The beginner’s guide to SEO Part Three – Becoming an Authority 

In the last installment of our beginner’s guide to SEO we compared the activities of a web design company in NYC to those of the Star Ship Enterprise, providing the means for Google to explore and understand the virtual galaxy of the world wide web.

In particular, we discussed two metrics of the Google algorithm that are key to SEO: Relevance and Authority. Here, we will drill a little deeper into the topic of authority. Think again about why someone uses a search engine. It’s because they are looking for an answer to a question, or the solution to a problem. We used the example last time of someone searching for “web design company in NYC” Obviously, there will be hundreds of results, but let’s just consider two options. One is an article written by a novice who knows next to nothing about web design. The other is by one of the most respected companies providing search engine optimization services in New York.

Clearly, the second is more authoritative than the first. But how is Google to know that?

It’s all about the links

Google uses hundreds of SEO metrics, but where authority is concerned, links are hugely important. Here’s the logic: every site owner wants visitors to stay on his or her site. If they link to some other site, they risk the reader clicking the link and going away – that must mean that the site has really useful content. Having a site link to your page is like a vote of confidence, and if hundreds of people are linking to you, it is a good indication that you are an authority.

Of course, there are links and there are links. If CNN or the BBC links to an article and cites a particular web design company in NYC as being an expert, then that carries far more weight than that novice doing so on his blog. This is also recognized by Google, so when it comes to acquiring backlinks from other sites, quality is often more important than quantity.

How to get those links?

One of the reasons linking is still so important to SEO is that Google knows it is something sites cannot easily fake. We will talk next time about internal optimization strategies such as keywords and meta tags, but the point with these is that anyone can adopt these strategies to make their sites look attractive to Google. Authority is all about what is happening off site, and is something that is harder to counterfeit.

So how can you get good sites to link to your webpage? The most obvious answer is by providing great quality content that will provide value. This is true as far as it goes, and if you are already are an established authority, that could be sufficient. But if you are still getting established, there’s no guarantee that people will link to your content, however incisive and thought provoking it might be.

Guest blogging

Many sites welcome guest blogs as a way to get new and interesting content, which is in itself good for their SEO. Guest blogging provides great opportunities for both the writer and the site. However, sites that host guest blogs understand that the writer would like something in return, and will allow you to include relevant links within your blog, or perhaps an “author bio” in which you can include a link to your site.

Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways of building those backlinks, and while experienced writers can do it themselves, most leave it to the experts. As a result, there are content writing services in New York and the world over that specialize in not just producing internal content but also provide guest blogging services. Guest blogging is an important tool, but it needs to be done right, in terms of choosing where to guest blog and creating the right content with the right links. It is a subject we can explore in more detail another day. 

Next time – optimizing your site

Next time, we will look at some specific site building tools that will help boost relevance and authority, to further improve your SEO.  If you’re looking for a web design company in NYC that will work to improve your SEO, please give us a call. 516-883-3851

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