At first glance, it might seem like there are only advantages to building an authority site.
And for the most part… that’s true. But there are some notable disadvantages as well – especially if you don’t follow some best practices.
Let’s go over the pros and cons of each before showing you what to do instead.
- 1 Types of Sites You Can Build
- 2 Why A Niche Site Might Be Better Than An Authority Site
- 3 Don’t Make This $60 eCommerce Mistake
- 4 Content Marketing Is More Effective Than SEO
- 5 Niche Site vs Authority Site
- 6 So What Do You Recommend?
- 7 With that in mind, let’s compare two sites:
- 8 So how long will it take until I start seeing results with an authority site?
- 9 What about cost? How much does it typically cost to build an authority site?
Types of Sites You Can Build
I want to first discuss the two different types of sites that people tend to build these days: Authority Sites And Niche Sites.
What Is An Authority Site?
An authority site is a content-heavy website with lots of pages and products (and often services).
The purpose is usually to rank well in Google™ for several keywords by using product reviews links from other websites, good on-page SEO, and a lot of content.
Content Is King In The Authority Site Model
In the authority site model, Google™ wants to see lots of good relevant content.
This is because they’re looking for sites that offer value to their users.
If your website has a great amount of quality content, you’ll be rewarded with higher rankings – mostly due to the fact that people will spend more time on your site which pushes up your page rank (it’s a ranking factor).
That’s why an authority site typically needs several pages of content… often hundreds or even thousands of unique words per page.
Sometimes it might even take as much as 3,000 words just to get enough relevant keywords optimized on page alone!
That said, there’s a limit to the amount of content that someone wants to read about a single product.
Let’s say you’re writing reviews for cameras and each review is 1,500 words long.
It might be helpful if it includes every detail imaginable… but people will quickly get bored and leave your site (which lowers your search rankings).
What About Niche Sites?
That leads us to niche sites… which focus on a specific topic or very narrow market segment.
The primary goal here isn’t page rank – it’s targeted traffic! And because of that, these sites typically only need one or two pages at most (one landing page and an about page).
The rest of the site should be filled with useful information that targets the keywords you’re looking to rank for.
style="text-align: left">The Niche Site Model Is Great For Ecommerce
Now, there’s nothing stopping you from building an authority site that ranks highly in Google™ and makes money at the same time… but it’s much easier to make money with a niche site .
And that’s because: You can rank for more competitive keywords (that might convert better).
The barrier to entry is lower (requires less time and money).
Why A Niche Site Might Be Better Than An Authority Site
It might seem like having hundreds of pages optimized well for different keywords would be better than ranking for just one or two really competitive ones…
but keep in mind how people behave when they visit your website.
If they find what they’re looking for quickly, they’re more likely to stick around and buy something.
They might even bookmark your site because it provides all the solutions to their problems!
On the other hand, if you send them to a sales page for product A and then say: “Hey, while you’re here… why not check out this other great product too”, they’ll probably leave.
And that’s because you’ve neglected to solve their problem yet (they didn’t find what they wanted on your site).
This is very common with authority sites that try to sell multiple types of products – people will quickly get annoyed and never come back.
Don’t Make This $60 eCommerce Mistake
That brings me to one mistake I see many people make when starting an ecommerce website.
They publish several pages of content on their site so they can rank well in Google™… but instead, they should try to find a few problems or questions that their potential customers might be searching for online.
Then write the best article possible (a very detailed tutorial) with lots of pictures and screenshots – solving someone’s problem completely!
When you do that correctly, visitors won’t need to go anywhere else because you’ve just answered all their questions about that topic.
And if you’re selling products related to the same topic, now’s the time to mention it!
Just don’t spam your visitors by trying to sell them everything under the sun.
Think long term growth and think about how many people will return over time because of this great content you’ve published.
Content Marketing Is More Effective Than SEO
Google™ knows better than anyone else that content marketing is much more effective than search engine optimization.
That’s why they focus on websites with lots of unique, high quality content instead of those using shady tactics to rank well for specific keywords.
So if you were considering spending money on an expensive PR campaign or SEO company, just run the other way!
You can easily rank #1 in Google™ without shelling out tens of thousands of dollars per month… it just takes a little patience and planning.
But What About The Design?
Remember – design isn’t as important for niche sites as it is for authority sites .
Authority sites need more traffic because they’re usually selling several types of products or services.
They need more visitors so they can make money from affiliate marketing, advertising and selling their products.
However, niche sites only want to sell one product (you guessed it – the product that matches with the keywords you’re targeting).
So they don’t need as much traffic as an authority site to start ranking in Google™.
Even though creating a great looking website is important for your brand image…
you should still be able to save some money on design because these sites are fairly simple by nature. Focus on maximizing conversions instead of getting more social media followers or having lots of backlinks.
Remember – it’s all about solving your audience’s problems while convincing them that buying a solution from you is the best decision they’ve ever made!
Niche Site vs Authority Site
Let’s say you’ve got some money to work with… so which one should you go for?
Well, here are the basics when it comes to starting a niche website or an authority site:
Benefits of Niche Sites
Smaller budgets – they only need enough traffic to rank well in Google™.
They can focus on optimizing conversions instead of monthly visitors. Niche websites don’t have the pressure of generating revenue within the first few months.
This gives them time to keep adding more content over time.
There is less competition compared to authority sites since most people make this mistake by creating general topics that are too broad!
Content marketing is easier because there’s no “etition” online with the same topic.
Benefits of Authority Sites
More traffic – they usually need to rank for several keywords in order to generate enough traffic.
That’s because their goal is to sell more than just one product while targeting the same audience .
They can easily get lots of visitors from social media, blog posts and other online publications. However, this means that there are some serious time requirements – especially when it comes to blogging on a regular basis.
It’s not unusual for someone starting an authority site to spend 8-12 hours per day writing blog posts!
They usually have higher budgets so they can afford hiring freelance writers or an SEO company if needed. Since search engine rankings are everything , they will invest whatever it takes to #1 in Google™ again and again.
Less Competition… But It Will Take More Time
As you’ve seen, there are plenty of benefits to both types of websites. If you’d rather be safe than sorry, I suggest starting with a niche site .
Niche websites don’t need as much traffic or money to start ranking well in Google™, but they will still have enough to make some serious bank.
If you’re impatient and really 7 to go for an authority website right away – go ahead!
Just remember that it’s going to take more time compared to starting a niche site.
Now keep in mind… I’ve said before that you probably don’t need to spend anything at all .
So What Do You Recommend?
Well, here’s the basic answer: “it depends”. Unfortunately, there’s no clear cut way to create a profitable website other than choosing a good niche and investing your time into creating great content.
It can end up costing a lot of money if you’re not careful. On the other hand – it doesn’t cost much money at all to start a niche website.
Just apply these recommendations and you should be able to get started for as little as $50 per month!
However, building an authority site requires more work and more money upfront.
You can still get it done for under $1,000 per month (our SEO services charge around that much) but there’s also a lot of room for failure .
It could take months before you start seeing results!
Niche Site vs Authority Site Remember – it’s all about solving your audience’s problems while convincing them that buying a solution from you is the best they’ve ever made!
However, building an authority site requires more work and more money upfront.
You can still get it done for under $1,000 per month (our SEO services charge around that much) but there’s also a lot of room for failure . It could take months before start seeing results!
With that in mind, let’s compare two sites:
Niche Site An authority site
Low risk of failure High risk of failure
Can be built quickly Takes months to start seeing results
Can make top-notch money for years to come Will likely never earn more than what it costed to build it
As we mentioned before, there’s no guarantee for anything.
In fact, you could spend months without seeing any results at all .
It depends on your marketing skills and how quickly you get traffic to your website. If you don’t get any traffic from search engines or social media, then the only thing driving visitors to your site is paid advertising.
However, even if you do use ads to drive in traffic…how much money are you willing to spend per visitor? Are they worth $0.50 each in the long run? Probably not!
An authority site takes months to start seeing results.
It’s also more likely that you will need to spend more money than what you initially thought too.
However, it can be very rewarding if done correctly because of the top-shelf earning potential.
There’s no guarantee how much it’ll cost you per month to run your website either.
However, for this example let’s keep costs low by limiting our monthly expenses to $1,000 .
This is what we charge our SEO clients with a blog or ecommerce store .
This number may seem high but consider the amount of work required to launch an authority site.
The article mentions that it can take months before your website starts seeing results and how it is more likely for you to spend more money than what you initially thought too.
It also suggests limiting your monthly expenses to $1,000 which is similar to our pricing.