What is Topical Authority in SEO and How Can You Achieve it?

Scratching your head over topical authority? You've likely heard about it but not sure what it all means. Don't worry, I got you.

Let's start with the second word - authority, as it relates to the interwebs.

The concept of authority is important to understand when it comes to content on the internet. In general, the more authoritative a piece of content is, the more influence it will have over other information online. 

So, if you want to outrank your competitors with your blog, your focus should be on creating authoritative content. When you do this, you are building trust not just with Google, but with your audience. 

Gaining this trust with both parties is going to enable your pages to get a higher ranking in the SERPs which means more traffic. 

In this article, I am going to explain what Topical Authority is, why you need to do it, how to do it and some tips to get started. 

Strap in. 

What is Topical Authority in SEO?

In the world of search engine optimization, topical authority refers to a website's overall level of expertise on a particular topic.

This measure is calculated by evaluating factors such as the quality and frequency of inbound links, the freshness and accuracy of the content on the site, and the number of times a site appears in relevant search engine results.

By understanding how sites are ranked in terms of topical authority, SEO professionals can work to improve their own rankings by focusing on building links from authoritative and relevant sites, producing high-quality content regularly, and engaging in other strategies that boost their online presence.

Topical authority can have a significant impact not only on SEO rankings but also on web traffic and overall online visibility. 

Why is Topical Authority Important?

At its most basic level, having topical authority means being recognized as an expert or thought leader in a particular subject area.

This expertise can be demonstrated through various forms of content, such as blog posts, articles, and social media updates. In addition to helping your audience stay informed about important topics in your niche, having authority on key issues also allows you to gain credibility with potential clients and partners.

By demonstrating that you are an expert in your field, you set yourself apart from others in your industry and increase your chances of getting the recognition and opportunities that you deserve.

Having topical authority can help not only increase your visibility and influence but also drive more business for your organization.

So if you are looking to boost your professional success, improve your reputation, and build lasting relationships with key partners, it is essential that you focus on building up your own topical authority.

How Do You Build Topical Authority?

There are many strategies that you can use to build topical authority and establish yourself as a leader in your field.

The most important thing is to stay up-to-date with the latest research, trends, and developments in your area of expertise. This means reading scholarly journals and industry publications, attending conferences and seminars, and participating in online discussions or forums.

It can be helpful to write original content on your topic, such as blog posts or papers for publication. This way, you can share your knowledge and opinions with others, helping them to learn about your subject matter from a unique perspective. Overall, building topical authority takes time and work, but with enough effort and dedication, it is definitely achievable. 

While this may seem daunting, you can still do this from the comfort of your own home. Here are some tips: 

1. Write for Humans, Not Search Engines

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, your content will be read by actual people – not just search engine bots.

So, while it’s important to use keywords and other SEO best practices, don’t sacrifice readability in the process. Keep your audience in mind first and foremost.

2. Make Sure Your Information Is Accurate

One of the quickest ways to lose credibility is to publish inaccurate information. When writing your content, be sure to double-check your facts and statistics to avoid any embarrassing mistakes.

Cite specific stats or examples whenever possible to add further credence to your claims. 

3. Create an Effective Content Strategy

Content strategy is about building a solid foundation of high-quality content that will help build up your audience. This includes planning out what type of content you want to produce and when you want to publish it. You'll also want to plan out how you're going to promote each piece of content so people know it exists.

A great way to start thinking about content strategy is to make a list of everything you do online.

Think about every blog post, video, podcast episode, webinar, etc. Then ask yourself questions like "why am I doing this?" and "what problem does my content solve?". Once you've identified the purpose behind each piece of content, you can begin to think about ways to connect those pieces together into a coherent whole.

For example, say you run a travel blog.

You might write a weekly article about places to see around town and include photos of local attractions. If you wanted to expand your reach beyond your local area, you could talk about things to do in nearby cities. Or maybe you'd write a guidebook to some popular tourist destinations. In either case, you'd use your existing content to tell a story. 

4. Focus on Search Intent

There are three types of search queries that people typically use: informational, transactional, and navigational.

Informational queries are broad and don’t require specific products or brands.

Transactional queries are narrow and usually involve buying something.

Navigational queries are about finding things online. You want to make sure your site is optimized for each type of query.

Search intent is important to search engines because it helps them understand how people are searching for information online. If you want to rank well for certain keywords, you must know exactly what types of queries searchers use to find those terms. This is why user intent matters.

Google’s Knowledge Graph provides a good example of how user intent affects rankings.

When a person searches for "Who invented the automobile?" Google knows that most likely he or she wants to learn about history.

So, Google displays a list of famous inventors and historical figures. But what happens if someone searches for "How do I wipe my phone?"

Google now understands that the user wants specific steps in order to how this is achieved, and in most cases for a particular brand. In this case, Google will list the best pages that have the most accurate and best-presented information step by step.

It will omit pages that talk about "why you should wipe your phone" or "how often to wipe your phone".

The same thing applies to keyword research. You might want to include words such as "how," "when," "where," "why," and "what."

These words help Google understand the context of the query. For example, if you wanted to rank for "best place to buy shoes," you wouldn't just add the word "shoes" to your keywords. Instead, you'd focus on adding words like "cheap," "discount," "sale," "online," and "store."

If you're looking for a product or service, you'll want to make sure that the phrase you enter into your search box includes words like "product," "service," "review," "price," "buy," "purchase," and "order."

You can also use these words to target different types of products. For example, if your site sells clothing, you could target phrases like "men's dress shirts," "women's dresses," "kids' jeans," and "fashionable coats."

When writing headlines, you can also include words that describe the topic of your post. For example, if a blog post is about fashion trends, you could write a headline like "New Fashion Trends Are Here!"

5. Create a Topic Cluster Strategy 

The topic cluster strategy is one of the most effective ways to build up your online presence. A topic cluster is a collection of related topics that you want to cover.

These topics are usually a broad topic that you will expand on. You can use the topic cluster strategy to create authority around a specific topic, or you can use it to create a hub where you can link to many different types of content.

Pillar content is the core of a topic cluster. This is the piece of content that defines the topic. For example, if you're writing about how to make money online, your pillar content would be "How To Make Money Online." All the different methods of how to accomplish this can be written about in different articles, all related to the main cluster of making money online.  

6. Be Sure to do Internal linking to relevant pages

When you create content on your site, you will no doubt have content that relates to each other.

This is where internal linking comes into play. For your most important pages, being your pillar posts, you want to make sure that you are linking to this page from all the relevant content pages on your site.

This makes Google understand that your pillar page is important because there are many internal links pointing to it. And here's a tip - your pillar page should be a page that is monetized! 

7. Make Sure Your SEO is On Point

Having great content is one thing, but you also want to make sure that it's search-engine friendly too.

I know this might sound a little contradictory because I told you to write for humans and not robots, but it's important to have both.

Your On-Page SEO is the process of making sure that your website and its content are optimized for the search engines. This includes things like using the right keywords, having a good title, and having a description that accurately describes what's on your page. Your H2, H3, and H4 tags should all be hierarchal and not just randomly placed. 

Off-page SEO is also important because it builds your domain authority. You achieve this by getting other pages that are in your niche to link to you. Link building can be achieved by manual outreach. In some cases, sites may link out to you naturally, but typically you need to be proactive here with some kind of off-page SEO strategy.

How Can You Track Your Progress With Topical Authority?

One of the most effective ways to track your progress with topical authority is to pay attention to your engagement metrics.

These metrics, which can include things like website traffic, social media shares, and article views, help to quantify how successful your content is at engaging different audiences. By tracking these metrics over time, you can get a clear picture of how your work affects readers.

You don't need expensive software to accomplish this, Google Analytics will give you all the information that you need. If you want to get even more detailed, consider using a tool like BuzzSumo, which can help you track social media shares and other engagement metrics.


Now that you understand what topical authority is and how to go about building it, you should be well prepared.

If this seems a little daunting and you need some hand-holding, I can tell you that one of the best courses I have seen that teaches topical authority is The Affiliate Lab. This course goes into great deal on how to implement topical authority step by step. And if you need additional help, it's just a question away for their support group.

So whether you tackle Topical Authority on your own or get Affiliate Lab training, just make sure to incorporate it with your websites content. The future of your site depends on it.

Drew Mann

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