Domain Authority is defined as a measure of how well your website will rank on search engines. Developed by SEO marketing gurus Moz, it calculates the “strength” of your website in terms of its ability to stand strong at the top end of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
On this occasion, we won´t try and explain how exactly Moz calculates your Domain Authority score – they explain all that rather well themselves here.
Instead, we will look at a number of relatively simple ways you can give that score a boost prior to putting your website through the Domain Authority Checker, so that you´re not left too disheartened with the results.
Plus, the results themselves might be a little confusing if you´re not au fait with terms like “linking root domains”, so let´s keep things purely advisory – as opposed to critical – for the time being.
The Content Marketing Institute once again proves a great resource for improving your website´s authority – contributor Arnie Kuenn argues that brands should adopt a four-point plan in order to raise that Domain Authority score.
He points out that your website´s authority is often a reflection of the quality of the content being produced, but he suggests that it´s simply not enough to have a dazzling blog.
Build a strong backlink profile
Of course, there is great value in creating content which people pick up and share accordingly – but that alone is not enough to hike your website skywards to the SERP you had in mind.
One way of elevating your website´s authority is by regularly contributing to an external blog or website – whereby you are one of a number of writers – as you will start to build a nice range of backlinks.
Distributing news releases can also help build a diverse (diversity is good) link profile, providing that what you´re releasing is newsworthy, as media outlets will pick it up, thus allowing your story (and brand) to spread accordingly.
Here at M2, brands often ask us to write press releases on their behalf. As press releases often benefit from a degree of neutrality, it makes sense to outsource the task, with our writers also able to source relevant trends to give the release even more newsworthy credentials.
Brands would also be wise to identify bad backlinks dragging their backlink profile down, because search engines penalise websites for comprising too many unfavourable links. When we talk about bad backlinks, we mean ones coming from sites irrelevant to your business, or from spam-like, headache-inducing sites.
Meanwhile, simply linking to related pages from your home page or blog – known as internal links – will increase the user experience, by exposing them to other useful and relevant content, thus boosting your credibility in the eyes of Google.
A good user experience is essential
That brings us nicely on to user experience. How often do you search for a business only to find that its website is an unholy mess? It´s often a good enough reason to get outta there as quickly as you entered.
You´ll be pleased to hear that Google is now punishing websites for poor usability – which now extends to mobile usability, as per last month´s “mobilegeddon”.
So, in addition to having a website that is easy to navigate on a portable device, it should also be fast. It´s fairly obvious stuff, but you´ll be surprised how many businesses are still deploying a website that is incapable of loading anything more than a page a minute. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you catch my drift.
Unsurprisingly, loading time is a major contributing factor to page abandonment. KISSmetrics says that if your site takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of visitors will duly say bye-bye.
While Google is not so ruthless when it comes to loading time, users are the ones who are looking to log on, so let that be reason enough to give it a bit of a tune-up.
Go get some shares and likes
You´re creating fantastic content, your website pages loads within a second and your backlink profile is looking nice and diverse – job done, right? Not quite. Your content is only as good as the number of shares it generates.
While we acknowledge that this is a somewhat silly thing to try and compute, when it comes to marketing, they be the facts. If you post on social media sites but they are not returning any “likes” or followers, is it doing you much good? Not really, is the honest answer.
It seems a little unfair, doesn´t it? You put all the effort into the writing of content but none of it is getting read. Let me tell you, there is nothing more disheartening as a writer.
The key, then, is to make sure you´re targeting the right sort of people online. That means seeking out people who are discussing similar topics to form relationships – it might sound less than romantic, but even romantic persuasions are a lot more “real” these days, with more and more people prepared to head online to find “the one”.
Once you have an audience, make sure that you are engaging them regularly. That means asking open-ended questions, running strictly social media-based competitions and engaging with individuals directly when the moment presents itself. It´s all about building trust.
Top it off with some subtle SEO changes
If mapping your URL structure sounds like a tedious task, that´s because it is. Like most chores, however, it is crucial to how others perceive you – on this occasion ´others´ being users and search engines.
The same applies to meta tags, title tags, headings, keywords, image optimisation and other on-site SEO factors: they all contribute to both search engine ranks and user experience, thus play a key role in the strength of your website´s authority.
If you wouldn´t know where to start, please get in touch. Here at M2 Bespoke, our SEO team is primed with the latest SEO techniques, which could do wonders for your website.
For those that are already halfway through the journey to superior website authority, what has worked well for you?Ben Hollom
May 8, 2015