#1. Build Topical Authority
Topical authority as a ranking factor has been growing in importance over the last few years. And it’s going to be a big factor in 2022.
As algorithms get smarter, search engines can tell how well a piece of content covers a particular topic. It’s called topical authority. Search engines want to show articles with high topical authority at the top of the search results.
Algorithms measure the topical authority of individual articles. But they also measure the topical authority of your website as a whole.
Let’s say you have a website about pets and you have one page that deals with hamsters. And let’s say someone else has a website devoted entirely to hamsters. They have a separate page for every ‘hamster’ topic you can think of: how to look after them, what’s the best cage for them, how to breed them, hamster diet, hamster ailments, etc.
The second website has more topical authority for the topic of hamsters than the first website. Google will almost certainly rank the second website higher in the search results.
Because it figures that its visitors are more likely to find the answers they are looking for on the second website.
This applies to whatever niche or industry you are in.
It’s fine to have a website that focuses on multiple topics. But make sure that you deal with each topic in depth.
For example, if your site is about ‘email marketing’, don’t write just one article about ‘email segmentation’: publish ten articles on that topic. And don’t settle for one article on ‘email sequences’: publish six articles on email sequences.
In other words, build out the topical authority for every topic that your website deals with.
#2. Build Links Wisely
Backlinks have been important for Google right from the start. And they are still an important ranking factor.
But you should build backlinks by creating valuable content that people link to simply because it’s useful.
A big mistake bloggers and content marketers make is to focus too much time, effort, and money on the process of link building.
The success rate for most kinds of link-building outreach is somewhere around 3%. That means that 97 emails in every 100 that you send are falling on deaf ears. That’s a huge waste of time and effort!
Why not spend that same time and effort creating really original, valuable content that people link to without even being asked?
Those are the links that search engines want to see – not the ones that you get by asking for them.
And as for link-building schemes (you link to my page and I’ll link to yours) don’t even think about it. Under Google’s Webmaster Guidelines that’s a link-building scheme and it’s expressly forbidden.
Any kind of link-building arrangement that is based on a quid pro quo, however indirect, is a link-building scheme. Never participate in anything like that because it can easily result in a Google penalty.