Why Work to Establish an Authority Site?
There are many different approaches for making money online or for gaining more exposure for your business online, some can have an impact quickly while others (like building authority) are more focused on the long term. With other possibilities that could produce a return in a shorter period of time, why should you be concerned with building authority?
While no traffic source is guaranteed to keep sending visitors to your site, search engine traffic is much more stable than others, such as social media. If your site is not doing anything to irritate Google and if you are consistently working to improve your site and add new content, search engine traffic should at least be holding steady, if not increasing. Any website owner who wants to achieve stability and consistency (as much consistency as can be expected) should be focused on developing diverse traffic sources, including search engines.
An authority site will always have some stability in terms of traffic because the search engines will continue to send visitors, other sites will be sending visitors through links, and repeat visitors will be coming directly to the site because they know it is a trusted resource.
2. Quality Traffic
Search engine traffic is generally of higher quality than many other sources because people who find your site through searches are looking for something that you offer or for information that can be found on your site. Likewise, links from other sites that are recommending your business or the information on your site will also produce quality traffic. Repeat visitors who keep coming back to your site when they need something will be very high quality, because they already have proven that they turn to your site before going to others.
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3. Unlimited Possibilities
Because stability and quality of traffic is high, authority sites really have unlimited opportunities at their disposal. For example, SEOmoz built up its authority as a go-to source for SEO information, and now they make money by selling membership access to premium SEO tools that can help website owners and marketers to promote their own sites. Trying to sell this type of membership to SEO tools would be substantially less successful from a company that has not established itself as an authority in the industry.
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Another example is Freelance Folder, a blog that covers all kinds of topics relevant to freelancers. After Freelance Folder had established a large audience and considerable authority, Mason Hipp and James Chartrand released The Unlimited Freelancer, an e-book that was aimed at its target audience. At the time the e-book was available for purchase, Freelance Folder already had a large audience to market to, and they had already earned the trust of that audience.
These are just two examples, the list could go on and on. But the point is that, with authority and an established audience, you can find ways to monetize your website and provide customers with something that is very valuable to them, and you will already have the audience waiting for you.
4. Increased Influence
An authority website has a great deal of influence within its industry. People tend to pay more attention to what someone is saying if they have earned their trust in the past. If you want to be one of the titans of your industry, working towards building an authority website is a good start.