Building the authority of your website is not only important for building a strong brand, but also as a part of building trust with search engines that may just hold the future of your business in their hands. Understanding how to build authority requires a broad knowledge of internet marketing. In the infographic below, I discuss ways to build authority, and in the text I provide a few suggestions to help you get started, or to ramp up your current efforts.
Good content is the foundation of any website. Your site should contain content that users will actually want to look for and read, and that search engines can actually find. Having inviting content will keep visitors on your site and can encourage them to buy your products or services. Offering a diverse mix of content is key. Fortunately, there are many content options available, including the following:
- Blogs – From company news to trade secrets, you can write about almost anything. Make sure the content isn’t just fluff though. You want to make sure your post will be shared, commented on and actually read. Try these 100 blog topics that Chris Brogan suggests.
- Free guides – Some of the best targeted traffic can come to your site by promoting a really well written free guide or white paper. Common free guides include guides about your products or services, case studies, research, opinions, or resource guides.
- eBooks – While free guides and white papers are generally between 4 and 25 pages, an eBook is significantly longer. They take quite a bit of energy and time to write, but when done well they can help your business open doors and build site authority too. For a few hundred dollars (and a bit more time and energy) you can even self publish your eBook and sell it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble too.
- Webinars – Conducting a webinar on a topic in your industry can not only help garner traffic to your site but also leads in the form of attendees. Remember to record your webinar and add it to your website in the form of a video. Use PowerPoint slides and upload to sites like SlideShare.net to get the most out of your content. Don’t forget to use the notes section in your slides because it will be uploaded with your presentation.
- Articles – Many distribution sites exist out there on the web. Well written articles can be distributed on article sites like Ezine, The Free Library, Examiner, and Squidoo.
- Videos – Producing a video doesn’t have to be expensive. Purchase a flip cam and record a few “how-to” videos, or use a screen video capturing software like camtasia. Upload your videos to sites like YouTube and Vimeo, or host them on your own website — if you have the bandwidth.
- Resource guides – Similar to free guides, resource guides or resource lists are a great use of content that is likely to be shared, linked to, and read. A list of the best resources in your industry that is well researched, unique, and interesting can go along way to help build your site authority.
Sure, coming up with the different types of content isn’t really the hard part. The hard part is finding what topics your existing site visitors and future site visitors will want to see. Traditional keyword research — using Google Insights, searching on Twitter, and even using bookmarking sites — to get an idea of what content is out there right now is a good first start. With a bit of creativity and good execution, you can add some great content to your site to help build your authority and influence.
It’s important to build links with other quality, authoritative sites. But this is easier said than done. Use a few of these strategies to get started on building links. And don’t forget to check out these Top 100+ Link Building Resources, too!
- Reach out to publishers of resource pages that link to content similar to what you provide on your site. Ask to be added to the list. Or develop your own resource list that others will want to link to.
- Use advanced search operators to find link building opportunities. Try exact match searches by adding quotes around keywords you wish to find on a page such as: “Add your link”, “Resource”, “Industry directory”, etc… Use SEOMoz’s “Professionals Guide to Advanced Search Operators” to find more examples of power search commands/ operators.
- Pull the backlinks of your competitors using a tool like OpenSiteExplorer, Majestic SEO, or other online tools. You’ll find sites that are already linking to a site similar to yours. Examine these sites to find “low-hanging fruit”, or easy to find linking opportunities that you can get right away or without much effort aside from sending an e-mail to a webmaster.
- Find sites that already mention your brand name but aren’t linking to you. Reach out and ask to have a link to your site added.
- Have a great idea for a blog post? Contact an influential blog in your industry and ask if they accept guest blog posts from experts. If you can write a great piece of content for their blog, they’ll more than likely allow you to put a link to your site in your bio.
- Find a reason why news sites would link to you — do you have a new product coming out, a new service, or maybe a new partnership? Use these opportunities as reasons to connect with media folks and relevant editors.
- Ask your friends, family, and partners to link to your site from their websites and blogs.
- Sponsorships are always an easy way to get a link, especially this time of year. Donating to your favorite charity? Sponsoring a 10K? Get a link in return for your donation, or specifically look for these opportunities. Do a search for “donate now” or “become a sponsor” and you’ll find a large list of opportunities. Then, look for the sites that have sponorship pages with links and tada! You have a list of link building opportunities ready to be prioritized and acquired.
- Directories are some of the easiest links to get. SEOMoz has a great list of directories that you can start going through. Try to stay away from the free directories as they pretty much allow links to anyone – and that’s not what you want. Stick with industry directories and high authority directories that have good Page Rank, Domain Authority, and be sure the location on the directory where your link will be placed has good Page Authority as well.
Social media opportunities
There are lots of ways to use social media platforms to spread your content and thereby, your authority and influence. Here are some suggestions:
- Submit your blogs and other website content to bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, and Delicious.
- Send out an email newsletter with authoritative content, and be sure to include social media buttons to help readers easily share your content with their friends and contacts on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.
- If you have created content materials like infographics, images, or slide presentations, put them up on Pinterest, an online bulletin board for people’s personal interests.
- Find ways to integrate your content on social media review sites like Yelp, or on relevant product-related or e-commerce sites like Etsy or Amazon Marketplace, to help spread the word about what great items you offer.
- Build up a network of fans/ followers/ friends who help you find great content and could eventually help you share great content. You can do this by finding influential people on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms. Look for users to follow and add to your network who are naturally sharing good content and who receive a lot of comments/ +1/ shares/ likes. Once you’ve built up a relationship with these folks, you’ll find that eventually they start to reciprocate your comments/ +1/ shares/ likes.
- Share the love for others in the social community. Post on their wall on Facebook, @ reply them or participate in #FollowFriday on Twitter, re-tweet their posts, comment on their blogs, and share their posts via your social channels.
When you write press releases or other media announcements, make sure you include the keywords that are relevant to your client base. This will help you spread news and information about what your company is up to, its plans for the future, or any interesting developments it is working on. There are several online press release outlets you can choose from to help you spread the word, including PRWeb, PRLog, and Online PR News. Utilize press releases to help get the word out about a new product, partnership, or even a sale you might be having. There are many free press release sites available on the web too: here’s a list of 20! And don’t forget to optimize the press release for search engines by adding a headline with important keywords, including anchor text links within the release, and adding in meta data.
Diversified efforts are required to help build your website’s authority, and authority is vital to gaining positive momentum in search engine rankings. With the above tactics, and the information contained in the infographic below, you can start to build your site’s authority, and enhance your business’s success.
Which authority-building methods have you or your company excelled at? Have any tips to share?