To author or not?

Choosing the best person as the author to signal your expertise
As a general rule, step away from the temptation to have the marketing team take care of all content and let the best person for the job do the writing. This will make for accurate and authoritative posts that both readers and Google will rank high among their preferences. 

So that’s how viral posts like “How we grew from zero to...” or “How we got our first...” are born. Employee interviews, company culture posts, or work process insights also fall under this category. Here’s a perfect blog post that clearly targets a keyword and still manages to include internal insights.

In fact, using multiple team members lets you share internal knowledge and take people through the way you’re doing things. This leads to unique content that stands out from the other posts a writer or marketer has written by simply having a look at what’s already ranking. 

Are non-marketing authors better at spotting reader intent?

I’m fascinated by efforts like this where the authors know exactly what their readers need and what’s missing from the web. They don’t care about SEO and traffic so they’re taking this approach to build a following instead.
If you still want to focus on your SEO efforts, create a general outline for the person who’s going to write the article. Don’t include too many details as you want the content to depend entirely on the expertise of the writer. You can do the editing to target a keyword and make the most skimmable. Some marketers approach this by interviewing their colleagues and then doing the ghostwriting on their behalf — with a final draft check from the “original author”, of course.

To author or not?

You need an author at all times. This helps people and Google associate the topics that author has written about, no matter where they were posted. Having trustable writers who are a pro within their industry is a huge boost for your website as per E-A-T algorithm guidelines.

What about blogs where the author is a company or the company’s “marketing team”?

You can get away with this if you regularly publish content on both your blog and as guest posts using the brand/company name. However, you won’t be able to take advantage of speaking opportunities, podcasts, interviews, books, and other content that’s always attributed to a person.

Let’s just say the Toucan Toco is not the best author even if it might know some stuff:

The general rule is to have a real person as the author. This author should:
  • Regularly write on similar topics
  • Be acknowledged as an industry expert or have received awards for their work
  • Have their content listed on multiple websites, specifically top media outlets
  • Ideally: have a Wikipedia page, appear in the news, have their own website with a high authority, participate in speaking events or other public engagements, etc.

Why you need author pages

Readers should be able to easily spot who the author is and get the cues around their authoritativeness. That’s why an author bio is a must —  no question. 

A small author bio snippet might not be enough to convey an author’s complete experience. 

That’s why many websites [especially those where the information is vital for people] have a separate author page. 

So far, Google doesn’t seem to mind if a website doesn’t offer these pages. In fact, they haven’t fully applied this rule as you can sometimes still find company posts with no author pages for top ranking articles too. 

Another approach websites have taken is to list all authors and their expertise on a single page.

But we’re always up for future proofing our content, right?

Let’s analyze the elements of a good author page:

  1. Clear distinction of the author’s profession or role within the company.
  2. Details of the author’s expertise achievements.
  3. Social media handles to the author’s personal pages. The author can reuse these wherever they write so that Google can identify it’s the same person.
  4. More posts to showcase knowledge.

Other similar examples that nail these elements are on the Semrush blog and on LeadDev.

Once again, these points highlight the importance of a writer with a strong personal brand.
If you enjoyed this edition, don't forget to send it to a friend!

Until next time,
Alexandra Cote


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