If you haven’t heard of domain authority, you’re missing a trick. As one of the most important SEO benchmarks yet devised, this website metric determines the likelihood of a particular website achieving a high ranking in search engine results pages (or SERPS). It also predicts traffic volumes, which are themselves crucial for generating new business.
The concept of domain authority was developed by SEO specialists Moz, though it has since evolved into a wider definition of a site’s search engine performance. While it relies on numerous factors, some carry particular weight when rating a site from 1 (very poor) to 100 (flawless). These elements include the volume of inbound site links, and their perceived value. A link from your blog to your company website won’t be anywhere near as valuable as a link from the BBC or Daily Telegraph, since these are clearly trustworthy portals. Few metrics provide a more accurate evaluation of a website’s value than companies willing to link to it.
Knowing how to increase domain authority for a website involves a blend of common-sense and creativity. Although any ranking will fluctuate organically over time, there are ways to boost your site’s DA.
Our top ten dependable ways how to increase domain authority:
- Select a strong domain name. SERPS prioritise websites hosted in the country where people are searching for results, so a country code top level domain like co.uk is advantageous. Incorporating your location or industry into the main web address can also be beneficial, though there’s a balance between information and brevity. Shorter web addresses score more highly, so the brumdiy.co.uk address would perform far better than doityourselfhandymaninbirmingham.co.uk. If you’re interested, both domains are currently available from UK2 for just £1 per year…
- Remove bad links. Scraper sites and aggregators often harvest company website addresses and email accounts, in an attempt to look authoritative. These lowbrow platforms then attempt to sell either advertising or the illicitly-obtained user data, so any association with them is inadvisable. Even though many of the companies listed haven’t provided consent for their data to be republished, their own website’s authority will be tarnished by association. Admittedly, some scraper sites and directories will ignore requests for removal, but others will acknowledge and accede to deletion demands. Avoid budget link farms like the plague – association with them can ruin your DA.
- Maximise good links. At the other end of the spectrum, there are various ways to build favourable links with reputable external websites:
- Offer reciprocal links to related companies or suppliers.
- Generate press coverage or news stories that will be carried in the media.
- Pay for listings on authoritative directories and websites.
- Build a strong social media presence.
- Publish guest blogs, which the authors might link to themselves.
It’s important to note multiple links from a single website won’t impress the search engines. Long links are also a turn-off, so keep them short or use abbreviators like bit.ly.
- Build internal links. The value of links between pages within a website is often underestimated. Internal backlinks suggest a site packed with useful information, particularly if a regularly-updated blog offers links to specific product pages. Internal links are free and creating them is easy, yet many companies fail to exploit their potential. A sitemap is also vital.
- Exploit coding opportunities. Significant SEO value is attached to image captions, webpage title tags, robots.txt files and various other programming snippets that aren’t necessarily visible to people viewing the site. These code fragments are aimed more at search engines than people, though an effective page description will persuade audiences to click on a link when it appears in their search results.
- Upload regular content. Search engines love daily updates, from Facebook links to a prolific blog or news page. Blogs are especially useful, since they can be written in colloquial terms that require less technical research. There’s also potential for encouraging guest bloggers, who will often see their own sites and social media accounts peppered with valuable backlinks to their entry on your own site. These industry influencers can be powerful associates.
- Maximise SEO benefits of existing text. As well as frequent updates, a website’s evergreen content needs to appeal to search engines. The inclusion of long tail keywords is particularly beneficial – these are exact terms people search for, like “how to increase domain authority”. Because this specific long tail term is used several times in this article, this page will perform optimally in searches for it. Platforms like Google Analytics help to identify terms people in your industry commonly search for.
- Build for mobile. It’s well-known that most global web traffic is now displayed on mobile devices. And while Google and Bing keep the precise composition of their search engine algorithms under wraps, we do know mobile-optimised displays score extra brownie points. Use responsive page frameworks with minimal coding and no autoplaying media content, keeping menus and navigation as simple as possible.
- Optimise loading times. Expanding on the last point, mobile audiences are often using flaky 4G or sluggish Wi-Fi connections. Their user experience depends on a rapid page display, and search engines attempt to calculate this by scanning each page’s content. Removing superfluous code or plugins can slash loading times, alongside compressing graphics.
- Harness social media. As a key traffic driver, a strong social media presence is invaluable. Create engaging profiles that are regularly updated with original content, network extensively, and try to build relationships with high-profile industry personalities. Commenting on other people’s posts has some merit, though it’s often better to start a debate yourself on LinkedIn or Facebook. A robust social media presence can significantly enhance your wider DA, particularly with extensive inbound links.
Knowing how to increase domain authority also encompasses factors like a website’s overall age, which can’t really be enhanced or boosted. However, it does illustrate why you should avoid rebranding or 301 redirects unless absolutely necessary. Effective DA management will create a virtuous circle where better visibility drives more traffic to boost brand awareness, in turn supporting better visibility. As a result, understanding how to increase domain authority is a vital asset in any webmaster or entrepreneur’s armoury…