Clients are asking us all the time about SEO. The truth is, in the changing game of organic search, trying to keep up with Google and Bing and their sophisticated algorithms is nearly impossible. As new marketing avenues emerge, however, the concept of delivering relevant, thought leadership content will always be important to the search engines. In fact, it remains the case that the attributes of your content which the search engines find most important are whether it is relevant, authoritative, and different.

It is this term authoritative which I want to explore a little more, because driving authoritative content is no different than having an opinion and being knowledgeable about a subject, classic attributes of a traditional thought leader. You need to know your targets, know how to reach them, know what content they will care about, and know what may incite them to transact or interact with you. You need to start a conversation with them on your website and on social media channels, comment on relevant industry articles and blog posts, and generally be in the mix with advice, ideas, and opinions. The search engines are using social signals to validate the impact of users, determining if that user is trusted.

So what can you do, given potentially limited budget and limited time to focus on thought leadership and authoritative content? Here are 6 keys for developing authoritative content:

1. Be provocative. Start conversations with an opinion that enables others to challenge it.
2. Be active. Take the time to research your targets and produce a steady stream of content.
3. Be smart. You should be an authority on your topic.
4. Be timely. When something happens, be the first with insights, ideas, feedback.
5. Be yourself. Have a personality. Be known for something.
6. Walk before you run, but once you start running, run hard and stick with it….your targets will notice your commitment.

P.S – Don’t forget to optimize your meta data and keep current with a list of good keywords.