In SEO, Authority is Everything via @heroicsearch

Though Google has evolved over the last few years, the basics of on-site search optimization have remained the same.

To deliver the results that users will love, Google wants to see quality content, relevant links, and device usability or “Technical SEO” – good, clean code.

All of these factors can be summed up in a single word: authority. To put it simply,

  • Your content needs to demonstrate that you know what you were talking about.
  • It needs to accrue links as votes from people who matter.
  • The design, flow, and coding should suggest that you know what you are doing

Let’s take a look at each of those three search engine optimisation factors and how they relate to the kinds of authority that Google will likely reward.

Content

Authoritative content is content that people are going to read and enjoy reading – The result of which should be broad circulation (links, social media sharing, etc.).

The goal of your content is to hit the mark. If it’s designed to be humorous, it should make people laugh and be willing to share that laughter with others. If it is a research paper, it should convince and will therefore likely encourage the reader to share them with peers.

To qualify as quality content, an article, infographic, or video should be able to solve a problem. Problem-solvers carry weight in Google’s algorithm. People get online to find solutions, and if you can provide those answers then your content can be regarded as authoritative.

With the next piece of content you plan to write, you should be asking yourself right from the start, “what problems or hurdles and I describing and providing a solution for?”

Another way of putting this is to say that for your content to have an impact it must resonate with the reader and establish a connection.

There must be a goal in mind, and you must be able to state both the problem and solution clearly and briefly.

If you aim at nothing, you will likely hit it. You must have a clear, definable goal and purpose for creating your content.

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • What problem are you offering to solve?
  • Does your content solve the problem better than others?

Beyond that, you need to be clear about the language necessary to reach that audience; this is not only true of the topic and the words you use. It is also becoming increasingly important to optimize your images for SEO and consider them as content along with all of your other rich media.

Your images need to add something valuable to the conversation, and as they do, Google will begin rewarding your effort.

Links

Most people are aware that, when it comes to link building, the concern is quality, not quantity. Quantity may give you a head start, but it will not sustain you in the race.

Two or three well-placed links coming from websites that are firmly established and have already gained some of thoroughly is just as valuable as ever.

Google ranks links according to the authority of those links.  But, we are talking about here is a popularity contest. A link is a vote, and there is a difference between some guy in his mom’s basement voting for your content and the CEO of IBM.

That’s not to say that the guy in the basement isn’t worth the link. He most certainly is. The key here is a relevant authority, not just any authority.

When thinking about links, we are not merely talking about the backlinks that come from other websites. Google regards those internal links on your site as backlinks. The pages those links point to determine what is important on the website.

An internal link audit is incredibly useful here. By making small but efficient changes to your internal links, you can lift your ranking almost overnight.

What we are talking about here are Google-friendly content hubs. These content hubs are such an essential aspect of your on-page search optimization. Content hubs are a collection of articles all talking about a similar subject and all pointing to a superior and all-important page, service or product on your site.

When it comes to these internal links, the numbers do in fact matter.  Google cares about the numbers. Why? Because numbers are one of the ways, we demonstrate authority.

If 20 links point to one piece of content on your website, and all the other pages only have two or three, what would that suggest to Google?

Regardless of what industry you are serving him, this principle holds true, and it can transform your website’s ranking quickly.

Technical SEO

My device usability is an aspect of technical SEO; the concept goes beyond designed, mobile and smartphone readiness, etc.

Technical SEO looks beyond appearances and basic functionality. And, like your internal link building structures, this is an area where you can make great strides insert ranking.

It would be fair for Google to say that a business that is serious about doing business online is going to be serious about its branding, appearance and web design.

A website that is seeking authority is not likely to be mashed together by a hack. It is going to be well-coded, function and error free.

Just as you would not take a website filled with spelling errors as trustworthy, neither would we expect Google to consider a site full of coding errors as authoritative.

Beyond those coding areas which you can easily check with a validation service, Google would consider as authoritative those websites which are loading quickly and which have good uptime.

In other words, part of your authority and the perceived authority of your website is going to be how and where your website is hosted.

Pagespeed, logical and smooth navigation are the things that Google rewards as they demonstrate the authority and expertise of the technical SEO that has gone into the development of the website.

Again, well Google’s algorithm has matured over the years and the tactics and search optimisation techniques have developed among marketing agencies, the basics have remained the same. Those who use Google are looking for authoritative Solutions. In order for Google to survive, it must deliver those Solutions.

That means, in turn, that in order for your business to survive, it must optimise in such a way as to be considered authoritative in Google eyes.

Your content needs to provide real solutions and needs to win the vote of those who read it and have the authority to comment on it.  your content also needs to be presented in a format in keeping with its target audience and intent.

When these things come together, there is no reason to believe that Google won’t reward you in its organic search results.

Take these hallmarks of authority and apply them to your content, link building tactics and technical SEO and discover how you can create a more authoritative brand for your own business or online venture.

Though Google’s algorithm – and agency search engine optimization techniques – have changed over the last ten years, the basics remain the same. You have to be helpful to those whom you seek to serve.

Your content needs to solve a problem; your links need to demonstrate that your content matters and your site needs to convince me to take you seriously.

This is the future of content marketing and search optimization training.

There are no shortcuts anymore. If your content doesn’t help your customers, search engines will have a hard time recommending it.