Recent changes to search algorithms mean that search engines have made the shift from rewarding pages with heavily targeted SEO content to rewarding those pages with ‘authority content’. In this article, we ask and explore, what authority content is, whether it is more important than SEO and the factors which contribute to an authoritative piece of content.
First things first, what is authority content?
If you’re wondering what authoritative content is, authority content is defined as being material which is trustworthy, accurate and reliable, providing users with all the information that they need on the topic which they are searching for. Authority content is the type of content which is not only more likely to help to obtain high-quality links for reputable websites but will also get your content noticed by search engines.
Is authoritative content more important than content SEO?
If you know anything about search engine optimisation, you’ll understand that SEO is constantly changing and evolving to keep up with search algorithm changes. These algorithm changes determine where and how pages rank in search engines such as Bing and Google, that’s why it’s essential for you always to be aware of the latest changes to SEO strategies. However, with the most recent changes to the algorithm, it has been suggested that search engines are making a significant shift to now focus more than ever on the quality and the authoritativeness of content when ranking webpages instead of just content that has been heavily optimised for SEO.
Therefore, in terms of creating content for your website, providing high-quality, authoritative content is a lot more beneficial to search engines for proving that your content is the most reliable and relevant to the search term than producing material which is heavily SEO influenced. What search engines want to see is that you, as a content author, are an expert and an ‘authority’ on whatever topic your producing content on, which will see your page reaching a high position in the search results.
How do I create content with authority?
Now you understand how important it is to search engines for you to write authoritative content, your next step is to learn how to create content ‘authoritative content’. In the following sections, we’ve detailed how you can create pages on your website which will boost your authoritativeness.
Think About Users
An excellent place to start when sitting down to plan how to write your content is to think about the users who will be visiting your page and ask yourself the following set of questions.
What do they want?
When they type in an initial keyword or search query, it helps to identify what sort of information or search result, they are intending to find. Try to determine what the intent is behind the search and what would be the best page you could create for this query, whether it’s a product page, blog post or a definitive guide to that subject. As there’s no point in you creating an ‘all you need to know’ guide on a subject when in actuality the user is searching for a product page.
What do they want to know?
This ties in with the previous question, if users are searching for a product page then ask yourself what they will want to know about that product and ensure that you exhaust all of your ideas to ensure that you create a page complete with everything a user will want and need to know. Alternatively, if you believe that the user is looking for a guide on a particular subject, then make sure you exhaust the topic and related subject matter to offer the user a definitive piece of content.
Is your content exciting and intriguing enough?
There’s no point in you creating a high-quality and authoritative piece of content if no one is remotely interested or intrigued to read it, that’s why it’s crucial for you to create content which is attractive to whoever is reading it. Make sure that you not only write compelling copy for the page but that you also ensure that both the meta titles and descriptions of your pages, which will influence people on the SERPs and social media to click through to your page.
Nobody wants a duplicate content penalty on their website, neither does anyone want to spend time, effort and resources to create a page that won’t get clicked on because it doesn’t stand out above the rest. That’s why it’s vital for you to create content which is original and here are just a few great pointers.
Producing case studies are a great way of providing innovative and high authority content by conducting your own experiment. Although undoubtedly this could take up more time than just a standard piece of written material would, as you will have to partake in your research first before you can write about your findings. If case studies are planned meticulously, case studies can be produced in conjunction with one another to minimise time spent and create more content.
We’re not talking about sparking a lot of controversy with your content, as although this is likely to boost your visibility by going viral, this can often be associated with negative press, which you don’t want. Instead, what we mean by ‘controversial topics’ are topics which go against the norm or what people commonly believe. For instance, if you do a case study and the outcome is completely unexpected or write an article which sparks a debate, this is a good way of finding yourself with people talking about and interacting with your content.
If you feel that you’ve exhausted all the different topics related to your website or business that you feel you can write about, then try to think a little harder about unique angles you can write about and try to come up with a niche. For instance, if there are hundreds of results for the topic ‘construction’, try to niche your topic to something such as ‘women in the construction industry’ and write about that.
Think about the content
Once you’ve created your piece of content, you may think that you’re all finished and ready to upload. But before you go ahead and publish your content, you may want to ask yourself the following to ensure that your content has all these factors of authority content.
Is it original?
Your content should contain original content, ideas and subject matter. Does it tick those three boxes?
Is it long enough?
Does your content cover everything you need to know about the content efficiently enough?
Is it knowledgeable enough?
Is there anything that you’ve left out which users might find helpful, or that would prove your expertise on the subject?
Have you considered LSI keywords?
Adding latent semantic keywords to your copy can be a great way of proving your knowledge on the subject and the subjects related.
Does it go into enough depth?
Is there anything that you feel you didn’t go far enough into? Do you think that you could afford to go back and re-write the content and provide a better, more in-depth explanation of the topic?
Is it well written?
Is the readability of the content good? Are there typos or spelling mistakes that you’ve missed which could affect the quality of your content? Re-read your copy and make sure that it’s well-written and take the time to re-write anything you think doesn’t sound too great.
Is the language authoritative enough?
If you’ve used terms such as ‘might be’, ‘could be’, etc. then you’ll want to language which shows authority, certainty and expertise.
Are there links to references?
You won’t want to keep on explaining the basis of every subject that you talk about, that’s why it’s essential for you to ensure that you include references in your work to other sources which explain the matter sufficiently, so you don’t have to. These references can be to external sources, or if you’ve already created a piece of content on the subject, you can include internal links to those pages.
Good and Bad Examples
To help you create pages with great authority, we’ve comprised two writing examples showing you both the do’s and don’ts of creating content with high authority.
This paragraph shows high authority as it is well-written, clear and concise. It is authoritative and reliable; as it is not only written correctly but demonstrates a level of expertise as it shows commitment to the points it makes. As well as this, there are no spelling mistakes or errors, which is something that you don't want to see in written copy anywhere on a website. Poorly constructed sentences and spelling mistakes, break the flow of the content and suggest slap-dash and poor-quality work, which is something you want to avoid.
This exampl doesn't show high authority. As you may see, it is poorly writen with spelling mistakes and might not demonstrate the knowlege and expertise that is needed. Instead, it is unable to make any commitments to any points it makes and reads poorly. You might not want to see speling mistakes on a website you are reading. You should also probably avoid putting sentances together that don't make a lot of sense. Spelling mistakes could make a piece of content look sloppy, which is best to avoid.
What do I do with authoritative content?
Once you’ve followed the steps and created your content, you should find that your authoritative content occurs backlinks naturally, as essentially what you’ve created is a useful resource that pages will want to link to. Nevertheless, it still helps to market and promote your content using social media to your intended audience, which will ensure that you get comments, links and shares to the page.
Authoritative content, when created correctly, can help to give your website a well-need boost of performance in the search results. You just have to provide you spend the time, effort and resources to ensure you create content which is of high quality and is reliable and well-written and you’ll be sure to see the positive results for yourself.