Want to know the secret behind why sites like Wikipedia, Forbes, and others always tend to rank high in search results? It’s because they have a good domain authority. As a small business owner, the only metric you need to worry about for SEO is your website’s domain authority. If you’ve never heard of domain authority, then don’t worry. In this article, I will explain what is domain authority, how you can check your domain authority, but most importantly how you can increase your domain authority by following my 6 step guide.
What is Domain Authority (Definition)
Domain authority (DA) is a website metric developed by Moz which predicts how well a domain or website will rank in search engine results.
Domain authority score ranges from 0 to 100 where the greater your DA, the more likely you are to have high traffic and strong search engine ranking positions (SERPs).
As a business owner, Domain Authority is probably one of the most important metrics to track for your SEO.
So how do you check your Domain Authority?
Domain Authority Checker
The best place to check your Domain Authority is through Open Site Explorer by Moz (people who developed DA).
The downside of Open Site Explorer is that it limits you to 10 queries a day unless you pay $99 / month.
Now that you know your Domain Authority score, you’re probably wondering what is a good domain authority score and what are the ranking factors?
What is a Good Domain Authority Score?
Well, the best domain authority score any website can have is 100. However it’s very difficult to get there.
Only sites like Google and Facebook gets that high of a rank.
So where does that leave the rest of us?
Well, DA is really a relative factor. If your domain authority score is 10, then you should strive to get to 20.
Having a domain authority higher than 50 is usually an achievement. However if you’re at 50, then you should try to get 70 or 80.
The bottom line is work towards improvement.
In order to do that, you need to better understand the domain authority ranking factors, so you know exactly what you need to improve.
Domain Authority Ranking Factors
Domain authority is based on a lot of factors. However I believe it can be summarized into 3 key areas:
- Linking Root Domains – In domain authority score, a high value is placed on the quality of domains (sites) linking to you. In other words, it’s not about the quantity of links but rather the quality of links.
- Social Signals – The number of shares and likes your articles get on a social platform is also a factor in increasing your domain authority.
- Quality Content – Quality content is the only way you’re going to achieve the first-two, so indirectly it is the most important domain authority ranking factor.
Now that you know the domain authority ranking factors, let’s take a look at how you can improve your domain authority score and website’s SEO.
How to Improve Domain Authority
Before I share my 6 step process to improving your domain authority, it’s very important that I mention that this is a long-term process.
Don’t try to take shortcuts because that will hurt you in the long run. Think of it this way, Wikipedia didn’t become an authority site overnight.
Now I know a lot of you want to know an approximate time period? Think 6 – 8 months after you implement the strategies that I’m sharing below.
Having that said, let’s take a look at 6 practical steps that you can take to improve your website’s domain authority.
1. Master On-Page / Technical SEO
The easiest way to do this is to install and setup Yoast SEO plugin.
Basically you need to have a good site structure. How can you do that?
- Add SEO Friendly URLs
- Optimize Your Meta Title and Description
- Add a Sitemap
- Create a Robots.txt File
- Add Breadcrumbs / Improve Navigation
- Add Alt Tags for Images
All the basics of SEO which will automatically put you above majority of your competitors.
2. Create High Quality Linkable Content
You really have to step up your content marketing game by creating high-value shareable content.
Think outside the box 1000 – 2000 words long, curation of tips or data-heavy infographics.
Our conversion rate optimization blog has some good examples:
- 16 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Get More Email Subscribers in Less than 5 Minutes – Highly shareable, practical tips – over 2800 words
- 73 Types of Blog Posts That Are Proven to Work – Extremely usefl – over 5700 words.
- 30 Successful Bloggers Share Their Best Converting Email Subject Line – Curation of expert tips, highly shareable and linkable – over 6800 words
Basically you have to create content that’s better than anyone else in the industry.
3. Improve Your Internal Linking Game
Interlinking your content is equally as important as getting external backlinks. Interlinking weaves a network within your site benefiting both the user and search engines.
Sadly most businesses don’t make a conscious effort in improving their interlinking.
Since you’re creating all this amazing content, find a way to link them to each other whether that’s inside the post, using related posts widgets, popular post widgets, etc.
You can see this article on WPBeginner about 8 proven methods to promote old posts in WordPress.
4. Get Placements and Mentions in High Quality Links
One of the most important domain authority ranking factors is linking root domains.
By creating high quality content, you’re improving your chances of getting backlinks, but you shouldn’t stop there.
Try reaching out to influencers in your space and letting them know about your content. Before you do that, make sure to become part of their community by commenting on their blog, engaging with them on Twitter, etc.
Blog commenting can still get you backlinks. Even though they’re nofollow, I believe it still helps your overall domain authority.
Plus it helps you get noticed. You may even score a guest posting opportunity by doing that.
Another proven way to get placements is through guest posting. I have written an article on how to get featured on almost any blog in the world.
5. Remove Toxic Backlinks
It’s possible that you made a mistake of hiring a bad SEO person or someone from fiverr to build bad backlinks for you.
You can still fix that.
Every quarter, you should evaluate your link profile and clean it up by disavowing low-quality spam links.
How do you do that? First setup Google Webmaster Tools on your website.
After that follow this guide by Google.
6. Improve Your Social Media Presence
One of the best ways to get your articles discovered and shared is through social media.
Improving your social media presence also helps bring referral traffic as well as brand value / authority.
Social signals also play a role in your domain’s authority.
I can probably write a whole blog post about social media optimization, but for now just refer to my guide on how I increased my Facebook traffic by 332%.
Make a constant effort to engage with your community on social media.
Now Just Be Patient
As I said earlier, increasing your domain authority takes time. Why?
Because all the things I told you above takes time. Not to mention, domain age also plays a small factor.
There really aren’t any shortcuts to increasing domain authority. Anyone who claims to have one is either lying to sell you their expensive service / product or they’re going to get you penalized by Google.
You must look at the the big picture of today’s SEO which is about content marketing and ultimately user experience.
You do that right, and you will definitely increase your domain authority and your website’s SEO.
I hope this article helps you improve your domain authority. You may also like my 14 point blog post checklist to use before you hit publish.