Is topical authority a new concept?

According to Niche Pursuits, topical authority is the concept that a website or a blog is an expert on an entire topic, not just one keyword. Today, search engines are focusing more on authoritative ‘topically optimized’ content than keyword optimized.

Topical Optimization means it is better to have a single topic optimized to the hilt than to have other topics barely optimized. Let’s talk about an optometrist’s website, where the doctor updates his blog twice a week. He gives tips about maintaining the sunglasses, and how to protect your eyes from UV rays in Mumbai, ways to improve your eyesight with a good diet. Even without social media and minimal keywords stuffing, his website has become a topical authority when it comes to “eye care”. That means, all his posts on eye care made the maximum hits and rank up on Google’s first page when someone searches for ‘Eye checkup in Mumbai’. 

The optometrist’s website became a topical authority because of the “Hummingbird” algorithm that Google acknowledged in 2013. Instead of looking at the number of links and the presence of keywords, Hummingbird focused on natural language to create meaningful, authoritative content.

So how to achieve topical authority? 

  • Instead of focusing on individual keywords, turn your efforts toward “long-tail keywords,” where the user’s question and search intents are satisfied. 
  • According to Google, companies that have in-depth content will attract more traffic, compared to backlinking. Take your pick of brilliant keyword data from tools like WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool and
  • As a business, check with your sales and support teams what questions they get asked regularly, or ask your clients, and dig into what questions are being asked there. 

Five strategies for effective keyword optimization and topical authority:

  • Choose a very specific niche: Instead of finding as many keywords as you can that are relevant to your niche and leaving it at that, you now need to do phrase research, where we need to group the keywords and organize them into topics. Just like Mercato blogs, conduct keyword research for each product, and once the best set of keywords are narrowed for each of those delve deeper into subcategory keywords.
  • Write in-depth content: As aptly applied by Bill Marriott in Marriott’s blog,, content depth or well-researched data-driven content, is a ranking factor that, paired with a specific niche, brings a lot of credibility to the site. By answering actual questions asked by the target audience and catering to their needs, Marriott has reported generating millions in direct sales from this blog.
  • Write killer headlines: Do you have a great headline but still think that your post could perform better and that you could get better ROI from the content you write? The user can create killer, SEO friendly blog titles from tools like Impact, SEOPressor, Inbound Now, or CoSchedule headline analyzer.
  • Publishing relevant content with proper header tags, meta descriptions, title tags, alt tags, external links, internal links, and blog topic categorization.
  • Use keywords according to each of your buyer personas: Thanks to AI and ML that have made a shift from keywords that focus on the search engines to` keywords that focus on the user personas, knowing your target audience will clarify keyword user-intent and attract the right qualified traffic. According to experts, the more questions you lure, the better. If you want to be an authority like blogs from Nike such as Finishline, Nike News, or kicksonfire, you need to have the answers.

Factors that make a website a Topical Authority Domain

  • Unique content: Take the content of your website deeper than your competition. If you are searching for the best shoes for Tennis, Nike’s blog takes the content deeper by posting not only about the kinds of shoes a tennis player should own, but branch out into topics like different shoes they produce for different sports, about globally acclaimed Tennis players, warm-up exercises before a Tennis match, why sports is required for youth, etc.  
  • Content placement: Good content placement on the website or blog with appropriate configurations work best. Sometimes, SMEs use as a blogging functionality on their website.
  • Content frequency: Best results come out from a very active blog, let’s say, targeting to put fresh content multiple times in a week.
  • Internal links: Since links are an important factor in Search Engine Algorithms, placing a high importance on the internal links is crucial. Linking your major pages to your money pages draws and funnels the prospective client to your sales page.

The new school of SEO deems that the focus should be more on ideas rather than keywords. So, combine the two schools by continuing to research your keywords and phrases but also optimizing for topics and ideas. Topical Authority cannot be built overnight, but once you achieve it, you will be able to truly dominate your space.


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– Team WordBerries