Topical Authority and Why Regular Blogging Will Improve Your Website's Search Engine Rankings
A lot of business owners make the effort to produce a company blog.
Or, at least, they make half an effort...
How many company blogs have you seen which are updated once every two or three months at best, or have been left dormant altogether?
I've seen literally hundreds like this...
But why does it happen? Do these companies just not have the time to regularly update their blog? Or perhaps they don't have the resources or the inclination to?
Or maybe some of these business owners just don't believe maintaining a high quality, regularly updated company blog is worth the effort.
The thing is, thinking this would be a big mistake.
So why is having a company blog that's regularly updated with high quality, authoritative content so important?
There are many reasons why, but first, let's take a look at a common misconception.
A lot of professional SEO's believe that large websites (i.e. websites which have a lot of different webpages on them) will tend to automatically rank higher in Google's search results than smaller websites which have less webpages on them.
This was shown in a poll of over 400 SEO's which found that '57% said larger sites rank better in Google, while only 9% said that smaller sites rank better in Google.'
If this is true, then it would suggest that one potential benefit of blogging with regards to SEO, is that doing it will create more pages on your website, which in turn will lead to higher rankings.
However, senior Google employees Matt Cutts and Peter Mueller have stated that larger websites do NOT automatically rank higher in Google's search results:
So, now that we've shown that size doesn't matter (giggity), what are the benefits of blogging when it comes to SEO?
Why Blogging Improves Your SEO
One benefit comes in the form of increased topical authority.
What is topical authority?
Well, it can be defined as a 'depth of expertise,' which 'is only gained over time by consistently writing high-quality, comprehensive content that covers the topic holistically.'
Topical authority is important because 'going forward, organizations that cover a topic with the most depth will own the future traffic flow for related searches.'
For example, if you have a website about hiking, then in order to future-proof your SEO efforts, you should focus on creating long, detailed and comprehensive pieces of content which cover all the many different aspects of hiking in some depth.
This will help your website build a reputation with Google as being a premier source of information about hiking.
The key factor here is to identify all the aspects of hiking you can think of, and to then produce detailed, high-quality and informative content for every aspect you identify.
Ideally, you would produce excellent pieces of content based around every individual aspect of the topic of hiking, so that Google not only sees your website as an outstanding source of information about hiking, but has content of yours to hand which answers every single question people may have about every different part of hiking.
(Obviously, achieving this kind of topic coverage is not realistically possible, but the more ground you can cover, the better!)
With these two things in place, Google then views your website as being a source of great authority, and has your content resources readily available in its database, which it can then show in its search results to everyone who requests any kind of information relating to your website's particular topic of focus.
This increased focus on building up a demonstrated authority and expertise in a chosen field is a relatively new development in SEO, and it has come about largely because of recent tweaks to Google's search ranking algorithm, which have been termed Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin.
These adjustments have given the algorithm a much greater capacity to understand what a user is actually looking for when they search for specific keywords, along with a substantially better ability to understand what subjects a piece of website content is focused on, instead of just identifying which keywords the content is using, as earlier iterations of Google's algorithms were limited to doing.
Essentially, Google is now far better at identifying the meaning behind words, instead of just the words themselves.
These developments have allowed Google to identify which websites tend to be experts in which particular fields, and as Google further improve their algorithms over time, you can expect those websites which have established their authority in a specific topic, to rank much higher than those websites which have not, for search queries relating to that particular topic, when all other factors are equal.
After all, it's crucial to Google's business model that they deliver users search results that are as helpful and informative as possible - and which is more likely to do this: a website with demonstrated expertise in an industry, or one that has simply used certain keywords on a single page without displaying any depth of knowledge about the topic on the rest of the site?
Topical authority has been considered a search engine ranking factor by most SEO's for a few years now, but its influence on rankings is likely to become substantially greater still over time, as Google is able to better and better understand both the intent of searchers and the information provided by websites.
Blogging about topics in your particular field is a fantastic way to establish the topical authority of your website.
If you're able to regularly produce high-quality, in-depth content about a number of important aspects of your industry, which gives great value to your target audience, then your topical authority is almost assured, and your website will almost certainly rank progressively higher over time for keywords relating to your industry, as the importance of a website's topical authority becomes ever greater.
The Other Benefits
Other SEO benefits of regular blogging include the fact that having more pages on your website will allow you to rank for some long tail keywords which you would never have thought of, while the greater the amount of high quality content you have on your website, the greater the chance of that content attracting backlinks and social shares, both of which are (and most likely always will be) very important search engine ranking factors.
Also, a similar benefit of blogging which does not relate directly to SEO, but which is still hugely important (and in my opinion, is not mentioned nearly enough), is the fact that having detailed, informative and helpful content on your website, that really shows off your expertise in your particular field, will help to win the trust of your target audience, and show them that you really are an expert in your industry.
Winning the trust of, and displaying expertise to, your target audience, is absolutely invaluable, and it's something that will almost certainly help to convince some of your audience to become clients, when they otherwise would not have.
Overall then, there are multiple benefits of maintaining an active and high-quality company blog which is updated at least once every month.
These benefits include; building up vital topical authority, generating additional backlinks, social shares and rankings for long tail keywords, and showing off your expertise and experience to your audience, thereby helping to earn their trust and increase the likelihood of them becoming your clients over time.
So then, what are you waiting for?