Everything You Need to Know About Topical Authority (2024)

Everything You Need to Know About Topical Authority (2024)

What is Topical Authority?

Topical Authority refers to the level of expertise and credibility your site holds in a specific subject area. It's about depth and breadth of knowledge in a specific field, and how effectively you communicate that through your content.Topical authority explainedBuilding topical authority means you have produced comprehensive, high-quality content that covers your chosen subject in detail. This not only establishes you as a thought leader in your field, but also signals to search engines that your content is a valuable resource on the subject, boosting your SEO rankings.

What is a Topical Authority Map?

A Topical Authority Map is a diagram showing how all your content on a certain topic links together.How to make a Topical authority mapIt shows the main topic and related subtopics. Each subtopic has content that links to the main topic, helping users and search engines understand the content. These subtopics should appeal to your user persona, which should guide the creation of your topical authority map. Read more about making user personas here.

How to Get Topical Authority on your Site

Building Topical Authority

- Step 1: Niche Down Focus on one topic to establish expertise rather than covering multiple broad areas.

- Step 2: Do Keyword Research Identify all relevant keywords and queries your target audience is searching for in your niche.

- Step 3: Determine Content Clusters Determine which queries need full blog posts versus sections in posts, and plan your content clusters.

- Step 4: Write Pillar Content Create comprehensive, well-researched pillar articles that serve as the main hub for related topics.

- Step 5: Build Topic Clusters Expand your coverage by writing detailed sub-articles connected to your pillar content.

- Step 6: Connect Using Internal Links Strategically link between articles to enhance topic authority and improve SEO.

How to Measure Topical Authority?

Kevin Indig came up with Topic Share which can help you estimate a site’s Topical Authority. To determine Topic Share, which is essentially your Topical Authority, you need to calculate the traffic obtained from keywords within a given topic for you or your competitors. Here's how you can do it using Ahrefs:

1. Input a primary term (for instance, ''ecommerce'') into the Keyword Explorer.

2. Navigate to Matching Terms and apply a filter for Volume greater than 10.

3. Export all the keywords and then re-upload them into Keyword Explorer.

4. Access the section for traffic share by domains.

5. The resulting traffic share equals the Topic Share, which is synonymous with ''Topical Authority''.

Topical Relevance vs Topical Authority

Topical relevance and topical authority are distinct but complementary aspects of SEO.

Topical relevance focuses on how well content aligns with specific keywords or topics, ensuring it matches search intent through keyword use and detailed coverage.

Topical authority evaluates a website's depth of expertise in a subject, determined by extensive, quality content and reputable backlinks. While relevance ensures content is appropriate for a query, authority builds trust and credibility, enhancing a site’s reputation and search rankings.

Should you update old content?

Updating old content does not penalize you in terms of SEO. In fact, it can significantly boost your SEO performance. Search engines like Google favor fresh, up-to-date content, and routinely updating your content signals to them that your site is active and current. However, it's important not to update content just for the sake of it. Here's when you should update your content:

1. Outdated Information: If the information in your content is outdated or no longer accurate, it's time to update. This could include statistics, data, or references to events or trends that are no longer relevant.

2. Change in Keyword Rankings: If your content used to rank well for certain keywords but has since dropped in the rankings, it might be a good time to update the content and improve its SEO.

3. Low Engagement or Traffic: If a piece of content is not performing well in terms of user engagement or traffic, updating it could improve its performance.

4. New Developments or Insights: If there are new developments or insights in your field that are relevant to your content, it would be beneficial to update your content to include this information.

Remember, the ultimate goal of updating content is to provide the best possible value to your audience. If updating a piece of content will improve its usefulness to your readers, it's worth doing. Refactoring an article into new subarticles can significantly improve your SEO performance by allowing you to cover more keywords and subtopics. Make sure all subarticles are interconnected and lead back to the main pillar content through a strong internal linking strategy. This helps to maintain the topical authority of your site and avoid any potential SEO issues, including keyword cannabilization.

What is Keyword Cannabilization?

Keyword cannibalization happens when different content on your site targets the same keyword, which leads to competition between your own pages. To avoid this, each content piece should target a unique keyword. A Topical Authority Map can help in this process. It helps ensure your keywords are distributed evenly across your content, avoiding overlaps, and enhancing the depth of your content.

Can you increase topical authority with backlinks or through guest posting?

If you get a lot of backlinks from high-authority sites in your niche, it can help you increase your topical authority. These are called topically relevant backlinks.

One of the best ways to get topically relevant backlinks is through high-quality guest posts, allowing you to showcase your expertise on other reputable platforms, and bring fresh eyes to your content. For a deeper dive into how guest posting can transform your Topical Authority and the best practices to follow, read our detailed guide on guest posting.

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