*Update: As of April 2, 2019, Google+ will no longer exist. Learn more.
What is authority? Merriam Websters (yeah, I’m using this cliche) defines authority many ways, but the most relevant to us would be, “the confident quality of someone who knows a lot about something or who is respected or obeyed by other people.” In the world of internet marketing we are trying to do just that. Our goal as marketers, bloggers, SEOs etc… is to establish enough authority and develop trust with our target market. We want our ideal customers to find our website and trust our content and contact us or buy something from us. There is another aspect of authority that marketers overlook. Many marketers forget that we also need to make sure that the search engines that deliver our content to our ideal customers also need to trust us. If those search engines don’t trust our sites we may have a hard time accomplishing our goals. In this post when we talk about authority we will be referring to the authority that is built between your content and search engines.
“the confident quality of someone who knows a lot about something or who is respected or obeyed by other people.”
How You Can Build Authority
In the past SEOs have focused on keywords and backlinks. As we rocket into the future of search authority should be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy. Remember that it is hard to fake authority and it will take time and focus to build authority. Search engines will measure your authority by looking at social media signals. For example how much is your content shared, how many followers do you have, and any other social signal that can be found. Search engines will also look at who links to you. When search engines look at these links they will look for quality and not quantity. It is much better to work hard for months and get one link than it is to quickly buy 1,000 garbage links. Search engines will look at the user experience your site provides and they will look at how safe and secure your site is. Like I said before, all of this is hard to fake and will take time to develop.
Social Action Items for Building Authority
- Get social. Search engines can’t look at social signals if you don’t have any. If you are wondering what social networks you should be on Jackie recently wrote two great posts on this. You can read part one here and part two here.
- Have a social strategy. Now that you’re social develop a plan. That plan may include ways to engage with followers, or how to get the attention of an influencer in your industry. There are only two bad plans in social media. Bad plan #1 is not using social media. Bad plan #2 is using social media to only talk about yourself. If those are your plans you need a new one.
- Be on Google+. This is my last social media point. Google wants to know that you are a real person, delivering real content. This is why they have developed authorship. I have written two posts on authorship, one general about authorship post, and another on how to set it up.
Website Action Items for Building Authority
- Most importantly, have a user friendly site. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and easy to use. Use Google Analytics to monitor your sites performance and tweak poor performing pages.
- Write great content. Jackie has another great post about writing better blogs. Make sure you avoid thin content. That would be content that is less than 300 words.
The Power of Authority
Remember our definition of authority, “the confident quality of someone who knows a lot about something or who is respected or obeyed by other people.” You have a website for a reason. You are trying to gain access to something, or you are trying to sell something, or trying to grow your business. Whatever the reason is building authority will help you accomplish that goal. My recommendation is to use these same tactics when it comes to your offline marketing as well. Host an event where you give a presentation. Use the knowledge that you have in your industry to publish a how to guide. This doesn’t have to be something groundbreaking. If your business sells tires that means your have a ton of knowledge on buying tires. Publish a guide to buying quality tires. All of this activity will feed into the overall authority that your brand has in the marketplace. What do you think of authority? Feel free to share with us in the comments below.