How can you achieve higher authority with killer content!
Have you ever been thinking why your website does not rank well for a certain keyword although, you have done an accurate keyword research?
In other words, you finished your keyword research and managed to list out a great deal of high-search-volume keywords with low competition to your site, then you included your keywords in your landing page’s content.
However, after several months, you still have no satiable results or organic traffic coming from searching those keywords.
Then you decided to invest and strive for months, or years, trying to win quality backlinks through guest posting, press releases and other links to your site but you still do not observe any differences.
Yes, I’m assuming you did the right keyword research, using any of your favorite keyword research tools, and managed to accomplish a hefty amount of quality backlinks that, yes, meet all the standards written on the internet.
But your landing page is not there yet among the top 10 competitors that you aspire to outplay.
If keyword research and backlinks aren’t enough, what is missing?
If questions started to flow through your mind like “What did I do wrong?” or “What did I miss?”.
The answer is simple… It’s your content.
If what you have just read earlier represents any of your true stories, then you should have realized now, that keyword research and backlinks are, of course, important, but they are not the heart of building your site’s authority and accordingly getting more organic traffic. It’s something else.
In other words, backlinks aren’t enough to promote your site to reach out to the top in search engines. Legit backlinks are as important as your keyword research but, content comes first before thinking of backlinks.
Backlinks can also hurt your website as much as they can help. Please read Neil Patel’s blog post about “Backlinks Effectiveness”. He also shared a great video by John Mueller, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, who describes how backlinks can hurt your website’s rank and why we should avoid the unnatural linking schemes.
If your content is good enough, readers will start to actually share and link to it over time which is the natural linking scheme that search engines love and Google, nowadays, can also easily detect the manipulative linking schemes through their Penguin algorithm that is developed and improved by the day.
The next question is… How do I write a killer content that attracts readers and improves my site’s authority?
Here are some useful and effective tips that are proven to actually build a content with high authority.
Tip #1 — Challenge yourself now and your readers in the future.
The first ultimate advice to write a great piece of content is to avoid starting with writing content. In other words, the first thing you should do is to spend quite some time thinking of what you are about to write. The topic.
A great, unique and challenging topic always pays off catching the reader’s attention.
Always ask yourself… Would this topic matter to the readers? What is it adding to them? Would readers care to know more if they read the first one or two headlines or paragraphs?
If the answer is yes to all of these questions, then spend as much time and effort as possible researching your topic. Back up your knowledge about it with a good list of online resources.
Readers will always ask themselves, how do I know that this information is accurate? Be always prepared to answer their potential questions in your content.
If you do not feel that the chosen topic is challenging enough, unique to the readers or discussed from a different angle, please do yourself a favor and stop!
Give yourself a chance to think of a different topic that haunts a reader’s mind until he finds a clue to his mystery. Be always challenging in every article or post you write.
Believe it or not… This step could be the most difficult, yet the most important one throughout your content writing journey. Even harder than writing the content itself. However, don’t sweat it.
Here’s a practical hint for you.
You can actually make use of your keyword research.
With keyword research, you can obtain some great ideas about different topics that users are actually searching for. One of these keywords can easily ring a bell, ask for a solution to a specific problem, or look for an answer to a great question.
A keyword list can actually work as a group of brainstormed ideas. Use it to your own favor to save time thinking of ideas that might not interest readers on the internet.
Here’s an example of a simple keyword research report.
Tip #2 — Divide and conquer with a draft outline.
At this point, you have a great topic to write about in mind but, you don’t have a grasp of “how to start”. Ideas about your selected topic started to flow through your mind but you have no idea how to write about them and keep them in context.
That’s what a draft outline can offer you… “How to start writing about your topic and keep everything organized”.
An outline is basically a list of your ideas, structured in an organized fashion. You can list your content headlines and each headline drills down to a bulleted list of few key subjects that describe and support each headline.
You do not write the actual content in an outline. It’s just the main ideas as headlines then break them down to a list of tips that supports you when you write about each headline.
Here’s an example of a draft outline showing the structure of a blog post to be.
An outline is simply said, a skeleton to your content without flesh. You can also use it as a map that shows you the “flow” of your ideas… which is context.
Tip #3 — Use the draft outline to write your content.
At this step, writing your content becomes an easy task. You got your topic ready in mind with a great list of headlines in an outline along with useful tips to elaborate each headline.
You are also guaranteed that the content you are about to write under each headline will be in context.
Although it seems basic, but it’s important to mention that while you write your content following those tips under each headline in your outline, make sure you avoid grammar and spelling mistakes. It really hurts your content evaluation by, not only search engines but also your readers. They will immediately have an intuitive repulsion towards you as an author, and they will stop reading your content without thinking.
Another useful tip is, readers love images and videos. They instantly reveal what the written content is trying to depict. Try to include aiding screenshots that support your subject rather than using meaningless stock images.
Tip #4 — Inspire your readers for further reading with helpful links.
After filling up your outline with amazing paragraphs of content, it’s extremely recommended to back up your readers with useful links for further reading.
You are always encouraged to link to existing internal post on your website and to external articles, web pages or online tools that extend a topic.
However, bear in mind that, it is critical to only pick high authority websites to link to. When you link to an external website or a page, you actually vote for that page providing extra details for the readers and for the search engines to visualize the main theme of your content.
How would you know if the websites you are linking to, are of high authority?
The fact is, there is an enormous amount of websites like Wikipedia, YouTube, CNN, Apple, and the list goes on, that no one can deny its authority being a trustworthy source of information. You can link directly to any of those websites if the link is relevant.
But when you are in doubt, here’s what you can do.
The good news is, there are lots of factors that you can use to judge the authority of a website, and the most prominent ones are:
A very useful score from 0 to 100 developed by MOZ evaluating each website. The higher domain authority is, the better the indicator that this website is of higher authority.
There are plenty of tools that check the domain authority of a website, but since domain authority score is actually developed by MOZ, then the most recommended tool is MOZ Link Explorer.
A score indicator that measures a website’s popularity based on traffic and other factors. Starting with 1, the most popular and the higher the number is the less popular the website is.
It makes the most sense since, the more popular a website is, the more authoritative it appears to your readers.
To obtain the Alexa rank of a website, you can use Alexa Site Info.
The name reveals the meaning. The older a website is, the more likely to be of authority. You can use the Web Archive tool to get the domain age of a website.
Backlinks of the website.
There is a countless number of other factors that give a tangible indicator of a website’s authority. One of them is the external links that are pointed to that website.
Ahrefs provides a great tool to check the authority of a website, you can check their Website Authority Checker which also would let you know how many backlinks that website has and also give you some more insights about the structure of those backlinks.
Tip #5 — Engage your readers in call to actions.
Finally, not only further reading through external or internal links is useful, but also encouraging your readers to share, like or comment on your content is extremely helpful to your future readers.
When a reader leaves you a good comment and the social media share counters increase, that leaves an impression that you have a great piece of content for future readers to read and recommend for other readers.
Also, readers can ask you questions or share ideas with you through comments to improve your content over time which is exceptionally a valuable source of feedback for you to measure and improve the quality of your writing.
Writing great content is a long journey full of learning, research, knowledge and experience. It awards you, your readers and your website with trust and acknowledgment of authority. Pay great attention to every tip mentioned earlier to let you develop a great writing process and more importantly make this path of more fun to you.