Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock all this time, you’d know that Google is cracking down on people who try to get as much free yummy highly targeted Google traffic with low quality content. While we can debate what ‘quality’ really means, deep down, we all know that it means one thing: it adds real value to the lives of people who visit your pages. If you want to get on Google’s good side, you need to start making quality pages now. Or else, Google’s penalties will get you. Sooner or later.
If you need help regarding what kind of high quality ‘authority’ pages to create, here are the four most common types of authority pages. These types work with all niches. They all require a specific set of information and they require you to write in a certain style or format. Sure, they may seem like formulas but these formulas have been proven to not just get bookmarked by readers who find them through search engines and social networks, they also tend to get shared quite a bit on social networks. Since Google is paying attention to social mentions and other social signals, the more your content gets shared on Google Plus and other networks, the better for your search engine fortunes.
Start building these types of pages today. You don’t have to create perfect pages. You can start them and continue to add to them as your level of niche expertise grows. Always make sure your authority pages are easy to share through all the major social media services and social network sites.
Authority Page Type #1: Niche glossary
Every niche has a collection of terms that most people who are unfamiliar with the niche don’t know. People who are trying to familiarize themselves with a niche would often search for these special terms. By building a glossary that is targeted to your niche you get an advantage over your competition by getting search traffic from people looking for specific terms. You can then interlink your glossary with other pages on your site that establish your expertise or credibility.
Use your glossary to draw niche audience members in. Reel them in with other ‘deeper’ content. Impress them enough so they click that bookmark button on their browser or they share your content on Facebook or Twitter.
Authority Page Type #2: Master Site Directory with Commentary Descriptions
Every niche has a small number of ‘undisputed’ quality sites. These are resource sites that people who are interested in a particular niche go to. These can be blogs, websites, or directories. Don’t be afraid that you’re creating a traffic ‘hole’ on your site by building this page. If anything it, it establishes you as an authority in the eyes of your page visitors. Why? They can quickly see that you are aware of the ‘Who’s who’ of the sites in your niche.
Instead of trying to find these individual sites on their own, they’ll just bookmark your page and go to your page to find other trustworthy sites in your niche. You basically did their homework for them. Make sure your master site directory has many links going to other high quality resources on your pages. Also, make sure you don’t just list the authority sites in your niche. You should include a personality-driven commentary with each listing. This commentary should be written in a way that boosts the reader’s perception of your overall expertise. No need to write a full-blown review, though. This master site directory page also gives you an excuse to contact the sites listed so they can mention your site in a post or otherwise link back to you.
Authority Page Type #3: Niche Guide
All audiences have a set of questions like ‘why’ or ‘how to’ that involves the niche they are interested in. This type of authority page answers one particular question. It isn’t shallow. It answers a narrow question but it goes deep. Very deep. How deep? We’re talking about many resources, references, link outs, pictures, diagrams, and videos. In other words, you basically write a master’s thesis on the particular question. Your resource must be informative enough that Wikipedia editors can use it as a resource. Of course, you have to make sure you start with the most frequent questions first then work your way to questions that aren’t asked very frequently. You can get a good idea of what questions to focus your niche guides on by asking your readers to ask you questions. Focus on the most popular items.
Authority Page Type #4: Niche FAQ
As mentioned in Type #3 above, your users have questions about your niche. You can create a FAQ question page that will be the ‘end all and be all’ FAQ for your niche. These show fairly short but informative answers. You can also include questions here that are answered by your detailed niche guide pages. Just link to those pages after asking the questions they raise. By raising all the questions that are related to your niche, you quickly establish in the eyes of your site visitors that they don’t need to go to any other site to get the answers they need. This is your chance to shine. Don’t waste their time by writing flippant, glib, or very superficial answers. Your answers must be deep enough to make it worth your readers’ time to read.
There are no two ways about it, if you want your site to survive Google’s frequent mood swings and campaigns against ‘low quality’ content, you need to step up to the plate and provide your readers with the content they want and deserve. The good news is that doing so doesn’t have to drive you nuts. You only need to follow the common types of authority sites listed above so you can provide high quality content. Also, these pages are scalable. You only need to start and keep adding to them as you have more time and as your expertise grows. Rome, after all, wasn’t built in a day.