What is the single most important factor your small business website needs to succeed? What's the one thing you need above all else to ensure you're getting the best possible results with your web marketing? I'll give you a few hints -- it's not SEO, it's not Social Media, it's not powerful Lead Generation, and it's not some whiz-bang Paid Advertising strategy. Nope, the answer is not any one of these things alone. If there's one ingredient every business website needs to succeed today, it's AUTHORITY. Allow me to explain...
What Is Authority?
Unfortunately, there's no simple equation for creating Authority online. As I mentioned above, most small business owners make the mistake of associating Authority with one specific strategy like SEO, Social Media, or Lead Generation. The reality is, Authority is a combination of all these factors. Online Authority is what happens as a result of frequent Blogging, engaging Social Marketing, and good SEO practices.
Once upon a time, you could easily generate Authority directly with a simple strategy like SEO. Getting to the top of Google rankings was an extremely powerful form of Authority. And the path to get there was clear and straightforward. You could even manipulate the results to your favor.
But today, creating Authority for your website and thus your business means engaging in a variety of web marketing strategies that together create Authority and then lead to high search engine rankings, strong social media performance, and profitable Lead Generation. Let me put it this way: You can't "fake" Authority today; you can only acquire it through a dedicated long-term content-focused Web Marketing strategy.
What Authority Is NOT
Often I speak to small business owners who complain that their website and their web marketing performance does not fairly represent their business. In other words, they feel that they have a lot to offer with their products and services. They see themselves as experts and they have a successful business with their existing customers, but they can't seem to get "what they deserve" in the online world.
Unfortunately, though you and your business may be very successful and even authoritative in the offline world, this simply does not translate into online success unless you're constantly working on improving your online Authority as well.
How Do You Get Authority?
As I mentioned above, you simply cannot "fake" your way to Authority today. You cannot artificially create Authority or "trick" the search engines & social networks into thinking that you're the most authoritative website for XYZ products and services.
There's only one way to achieve the authority you need to be successful online -- you need to follow good Content Marketing best practices. That means providing a ton of value to your marketplace in the way of great content. It also means building up your relevance via Social Marketing where the name of the game is "give, give, take" (rather than "take, take, take").
What do you think? What do you need to create AUTHORITY for your small business website? Leave your comment below.