Authority is what works!
When you’re looking to influence people and build a powerful business online, authority is the way to go. People respect other people who have authority, expertise, and impressive credentials just like they respect people in lab coats
and police uniforms.
And they respect authority even more when you demonstrate it rather than simply claim it. More on that in a minute.
Simply put, authority makes you more important in the eyes of others … someone who should be listened to and treated better. And it’s not just people who operate this way.
Google loves authority too!
If you’ve been around the online marketing scene for a while, you may be familiar with the paradox of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the art and science of ranking high in the search engines (mostly Google) for the
words people are using to find what you have to offer.
It boils down to this:
If people think you’re important, so will Google.
This perplexes many webmasters and online marketers, since they wonder how people will consider them important when people use search engines to find things online in the first place. How are you important if you’re invisible in
the search engines to start with?
And how does Google know people think you’re important anyway?
For one, they know because people link to you, and Google follows those links to index and rank web pages. And thanks to services such as the Google Toolbar, Analytics, Feedburner, Google Reader, Gmail and others that keep
you logged-in to your Google account, the Big G has an enormous amount of usage data that shows what people actually spend time doing online.
In order to get the power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior online, you need to become an authority that others cite (link to) in their online content. Which means, of course, you need a content-rich website
that demonstrates your authority in the first place.
Your content actually demonstrates your expertise, compared with a website or bio page that claims expertise. This is a crucial distinction, because it truly levels the playing field and allows anyone to come along and build authority
that outpaces even recognized and credentialed experts in a particular niche.
The 10 Rules for Building Authority Websites
1. The Winning Difference
The winning difference has been a critical concept way before the web came along. And it’s been called a lot of different things over time in various contexts: a unique selling proposition; your position in people’s minds. There are a lot of ways to differentiate yourself, but no matter how you do it, it’s absolutely essential to building an authority website. In many ways, it’s how unique your content is that sets you apart, and that’s why the winning difference is rule number one … and why all of the following rules support it one way or another.
2. Don’t Sell… Teach
Many people think the main barrier to online marketing success is a lack of traffic. But it’s really a lack of trust. People love to buy stuff, but they hate to feel sold. So despite the fact that you’re building a website that will build your business, you need to concentrate on delivering value that builds authority. Educational, tutorial-style content works online. It attracts links, it brings traffic, it builds trust, and it causes you to rank for relevant keyword-phrases in search engines. And all the while, you’re decreasing sales resistance, because after all … what is effective selling?
Selling is simply educating people about the benefits of doing business with you.
3. Cornerstone Content
A cornerstone is something that is basic, essential, indispensable, and the chief foundation upon which something is constructed or developed. Cornerstone content reveals what people need to know to make use of your site and do
business with you.
Beyond that, your cornerstone content should naturally rank for your most important keyword phrase (it’s what your site is about, right?). But to attract the links you need, your cornerstone content must not only be strategic—it
must provide off-the-hook value.
Think about it this way: Imagine your ideal customer or client calls you on the phone. She’s got money and a problem, and you’ve got the solution. What would you tell her?
4. Headlines and Hooks
The process of building authority involves a constant battle for attention.
When you’re an unknown just starting out, it can be tough. But when you’re well established, you’re often competing even for the attention of the faithful.
Let’s face it … it’s noisy out there.
Your headline (or the title of your content) is what determines whether or not your effort even gets a chance. Think about this: On average, 8 out of 10 people will read the headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. Improve
the odds with a killer headline.
A hook is the angle or the attractor that gets people interested in your content, no matter how dry the subject matter. It could be a great analogy, a pop culture reference, a historical intersection … whatever. It’s just got to be intriguing. Your hook not only helps you write a killer headline, it also keeps people glued to your content and more inclined to spread the word.
5. Win Friends to Influence People
It all goes back to that basic truth about building authority: What others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself.
So, make friends with influential people in your niche or industry who can vouch for you and your content. Make friends with social media power users who can promote your content on Twitter and Facebook. Once that happens, your own readers, followers, and friends will start doing the same, and the benefits of authority get truly sweet.
6. The Money’s in The List
“The money’s in the list” is an old saying from the direct mail industry. If the mailing list is dead on target, even uninspired copy sells. If you send a brilliant promotion to a bad list, it still bombs.
Online, buying a “list” of subscribers and followers is stupid … it simply has no value. But putting out great content for “hits” and page views alone may be even sillier.
The point is to get relevant visitors to your site to request updates every time you publish … whether by email, RSS, or carrier pigeon (okay, maybe not the pigeon). Getting people to opt-in and pay attention to you over time is the key
to building authority … and to selling them something in the future.
7. SEO Matters
Search engine optimization is not that hard!
The only mystery is why some online marketers neglect SEO. Some seem to think it’s somehow bad because it’s “gaming Google,” which is obviously in violation of local statutes, common decency, and the Geneva Convention.
It’s not. In fact, everything in this report is exactly what Google wants you to do. And if you’re doing the stuff revealed in this report, Google wants you to rank well. But you won’t rank well if you ignore SEO, and some jerk with shoddy content and a basic understanding of SEO will. And we can’t have that, can we?
8. Code Google Loves
One thing some people who get basic SEO miss is the quality of website code. You can do everything else right, and still lose to other sites because of jumbled, poorly constructed HTML.
You’ll hear time and again that WordPress is the best way to build a site (whether you call it a blog or not), and that it’s extremely SEO friendly. And that’s true (with a few tweaks). But many of the free themes (designs) for WordPress destroy that search-friendly start with sloppy code.
9. Design Make The Site
They say “clothes make the man,” and that’s because human psychology favors and trusts pleasing packaging. The same applies to the way you dress up your content with site design. Don’t be sloppy.
10. Tend Your Tribe
When you become an authority figure, what you really become is a leader. And leadership involves great responsibility, because it involves great power.
Remember: Authority is powerful stuff. Authority can be abused and it can definitely corrupt … but it can also build trust, admiration, andrespect. Treat your tribe well, and authority will serve you well.