Have you ever had a dream that your website could rank for every keyword in your niche?

Well, with topical authority, you can move one step closer to this goal. 

That is if you’re prepared to conduct thorough research and write content covering every keyword and every related topic.

Of course, you could always work with a professional SEO agency or copywriter instead. This will save you a lot of time and effort, especially if writing content isn’t your strong point.

But we digress.

Before you decide how to approach topical authority for your website, you need to understand what it is.

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the definition of topical authority, how it can be achieved and how it helps your website to climb the SERPs.

What is topical authority?

Topical authority is an SEO tactic in which a website tries to become the go-to authority on a particular topic, all related to their industry. This is done by generating as much content (without sacrificing quality) as possible on various topics and subtopics within the niche.

The aim is to help search engines understand the website’s niche and what’s on offer, in order to increase the ranking potential of these topical keywords.

To make this easier to understand, we’ve put together an example of what this could look like.

Let’s say that your website sells scented candles and you want to rank for articles and related search terms on this topic. Trying to target ‘scented candles’ as a stand-alone keyword can be tough as the competition is already fierce in that niche.

So, in order to build topical authority, you need to research keywords and phrases related to scented candles but extend this further. You can then create content for these subjects.

You might wish to cover topics and questions like:

  • Which scented candles are best?
  • What is the best online candle store in the UK?
  • How can I make my house smell good?
  • What candles are better than Yankee?
  • What are the healthiest candles to buy?
  • What is the best candle to burn all day?
  • Is it OK to burn scented candles every day?
  • Is it safe to burn candles every day?

By focusing on a whole range of topics rather than just individual keywords, you increase your chances of achieving topical authority. This can be a huge boost for your website, and even those with a low Domain Rating (DR) score can still rank well on SERPs as a result of topical authority.

Why is topical authority important and how does it work?

Search engines use semantic associations to rank webpages and they do this by associating a website with the keywords and topics shared within (amongst other factors, that is).

So let’s apply this to our earlier example, if you have lots of content about candles, scented candles, home decor and similar subjects, these will all contain relevant keywords on related topics. But more than this, you can link between the pages to help with your link-building strategy.

Plus, the easier it is for people to find your content and the higher your pages rank on SERPs, the more natural backlinks you’ll secure.

Essentially, the more subjects you cover and the more content you can link to, the more knowledgeable your brand (or client’s brand) will look and as a result, you’ll become a trusted source. This will help your topical authority to grow in the eyes of search engines like Google.

How to build topical authority to increase the ranking of your website

It might sound like a pretty straightforward concept, but the reality is it takes a lot of thorough research and content creation to achieve. It’s also important to have a basic understanding of SEO and how this applies to your content before you begin.

Then, in order to use topical authority to boost traffic to your web pages, you need to:

1. Conduct thorough research

Step one is to conduct some thorough research and gather as much data as possible. There are several ways you can do this, assuming you plan to work on building topical authority yourself.

You can start by running a Google search to see what other suggestions come up in the ‘people also ask section’. You can also use online keyword tools or work with an agency to provide you with said keywords instead.

The aim is to gather as many topical keywords and phrases as possible. Once you have this, you can begin to drill down and make sense of the data and break this out into topic clusters. These will be the basis of your article titles and subjects.

2. Produce relevant and engaging content

Now it’s time to produce some relevant and engaging content that utilises these keywords and topics. You should start by producing some main pillar pieces that cover broad topics. You can then break these up and drill down into the topics a little more, covering as many sub-topics as you can. 

It’s crucial that you’re producing quality content that your audience wants to read, following Google’s approach of ensuring expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T).

You should always check back to make sure you’re matching search intent, as well as review your content regularly to update your articles as they age.

3. Don’t neglect the link-building

Although a large part of topical authority is the content, even the most exciting and engaging work needs extra help to rank better.

With this in mind, you need to make sure you don’t focus all your attention on the words, and none on the link building.

For every webpage, article or blog post you create, you need to make sure you’re linking to other content on your website. You can also link to relevant content from other sites, particularly anything that mentions your brand or that you have created and contributed to them.

If you follow these three key steps, you’ll be able to build topical authority in your niche and help to increase your page rankings. But if you’re not feeling confident enough to tackle this big task yourself, a specialist SEO agency could be the perfect solution.