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Building Topical Authority in SEO

It's essential for businesses to be perceived as knowledgeable authorities in their field. Here's how to help convince Google you're an authority.
Topical Authority in SEO

For businesses to remain competitive, it’s essential for them to be perceived as knowledgeable authorities in their field, acting as subject matter experts with credibility.

But how can you convince Google that you’re an authority in anything?

It’s much more difficult than it used to be. However, some clever SEO services providers can help you build topical authority through the use of SEO strategies, including topic clusters, pillar pages, and internal linking, all vital for establishing your website’s content depth and breadth.

My comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of building topical authority and how it can significantly impact your search engine rankings, and I’ll answer a number of questions many people have about this topic, from the importance of metrics to understanding ranking factors.

The goal is to help you understand the importance of domain authority and online reputation in the realm of Internet marketing and web content design, ultimately improving your online visibility and traffic share.

We’ll explore why topical authority is essential in SEO and its effect on SERP rankings. We’ll also discuss creating a topical map by identifying the main keywords for your niche, developing relevant categories and subtopics, and ensuring proper internal linking between pages.

Everything from content strategy to algorithm updates like Hummingbird, link building, and the meanings of often-confusing terms will be covered.

We’ll also tackle the question of how to build a strong online reputation and domain authority for long-term success, which is pivotal for establishing your website authority.

Finally, we’ll examine ranking competitive keywords through topical maps by analyzing competitors’ strategies and utilizing tools like Answer The Public and ChatGPT for content ideas, providing valuable insights into instances where you can gain an edge over your competition.

By implementing a few advanced Topical Authority SEO techniques, you can gain an edge over your competition while providing valuable content to your audience. In the process, you’ll learn about user intent, search intent, and the importance of domains and words in SEO.

Topical authority is a measure of how much expertise a website has on a specific topic or group of topics, often referred to as a topic cluster. In the context of search engine optimization (SEO), having topical authority can help your site rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords related to that topic.

As Google has explained ad nauseum, content quality and relevance are crucial factors in determining your site’s rankings. In today’s cutthroat online environment, it’s not enough to merely possess well-crafted content; you must also demonstrate yourself as a specialist within your area of expertise, acting as a point of reference for users.

By building topical authority, you demonstrate to both users and search engines that your website is trustworthy and knowledgeable about the subject matter at hand.

Understanding Topical Authority

The relationship between topical authority and SERP rankings stems from Google’s ongoing efforts to deliver the most accurate information possible to its users.

The search giant uses various algorithms like E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) to evaluate the quality of content on a website.

Websites that demonstrate high levels of E-E-A-T in their niche are more likely to rank higher for relevant keywords.

Importance of Topical Authority in SEO

Let’s look at a quick example.

If your B2B business specializes in cybersecurity solutions for small businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, creating comprehensive content around this topic can help you establish topical authority.

Now you may ask “Why would I want to create a bunch of content around a topic about which I know well?”

The annoying answer is: that you need to convince Google you’re an authority on the topic.

As a result, Google may reward your efforts with better rankings for related search queries like “cybersecurity services for SMBs” or “Bay Area IT security providers.”

  • User trust: When visitors see that you consistently provide valuable information on a particular topic, they’re more likely to trust your brand and return for future visits.
  • Inbound links: Websites with high topical authority often attract natural backlinks from other reputable sources within their industry, further boosting their SEO performance.
  • SERP visibility: Google prioritizes websites with strong topical authority when ranking pages for relevant queries. This means increased visibility and organic traffic for authoritative sites.

How Topical Authority Affects SERP Rankings

“SERP” is short for “Search Engine Result Pages” or, the results that Google gives you after you press “Enter” and submit your query.

Understanding topical authority is essential for businesses to create an effective SEO strategy and gain higher SERP rankings. By mapping out content according to its relevance to the primary keywords of your industry, you can enhance the visibility of your website on SERPs.

A topical map is an organized set of pages with categories and subtopics that link together, helping you establish your website as an authoritative source on a particular subject. This interconnected structure allows search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to better understand the content’s relevance and value.

The first step in creating a topical map is identifying the main keywords, or more precisely, topics, related to your niche or industry. These are the terms users will likely search for when looking for information about your products or services.

You can use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner (meh, as it’s tailored to sell ads, but it’s better than nothing) or Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to find high-volume, relevant keywords that align with your target audience’s needs.

Creating a Topical Map

Once you have identified the main keywords and topics, it’s time to develop categories and subtopics around them. Each category should represent a broad topic within your niche, while subtopics dive deeper into specific aspects of those topics.

There are countless ways to approach this task, and it may require a lot of experimentation to find the right balance.

Identifying Main Keywords for Your Niche

Let’s suppose that one of your main keywords is “content marketing,” potential categories (or “parent topics”) could include blogging best practices, email marketing strategies, and social media promotion. Within each category, you’d create subtopics that address specific questions or concerns related to the main topic.

Developing Relevant Categories and Subtopics

Internal linking is crucial for establishing topical authority as it helps search engines understand how your content relates to one another. When creating your topical map, make sure each subtopic page links back to relevant categories and subtopics within your site.

By following these steps in creating a well-structured topical map for your B2B business website, you’ll improve both user experience and search engine rankings while positioning yourself as an authoritative source in your industry.

Ensuring Proper Internal Linking Between Pages

Creating a topical map is an important step in SEO for businesses, as it helps to identify main keywords and develop relevant categories. Ranking competitive keywords through the use of these maps can help ensure that your content stands out from the competition.

  1. Create a clear hierarchy of pages with main categories at the top level and subtopics nested underneath.
  2. Use descriptive anchor text when linking between pages so users know what they can expect from clicking on a link.
  3. Avoid overloading any single page with too many internal links; instead, focus on providing valuable connections between related content pieces.

By following these steps in creating a well-structured topical map for your business website, you’ll improve both user experience and search engine rankings while positioning yourself as an authoritative source in your industry.

Ranking Competitive Keywords through Topical Maps

To rank for competitive keywords using topical maps, it’s essential to create multiple supporting pages linked back to the main page targeting those keywords.

These additional pages/articles should cover various aspects related to the primary keyword while providing valuable information that answers users’ questions about it.

Let’s look at how you can analyze competitors’ ranking strategies and use tools like Answer The Public and ChatGPT for content ideas.

Analyzing Competitors’ Ranking Strategies

We all secretly hope that our business finds itself in a “blue ocean” with zero competition.

But even if that doesn’t happen, you can look to your competitors for help!

The first step in building your topical map is understanding what your competitors are doing right. By analyzing their ranking strategies, you can identify gaps in their content and find opportunities to outrank them with more authoritative sources of information on specific topics.

Here’s a simple process you can follow:

  1. Identify top-ranking competitors: Use an SEO tool like Ahrefs, or conduct manual searches for your target keywords and make a list of websites that consistently appear on search engine results pages (SERPs).
  2. Analyze their content structure: Look at how they’ve organized their site’s metadata, categories, subtopics, and internal linking patterns.
  3. Evaluate topic depth: Determine if they’re covering all relevant aspects of the subject matter or if there are areas where you could provide more detailed information.
  4. Create better content: Develop high-quality content based on these insights by addressing any gaps found during analysis while ensuring proper keyword usage throughout each piece.

Using Tools Like Answer The Public & ChatGPT For Content Ideas

Once you’ve analyzed your competitors’ strategies, it’s time to generate content ideas that will help establish your topical authority. One useful tool for this purpose is Answer The Public, which provides a visual representation of the most common search queries related to specific keywords.

To use Answer The Public effectively:

  • Enter your primary keyword: Type in the main topic or keyword you want to rank for and click “Search.”
  • Analyze the results: Review the generated list of questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabetical terms, and related searches associated with your target keyword.
  • Create content based on these insights: Develop articles addressing each query or semantically-related topics identified by Answer The Public. This approach ensures comprehensive coverage of all aspects within a given subject area while helping gain topical authority in search engines like Google.

To use ChatGPT effectively:

  • Download the Chrome Extension, “AIPRM for ChatGPT”
  • Login to ChatGPT. You will see the AIPRM prompts. Look for the prompt “Keyword Strategy”.
  • Enter your main topic keyword.
  • ChatGPT will output in table format

Incorporating these tactics into your SEO strategy can significantly improve your chances of ranking higher for competitive keywords.

By establishing topical relevance through interconnected pages covering various subtopics within a niche, you’ll create authoritative content that appeals to users and search engine crawlers looking for reliable sources on specific subjects.

FAQs in Relation to Topical Authority SEO

What is topical authority in SEO?

Topical authority in SEO is the degree to which a website or webpage has established expertise and trustworthiness on a specific topic. Creating content such as blog posts, articles, whitepapers and other forms of content related to the topic helps build topical authority for a page.

Quality backlinks from authoritative websites also contribute to building topical authority for a page. Ultimately, having strong topical authority signals search engines that your website should rank higher than competitors when someone searches for information related to that topic.

What is an example of a topical authority?

An individual or organization with extensive expertise in a given subject is often referred to as a topical authority. They are regarded as the primary source for expert knowledge, guidance and exemplary techniques in their sector.

A great example of this would be Moz (formerly SEOmoz), which provides comprehensive guides on search engine optimization (SEO) for businesses across the world. They have become a trusted source for SEO advice and are seen as the authority on the subject.

What is topical authority in content marketing?

Topical authority in content marketing is the ability to produce authoritative, relevant content on a specific topic. Having a thorough comprehension of the topic and being able to deliver accurate facts as well as new perspectives is what topical authority in content marketing entails.

To achieve topical authority, one must be knowledgeable about current trends and research related to their chosen field or industry. This also requires accurately analyzing data from multiple sources, such as customer feedback surveys and website analytics tools.

Topical authority helps businesses become more credible in their respective industries by providing valuable information for customers through high-quality content.

What are topical articles?

Articles that are focused on a specific area of interest, for example, SEO strategies for B2B companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, are termed topical pieces. They provide detailed information about a particular topic and can help readers understand complex topics more easily.

Topical articles usually include relevant keywords to target search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, allowing them to rank higher in organic search results. Additionally, topical articles often contain multiple sources of data or research that support their claims and arguments.


By understanding the concept of topical authority SEO, creating a topical map and ranking competitive keywords through it, businesses can optimize their content for better search engine visibility. Topical maps provide an effective way to organize content into topics that are more likely to be recognized by search engines. With this approach, businesses can improve their rankings on SERPs while ensuring that users get relevant results based on their queries.

Want more of your best clients to know you exist? Contact Boomcycle Digital Marketing today and we’ll be happy to help.

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