When it comes to traffic, people tend to focus on traffic generated online. They’ll focus on SEO, on PPC, on social media traffic. These are all highly effective methods of getting traffic; but they miss one crucial component: Authority.
Having authority does two things. First of all, it helps you get more traffic. Authority in and of itself will help you get type-in traffic from people who know your brand. Second, it helps you increase your conversions.
Think about it. Let’s say there’s a person who’s interested in buying an MP3 player. They land on two websites. These two websites sell the exact same product for the exact same price.
One website is an unknown website. The other website is Amazon.com. Who are they more likely to buy from? Amazon, naturally. Why? Because they have more authority. They’re a known brand. There’s more trust established.
Learning to build authority will help you get more conversions, as people will already trust your brand. It’ll help you get more traffic from every aspect of your marketing funnel, as people will be more likely to click on your listing in the search engines and in PPC placements because they recognize your domain.
Finally, you’ll get people typing in your website, or people Googling you or your brand’s name.
So how do you build more authority?
Create a Strong Brand Identity
What do you stand for? If people are to trust in your brand, they need to know what your brand stands for.
When people think of you, your brand or your website, they should think of just one thing. Is it speed? Is it expertise in a certain area? Is it customer service? Is it uniqueness of thought?
What should people think of when they think of your brand? Cultivate that brand deliberately.
Get Press Attention
Someone who’s been seen on TV, on the radio or in print media is going to have a lot more authority than someone who just put up a website.
Getting press attention isn’t as difficult as most people think it is. Remember: Journalists need good stories just as badly as entrepreneurs want to be in those stories. Getting featured is a win-win relationship.
To get in the press, join services like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to find potential press opportunities. Make sure that before you contact any press you have a clear story to pitch them with.
The story should have a clear hook and have a headline that turns heads. In other words, it should be something so unique that reporters will really want to have it in their publications.
Another way of building your authority is to speak at industry events. The mere act of getting up on stage sets you up as a credible expert. Very few people are ready and willing to take that kind of stand.
Getting public speaking gigs involves first building your reputation using other kinds of techniques. Once you have a decent brand reputation, reach out to the people in your industry who host seminars and let them know you’re interested in speaking.
Partner with Established Authority Figures
Another way to increase your reputation online is to partner with established authorities in your space.
The exact form of the partnership doesn’t even matter. You could write guest posts for their blog. You could do a teleseminar together. You can co-author an eBook. It really doesn’t matter.
What’s important is that your brand becomes associated with a better known brand. By endorsing you, they essentially validate you and your credibility.
Landing these kinds of endorsements essentially comes down to building relationships. If you have something unique to say and you genuinely know what you’re talking about, chances are they’ll be willing to listen.
Being Around for a Long Time
Finally, it’s not glorious, but it’s true: Authority tends to come with time. People want to get to know you. They want to get to know your brand. They want to know that you’ll stick around. They want to know that you’re not just here for show, that you are who you say you are.
If you’re in business for a long time, if you treat your customers well, if you help other people, if you have something unique to say, you’ll naturally build your authority and brand.
These are several different ways you can build more authority with your business. The more authority you build, the more traffic you’ll get. On top of that, you’ll also convert more of your traffic.