into Search Rankings
What is authoritativeness, exactly? Though no strict definition is available, authoritativeness is a general measure for how you're able to produce content. The more a source can be counted on as a reliable provider of information, the more authoritative it is. So how does this measure affect search rankings?
How to Make Your Content More Authoritative
- E-A-T Criteria. Google doesn't go into much detail about how authoritativeness is quantitatively measured, but we do know it has a major impact on how valuable Google deems a page or a domain to be. According to its publicly available Search Raters Guidelines, three of the most important factors for content to demonstrate are expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), which are all interrelated. Making your content authoritative should give you a boost in page and domain authority.
- Linkability. Authoritativeness will also make your piece appear more valuable to outside parties. This alone will turn it into more of a linkable asset, giving you more backlinks pointing back to your domain, all of which will pass authority and increase your propensity to rank.
- Reputation Factors. Don't forget the peripheral and long-term reputation factors that authoritativeness will bring. As you start developing more authoritative content, you'll become more respected as an authority, which means you'll gain more followers, more publishing opportunities, and other indirect ways to increase your rankings overall.
Now that you know why your content needs to be more authoritative, how can you go about actually doing it?1. Write from the professional's perspective.
First, try writing from the perspective of a real professional, demonstrating your authority by referencing a professional title or other credential to validate that authority. For example, rather than writing a simple guide to home security, you could step up the authority like Milwaukee Lockstar
by making it a "locksmith's guide" to home security
. Or you could write blogs like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
, framing your posts as the advice from a professional plumber
.2. Use personal brands.
You could also make your content more authoritative by using personal brands inside and outside your organization to author posts. Over time, your authors may develop niche areas of expertise, generating followings of their own and lending more power to the content they write. Just make sure you're supporting your personal brands with appropriate strategic initiatives on social media.3. Include more images and videos.
Another way to make your content more authoritative is to include more images and video in the body of your work. On a surface level, these multimedia additions will make your content more engaging to users, but they also show that you're going out of your way to illustrate complex subjects.4. Cite real examples and facts.
It's easy to speculate about ideas, but it's hard to prove them. That's why it's important, and authoritative, to cite examples as specifically as possible. Instead of using general hypothetical examples, try to cite real examples backed by true anecdotes or statistics that you've measured. The more specific information you're able to offer, the more authoritative your piece will become
.5. Link to outside sources.
Authority is perhaps easiest to earn when you're getting it from someone who already has some. Associating yourself with a known authority will make your authority increase in direct proportion, so be sure to link to outside authoritative sources to validate your points. Cite major influencers in your industry, or domains with high authority of their own.6. Make yourself available for inquiries.
This is a small step, but it's an important one. When using a personal brand or writing from the perspective of an expert, make yourself available for inquiries and discussion afterward--even if it's just in the comments thread.
With these strategies, you should be able to make your content seem more authoritative
, both to search engine crawlers and to your human readers. It might take some time for these changes to result in a noticeable increase in your domain authority and rankings. In fact, only after weeks of consistent execution will it start to bear an impact on your results.
Stay consistent and you'll eventually reap the benefits.
August 31, 2016
Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.