Benefits of Topical Authority in search results

The Importance of Having Topical Authority on Your Website

Allison Bennett headshot

Written by: Allison Bennett

Category: Search Engine Optimization


It can’t be overstated how important topical authority is for a website. Many internet users rely on search engines to find information, and the websites that rank highly are typically seen as the most credible sources. So if you want your website to stand out among the thousands of others out there, building topical authority is vital.

What is Topical Authority?

Topical authority is a website’s perceived credibility and expertise on a particular topic. It’s crucial to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). That’s because search engines like Google don’t look at individual web pages in isolation. Instead, they analyze a website’s overall topical expertise to determine its value as a resource on a particular subject or subjects.

Benefits of Having Topical Authority

Having strong topical authority on a subject helps your website’s visibility and get clicks. Websites that consistently provide relevant, high-quality information on a particular topic can earn the trust of both search engines and users. This is highly desirable, as it can translate into higher rankings in search engine results and an increase in organic traffic.

Consider this – you have a question, like “what is the internal temperature of cooked chicken?” You would pop that into your search engine and the first few answers will be from food-related websites. That’s because these websites have the topical authority about cooking and food safety. And naturally, you tend to trust that you’ve been given a relevant result by your search engine of choice, so you’re more likely to click on the results shown.

Topical authority and the top results for internal chicken cooking temperature

On top of people clicking on your website when searching for information, when you have topical authority, other websites are likely to link to your relevant posts or web pages. This is known as a backlink, which brings further traffic to your website as people who are reading about a topic on another website will come across yours as a cited source.

Building Topical Authority

Now that you know what topical authority is, it’s time to apply it to your website. While there’s always an element of luck and chance when it comes to being seen as relevant, there are aspects you can control that exponentially improve your chances of getting views. On top of that, the more topical authority you have, the more you show in search results.

Create High-Quality Content

A key way to establish topical authority is through content. By consistently creating high-quality content related to your website’s industry or topic, you’ll define yourself as a reputable source to search engines. Content that builds topical authority includes blog posts, articles, and guides. 

The content you create should be well-researched, well-written, and easily readable. You should also take the time to regularly update older content to keep it fresh and relevant. This way your readers are engaging in the most up-to-date information on a subject, and search engines will continue to treat it as a reliable resource.

Build Internal and External Links

Links are an excellent way to build topical authority. This step is best done after you’ve taken the time to successfully build lots of relevant content on your website. You can strategically place internal links to related web pages within your content. For example, if you have a blog about the proper cooking temperature of chicken, you can link to another blog you’ve written about different ways to prepare chicken. This helps search engines identify you as a trusted source of information.

Another way to use links to build topical authority is through the use of external links. External links direct your readers to the authoritative sources that you’ve gotten your information from. When you have reliable references from other trusted sources, search engines are more likely to deem you a credible source yourself. So, if you’re writing about proper cooking temperature for chicken, a link to a relevant and respected website like the Food & Drug Administration could give your authority a massive boost.

Have a Well-Designed Website

Having a website that’s user-friendly and easy to navigate can also help establish your topical authority. When you provide a positive user experience, readers are more likely to trust your website’s authority. People are also more likely to stay on and engage with a website that is easy to navigate. It’s as simple as providing clear and concise information, effective calls to action, and adding relevant and engaging images and videos

Be Patient

It’s important to note that topical authority isn’t built overnight. It’s a long-term process that can take several months to a year to establish. No matter how much you know about a topic, trust is earned through hard work and proving yourself to be a respectable authority on the matter. So while you might not see results instantaneously, don’t get discouraged. Instead you should strategize, create content, and take the time to fine-tune your website into one that search engines and readers alike will go to for information on your chosen topic.

Topical authority is important for a website in order to stand out and become the go-to source for whatever you choose to specialize in. Contact Sperling Interactive today to work with a media company who can create high-quality content and teach you more about optimizing your website.

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