There is a lot of chaos in the online world. There are many people selling similar products and services to what you are selling. If you want to stand out in the crowd and make a living from your small business, then you need to build your online authority. This includes website authority as well as the authority and credibility you and/or your business carry.
Before delving more into why you need to build your online authority, you need to know what it means to have online authority.
The word “authority,” itself is a powerful word.
If you are an authority figure, you are someone that people look up to as a leader with inherent respect.
If you are authority in your field, you are an expert. People respect you. They trust you, and they look to you for advice.
Being an online authority isn’t much different. The main concept of authority is still the foundation. Having online authority means that you have proven yourself to be an expert on a specific topic and you share that expertise in a meaningful way with your audience.
You establish yourself as a resource for your audience with credibility and legitimacy.
Think about this for a moment…
You are sitting in your office wishing there was a way for you to sell your services or product to every visitor to your website. Every time a potential client visits your website, they have so much trust and respect that they buy every product you recommend.
This is something that we all envision for our business, however there isn’t one proven method that will give it to us. There is something that can help, though. You can become an authority in your niche, or on your topic of choice.
The thought of becoming an authority can be overwhelming, but that is only because society has taught us to believe the only way we can become an authority is to know about everything. This is not true. It is impossible to become an authority on everything … or even just everything about a particular topic.
Instead, pick that one specific subject (maybe two) within your industry that you are passionate about. You will be willing to learn everything you can about that subject. Being an authority on that one subject will help you gain the trust and respect of your visitors – turning them into clients. Not only that, but they will begin recommending you to their friends.
Having a specialization in something opens many advantages for your business. Some of the advantages of this are that you will:
- gain trust more quickly from your clients and prospects, giving you more opportunities for sales;
- gain respect from your peers, which will lead to more partnerships and business opportunities that increase your business;
- become the go-to source in your industry, leading to more traffic and links to your website;
- be able to quickly gain traction on your new projects and ventures so that you can reduce marketing costs; and
- get more referrals, both online and offline.
How to Build Your Online Authority
Create and Publish Authoritative Content
Write, or find someone to write, a lot of original content. (You can find out more about Content Marketing here).
Share your unique ideas and approaches with your audience. Make sure you include in-depth content that gives you and your business more credibility. Let your audience know the details and see that you are truly wanting to help them.
When you do write content, source it properly. We all know that we cannot learn and know everything on our own. You may find a great idea that you want to share with everyone. It is okay to do so. But, make sure you give credit to the appropriate person.
Use Links Effectively
Use backlinks to link to other relevant content within your own content.
You should also use links to your content as supportive material when you write guest posts for other blogs.
Use links to your content when it is relevant to another blog that you are commenting on.
When you use links to your content you need to know the rules where you are posting. You also want to make sure that you do not spam your links because that can quickly become counterproductive to all your hard work and effort to build your authority.
Generally, if the links are relevant and you’re giving value by offering them – and you’re not breaking the rules of where you’re posting them too – people will appreciate them.
One of the quickest ways to build authority in today’s technological age is to get social. There are social media sites popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, this can make it all extremely overwhelming. You can avoid the overwhelm by choosing only one or two and focus on using them well.
When you do post, make sure you post regularly and consistently. Each post should provide value to your audience. Make sure you’re recommending helpful, useful content – yours and others. If you only post about your products and services it makes it hard to build genuine relationships with your social network.
Quality and consistency are two of the important factors in building your online authority. Along with “knowing your stuff”, of course. You won’t become an overnight success but if you follow the steps outlined above you should find your online authority builds … along with your traffic, sales and recommendations.