Topical Authority in SEO: A Complete Guide (2022)

Topical Authority in SEO
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With all of the SEO content that is published, do you ever wonder what the most important thing is to rank well on Google? Is it links? Content quality? Do you need a lot of that one keyword? or even Topical Authority?

In 2013, Google started to implement a new ranking factor(s) called Topical Authority. It is one of the most important things in SEO. Topical authority has become a critical part of SEO and what Google thinks we are capable of in a certain niche, area, or field.

I mean what are you an expert in? Health niche, Make money online, or even Blogging niche. Whatever it is, you must have topical authority by continuously creating new and fresh high-quality content.

The more topical authority you have in a specific niche or area, the more Google gains trust in you. This way every time you create new content, you can rank easily. Isn’t that what you want?

What is Topical Authority?

Topical authority is a measure of the importance of websites within a particular niche. It looks at other websites that link to your site and gives more weight to authoritative websites that link back to your site.

Depending on your goal or niche in SEO, topical authority may or may not be a priority. However, to understand SEO, you need to understand the core of how it works: which keywords and phrases get found by search engines and drive traffic to business sites.

To build topical authority, there are a few things to take into action first. As I mentioned above, the first thing is creating high-quality content in a consistent manner.

I mentioned the first step is to create content but to create content you also need to start or create a blog – if you haven’t of course.

There are many hosting providers out there to start with but I recommend Bluehost. Bluehost offers the world‘s best hosting and it is recommended by WordPress. Get started now for just $2.95 per month and 1 free year domain name. Read our Bluehost Review to find out more.

Now, back to the topic …

1. Determine Your Focus Subject

Determine Your Focus Subject

Determining your focus subjects is one of the most important steps in building a successful content marketing strategy. Knowing what to write about, how to write about it, and why you’re writing about it will guide your entire editorial process.

When you don’t have a clear focus subject in mind (or more than one, as is often the case), you end up writing about everything and anything. This is a problem for both readers and search engines because it doesn’t tell either what your site or business is actually about.

A strong focus subject can also help you build topical authority in Google, which makes it easier to rank consistently for that topic. Think this sounds like something from an SEO’s wildest dreams? It’s not – with the right approach, it’s actually very achievable.

What is a Focus Subject and How to Come up With One?

The SEO industry has always been obsessed with keywords and while they are essential, they are not the only thing that matters.

The best way to become a topical authority is by determining your focus subjects. Focus subjects are the topics or subtopics of your website that you want to rank for in the search results.

Focus subjects should be broad enough so that there are many different topics and content types under them, yet specific enough so that you can rank well for them.


If you own an e-commerce store, then your focus subjects will likely be the product lines or categories that you offer. If you have an informational site, then your focus subjects will likely be broad topics around which you create content such as blog posts and other pages.

Now you have got your Focus Subject, it is time to create content to show our strength to google and what we want to gain topical authority in.

2. Create Quality Content

Create Quality Content

With so much content out there on the internet, you want to make sure what you write is worth it. The first step to writing high-quality content is to do keyword research.

– Keyword Research

The keywords you choose should be relevant to the platform you are selling on, your products or services, etc. Though it appears to be a miracle solution, this technique works only if you know what you’re doing and use it consistently.

Most of the SEO problems can be solved by using some basic SEO tools like keyword research tools, content analysis tools, web stats tools, etc., but these tools can be expensive and time-consuming if used incorrectly.

Don’t worry I have another blog highlighting 15 free keyword research tools. Please read the suggested blog to find out more about keyword research.

Suggested Blog?

15 Best Free Keyword Research Tools For Blog Optimization

– Creating Content

The first method of writing quality content is by understanding the user intent. This was achieved through keyword research in the above step. You also need to read a few blogs on your focus keyword. This way you have an idea of what to write. Draft the main points and start writing your content.

Suggested Blog?

How To Write A Perfect SEO Blog Post in 5 Steps: A Step-By-Step Guide

While creating the content itself can be frustrating, there are different ways to do it. The second method is to use AI copywriting tools that help you generate content within minutes. Just a click and a long-form blog is generated.

There are many tools out there to use but my three recommendations are; Rytr AI, Anyword AI, and Copy AI. Read the suggested blog to find out more.

Suggested Blog?

Top 10 Blog AI Copywriting Tools (Free & Pro): Honest Review

3. Finding Content Clusters

Finding cluster content or topic is the basis of on-page SEO, but we only deal with internal linking to other relevant pages.

In the past years or so, Google has slowly begun to roll out a new search feature called “topic clusters.” Basically, a topic cluster is an approach to building content that allows you to rank for a variety of keywords with just one piece of content.

And this is good news for you – because it means you can improve your search engine optimization (SEO) without having to create tons of new content.

The idea behind topic clusters is simple: Instead of creating random blog posts on a wide range of topics, you should create “pillar” pages that broadly cover certain topics and then link out to separate blog posts that go into more detail on those topics.

For example, let’s say you have a website that sells outdoor gear, and you have an article about hiking backpacks. In the past, Google may have only shown this page in search results if someone typed in “hiking backpacks.”

Now, however, if someone types in something like “what kind of backpack do I need to go hiking?” Google will show your pillar page as well because the two topics are connected.

So how do you set up topic clusters?

Here’s what you need to know about how this process works and how it can help improve your SEO.

  • Start with research. Perform keyword research and see what people are searching for in your industry. The topics you choose should not only be relevant to your site, but they should also be topics that people are actively searching for.
  • Choose a primary topic or focus keyword. This is the main topic of your website or blog post, and it will be reflected in the title tag and meta description of the page.
  • Identify related topics and subtopics. These are the supporting topics that you want to cover in your blog content. They can be more specific than the focus keyword and may include long-tail keywords, but they should all relate to the central topic of the page or post. For example, if you’re writing about how to improve your credit score, supporting topics might include: how long does it take for a credit score to improve, how can I lower my credit card debt quickly, etc.
  • Create Pillar Pages. Pillar pages provide an outline of a broad topic – like “How to Start a WordPress Blog” – while linking out to individual posts that cover each of the identified subtopics within this broader subject area (like “How to Write a Blog Post” or “Best Hosting for WordPress”. These cornerstone pieces of content should be information-dense articles that provide an overview of the entire topic and also include links to more detailed information found in cluster assets. Pillar pages should be highly linked to internal and external websites.

4. Backlinks

backlinks and link building

Backlinks are the basis of off-page SEO, but we only deal with external linking from other relevant sites. They are also the secrete to topical authority

Backlinks are the best way to build Topical Authority because they can be used to signal what a site is about.

How do backlinks build authority?

The goal of authority in SEO is to get authorities’ trust so they link to your site. Authority in SEO is something that’s earned and can only be given by other authority sites.

As you know, links to a page from other sites can help bring that page up higher in the search results. The more links a page has, the more valuable it is for someone searching for information.

In addition, authority can easily be measured using backlinks. These are pages on other websites that point to yours. As you can imagine, if they’re pointing to your site and giving your content favorable treatment, then they’re going to make it more likely that people will click on your links and visit your site.

For example, if your site is about dogs and it receives a backlink from a site that’s also about dogs, that’s great because it indicates to Google that your page is relevant for dog-related queries.

Link Building Guides

Let’s take a look at some tactics you can use to get backlinks and build topical authority at the same time.

I’m going to share with you five tactics I’ve seen work really well. None of these are new – you may have heard them before – but they’re important. They’re not easy, so don’t expect overnight success, but they can pay off big.

  • Create valuable (high-quality) and shareable content. Create great content on your website and share it on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Usually, when people find good content they will link to it or share it (which can result in a link).
  • Write high-quality guest posts on other blogs and include a link back to your site in them. The more common way to do this is to write an article for another blog or website in exchange for a link back to your site. A guest blog post is usually a one-off thing, though some blogs may offer a more permanent position.
  • Do interviews or podcasts with influential people in your industry.
  • Comment on other blogs with useful information and include a link back to your website so readers can find out more information on the mentioned link and comment.
  • Add links to your content from your social media profiles.
  • Find competitors’ backlinks and replicate them.
  • Build relationships with other bloggers.

“The more natural and non-promotional the backlink, the better it is for your site’s ranking. The best way to get natural, non-promotional backlinks is by publishing “ultimate guides” and other long-form content that people want to link to without you asking them to.”


While search engine optimization is a robust practice with lots of potentials, it can be scary when you’re first starting out.

Luckily, we hope this guide will take the guesswork out of creating topical authority in your SEO and help you put together a viable strategy for developing your site over time.

Ultimately, topical authority will remain in the future of SEO.


What is the Concept of Topical Authority?

The concept of topical authority was coined originally by Eric Enge, who defined it as ranking in an unassociated niche and also ranking in a related niche. Topical authority allows you to use one authoritative domain to anchor other domains, making them appear authoritative.

What is a Topic Cluster in SEO?

A topic cluster is a group of content pages that focus on a very specific topic and some supporting subtopics. For example, if you sell white sneakers, your cluster could cover everything from caring for white sneakers to the history of white sneakers.

Each page in the cluster then links to one another, creating a web of connections that strengthen each page’s SEO.

Setting up “Cluster Topic” helps Google understand what each page is about and how it relates to other pages on your site.

“When implemented correctly, topic clusters can help you rank for keywords you might never have considered targeting before. They can also help Google and other search engines understand the structure of your site and how your content relates to each other. Plus, if you are creating lots of new pieces of content, topic clusters can help organize it all so it doesn’t become an unwieldy mess.”

There are many ways of setting up a cluster topic as discussed above in point No 3.

What is a Backlink and Why are they Important?

Backlinks, also known as inbound links and incoming links, are hypertext links that point to a website or web page from external sites. They are important because they signal to search engines that your website is a quality resource worthy of citation.

Search engines use backlinks as part of their algorithm to rank websites for relevancy in search results. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the better your rankings will be.

What “Authority” Determines how You Rank?

When it comes to ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), there are two types of authority: domain authority and topical authority. This blog post will cover topical authority, which is the practice of sending signals to search engines via various techniques to help them determine what your site or web page is all about.

What is the Best Way to Build Topical Authority?

The best way to build topical authority is through backlinks. By getting other high-authority sites in your topic area linking to your content, you can tell search engines that you’re a trusted expert in that area.

Thanks for reading.

We hope this guide has been helpful to you and we wish you continued success in your own SEO efforts. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the comment section below.

Have a Nice Day!

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