Anyone involved in Internet Marketing, whether as an affiliate, small business, sizable corporation, or personal brand, knows that nearly every day there is someone trying to give you more tips or tricks to bringing in additional profits online. There are so many potential routes you could take to achieving success online that it’s easy to get lost and start wondering where the smoke and mirrors end and the real path to success begins.
The truth is, all the marketing tactics in the world don’t hold a candle to pursuing the one goal that should matter the most for any site: becoming an authority.
You see, effective tactics for marketing come and go. The kind of advertisements that may bring in hordes of visitors to a site today may be totally ineffective a year or two down the road. With the way that Google has been on the rampage with furry little black critters like Panda and Penguin, they can go “quickly” – very quickly.
The source of traffic to your site that is #1 today may end up being last year’s fad. The Joint Venture partner that brought you so many visitors might go out of business or prove to be a one hit wonder. The only thing that really matters, the only thing you can unequivocally say is going to be worth investing in now because its value will not diminish over time, is building an authority website with a diverse traffic model that doesn’t rely on a single “tactic de jour.”
That’s a bold statement, and we as Internet Marketers hear those all the time, but I want to go further than that today. I want to show you precisely why authority websites are what matter online today and will continue to matter in the future. Once you understand where the value is, you will see that this is indeed the very foundation of your business’ enduring success online. I’ll also give you some quick and easy tips to help establish and increase your authority, so keep reading.
Trust is the Core Benefit of an Authority Website
So you want your website or even your brand to become a gold standard? That’s a great goal, but before that can become a reality, your site needs to become an authority. The key to developing authority is developing trust. We tend to trust those who are consistent because they appear stable and reliable to us.
This means that you need to be producing high quality content on a consistent basis, reaffirming to your audience that you are the source of the best information on your given niche.
The best route for this, of course, is a WordPress blog. If you can do this without slowing down to chase other marketing “butterflies” that come along from time to time, you will have a site that is a repository of killer content your audience can’t find elsewhere.
Focus on bringing your readers eye-opening content that educates them, or deliver entertaining content that makes them feel good. Figure out what they want and deliver it. Then keep delivering it on a regular schedule they can depend on. This is the basic recipe for gaining trust, and once your site has gained the trust of enough people, and they begin to talk about the content your site contains, your authority becomes obvious not just to human readers, but to the search engines as well.
But why go through all of this effort? Isn’t it a lot of work?
That’s really the “pink elephant” in the room. Everyone has this misconception that building an authority site is “hard” or that it is “a lot of work.” But the fact is that that is just a myth. It’s far easier to focus on building a reputable authority site that promotes 100’s of products than it is to create, maintain and promote 100 sites each promoting one product.
Most people will go down a mini-site model path for six months to a year before realizing that the return on investment (especially time) is just not there or the consistency of income is too volatile. But how much further along your career path will you be if you stop chasing the “pot of gold” at the end of the mini-site model today and instead focus on quality and authority?
Now all of that content that we’ve talked about? All of the trust and rapport building with your readers? Why bother, you ask? Simple – it all translates into sales. In fact, it is the key to highly effective marketing. You see, the “holy grail” of marketing is to be so effective as to not even require selling.
If your marketing is top notch, selling is like taking candy from a baby. But if you take your marketing lessons from the used car salesman on the corner lot and “sell, sell, sell” – you’ll probably sell your way right out of business.
Effective content marketing creates a quality authority site that oozes trust, rapport and loyal readers. You can then very subtly drop links and reviews into your content as well as provide “resources” and “recommendations” — all with a very “soft sell” — and watch your conversion rates triple.
We all love to buy – we’re all consumers at heart. But the funny thing is that NONE OF US likes to be sold to! Think about that for a bit, and think about how you can use your content marketing strategies to inform, educate and build authority with your users – the sales will come naturally as a byproduct.
Conserve Your Energy & Increase Marketing Potency
In our business, I regularly watch people struggle and even fail. Often, if they listen to my advice and allow me to help them, we turn things around. Other times, unfortunately, they outright tank. The biggest reason for online ventures failing that I see repeated over and over again is that people simply overextend their resources.
They follow the false assumption that more information and more marketing is what they need, so they continue to chase shiny object after shiny object. They work like crazy to expand the reach of their site by any means necessary, but often they do not improve its content. They want to get as many SEO links as they can, for example, but what are they linking to? A lot of the time, the site they have spent so much time and energy promoting is simply not very noteworthy and that makes all that time, money and effort they put into the site a waste.
When you choose to focus instead on making your site an authority, you can dispense with so many different marketing methods. Yes, diversity matters, but your core business is in your site and the content it puts out, not in discovering temporary ways to bring in floods of traffic who bounce right off your landing page or who spend under a minute looking at your site’s content, never to return again.
You want readers to arrive at your site and feel as if they’ve discovered something special. You want them to buy something or bookmark the page and maybe even tell a friend or two about what a great site they found. Save your energy and focus on making brilliant content, even if that means you don’t produce it that often or that you spend more having a professional create the best possible content your company can afford.
Your Content Becomes Prone to Viral Distribution
When clients tune into our message and begin to focus on getting the kind of content that their visitors trust and gain real value from, incredible things have been known to happen. The fact is, great articles get read over and over again, the same way great videos get watched repeatedly. Remember that when you begin to focus on website authority, your primary competition is yourself.
Everyone knows the power of great content. It’s the song you set to repeat on your MP3 player. It’s that book you’ve read several times, or that movie you’ve seen more times than you like to admit. Follow your instincts and don’t settle for content that you know isn’t the best it could be. Make it invaluable to your audience and they will spread it for you. Your readers will become your marketing and sales force – now that’s powerful.
Keep in mind that people will pass on things that are excellent. Why? Because they want the credit for having ‘discovered’ it and when they share it, they get the social approval they’re looking for. The best content goes viral without you needing to spend a fortune on marketing, especially if you can convince someone else with authority to publicly mention the content your site contains.
Customer Retention Rates Will Soar
The bread and butter of any business is repeat customers. Developing an authority site is all about building a regular audience that comes back for more. This is how you start to carve out a niche that only your business can inhabit. It’s how your brand becomes a gold standard online because those regular customers buy enough to let you know how much you can afford to spend making your site and its products even better.
This is what you want to strive for, because the larger your audience is, the more respectable you look to those who are not yet in your audience. Sounds a lot like a large, regular audience denotes authority, then, doesn’t it? That’s exactly right, and this will have been your goal the entire time.
The Authority Model is a Universal Solution
The best thing is that this model applies to every form of monetization that exists. Whether you’re building an art blog, an info product review site, an Amazon review site, a professional services or consulting site – the AUTHORITY MODEL works for all of them.
Imagine the stress that will melt away once you know the approximate size of your customer base and know that you understand how to give them what they want. This is when being in business becomes really rewarding, and it’s well worth the time and effort it takes to achieve this level of success. The fact is, when you concentrate your efforts into this authority site, rather than scattering it across 100 trivial sites, your effort is reduced and your results are magnified.
Some Quick Tips for Building More Authority
- Get a YouTube channel. Create a weekly video to publish in that channel. Make sure to embed that video on your site as well. It’s no surprise that Google loves YouTube (they do own it after all) and sites that use video on their site gain authority much quicker than those that don’t. Also, your channel becomes an authority itself and gains PageRank fairly quickly so those videos embedded into your site boost up the authority of your site as well.
- Get to 100 and beyond. Get 100 posts published on your site and make them good posts of great quality and unique content of 700 words or more. Many of my posts are over 2500 words of unique quality content. The more content, the more long tail keyword traffic you will attract and the quicker you will build your authority.
- Consistent and frequent posting. You need to be posting at least two or three times a week in order to not only build up your site content and footprint within Google, but also to show that you are relevant. If you have trouble finding what to post about, use Google Alerts to help you out.
Some Final Thoughts
To say that establishing your website as an authority is easy or fast would be misleading. Instead, what I want to make sure is 100% clear to you is that establishing an authority website is worth doing and worth doing well. In fact, it is not any harder than spinning your wheels building mini-site after mini-site that Google hates anyway. There is no way to feel more secure in business and take real pride from what you do than to be a trusted authority who provides others with value. This is something anyone can do if they commit to following through on the information laid out in this article.
Go ahead, start taking your first steps. You’ll experience the difference right away.