SEO ·

How to Build Topical Authority by George Chasiotis of MINUTTIA

Bernard Huang

Webinar recorded on

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George Chasiotis, Managing Director for MINUTTIA, stopped by the Clearscope webinar to share how to build topical authority for your website.

George shared the step by step process for how to build topical authority for your website with results from actual clients. He was also kind enough to share the templates the MINUTTIA team uses (see below).

Here are our biggest takeaways from George’s talk:

  • Identify the breadth of your topic by expanding outside your direct topic.

  • Develop visibility for the topic areas by going deep in each.

  • Keyword research process broken down into:

  • Seed terms > Semantic terms > Branded terms > Content > Search intent classification > Assign opportunity score & prioritize

You can access the slides here.

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Read the transcript

Travis:

Today we have George Chasiotis, the Managing Director of MINUTTIA, the organic growth acceleration agency for B2B SaaS companies. George started out as an independent marketing consultant, but soon was pulled down the path and created an agency. George, the floor is yours.

George:

Thank you very much. I think that since you pronounced my name correctly, this webinar is going to be a huge success for everyone. Thank you everyone. I want to welcome you all, and thank you for joining us today. Two things before we get started. The first one, we are going to cover many things and I expect that there will be many questions during the presentation. Feel free to drop them in the comments. The second one is that, in some cases, I will have to jump out of the presentation because I want to share some things.

George:

One kind request that I have for you since you are all here already and you have decided to join us, please stay with us until the end. We will be giving away templates. We will be giving away a complete process for you to develop topical authority and not only develop it, but maintain it as well. So let's get started. I would like to hear just, if you can see my screen.

Travis:

Yes, we can see it.

George:

Okay. That's great. So let's get started. That's great. So today's topic, how to build topical authority, a process driven approach. Before we get started, a couple of things about me. My name is George. I'm the Managing Director of MINUTTIA. We work with B2B SaaS companies and we help them accelerate organic growth. Today's presentation, and some of the examples that I will be sharing will be a bit focused on B2B SaaS companies. I'm sorry about that if that doesn't quite work for you because you are eCommerce or something different, but this is what we know. These are the examples that we are using.

George:

With that, let's get started. First of all, let's give a definition of topical authority. What is topical authority? Now, building topical authority is the process of helping Google and other search engines, but Google is the most prominent search engine, this is why we are mainly interested in Google, associate a website with certain topics that are closely related to that website's identity and overall business goals and objectives. Simple and clear. Now, why is this important?

George:

Well, it is important because Google, as we all know, I hope at least that we know, is a search engine that works with semantic associations. Which means that it has to associate a website with a certain topic to consider this website as a relevant and trustworthy resource and give it visibility for keywords that are part of this topic, and after visibility comes clicks, after clicks conversions and so on and so forth. But it all starts with Google understanding that you are capable of talking about this topic. You know what you're talking about, and thus, I can trust you in order to give you visibility in my search results.

George:

Now, in general, there are two ways of building topical authority. Two ways. The first is what we call at MINUTTIA, and by the way, let me just say that we all know and understand and can accept that SEO is a very opinionated field. Everyone has their own way of doing things and their own way of perceiving things and even their own terminology. This is just our way of understanding of how Google works. So we have two ways.

George:

The first is what we call external topical authority. This involves activities that happen outside of the site, outside of your website, and in most cases, these are activities that you have less control over. An example of that could be, you have mentions of your brand, regardless if these mentions have a hyperlink or not, but you have mentions that talk positively about your brand based on a specific topic that you want to be associated with. This is external.

George:

We also have internal. Internal topical authority building involves activities that happen on the site. Since they happen on your site, these are activities that you have more control over. For the purpose of this presentation and this webinar in general, we are going to focus on internal topical authority building, since this is what we have more control over. I would say that external could be the topic for our next webinar with Clearscope. Let's see.

George:

So internal topical authority. In order to start uncovering what this is, we need to define some dimensions for internal topical authority. We will start with what we call topic breadth. What is topic breadth? It's the coverage of topics that are semantically associated with your main topic. We will see what this is and how that looks like based on an example in a minute.

George:

Then we have topic depth, which is the coverage of subtopics that belong to your main topic. We will see what this is in a minute. Please bear with me. We also have content optimization, which is optimizing your content for a search audience. We have something that's not often mentioned when it comes to topical authority, which is crawl efficiency. In other words, you have to make Google's work easy when it comes to crawling the content on your website.

George:

We also have something, I would say, rather controversial when it comes to SEO in general, which is publishing velocity, which is a fancy term of saying the frequency at which you publish new content. Last but not least, we have content monitoring. This is important, because as I mentioned in the beginning, it's not just about developing topical authority, it's also about maintaining that topical authority that you have built and that you have invested resources and time and so much effort into building. Any questions before we move forward? No?

Travis:

Nope. We're good to go.

George:

Okay. Now we saw these six dimensions and what I need to make very clear before we delve any further is the fact that when it comes to the proportionality of those dimensions, as they grow, the topical authority grows as well. Meaning that as you do a better job when it comes to topic breadth, topic depth, content optimization, as you improve your crawl efficiency, as you increase your publishing velocity, and as you do a better job with content monitoring, you should expect in general, to have better results when it comes to topical authority. This means that all of these dimensions that we just saw are directly proportional and not inversely proportional or anything like that.

George:

Now let's use, as I mentioned previously, a hypothetical scenario. Let's assume for the sake of this scenario that we're using, that we are an outreach software company that helps its customers with email outreach. Why? Well, not for sales, but for link building, content marketing and digital PR. Now, here we see email outreach and we have this in bold. We could say that in this example, this is our main topic. Close to this topic are the use cases that people are using our product for, which are link building, content marketing and digital PR.

George:

So from a topic breadth perspective, we need to start understanding that if we want to have chances of getting visibility for, for example, a term with commercial intent, such as email outreach software, well, we may have to start developing topical authority for the topic of email outreach, but not just for that, but also for link building, as you can see here. I hope that it's clear that there is an overlap between these topics, because some subtopics or keywords, let's say, may belong in both categories.

George:

We also see that we need to develop topical authority for content marketing, since this is a use case of our product. Digital PR as well. But here you can see something that I didn't mention at all in the previous slide, which is SEO. What's that all about? Well, if you think about it, link building, one of the most prominent use cases for our product is you could say, included topically in the broad topic of SEO. Link building is an activity that is performed primarily for Search Engine Optimization purposes.

George:

So I would say that obviously, we need to focus on email outreach, link building, content marketing and digital PR, but from a topic breadth perspective, in our example, we also have to develop topical authority for SEO as well. Why? Because Google needs to understand that we are able to talk about link building since we are able to talk about SEO, which is the broad topic that includes link building and has an overlap more or less, with all the other topics that we have. Any questions before we move forward?

Travis:

No. Good to go.

George:

So we covered topic breadth and we understood that these are the topical areas, let's say, that we need to cover and develop topical authority on in order to be considered as a trusted resource in the eyes of Google, to start ranking for keywords that are included in these topics. Now, the next stage in this process is topic depth, the next dimension, as we mentioned previously.

George:

Now, as you can see here, what we have done is that we have five topical areas; email outreach, link building, content marketing, digital PR and SEO. We have to start diving deep into each of these categories and start developing visibility for terms that are included in these categories. For example, for email outreach, this could be something like blogger outreach, or cold email templates, or cold email subject lines. For link building, it could be something like how to rank higher on Google, or skyscraper technique, or local link building. For content marketing, how to monetize a blog and so on and so forth.

George:

Now obviously, this is not an easy process, but I just want you to understand what's going on, not what's going on, but what you have to do in order to start developing visibility for each of these topical areas. Now, obviously a question here could be, that's great, so far so good, but how do we manage to identify these keywords or subtopics? You can call them however you like, or terms, we are not going to argue on what's the best terminology here, but how can you uncover them? Keyword research.

George:

Let's start, let's say explaining what are the steps that are included in a typical keyword research process. The first, you need to start by defining what's called seed terms. In our example, seed terms could be things like link and links, plural, backlink, backlinks, link building, outreach, email, content marketing, PR, SEO. These are all seed terms and can be the beginning of your research in order to start identifying keywords that are included in the topical areas that we just saw.

George:

That's not enough, because you need to dive a bit deeper. It's great to find all the terms that include the phrase link building inside them, but if you want to develop topical authority, you have to dive deeper. You have to do that and you can do that by uncovering semantic terms. You can also call those jargon terms. And once again, we are not going to argue on the terminology, but what these terms are all about is that when it comes to link building, for example, let's say, let's take this topical area as an example, chances are that there are more terms out there besides the one that include the phrase link building inside them.

George:

This could be terms that include terms like DR, traffic, keyword, keywords, rankbrain, skyscraper, as we saw earlier, dwell time, pitch for email pitch, and so on and so forth. So you need to uncover all of these semantic terms and make sure that you have a very good understanding of what are these terms for each of the topical areas that we have defined earlier.

George:

Then, especially if you are a software as a service company, you need to make sure that you have identified all the branded terms as well. For our example, branded terms that are semantically related are Ahrefs, Clearscope, Prowly, Pitchbox, Respona, HARO and so on and so forth. This is important because you may have to create, for example, alternative pages or comparison guides and so on and so forth. Or in some cases, you may also have to create a guide for example, on how to use Ahrefs, or a guide on how to use Clearscope, because this is semantically related and it's included in the broad topic of one of the topical areas that you want to develop topical authority on.

George:

Not only that, but you have to take a step back and I would say avoid, or not avoid, but understand that there is a lot of information out there and a lot of questions that people have when it comes to some of these topical areas, and you have to be there to answer these questions, regardless of whether this is a keyword that has a search volume and that SEO software like Ahrefs, for example, report, because they have it in their database. To do that, you can use, and I will jump out of the presentation now to share a couple of things with you. To do that, you can use websites like Reddit, for example, or Quora, and you can do it in that way. For example, here we have, as you can see reddit.com and we have one of the subreddits that we know is relevant to the topical areas that we have in our presentation and the example that we are using.

George:

At the same time, we want to see what conversation happen inside this specific subreddit for link building. As you can see, there are many interesting nuggets here. For example, is link building the biggest scam in SEO? The first result that Google is serving in the SERPs. I want to hire for link building, but I don't trust anyone. So trust seems to be an issue when it comes to link building. Regardless of whether there is a keyword in SEO software, it seems that you may have to create a piece of content around that. How to get started with link building? Why is link building so important? What are the most effective link building strategies? Well, this could be something that you may find a keyword for it. I just want you to understand that by taking a look at these websites and stop thinking for a minute about keywords and start thinking about information gap analysis instead, you will be able to identify all the conversations that happen based on a given topic, and include that as part of your strategy.

George:

This is important because you're not just interested in keywords, you're interested in information and anything that's included or should be discussed in the eyes of Google, at least, for one of the topics that you're interested in, it's something that you need to cover. Let's assume that you have all these topics and these keywords, what's next? What's next is what we call at MINUTTIA, which is something that I've learned from Bernard, search intent classification. Once again, everyone has their own way of doing things and their own terminology. I would say that this terminology is pretty nice for explaining that if you have set of keywords for each of the topics that you want to develop topical authority on, you need to make sure that these are classified by search intent. Here you have a template that we will be giving away.

George:

You have a template that will help you do that exact thing that I just mentioned. Not only that, but you can use these search intent modifiers as part of your keyword research process. Now here, you could say, okay, George, that's great. How will we do that, because I don't know where to get started? Well, if you go to start here, we have prepared a Loom for you. It's very detailed. It explains exactly what you have to do in order to use our search intent modifiers, and include them as part of your keyword research process.

George:

Last but not least, you could say that we have done all these things. We have identified the keywords. We have identified the topics, the subtopics. We have even classified everything based on search intent, but we are missing something. What we are missing is that we don't have the resources to do everything at once. We are not HubSpot. Where do we get started? Here you have another template. This is something that we have been working on for quite a while at MINUTTIA, and we are using for our clients.

George:

Essentially, what it does is that it allows you to use different metrics that exist out there, and some that are proprietary. We have developed, and we use internally at MINUTTIA, assign of weight to each of these metrics and come up with an ultimate score for each of the keywords that you have in your list of keywords so that you can prioritize better. As you can see here, we start with configuration where you assign weights to each of the metrics that you take into account. And then once you do that, and once you set up everything, you can go to topics, and we have some sample data. Once you make a copy of this template, I want you to delete everything so that you can use it for your own keyword research.

George:

Let's take an example, how to start an email? As you can see here, we have inserted all the metrics and we have weights to each of the variables that we take into account. We see that according to our template and our way of calculating things, the opportunity score for this keyword is 48. The opportunity score for another keyword, off page SEO is 47. Another one is 39, how to monetize a blog? So this allows you to prioritize and make better decisions when it comes to the keywords that you are going to go after. Because once again, you have limited resources, limited time, and you are not HubSpot. You need something scalable, that works fast, and that can help you make better decisions. Question here could be, George, but once again, this is too complex, how are we going to use it? Well, we have prepared a video for you, a Loom. I break down all the process exactly how you can use it once you make a copy of it.

George:

So all these things considered, now you have a process for performing keyword research and you have also two templates. These are, by the way, the exact same templates that we use at MINUTTIA in order to perform keyword research for our clients. Obviously, you need some logic behind it, and it requires some experience as well, but I really believe that these two templates will help you and will make the process way smoother for you.

George:

Now, we covered keyword research and we covered keyword research in the context of topic depth, as we mentioned, because not only we have to identify all the topical areas that are relevant to a main topic that we are interested in, but we have to go deep into each of these topical areas if we want to have chances of developing topical authority for these topical areas and for our main topic. Then one of the next dimensions that we mentioned is content optimization. I would say when it comes to content optimization, we have some best practices, but we are not going to dive deeper into it, because there are so many things that we can say. But some best practices, obviously you need very solid processes when it comes to content briefing, especially if you want to move fast, but you don't want to break things in the process. You need to ensure that you have a very tight process when it comes to content briefing.

George:

Content creation. You need to make sure that your content is up to the high standards and make sure to use a tool like Clearscope. It will make your life way easier when it comes to content creation.

George:

Content quality, which is what we call at MINUTTIA, content quality includes activities like plagiarism check, content editing and proofreading and so on and so forth. Let me just say here, I wouldn't say, because I don't know really if Google is agnostic when it comes to grammar errors or anything of that sort, it's important for you and the perceived value of your brand to not have typos and errors and mistakes and so on and so forth. Because unfortunately, we have seen many times companies that spent a lot of dollars in building links, for example, back to the page, where they have several typos and grammar errors on that page, which doesn't make for a good user experience.

George:

The last thing that we have, obviously, when it comes to best practices, you need to optimize for UX as well. UX is massive. It's one of the things that are not as saturated yet, so it is a window of opportunity for you to optimize for UX, and make sure that people have memorable experiences when they visit a piece of content that you have created, or any page on your website. Now, the other thing that we mentioned, the fourth dimension that we have is crawl efficiency. When we-

Travis:

Hold on, George. George, we have one quick question from Bernard, related to the last slide. He asked, is it fair to say you have developed topical authority for a topic when you have content ranking in the top spots on Google?

George:

That's a very good question. The answer is yes and no. I mean, it would be fantastic, for example, in our example, if we had visibility for email outreach software, because commercially, it's extremely important for us, but does that mean that we have a defensible strategy, let's say, when it comes to email outreach and that we are the absolute dominant in that topic? No, I don't think so. So yes and no. This is a very interesting topic and something that mostly established websites are interested in, because what happens in this case is that they have visibility for sometimes with commercial value, for example, but what they are looking for, how are we going to make this defensible so that we are the absolute dominant when it comes to this topic? I don't know, Bernard, if that answers your question, but we can discuss further later on, of course.

Travis:

Thank you.

George:

So then we have crawl efficiency. When it comes to crawl efficiency, we are going to jump out of the presentation again, because I have some very interesting things to share with you. To begin with, we have to take into account things like we need to have a very simple URL architecture and to make sure that everything is clean and evergreen. We have seen time and time again, a certain person in a company applying a massive change to the URL architecture of an important section of the website from a topical authority standpoint. And then, six months after this person has left the company, and then someone else has to essentially deal with all this mess. So keep things simple and always think about the future. What you do has to be evergreen.

George:

You also have to think about internal linking and make sure that you properly, you add internal links to the pages that are important to you from different standpoints and based on different perspectives, like commercially, from a topical authority standpoint and so on and so forth. When it comes to internal linking, you have to use natural and unbiased anchors so that you don't put yourself or your brand, the company you work for, in trouble.

George:

Now, let's dive a bit deeper. This is where things get interesting, because I know that many people don't get this. When it comes to URLs, we are in the topic of crawl efficiency and URL selection now. We have three types of keywords. We have phrase match, and forgive me that we are not sticking with the example that we have because we had this graph ready from one blog post that we have written and published on our website, so we used it. It was easy for us. We have the first type, phrase match, which are keywords that contain the exact words of the topic in the order they are written. Let's assume for a minute that our main topic is product launch. A phrase match keyword here would be product launch checklist.

George:

Then we have term match. Keywords that contain all the words from a topic in any order. How to launch a product? It contains launch, it contains product, but not in that exact order. And then we have semantic, which are keywords that don't belong to any of the above two types, but obviously are semantically associated with the topic. In our case, the topic is product launch, coming soon landing pages is semantically relevant. It's there. How do we think about URL selection now?

George:

Phrase match. Product launch checklist. If we would like to, let's say, build a topic cluster around that and have a very clean and evergreen URL structure so that we ensure and maximize crawl efficiency. If we have phrase match, as you can see here, we have product launch and then checklist.

George:

If we have a term match, our keyword is a term match, how to launch a product? We have a product launch, which is our main subfolder, and then how to launch a product. Exact match to the term match keyword. Semantic, it's the same, it's treated in the same way as the term match, which is coming soon landing pages, product launch, coming soon landing pages. Now, which one of the two ways that we just saw is the best?

George:

Phrase match first. The truth is that if you're going with this way so that you can maximize and ensure crawl efficiency, it requires development time. It's not going to live in your blog, most likely. This means that depending obviously on your CMS and the specifics of your website, you have less editorial control over the content so that you can make changes on the fly. I would say that in our experience, this setup is ideal for more narrow topics. I would say that the product launch topic that we just saw is a great example. Now let's go to the other side, which is term match and semantic, and we use a subfolder.

George:

It doesn't require development time because at the end of the day, you could just have it in your blog. You have more editorial control if you choose that direction. I would say that it's ideal for both broad and narrow topics. We have two examples here. Full disclaimer, both examples are clients of MINUTTIA. I would share them either way because we have done a tremendous job, but I think that they illustrate what I'm sharing with you perfectly.

George:

The first example, we are targeting the topic, product launch, and we want to build topical authority for product launch. As you can see here, we took the approach of a topic cluster and we have everything. Our hub page that lives in the subfolder, product launch. That's great. If you choose any subtopic, for example, product launch checklist, you will see that we maintain product launch, in the subfolder, we have checklist. Does it work? It works tremendously well. This is a screenshot, not screenshot, but we are live in Ahrefs. As you can see here, you can see the growth. No active promotion whatsoever. This performs like this organically. I really expect that at some point, we will have, I don't want to say number one position for product launch, but we will be close to that position.

George:

The other route that I mentioned, once again, one of our clients, SwagDrop, we have everything on the blog. So if you open any blog post, actually, you will see that in this case, the CMS auto generates a subfolder for each blog post, but it works very well. We didn't have to use that setup that we used here, but it works tremendously well. You can see what's going on here. It really dominates the rankings for its category.

George:

So in order to ensure crawl efficiency, you can take any of the two routes that we just saw. I'm pretty sure that there will be many questions here, and I'd be happy to answer them, but I would say that it's also case specific. We saw two examples, we saw the types of keywords, we saw how you can think based on the keyword type, and you can choose actually, whatever way works best for you. Now-

Travis:

Awesome. We do have a couple of questions.

George:

Please.

Travis:

If you want to tackle each real quick? So the first one is from Kristen. Does it make the most sense to double down on the areas where you have perceived topical authority ranking well on Google, or should you split time between doubling down and trying to break into high-value topics where you have less authority?

George:

I would say the first. If you are associated with a certain topic already, it makes sense to focus on that topic, because in the eyes of Google, you are capable of talking about that topic so it will be easier. This is case specific, but it will be easier to get even more visibility for that topic. For example, if Clearscope has been associated with content optimization in the eyes of Google, then it makes sense for Clearscope to keep talking and double down on the topic of content optimization, as opposed to anything else, because it already has a foundation. If that makes sense.

Travis:

Yeah. Good stuff. And then we have another question from Christina. How would you define natural and unbiased anchors? What could be considered a natural anchor?

George:

That's a great question. I would say, as I see it, many people have started talking about that already. Rand Fishkin has written a great blog post almost a year ago, about inferred links or something like that. As I see it at least, you don't even need the backlink. In the future, I want to believe that backlinks will be decreasingly important, because Google will be able to understand contextually, based on the sentiment and how unbiased this piece of text is, whether or not this is an actual endorsement, or whether or not this is biased, like email outreach software.

George:

We use this exact match and context in order to be associated with email outreach software. So I think that in general, when we say natural and unbiased, I'm not saying that you shouldn't use, if it makes sense, you shouldn't use an exact match, but I would say that Google becomes smarter and smarter. And so things that may work today, I feel that they will not work as well in the future. And so in that context, it makes sense to choose more natural anchors and also to sound more unbiased in general.

Travis:

Good stuff. And then Bernard's got another question. Do you actually look at log files when thinking about crawl efficiency? Do you think crawl depth matters?

George:

Crawl depth definitely matters. But what was eyeopening for me was a conversation that I had a couple of months ago with an SEO professional who I really admire. What he told me is that essentially, for Google, crawl efficiency is a very big deal, a very big issue because why should I crawl and index and try to understand the content and all these things of 100 more pages, while I can crawl and understand and index a very nice topic cluster, like the one that we saw earlier? For me, as a search engine, it makes sense and I would expect that it's way more profitable to get just one nicely done part or section of a website, and rank it for many terms that are related to the main topic.

George:

To answer Bernard's question, we don't use log files, even though many SEO professionals find value there. I feel that if something makes sense logically, like the example that I shared earlier, you have really high chances of getting there, ensuring crawl efficiency and getting there. The mistake would be what we see unfortunately very often, to have so many different subfolders, to really try to hide and to make Google's work more difficult. You have to think really in very simple terms, how will I make the crawlers work more easy? At the same time, the user's work more easy. It has to be discoverable. It has to be easy to access.

Travis:

Perfect. On that note, Ryan's got a couple questions about pillar pages. The first one is, can a post that is under the blog folder, be a pillar page, or does it have to be set up in the URL structure that you mentioned earlier?

George:

That's a very good question. I would say that there is no right or wrong here. I would say that if something works for you, then you should definitely do it. I feel that it's case specific, because in the case that I said earlier with product launch, it made sense for us not to create two anti-different blog posts that will live on the blog on that topic, and create a topic cluster instead. It works tremendously well. In other cases, where the subtopics are, I don't know, five or six, well, why not? You could have them in your blog. Now going deeper, having something like slash blog, slash the main topic, slash subtopic, I wouldn't recommend that. It can work. I'm sure that it can, and it actually works for some websites, but this is not something that we would recommend.

Travis:

Gotcha. And then another question from Bernard, do you think internal link count matters, or is it just a link to a page at least once?

George:

That's a great question. The answer here is, we hear very often that internal linking matters and so on and so forth. Quite frankly, I feel that internal linking matters mostly in bigger websites. If you have, for example, hundreds or even thousands of pages, obviously adding a link in the footer or in the top level menu can potentially move the needle. We can be definitive about anything, but it potentially can move the needle. But if you have a website with 50 pages and you add an internal link to a page that's important to you, I'm not so convinced that this will actually have an impact. So I think that internal links do matter, but at the same time, they matter for bigger websites, if that makes sense.

Travis:

Gotcha. And then we have two questions from Ken. What about low DR sites with the same approach? I suspect part of its performance was that it's a well-established site and has a DR of 70 plus, which is difficult to achieve. And then the second question is how do you assign performance to your techniques versus the strength of your client's domain?

George:

Let me answer the first one first. I may need a bit more clarification to the second one. I would say that first of all, DR is a great metric, but it has its limitations. It takes into account primarily, the number of referring domains and the number of outgoing links. So in that sense, you could say that it's a metric that counts, let's say, external topical authority. But as we've explained in this presentation so far, there are two ways. It's external, that's great, but it is also internal. The things that you can do and that you have more control over.

George:

So I would say that, and we have seen that, and I believe that it can happen because I have seen it happening, that websites with low DR can have a position in the search results. But obviously, they have a lot of work to do compared to these other big websites that have many referring domains and established topical authority. The other question, could you please repeat Travis?

Travis:

Yes. How do you assign performance, and your techniques versus the strength of your client's domain? I've asked for clarity so we can move forward. Let's move on to that so I can re-ask.

George:

Let's do that because we have a few more slides so that we can finish with everything. I think that then we can go through the rest of the questions.

Travis:

Perfect.

George:

So another dimension, the fifth dimension that we saw earlier is publishing velocity. Let me just say here for the record that everyone, as I mentioned previously, has their own opinions as to does this matter? Does it not matter? In our experience, and in many of the examples that we see, it does matter. Publishing content faster and publishing more content and faster, I would say accelerates results. As an example here, we have a website where we interviewed the head of SEO for The SaaS SEO Show, which is the podcast that we run a while back. I think that it's one of the best case studies out there right now when it comes to organic growth and acceleration. It's peanut-app.io.

George:

Right now depending on when you will see it, but according to Ahrefs, it's around two million monthly visits. It's very, very good. In their XML sitemap, some interesting facts. They have around 1,460 blog posts. Now they started, if I'm not mistaken, more than a year ago, publishing content actively on their blog. Maybe my math is a bit off here, but you could say that if you say that they're doing this for approximately 12 months, that they had an average of 122 blog posts per month. This is what it takes to get from close to zero, to more than two million monthly visits per month.

George:

Obviously, you can watch the great discussion that we had with the head of SEO of the company in the link that we have here. The example that we have indicate that publishing velocity is a dimension that is directly proportional to topical authority. In other words, in plain English, the more content and the faster you publish, the faster you can expect to get results. Now, we also have what we called content monitoring, which is the last of the dimensions that we have when it comes to topical authority.

George:

Now, when it comes to content monitoring, I'm not going to say many things. I'm going to say just that the fact that you need to make sure that once you have something that's working, you maintain it and actually, you make sure that it performs at all times. I would suggest if you're interested in learning more about that and how doing, for example, performing regular content audits can help you in that direction, I would suggest that you watch the previous webinar that we did with Clearscope. I think it was back in September 2021. At the same time, I would suggest that you use Clearscope's page monitoring feature, especially for the pages that are most important to you.

George:

Now we shared all these interesting things about topical authority today, and I hope that this was very insightful and practical, above all, practical for you. But a question remains, does topical authority make a difference? I will not ask you to take my word for it. I will just share some examples of websites that have established topical authority in their respective topical areas.

George:

So we have, first of all, Investopedia, which we can all agree, has an established topical authority when it comes to online trading. Now if you take a look at the website, the site investopedia.com and online trading like we did earlier, you will see that it has more than 45,000 associated search results in Google's index for the topic of online trading. HubSpot for content marketing, more than 100,000. Healthline for mental health, almost 200,000. NerdWallet for a credit card, 22,000, above that. Ahrefs for SEO, a bit less, but still 4,400. Okay.

George:

So what I'm trying to say is that unfortunately, and especially with the level of competition that exists out there today, you will not be able to establish topical authority with just 20 pages. All the websites, and most of the examples that we have, are websites that have gone deep when it comes to the specific topics that they want to develop topical authority on.

George:

However, building topical authority is not easy. First of all, you have to be ready to overcome the biases that we all have in the SEO industry. For example, the classic doesn't have a search volume, or it has a low search volume. If this is a keyword or a subtopic that you need to cover to be considered topically complete, let's say, in the eyes of Google, then you have to do it. You have to create a page for this subtopic or keyword. You have to stop thinking, at least for a minute, as part of the keyword research process that we saw earlier, stop thinking about keywords and start thinking about topics. If you do that, then you will understand that it's not only about keywords, it's about anything, any conversation, anything that's relevant to the topics that I want to develop topical authority on.

George:

You have to stop thinking about the keyword gap and start thinking about the information gap. Credit to Koray, who is an amazing SEO professional. You have to be able to produce content at scale by maintaining high quality, as we saw earlier in the content creation dimension. I would say, and I know that this may spark a couple of questions, that you should avoid AI-generated content that could get you in trouble. What I mean by that is that AI-generated content picks up fast and we can all agree that it gets better and better and better.

George:

However, I would say that at this point at least, it has its limitations. Even though it sounds tempting, let's launch 1,000 pages this month and get them out there. I know it sounds tempting and let's pay 99 bucks for the SEO software we are using. I would say that if you can make sure that those 1,000 pages do not have any plagiarism, do not copy and paste, or just rephrase something that someone else has written without giving credit to the source. If you can do that, then feel free to use AI-generated content. If not, then I would say that you should rely on human writing content and you can use AI-generated content for tedious tasks, like for example, meta descriptions if you want to scale things up.

George:

Last but not least, you have to be patient as results won't come overnight, but we have many examples that show that results will eventually come. That would be it.

Travis:

Awesome. Thank you, George. We do have a couple of questions. So Ken did clarify his question. He asked essentially, when implementing great techniques, like you mentioned, for both your client examples, their quick success was likely due to your awesome process, but also has to do with their established brand reputation, plus the strength of their domain. How can we give weight to success and know with certainty that our techniques are working while our client's low DR sites are gaining authority?

George:

That's a great question. I must say, thank you very much for asking that. That's a great point. I must say that in the first example that we shared, Viral Loops, you can say it had an established, let's say, not exactly authority, but brand reputation when it comes to referral marketing, their category. But they didn't have established topical authority when it comes to product launch whatsoever. What I shared with you, they have a high DR, and that this is an external topical authority. They have a high DR, but they didn't have any topical authority or little to no topical authority when it comes to product launch. We created it.

George:

When it comes to SwagDrop, well, this is a completely different case, because it didn't have a brand reputation. It didn't have high DR or anything of that sort, all this has been created with a lot of effort and, I would say, thoughtfulness when it comes to how we do things and what our goals are. I understand where you come from, having a website with low DR and all these things. But I must say that I have seen, and I have many examples of websites that were exactly like yours and even worse, and have managed to grow to become dominant players in their respective categories.

Travis:

Awesome. I have a question from John. Do you recommend optimizing a page for more than one keyword rather than creating a new page?

George:

That's a great question. I think that depends on the similarity between the search results. Meaning, that if you see that there is an overlap, quote-unquote, in the search results, and you see a lot of similar search results, this may indicate that creating a new page is not the best idea. But if you see that it's just a couple of pages that are the same in those two SERPs, search engine results pages, then this may be a good indicator that a new page would be better.

Travis:

Cool.

George:

And a new keyword.

Travis:

Rosemary asked, how often do you suggest that we should monitor content performance for our blog in terms of topical authority?

George:

I think that this is a great question. I think that heavily depends on your publishing frequency, and how active you generally are. If you tell me that we are publishing four blog posts per month, I would say that I don't know, six months, a year even. But if you tell me that we are very active, we publish 40 blog posts per month, then I would say that obviously, this affects how often you should audit your content inventory and try to maintain parts of it.

Travis:

Cool. I know we're right up on time, so we have time for one more question from Bernard. PS, I noticed in your template that you primarily use Ahrefs to look at the range of queries a website is ranking for. Do you also try to leverage Google Search Console data when trying to figure out where a website has content gaps or topical authority?

George:

No. We don't use Google Search Console data. I don't know, Bernard, if you referred to the keyword research template with the opportunity score. We use keyword difficulty from Ahrefs or any other SEO software. We have global volume, or volume in your country, the country that you're interested in. We have CPC from Ahrefs once again. The other three are proprietary metrics, we have topical authority ratio, business value, and difficulty score. All these combined based on the weights that you have assigned, give us the opportunity score. I would urge everyone who attended the webinar and who get access to the template, to go on and use it. The Loom that I have created is very in-depth, and detailed, it will guide you on exactly how you should think about it and how you can use it. I urge you to use it with actual keywords for the topics that you want to build topical authority on. It works tremendously well.

Travis:

Awesome. Well, thanks, George. This was a lot of fun. Seen a lot of comments about the value that you've added just today. Everybody is saying thank you. They enjoyed it. And then also for everybody, we will send out a recap tomorrow with the recording and links to the templates George and the MINUTTIA team were so gracious to offer up. Any last words, George, before we give everybody their day back?

George:

I would like to thank everyone. First of all, I would like to thank you guys for making this happen. And then obviously, I would like to thank everyone who stayed with us until the end. I hope that this was insightful. If you want to connect with me, the best place to do so is LinkedIn. Feel free to check our website where we publish content that you will not find on any other agency website, like studies, opinion content, and so on. Also, make sure to subscribe to YouTube, to our channel, where we publish the weekly episodes of our podcast, and also subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Enough with the call to action. Let's wrap things up and close this. Thank you all very much.


Written by
Bernard Huang
Co-founder of Clearscope

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