Authority is an oftentimes confused achievement which many bloggers attribute to raw vanity metrics such as likes, pins, shares and traffic. Although these indicators do often come as a result of authority, one has to dig a bit deeper to understand what’s driving this activity. Whether it’s a lucky placement in search engine result pages or traffic spikes from content that’s popular for a short period of time. The triggers count.
Authority, in my opinion, relates more to a blogger’s ability to create new ideas that spread throughout the internet, garner a responsive following, regardless of posting frequency or any other variables, command influence within a niche and drive readers to action and perform among the changing tides of search engine, for the long-term. Authority demands respect and value.
As we see Google’s shift towards quality content and distribution and less on traditional SEO, it has become more important to begin focusing on building stronger roles within the community. The blogs that will win it all in the coming years will need to develop a stronger relationship with readers.
Let’s take a look at the importance of building blog authority and how to get there.
Signs of the Times Through Google’s Author Rank
Many bloggers focus heavily on SEO and Google and there’s some justification for that. Throughout the lifetime of the average blog, at least 50% of all traffic will come from the Google search engine. Unfortunately, this focus has led to a dilution of the quality of content available online due to the fact that bloggers have sacrificed quality for search engine performance. Google has made significant strides in filtering low quality and there’s more to come. Bloggers need to shift to publishing outstanding, share-worthy content.
With the launch of Google Authorship, we see signs of them paying more attention to reputation and truly valuable content. Content published by reputable and authoritative authors perform better. As time progresses, Google’s algorithms will weigh this more into search engine results.
I strongly suggest setting up all your publications / blogs with Google authorship. It’s a good step towards validating your publishing presence, standing out and building a reputable history with Google. Find out more about authorship here. Also, here’s a cool tool to estimate your current author rank. Coupled with solid white-hat SEO practices, you’ll have a solid foundation for building better authority.
How to Build Authority in the Eyes of Readers
Successfully building authority should be a long-term goal. Won through consistently sticking to a well laid out and dynamic plan to deliver quality content in timely, enriching and engaging formats. While, through your personality and unique offering, creating relationships with readers that grow over time.
Ideas for improving quality & trust:
1. Put your face and personality out there – Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine. Be yourself, be authentic. Don’t “fake it until you make it,” as many people in business would say. Your audience is not stupid and can tell if you’re a fake.
2. Don’t ignore audio and video – Video sites like Youtube and Vimeo garner views in the Billions. Get your face, voice and content out there. Many persons prefer watching or listening to interesting content. In fact, these are some of the most loyal consumers who will consistently drive traffic to your website for the long-run.
3. Publish 1 or 2 definitive guides per month – Whatever your niche is, find an area or topic that requires special attention and offers the opportunity for you to solve common problems. Write a 3,000+ word guide to solve it and give more. Release it for free.
4. Spend more time with outbound marketing – As you work to perfect every minor detail on your blog, don’t abandon the need to engage other communities. Schedule time each day to talk and connect with other personalities on social networks and blogs. Having a perfect blog is not what will bring traffic and readership. You have to build distribution channels through the connections and relationships you build.
5. Look for opportunities to Collaborate – Team up with influential and experienced bloggers in your niche, or complementing markets, to bring added value. Whether it’s through special e-books, series of articles or products and services. This places you in front of wider and already qualified audiences.
Now is the Time to do Something New
The tides are shifting and 2 years from now readers will be consuming content very differently and Google will be better at delivering quality through search. The blogger who takes the time to build a brand and content meticulously, even if it means a lesser quantity, and brings value to every interaction and relationship online will be prepared for the shift currently taking place.
So turn it up a notch, do an audit of your blog and your efforts and make a change.