Online authority is one of the greatest assets a business can possess. Customers not only look up to those with authority, but they are willing to pay a premium for products and services from businesses they trust.
Building authority requires a long-term strategy and plenty of patience. Simply copying competitors is not going to get you very far. To stand out from the crowd and position yourself as a trustworthy source, you need a strong grasp of what makes your business special. Once you’ve worked out what your unique selling proposition is, you’re ready to start building your reputation as an expert in your field.
Focusing on these key areas will help you develop online authority for your brand:
1. Quality Content
It’s important to regularly produce and market quality content to gain authority. A common mistake many businesses make is to cast their net too wide when it comes to content creation. Rather than trying to address every angle of your business, you’re better off focusing on a niche area related to your unique selling proposition.
By regularly producing original content on your chosen area of expertise in the form of blog posts, case studies, eBooks and video's you will build authority much more effectively than if you take a scatter-gun approach.
Your content needs to be well-researched, written and produced, linking to credible sources and adding something new to the discussion.
Many business owners limit their online activity to sharing their own content on their social media platforms, but building online authority requires ongoing engagement and interaction with thought-leaders and potential customers.
There is a lot to be gained from actively participating in industry-specific discussions and forums. It’s a great idea to subscribe to relevant blogs and regularly post comments. Writing guest posts for high-profile blogs will help people to recongise your brand and enhance your reputation.
Twitter chats are another excellent way to publicly share your knowledge and insights with a wide audience. Social media participation provides opportunities to connect with industry leaders and build relationships. Influencers are more likely to engage with your content and share it with their followers if you’ve engaged with theirs.
Even the simple act of curating and sharing content from authoritative sources will add to your credibility and earn followers for your business.
Search engines have sophisticated methods for assessing a websites authority through its links. Untrustworthy sites receive very few links from authoritative sources, allowing Google and other search engines to identify quality content.
To make the most of link benefits, businesses should use natural links that connect organically with content, as Google now penalises random and ‘unnatural’ links. Links should always be from high-quality sources and connect readers to information which is helpful.
Adding value to your content through links will boost your authority with Google, and attract links to your site from influencers and leaders in your field. Focusing on these keys areas will build your authority and reputation online.