In the last few years, an SEO tactic has emerged that has revolutionized the way people do search engine optimization.
That tactic is topical authority.
What is topical authority?
In a nutshell, topical authority is achieved when your website covers a topic more completely than your competition.
And when that happens, expect meteoric traffic growth.
There are many ranking factors that determine your position on search engines.
Apart from topical authority, we have:
- Content quality
- technical SEO, and more
The weight behind topical authority is so high that even if you lack other signals like backlinks, you can expect to find yourself competing with websites that are out of your league.
A case study
Koray Tugberk is an SEO specialist who used topical authority to grow monthly traffic from 10,000 to 200,000+ on Interingilizce.com in just 5 months.
In his case study, he claims that all the basic and important elements of SEO such as:
- Pagespeed optimization
- Technical SEO
- Quality website design and layout
….were intentionally excluded from the project.
What?? You may think that the success of the project was just a coincidence. But you would be wrong.
With the same techniques, Koray claims that he had 4 different successes in a matter of 5 months.
You can read the full case study here.
With Koray’s claims, one can imagine the power of topical authority.
My own experience
I do not claim myself as someone who gets tens of thousands of pageviews a month but after reading this case study, I fact-checked topical authority in relation to Infoverses, my own blog.
Here’s what I found.
The first of my articles to rank #1 on search engines (Bing, to be precise) was an article about “10 Best Affiliate Programs Without Approval“.
I headed to my sitemap and pressed Ctrl+F and searched for the term “affiliate”.
I found that the term “affiliate” was found the most number of times (8 times), meaning I had 8 out of 40 articles focused on affiliate marketing.
Apart from affiliate marketing, no other terms were found more than twice in my sitemap.
What does this tell search engines? It tells them that I know about affiliate marketing and hence Bing decided to rank me #1 for the query “affiliate programs without approval”. You can go and check it out.
It doesn’t mean that I can rank #1 for every query related to affiliate marketing. The query “affiliate programs without approval” was an easy-to-target keyword and with some quality content and on-page optimization, and also perceived topical authority, I was able to hit #1.
If I am able to write 100s of articles related to affiliate marketing, then I’m pretty much sure I can improve my traffic exponentially.
This was just a small example to prove the importance of topical authority.
Now, moving to the topic of our focus, in this article, I’ll be sharing with you a cool chatGPT use case that helps you prepare a topical map for your blog content strategy.
A topical map is simply all the possible topics that can be covered under a main category.
Some problems in achieving topical authority
These are some problems that one could face in the process of achieving topical authority.
Problem #1 Producing tons of content
You need to produce a metric ton of content in order to achieve topical authority.
If you are outsourcing your content, it can be pretty expensive to do so. This is because if you want to rank for difficult keywords, you would need to have hundreds of articles on a particular topic for which you want to achieve topical authority.
And if you are planning to write it all by yourself, good luck waiting for months or even a couple of years to be able to hit that mark.
Here’s where you can take the help of ChatGPT. You can take its help to write content for you but don’t forget to fact-check the content and add your own style to it.
It is recommended NOT to rely completely on AI for content generation.
Problem #2 Creating a topical map
What all do you need to write to actually “cover” a topic completely?
I tried creating a topical map manually for a topic related to “dog training“. What I did was go to all the top-ranking sites in the field of pet training, accessed their sitemaps, and searched for “dog training”.
Not only that. I also used the People Also Ask section of Google to find different keyword variations of all the topics found above that addressed a different search intent (Clearly explained later).
Guess what? It took me 2 hours (including a small break) to be able to generate a topical map that suggested I needed to write approximately 190 articles related to dog training to achieve topical authority for it.
Now, dog training isn’t the only topic that a pet training website writes about. It also writes about other animals and probably their nutrition and diet plans too.
Imagine the amount of time it can take to prepare topical maps for each of these sub-topics. Whew!
Now, the good news is – ChatGPT will help you do this in minutes!
Let’s see how!
Let us ask chatGPT
Head over to chatGPt and ask it:
Give me 20 semantically relevant, but unique topics under the main category of “dog training”
You will find that ChatGPT generates a list of semantically related topics to dog training.
Now, all these topics can have different sub-topics that address a different search intent.
So let’s ask chatGPT,
Step#2: Give me 5 different keyword variations of “basic obedience training” that address a different search intent
(basic obedience training is one of the above results)
We get interesting topics like –
- Importance of basic obedience training
- Best dog trainers for basic obedience training
- Basic obedience training for rescue dogs, etc.
Now if you repeat the 2nd step for 19 other topics from step#1, you will have a topical map of 100 (20×5) highly relevant articles to the concept of “dog training”.
You can repeat this process for other animals and their diet plans too.
And the critical thing to remember is that these articles are the most essential for getting to topical authority and that’s because of their semantic relevance to the main topic of “dog training”.
Let’s try it again with the example of a blog that teaches how to start a blog and monetize it.
Ask chatGPT – Give me 20 semantically relevant, but unique topics under the main category of “blogging”
You get some highly relevant subtopics related to blogging that will help achieve topical authority such as:
- The future of blogging, etc.
Now ask: Give me 10 different keyword variations of “the importance of SEO for bloggers” that address a different search intent
(the importance of SEO for bloggers is one of the results generated by ChatGPT)
Just look at all the amazing results you get!
Is this process as good as the manual way?
When you’re trying to scrape topics from your competitors’ sitemaps, through Google’s People Also Ask section, or through any tools made for this, the information you get will be more complete as those will be the exact keywords that people have written about.
With ChatGPT, you just get an idea of the topics but you make up for it with speed, cost, and relevance.
In the manual process, you might scrape topics that aren’t semantically relevant. Thus, the list might need some manual filtering. But, chatGPT lists only the highly relevant topics.
Topical authority is a highly effective SEO technique that has the potential to overlook the power of backlinks and other technical aspects of SEO.
SEOs like Koray Tugberk have managed to increase website traffic by 1100% within a matter of 5 months. Not once, but 4 times in 5 months.
So you can’t ignore the power of topical authority.
To be able to generate a highly relevant topical map for achieving topical authority, you can use ChatGPT smartly and exactly the way explained above.
You can also use this method to get ahead of the very common problem with writers – the writer’s block.
AI can help humans but it cannot replace them. So take the help of AI wisely to accelerate your content strategy and bottom line.
Now I leave it up to you. What’s your niche? Are you going to use chatGPT for preparing a topical map? Make sure to leave a comment below sharing your views.
Also, if you try this method and find it useful, come back and let me know in the comments.
Finally, If you liked this article, consider sharing it on social media and make my countless hours more meaningful.
Ali is a passionate and experienced blogger with a mission to teach others how to start their own blog, monetize it, and become successful in the process. He shares the lessons he’s learned on his own journey through personal anecdotes and factual examples.