We talk a lot about using top-quality content to position your brand as a thought leader in your field. On the search engine optimization (SEO) side of things, that positioning is something that search engine algorithms can not only spot, but they end up translating it into a concept known as site authority. When you increase your site authority with top-quality, authoritative content, you’ll not only increase your reputation in your field, but you’ll likely improve your brand’s standing in your prospects’ searches.
What Is Site Authority?
Site Authority (also known as “domain authority”) describes the number of quality backlinks that link to your website from reputable sites. When other brands quote your material and use it as a reference to document the facts and conclusions in their content, you become a trusted source of information in your field. When your trust factor rises, so does your ranking on their search results pages (SERPs), provided other ranking factors are equal.
Since Google and other search engine companies want to provide their users with the best information on each topic they search for, they use domain authority as a key metric to rank websites. The higher the relevance and the better the reputation of the sites that link to yours, the more weight search engine companies assign to backlinks from them.
So, How Do We Get Top-Quality Backlinks?
Back in the day, plenty of companies paid shady link providers for a set of backlinks. Believe it or not, those con artists still exist on the seamier side of the web.
However, Google and her lesser-known sisters have been wise to these tricksters for years now – and if your brand utilizes these bought-and-paid-for links, they’ll likely lower your site authority.
Begging for backlinks rarely works, either. Unless the other party can use your content as a valid reference in a quality piece, they’ll usually put your backlink (grudgingly) on a lower-ranking page they hope Google won’t notice.
Here’s a concept. Earn those backlinks with every piece of content you create.
Consider Your Customers’ and Other Industry Professionals’ Needs
It’s a simple concept when you look at why another major company might use your material as a reference when creating their own content. Your content must provide them with an idea or data that can help them make their point.
So, you dive into your content analytics to see which pieces of content your target customers are sharing with each other and using as references. Then, do some online research to see what questions your target customers and top industry professionals are asking.
Next, look at the highest-ranking sites for your company’s keywords and topic areas. Which ones are linking to your competitors instead of you? Look at the pieces they linked to and analyze why they chose them instead of your content on the same topic.
Then create well-researched, high-end content that answers those questions and expands on the topics covered in the content your customers are sharing most often. Strive to do a better job covering those topics so that people will start linking to your content, not your competitors’.
Use Quality Links in Your Own Content
Using links from high-ranking websites related to your industry can do two things to make your content perform better. First, it gives a sense of familiarity to your audience. They’ll likely trust your content more if they can recognize some of the big-name companies in your links.
It also allows the companies whose content you link to see that you’ve linked to their material. So long as you create high-quality content containing information they need or answers to their questions, they’ll be more likely to link to your content as well.
Build Offline and Online Relationships with Industry Leaders
Attending industry events and networking on social media are both effective ways to get on a first-name basis with industry leaders. Once they get to trust your own expertise on industry topics, they’ll probably consider linking to your content.
And, if you impress them enough, these companies’ marketing leadership might even ask you to write a guest blog post on their website. Usually, when you write a guest post or serve as a guest host on a podcast, the people who invite you allow you to include a link to your own company website, building site authority with every guest post you write.
Increase Site Authority with Content Likely to Attract Backlinks
Certain types of content are more useful for other companies’ creative teams to link to. If you can provide valuable resources for their audience, there’s a better chance that they’ll link to your material. These content types include:
If your company has risen to the upper echelons of expertise in its industry, there is an excellent chance that you’ll have subject matter experts on staff with unique knowledge in specific industry niches. Engage them in content collaboration with the subject matter experts providing the technical expertise, and with your content teams translating that technical language into approachable content that educates your audience on a topic they want to learn about.
Original Research and Derivative Works
Encourage your C-suite to give your subject matter experts time enough to conduct research that helps bring about advancements in their field. Then, ask your editing team to polish their writing and help the subject matter experts submit it for publication to a respected industry journal.
When your subject matter experts publish in a journal, it gives your company extra cachet among industry leaders. Even better, your video, podcast, and blog writing teams can use (and link to) that research in other derivative works that are superb link-builders such as:
- White papers
- Blog posts
- Audio presentations
Other companies’ content teams are always on the lookout for statistics to cite in their blog posts and other content. Providing them with those statistics saves them time and provides you with a link to your site. It’s a win-win proposition.
A recent Semrush study revealed that lists drive 80% more traffic than other kinds of articles. They’re easy to read, contain actionable information, and solve problems that their target audience often faces.
Image via Semrush
Whether educational or in the ever-popular how-to format, videos generate plenty of backlinks because they combine visuals (remember, 65% of the population consists of visual learners) with audio tracks to engage at least two senses. If they’re how-to videos, they often engage the kinesthetic (hands-on) sense as well since many people use the videos as a guide to help them do what you’re teaching them to do successfully.
Videos also get an insane number of shares, making them a highly effective source of backlinks.
The share rate on social video is 12x higher than images and text combined, according to a SmallBizTrends report. And, as a bonus, they drive more sales and leads than other types of content.
Finally, Repurpose Older Content in a Backlink-Generating Format
With a content marketing platform that covers everything from ideation to content performance analytics, you can easily find older content in need of a reboot in your content repository. Partner with subject matter experts and transform those older pieces into a format that will reel in the backlinks.
DivvyHQ is such a platform. Designed specifically for enterprise content teams but used by companies of all sizes, it comes with a 14-day free trial with no obligation to buy. Give it a test drive today – and bump up your site authority with a slew of new backlinks.