Authority and credibility are what online search engines feed on, so it’s important for anyone online to focus their efforts on building them.
If you can build online authority, then your website will enjoy dramatically increased rankings in search results and more traffic from the free organic listings that Google only grants to sites with high online authority.
What do we mean when we talk about online authority?
We’re talking about being well respected in your field by other experts – the people who really know what they’re talking about.
It means having lots of comments, good backlinks, followers and fans… it’s everything that makes up “social proof” online; all those little elements that online search engines use to determine which sites are the best online.
In order to achieve online authority, you have to do online marketing in a strategic way and focus on constantly providing online value to your target audience.
6 Benefits of Being an Online Authority
Most people know what online authority is. If you’re an online business owner, online entrepreneur or blog writer, you are an online authority. An online authority has many advantageous perks for both you and your business. These include:
#1. Increases Your Visibility Online:
The obvious advantage of online authority is your online visibility to prospective customers.
Even if they don’t directly purchase from you, their awareness level will increase since they are reading about you, be it at your website or another’s article where you have been mentioned as an online authority on the subject matter being discussed.
2# Authority Status Can Lead to Higher Paid Speaking Engagements
If you give great information about how you became an expert, people will want to learn from you. As a result, they may ask if you speak and if so, what topics do you cover? If you have created high-quality information over time, it could increase your chances of getting paid speaking engagements.
3# People Will Look to You for Advice and Suggested Readings
When you become known for being an authority in a particular niche, people tend to come to you for advice on the subject matter. They look up whatever problems they have and ask your opinion on what they should be reading about or looking at. When this happens, it creates more work for yourself, on top of great exposure.
4# It Builds Your Brand Recognition
Becoming an online authority helps build your authority status and authoritativeness to a certain group of people in your niche. What happens is that they know who you are and where to find you, but now you have expanded to others not yet in your circle. People will remember your name when they hear it mentioned because they have already read some of your work. If the content is high quality, it will keep them coming back for more.
5# Gives Your Business an Edge Over Other Companies
If you want to market a business or start one, being an online authority can give you the edge over other companies that are trying to make their mark in the industry. If there is already another company that’s already is an online authority on some aspect of what you are trying to sell, it makes sense to go with them because they have a proven track record of building quality content around that area. It will take you longer to build a following but if you keep at it, then eventually people may consider going with your services or products instead.
6# Builds Trust
If you are marketing a business and using social media to build your following/readership, being an online authority can be beneficial because it will help build trust with the people who read your content. When they see how much valuable content you have on your site and that it is free of charge, their natural tendency is to bookmark your website, link it up in social media and tell others about it. People tend to trust websites more if there is a person behind the information who has shown expertise over time. This allows them to get good information when needed without having to pay for products they may not need yet.
7# Gives You Credibility
Being known as an authority makes it easier to sell something but it can also be used as a skill when trying to get your dream job. People that are hiring may see you as an authority in the industry and want you for their company. If you have been running a website, doing YouTube videos or writing articles on your own blog about something for some time now (and actually producing quality content), then employers will see this as an advantage because they know people come to you with questions they need answered.
The Future of Online Authority
The future of online authority is being decided right now.
The question that’s being answered: how do you make profits by capturing people’s attention?
Currently, online marketers try three ways: they sell search traffic, content or a relationship.
If we connect these models to the type of authority that each model creates (respectively) then we can see why one will rise to become the dominant business model:
- Search traffic – authority over a topic, where you can charge for clicks.
- Content – authority over an audience, where you can charge for subscriptions or attention.
- Relationship – authority over trust, where you can charge for partnerships and referrals.
In my experience working with start-ups and entrepreneurship education in three countries I’ve found that most people trying to make money online focus on selling search traffic.
We’ve been taught this lesson by Google and Amazon, who are the biggest companies in the world. Every time you say “Internet” we think of them. They have authority over search traffic because they have captured more attention than anyone else in the history of humanity.
But search traffic is a limited market, so much so that even Facebook wants to control it with Graph Search.
I believe Content will become the dominant business model for the simple reason that attention is not unlimited. We can’t be distracted by endless streams of novelty and will inevitably converge on quality information from brands we trust.
Attention flows toward brands, not away from them. We will be paying for content because companies who sell content have the highest brand authority online.
Tracking Your Online Authority
Online authority can be tracked.
If you track it, then you can build it. Let’s do that now:
Separate your blog traffic in to channels: SEO, social, direct and referrals. Track how many visitors come from each one.
Create a dashboard to see the trend for conversion rate by channel. For example, Google Analytics has some great dashboards.
Here are some of the resources I use to track my traffic: Bit.ly, Google Analytics, Ad Planner or Quantcast.
Track how much of your business comes from each channel using the conversion rate.
If you’re making money through search engine marketing (SEM), then pay attention to Ranktracker, which helps you track keyword ranking in Google in real time. And it’s free! Use this tool to see if people find you by a specific keyword and then click through on a link.
Use Iconosquare for social media monitoring and to see what kind of engagement your blog posts get on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc… It also tracks who links back to you and when, so that you know when to reach out to them for a backlink.
Pay attention to your conversion rate by channel. If you’re not making much from one channel, then stop putting so much effort into it and instead direct the effort where there are great returns.
Test more variations! It’s about being persistent and seeing how long you can hold onto your audience / visitor’s attention before they move on: most visitors will only spend 8 seconds on a page. If they haven’t left after 4-5 posts, then they are likely curious enough to read further…or at least click through on some links. This is where your content marketing strategy kicks in.
30 Ways You Can Become an Online Authority
While there’s nothing like “author rank” yet, we’re confident it will crop up in the future. The reason being that Google has a vested interest in rewarding authority figures.
How does it work? We can only guess, but here are 30 ideas to help you get started on the path to becoming an online authority.
1) Create something unique and valuable. It’s no coincidence that “unique” appears twice in this sentence. Google rewards quality content over quantity because they understand their users crave fresh, insightful information and are tired of dull, formulaic drivel from publishers who fill every inch of space with keywords for SEO purposes (which means the readers leave even quicker).
2) Encourage sharing via social media – Facebook, Twitter or any other platform on which people might want to share your news. If you’re not sure how many shares you should be aiming for, you can use Google analytics to work out how many people have shared an article and see what your target number of shares should be.
3) Don’t stop at just one piece of content. By the time a new reader hears about your blog, chances are they’ve read a lot of information like yours already. So, if you want to get noticed, you need to publish regularly. The more frequently you post, the lower your bounce rate will be (we suggest somewhere between 1-5 times per week depending on how quickly you write). This is because most readers won’t stick around long enough to come back and check out another of your articles if they only discovered something great on one occasion.
4) Go old school. If you’ve got a head for figures, it might be worth crunching some numbers and seeing if there’s anything interesting in them. For example, did you know that the number of websites currently being published is set to reach 1 billion later this year?
5) Don’t just rely on your blog – create other forms of content too. This doesn’t just mean producing videos or podcasts (though these are good ideas). You could also start writing guest blogs, sharing links on Retweet or submitting articles to directories like GoArticles.com.
6) Get yourself featured in an online magazine, news site or newspaper that gets lots of traffic. It may sound difficult, but it can often be easier than trying to get yourself heard from a standing start. If you’re lucky, the publication will introduce you to readers who already know and trust your work from past publications. The more times you get published by someone else, the better Google will think of your authority rank.
7) Make it personal. An individual’s “brand” isn’t just a logo or company name – it’s also what makes them who they are as a person. This means that if people can see there’s a real human face behind an online article, they’ll be more inclined to read and share it (and stick around for more). As such, there are 2 ways in which you can make this happen: a) Include snippets of authorship information whenever possible – including photos of yourself next to your by-line and using “written by” tags to let people know that you’re the real deal. b) Write about information that truly matters to you on a personal level in any way possible. If other people find out what makes you tick, they’ll feel like they know you better, which will help them trust your authority more.
8) Don’t be afraid to pivot if it’s necessary – especially if it helps you reach wider audiences. Being yourself doesn’t mean being stuck with one type of content forever. If readers want something different from what you’re currently giving them, give it to them! Be flexible with your writing style or change formats completely – as long as doing so isn’t at the expense of quality, relevance or the human touch.
9) Stay faithful to your core values, but make them relevant to a new audience. Your drive to get noticed might mean that you start moving beyond what you know and love – but sometimes it can work in your favour if you keep adding more value by leveraging knowledge from other areas of interest. For example, an online blogger who writes about crime drama may want to write more about film news and cinema memorabilia than they’d have otherwise without readers pressuring for something different. Or an entrepreneur with a passion for cars may be tempted to mention important financial advice while writing about luxury vehicles.
10) Don’t limit yourself with genre types – at least not until you’ve found one that works and become a specialist. If you’ve just starting out online, it might not be easy to decide exactly what types of content will resonate best with your audience – especially if you’re hoping to publish on multiple platforms in the same place without sounding too repetitive. As such, try a bit of everything (from lists and videos through to photo galleries and slide shows) until something sticks! There’s no need to limit yourself by genre when your options are still wide open – but once an area clicks with readers and starts driving traffic consistently, you can start focusing more on that type of content alone if quality is consistent.
11) Don’t let anyone tell you what topics work for everyone else. Just because one subject isn’t popular doesn’t mean another has to suffer. If you have a passion for something that the world isn’t yet ready for, push on anyway! At least your small but loyal fanbase will appreciate the effort and keep coming back to see what you write next. As soon as readers see how much you care about what you’re doing, they’ll feel more inclined to pay attention in future – though they might not buy into everything just yet unless it’s really good.
12) Don’t be afraid of opinion. While it can be hard to make yourself heard over loudmouths who dominate an industry, this doesn’t mean you should hold back from expressing your unique viewpoints. Instead, find ways to express them in an interesting way so that people will remember what you say – and show how it can make a difference to their life.
13) Don’t forget that being popular doesn’t require you to be rude. You don’t need to be mean-spirited or arrogant in order to get noticed, and it won’t help your cause unless you’re the real deal and not just pretending to be someone big for short-term gain. Instead, show respect at all times – even if you disagree with people on occasion – and always give as much as you take. If you prove yourself worthy of genuine interest by giving more than is expected then people will keep coming back for more – particularly if they see how much time and energy you put into your content.
14) Don’t let yourself be pushed around online. Being assertive isn’t a bad thing, and you need to stand your ground if you’re not being heard – especially when so much competition is fighting for attention every single day! If you don’t speak up for yourself then others will take advantage of the gap in communication, which may lead to problems later on when they think you actually agreed with their opinions.
15) Don’t let fear be the reason why nobody hears about what you know. It can be difficult to get noticed online if no one knows who you are in real life, but that doesn’t mean there’s no point trying to become an internet authority on something either. Instead of thinking that success requires something more than talent and drive alone, see how far these can take you before giving up – at least you’ll know whether it’s really possible to make a living doing what you love one day.
16) Don’t be afraid of what other people think. If someone thinks you’re crazy for pursuing a certain idea, ask why they feel this way – and see if their argument is worth taking seriously or just another excuse meant to put you off your stride. It can be clever to use less-than-positive opinions in order to drive traffic on occasion, but achieving such high levels of success requires that people actually like and respect you first – so don’t sell yourself out!
17) Don’t pretend that everything has already been done online. New ways are needed all the time in order to reap the rewards, which means thinking outside the box and using some creative thinking to find ways to express yourself that nobody has managed before. Most of them won’t be successful, but every now and then you should come up with something new that works and starts to gain traction – particularly when it’s on an interesting subject that hasn’t been written about too frequently in the past.
18) Don’t forget your blog is a business. If reaching readers is important, responding to their emails on time – if at all – isn’t a good way to grow your audience quickly. Instead, show how seriously you take what you’re doing by making sure people get responses back as soon as possible after hitting “send” on anything they send in via email or through other forms of contact even if you have very little time.
19) Don’t think of the internet as a means to an end. Unless you’re only trying to find ways to boost sales for now, don’t treat your website as if it’s just another channel that can be turned off without notice when things aren’t going well. Instead, show how important and integral it is on your business by putting clear examples online about why it makes sense to get involved in what you’re doing – at least until the traffic becomes so high that some people might try turning against you!
20) Don’t assume everyone will like what you publish. It’s possible for yourself, or anyone else who decides to help out with content creation from time to time, not all of it will be suitable to everyone’s tastes. You can’t expect to always please others with what you put out, especially if you’re covering a hot subject that people have strong opinions on – but at least show that you understand this and are willing to learn from mistakes as well as succeed when things are going your way!
21) Don’t try forcing ideas into the spotlight. If your posts aren’t getting anywhere then consider giving them more time, or even re-writing them altogether. There’s no sense in posting something just for the sake of having something new on your site every day (even though it might seem that way within certain niches), as such tactics won’t help you grow beyond a certain point without some extra work being put in.
22) Don’t forget that there are many ways to become an online authority. Don’t imagine that the answer is found solely in power-point presentations, teleprompters or content creation for others before your own site gets enough attention. The internet has grown into something far more complex than this, and your ability to assert yourself as someone who matters can come from a variety of places at once – particularly if you’re good with video!
23) Don’t be afraid of asking for help when needed. If you don’t know how to do something then it can benefit everyone concerned if you get assistance from somewhere else – even though doing so might not fit with your normal approach until everything starts falling into place. Simple mistakes should be easy to avoid, but running into dead ends from time to time can happen even with the best intentions in mind.
24) Don’t assume that people aren’t interested in what you have to say. Even if other blogs are getting more attention than yours at times it can still be worth pushing forward with what’s really important for your business – especially when there’s a need for more information on a particular subject thanks to some published works getting a lot of exposure!
25) Don’t forget you’re not making this up as you go along. A great way to learn how things work is by looking back at older posts and articles about similar subjects: do you agree with everything written? How would you change your approach today? Could anything else benefit from an update?
26) Don’t say “that’s not a good thing” if you don’t know why. Asking yourself why something happened, even though it initially seemed terrible, is a great way to learn valuable lessons that can help your future efforts become more effective. If there are reasons for what happened then they might be worth mentioning online – but only when relevant!
27) Don’t forget to include hyperlinks in your content. Apart from the fact they make things look better and feel more interactive, such links lead traffic back to your site indirectly: as well as ensuring you get credit for being so helpful with content creation others will also have opportunities to do the same in return!
28) Don’t assume that you’ve covered every topic of interest. While it’s worth covering regular subjects and doing so as fully as possible, it would be a mistake to devote all your time to the same things all the time. If nothing else this approach leaves opportunities for others make gains while you’re otherwise occupied – but there are also new audiences who might otherwise never discover your work!
29) Don’t leave everything until the last minute. No matter how much of a hurry you’re in content creation should always take precedence over other tasks that don’t directly involve writing or promoting something online: even if certain people won’t read right away, they’ll still have plenty of opportunities later on when they realize what they missed out on earlier. (Some people are like this with food by the way: time can make all the difference!)
30) Don’t give up on your dreams. If you’ve always imagined being an authority in a particular field then do everything you can to achieve that goal. Even if it’s unlikely that anyone will ever know you’re behind what they read, or see your face, there’s nothing wrong with seeing how far you can go when taking one small step at a time! (Besides which, even when people don’t take notice of certain posts or comments you may still get traffic back to your site from them.
10 Ways to Build Your Online Authority Using Content
There are ten ways to build your online authority through content creation that will help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes that competition for these basic tactics is at a maximum.
1. Build Your List
Once you have your content up and running, you want to make sure that people can find it easily. Many people will use the basic search engine options to find what they are looking for. That means if your site is not at the top of the search results page someone else’s will be instead.
There are lots of tools out there that you can use to help with this, from trackers like Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to tools like the Search Engine Optimization Guide, there are a number of things to try before you decide one way is better than another.
The easiest way is through social media though. Instead of searching for what they need, make it easy for them to follow you and your content through Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter. In fact, there are a number of different ways to build an audience this way including:
And the list goes on…
If you have not already done this step, it is important that you find a niche that fits you and your business. Not only does this help you with the content creation but it helps to increase traffic within the niche that you have selected as well.
It is important to do some research on topics before you find a niche for yourself, because if you are trying to fit into something that doesn’t make sense or doesn’t fit with your brand or company it is going to lead to some major problems later on.
3. Branding Your Blog
You want to make sure that your content is not only for people who are looking for a particular solution but also those who may not be aware of the services that you offer.
If you want to build authority through content creation, one of the best ways to do so is through branding your blog effectively. You can do this by including your logo on every page and making it look professional and clean.
4. On-Page SEO
One of the most important factors in ranking your content is how you set up your page from a technical perspective.
Many people like to get fancy and put out lots of different images, videos, buttons and other interesting things on their blog or website. But these things can actually hurt rather than help if they are not done correctly. What one person considers cool, another may think is poorly designed and off putting.
5. Use Keywords Correctly
You want to make sure that you are using the right keywords and phrases in all areas of your content including the title, meta description, image captions, video titles and tags as well. The easiest way to do this is by using a keyword tool like Google Analytics or Wordtracker Site Explorer; both provide comprehensive lists of search terms used in your niche.
6. Don’t Forget About Quality Content
This may seem obvious but many times people try to go for quantity over quality when it comes to content creation. While this will help with gaining traffic in the short term, it is only going to hurt you in the long run.
Never forget that people are searching for solutions and if they don’t find them on your site, they won’t be back.
7. Now It’s Time to Promote Your Content on social media!
One of the best ways to bring a lot of traffic to your website or blog as well as build online authority through content creation is through social media.
You should include links to your latest content as well as share what other people in your niche are saying, but don’t do so in a spammy manner. If they have a new blog post out you can leave a comment on it and let them know that you enjoyed it or thought it was useful/interesting.
8. Building Online Authority Through Content Creation Takes Time
One of the most important things for someone who is trying to build an online authority through page content creation should realize is that it will take some time before they see results. they may not link back.
10. Use Social Signals to Promote Your Online Authority Status
There are many social media platforms that you can use to promote your online authority status, but what about the old standbys like Google and Yahoo? You should create a social profile for your website on each of these sites as well.