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SEO | Apr 19
Maham S. Chappal on August 7, 2020 (last modified on August 11, 2020) • 18 minute read
If you’re investing in content marketing, you’re undoubtedly spending some time and effort trying to find ways to improve your search rankings.
And if you could get that coveted number 1 search position on page one for high-intent, high volume keywords, well that’s the holy grail.
To achieve this goal, you need to work on several factors. One of them is the Domain Authority of your website.
According to Moz, ‘Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.’
In simpler terms, the higher your website’s domain authority is, the higher you’ll rank on Google.
In this article, we’re going to learn the following things,
So let’s get started.
Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating multiple factors, including linking root domains and number of total links, into a single DA score. This score can then be used when comparing websites or tracking the “ranking strength” of a website over time.
You can check your site’s domain authority quite easily by visiting Moz and entering your website URL.
Moz scores websites on a 100-point logarithmic scale, so it’s easier to grow your DA from 20 to 30 than it is to grow from 70 – 80.
Editor’s Note: Get a quick look at your website’s Domain Authority without having to switch between multiple tools. Databox’s Dashboard lets you track your domain authority and identify high-performing inbound links with a 1-click integration to your MOZ account.
Domain authority between 30 and 50 is considered average, between 50 and 60 is considered good and 60+ is considered excellent. Based on our research, the majority of marketers see a domain authority under 30, which means that there’s definitely room for improvement.
However, 34% of respondents report a domain authority of over 40:
To be clear, 30 isn’t necessarily “bad.”
Editor’s Note: Get a quick overview of your competitors website without having to switch between multiple tools. Databox’s Dashboard lets you track your domain authority and identify high-performing inbound links with a 1-click integration to your MOZ account.
However, we wanted to dig deeper into the things that are helping 34% of respondents see a domain authority over 40 and what they believe can help them get even higher domain authority.
Here’s what we learned.
‘Building organic, white-hat backlinks to your site is one major way to increase your site’s Domain Authority.’ Says Holly Rollins, of 10x Digital.
However, not all links are the same. As Dan Young of Loud Digital says, ‘one high-quality backlink is worth more than hundreds of low-quality irrelevant links.’
The Advisor Coach’s James Pollard builds on this and explains, ‘One effective way for improving your website’s domain authority in 2020 is to get backlinks from relevant websites. The keyword here is “relevant”. Gone are the days where you can hire an SEO agency and get results from a bunch of low-quality backlinks from random websites.’
Alistair Dodds, of Ever Increasing Circles, also believes seeking out homepage links from websites with high domain authority improves domain authority massively. Dodds explains some easy ways to seek out homepage links and says, ‘It’s not an easy process but if you source sites who, for example, include backlinks with testimonials, then go ahead and leave a testimonial. Likewise, if they have an “”As Featured In”” section where they link out to sites who have written them a glowing review, then by creating one yourself and telling them about it, you too can be included in such a section. The acquisition of such links can really help build your domain authority in a short space of time.’
Zivadream’s Debbie Lopez believes that getting a .edu backlink is very valuable for businesses looking to increase their website’s domain authority. ‘Find universities with resource pages that link out to private companies in your sector. Contact the webmaster and show them a resource or article on your website that may benefit their students. These backlinks will jumpstart your DA.’ Says Lopez.
Brandon Amoroso of ElectrIQ Marketing says, ‘A good rule of thumb is looking for websites with a DA score of 20 or more, as those sites tend to be more established and have a strong following, which will make a backlink on there more worthwhile.’
Bruce Harpham, a SaaS Marketing Consultant, recommends, ‘Creating a list of relevant high-quality websites with a Moz domain authority of 50 or more in your industry. To generate this list, use Moz and examine the backlink profile of two or three competitors in your industry who have high domain authority. This research will usually yield a small but mighty list of 10-20 websites.
Once you have that list, start your research process. Rather than asking for a backlink right now, seek first to understand the goal of the website and start a conversation with the website owner or a contributing writer. Imagine you have a one-shot opportunity to win coverage from the New York Times. You would do your homework on the journalist and come prepared to shine! That’s the attitude you need to bring to the relationship.’
A simple way to score backlinks via authority websites in your niche? Nikola Roza has some great tips. ‘My tip is to first create a dream list of sites you’d like to be mentioned on and then analyze each of them to find a way to be featured.
Many of them will accept guest posts, great! Others won’t but you can still score a niche edit if you befriend the webmaster there.
Or maybe you spotted an embarrassing broken link you can inform them about, with a suitable and better replacement of course…
There’s a myriad of creative ways to build links, but my tip is to focus on the big boys only. Because manual link building is not scalable, and getting links from the strongest of websites makes the time and effort invested worth it.’ Explains Roza.
Dylan Zsigray, of Kiwi Creative, also has a great tip to start building external links. Zsigray says, ‘Search for mentions of your company or product name on websites across the internet that appear without a link back to your site.’
And don’t forget to fix broken links.
‘Fixing all your broken incoming links and finding all the unlinked mentions of your website/brand on the internet and reaching out to get a link will give you a nice boost in website domain authority right away.’ Says Nate Rodriguez of LIFTOFF Digital
Having a strong presence on LinkedIn can also boost your website’s domain authority.
Michael Alexis explains, ‘An easy way to improve your domain authority is to make a LinkedIn profile page for your business. This process takes about five minutes, and you can include a description, headlines, link to your website, and similar. Then, link to your LinkedIn page from your website so it is easy for Google, MOZ, and others to find. The reason this works is that a spammy website probably wouldn’t have a LinkedIn page or employees, but a real business would.’
Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to improve your website’s domain authority. Ashley Sterling of The Loop Marketing says, ‘Having highly qualified guest blogging opportunities that add to your website’s reliability and expertise, especially in the eyes of Google, will enhance your ability to build your DA.’
Why does it work so well? Because according to Tiffany Lewis, of More Meaningful Marketing, ‘It gives you the opportunity to become a thought leader in a space that is meaningful and applicable to your business.’
However, the key is writing high-quality content whenever you’re guest blogging. Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers explains, ‘This way, you will leverage their authority to boost yours.’
Chris Gadek of AdQuick, adds, ‘Just be sure to include a link back to your site in your bio (which is typically allowed), and you will see your DA climb.’
You can also participate in roundup articles to get even more exposure. Usually, websites allow you to add a link in exchange for providing your insight which works great. And as Carrie McKeegan of Greenback Expat Tax Services, says, ‘This also provides a wonderful opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals.’
DA of your site mainly depends on the power of the backlinks linking to your domain. The ideal way is to earn home page links with branded anchor text from high authority legit sites. Higher the domain authority of the websites, the more powerful those links are.
An easy way to get these high-quality backlinks is by using HARO, Help a Reporter Out. Darryle Stevens of Digitech Austin explains, ‘It takes the least amount of effort as you don’t have to chase the journalists. Instead, they come to you themselves. You can improve your search rankings and boost your SEO efforts by getting featured on top publications. Mostly, you’ll get a do-follow backlink to your site if your insights get published on a site. It helps to generate quick and easy media coverage.’
Joe Babi, an SEO expert at Joseph Paul Digital Agency, agrees and adds, ‘The trick to growing domain authority is to begin to earn media mentions. The quickest way to do this (if done correctly) is to respond to HARO inquiries. The way to do it right is to provide novel feedback to journalist inquiries and make it easy for the journalist to copy/paste the response.
One client, in particular, I have in mind, we were able to respond to a HARO inquiry that came from Forbes. We were able to place a unique engineering spin on an entrepreneur question that resulted in a Forbes mention. Once we were referenced and linked by Forbes, the Ahrefs domain rating of my client’s site jumped 24 points.’
And as Axel DeAngelis says, ‘Many of the queries are posted by major publications, resulting in powerful backlinks.’
The Marketing Introvert grew its website DA from 0 to 11 in a span of 2 months through this very process and say, ‘It might be low, but I’ve had other websites where it took me a few years to get to that level. Answering HARO emails only takes 15-30 minutes each day and produce the same ROI as other link building efforts.’
Using HARO doesn’t just increase your domain authority, but as Jennifer Neylon of My Supplement Store points out, ‘it also brings more traffic.’
When seeking guest blogging opportunities, don’t forget to reach out to high authority podcasts, as well.
As Laura Watson of Sure Oak says, ‘One strategy that not only improves your website authority but also strengthens your brand is to seek out opportunities to participate in industry-relevant podcasts.’ Watson also adds that, ‘domain authority increases proportionally to the number of referring domains you earn.’
‘A lot of people tend to focus solely on link building without realizing that there is a lot they can do on their website itself.
For example, posting content regularly is a great way to easily improve your DA. This is a simple way to alert search engines and DA calculators alike that your website is always up to date.
This is also tied to the factor of letting your blog grow old. The older your blog is, the more authority it has which is why patience is another big one for new bloggers who want to see their DA increase.’ Freya Kuka, of Collecting Cents, explains.
‘Great content leads to quality links and quality links lead to higher domain authority. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen if you stick to the process.’ Chris Wilks, of BrandExtract, says.
Casey Dawson of Pelicoin also believes that crafting consistent and valuable web content is the key to quickly improving your website’s domain authority. Dawson says, ‘Regularly posting blogs and content pieces that include valuable keywords throughout, a word count of at least 1,500 words and a subject matter that relates to your brand and audience can allow your site to rank higher in Google searches. Higher search rankings can lead to more site visits and page shares, as well as more backlinks to your website. Especially in the digital age, high-quality content is the key to boosting your domain authority and overall web presence.’
How can you create high quality content?
Experts give their best tips.
Jakub Rudnik, of Shortlister, believes that the key factor in your domain authority is your keyword footprint. And rightly so.
What does keyword footprint mean?
“How many keywords do you rank for, and how high do you rank for those keywords? Your strategy will depend on your current domain authority and keyword footprint, but you can expand these two areas by writing new content (more keywords) or optimizing your existing content (new keywords). Then focus on the outreach and promotion necessary to make your content worthwhile.’ Rudnik explains.
Bill Ferris, of Decor Interiors, believes that adding FAQ pages to your website is key to getting noticed by authors at big publications and getting backlinks from authoritative websites.
Ferris explains the entire process and says, ‘One great way to enhance your chances of getting noticed is to add FAQs to articles with a high number of impressions on the first or second page of Google search results.
If your articles are showing up in high volume niche searches, then you’re on the right track in your content development. Adding FAQs (and coding them properly) will increase the visual space devoted to your SERP snippet, highlight your topic relevance and create interactivity to engage users. All of these benefits will improve the click-thru rate of your high-authority targets as well as common internet researchers.
To identify potential questions to answer, Google a few short-tailed keywords that are broadly relevant to your article’s topic. Document any questions listed in the “”People also ask”” snippet on the results page. You can use AHREFS or Answer the Public to identify even more questions. AHREFS also shows you the search volume and keyword difficulty for each. Questions with a high volume of searches and low keyword difficulty are prime targets for your FAQs.
Once you’ve identified questions and crafted answers, follow Google’s guidelines for marking up your FAQs with structured data to properly code the section on your webpage. Resubmit the page in Google Search Console and check back periodically to make sure that Google recognizes your FAQs in the Enhancements section. Follow this process for a number of your popular articles. As your FAQs start showing up, you should see an increase in your CTR, the number of sites linking to you and (over time) an improvement in your DA.’
Amrita Jaswal, of Signify Solutions, believes, ‘The most effective way to increase a website’s domain authority is to create shareable content. Now, by shareable content, I mean publishing well researched, and well-written content. If you publish a blog like that the chances of getting the blog interlinked in related blogs get very high.’
And don’t forget consistency is the key.
Sam Olmsted, of Tampa Digital Marketing explains, ‘When you post content that is high-quality, it appears higher on Google’s search rankings, you get more site visitors, and more people are willing to share your post, creating backlinks to your site.’
Optimize for SEO
According to Moz, ‘The best way to influence the Domain Authority metric is to improve your overall SEO.’
Melanie Musson, of Car Insurance Comparison, recommends optimizing your posts for SEO. ‘Make sure you’re placing the keywords people are looking for in the right places, Include internal links, and write usable snippets throughout your posts.’ Says Musson.
Andrea Loubier of Mailbird, also believes SEO is key to increasing website DA. Loubier explains, ‘Your domain authority rating all begins with your SEO strategy, which is the key to visibility for your website. When optimizing your content, be sure to include H1, H2 and H3 tags, and place well-researched keywords throughout, including in your meta titles and descriptions.You can even show your images a little SEO love, with keywords in your images’ alt text.’
What is evergreen content? Content that’s relevant for years to come.
Sunny Ashley, of Auto Shop Invoice, says, ‘Focus on evergreen content! It’s the most efficient tool for driving a continuous source of traffic to our website and building domain authority. Our method for doing this is to prioritize content that can be used in multiple channels over a long timeframe. For example, snippets from a blog post can be used in social media posts or email marketing in the future. From there, we can aggregate multiple blog posts to create a whitepaper. Later on, we can then use those same whitepapers as the basis of a new E-book, etc. All of the above results will lead to additional backlinks and value for the customer. This helps you get the most SEO bang for your buck.’
Creating high-quality content and not promoting it is a crime. You should spend equal amounts of time and effort (if not more) in making sure your content gets maximum eyeballs.
Moises Parada of Fidelitas Development, believes, ‘Being smart about external linking and making sure your content promotion is just as strong as your content creation. By leveraging content through promotion you can reach the right people who will share and link to your content, which helps increase your domain authority.’
Jeff Moriarity, of Moriarty’s Gem Art, agrees and says, ‘We work to create videos on Youtube that are different from our competitors. We then post them on Reddit as well. Many times they end up going viral, which gets us 100’s of links not only to our YouTube channel but to our website itself. Companies need to know that creating great content itself is not enough, you need to go out and promote it. It does work, and you don’t need to be a huge fortune 1000 company to do it.’
Making your website mobile-friendly is now more important than ever.
As Niles Koenigsberg, of FiG Advertising, says, ‘For some time now, Google has been implementing gradual changes to their search algorithms to prefer mobile-friendly site designs, and in early March of 2020, Google finally made the official switch to mobile-first indexing. This change means that Google will now prioritize sites that are more mobile-friendly over those that are not.
If you’re trying to improve your site domain authority in 2020, then you must optimize the mobile design of your site. That mobile-friendly interface is now a critical ranking factor and it is absolutely a must for any company looking to improve their search engine rankings.’
Human Marketing’s Nicole Suther adds on, ‘Google is going to start putting a badge on websites that have a more pleasing user experience. Websites without this badge of approval will most likely hurt with a loss of traffic. What you need to do is create a better user experience with your website, reduce friction points, increase user engagement, and increase your page speed altogether.’
Why does Google place so much importance on a mobile-friendly website?
As Andrew Ruditser of Maxburst, says, ‘Nowadays, it is much easier for users to search for products and businesses through their smartphones in their local area while on the go and this will continue to become even more popular in 2020 as smartphones continue to evolve and become our main source of communication. Because of this popular adaption, mobile-friendly, responsive sites achieve higher rankings in google search. For many businesses and their customers, mobile-friendly sites are much faster, easier, and more affordable to use as well. This is why mobile-friendly sites are extremely effective for approving their website’s domain authority. If your sites are not mobile-friendly, then you will rank much lower on search engines.
Now, if you’ve ever found yourself frustrated or overwhelmed in trying to find and make sense of your domain authority and related metrics in the native tools like Moz, you can far more easily track and visualize this data in Databox.
Here are just some of the things you can learn about your website’s domain authority with Databox visualizations.
A normalized 100-point score representing the likelihood of a domain to rank well in search engine results during the specified date range.
Tracking domain authority tells how well your website will rank on Google search engine.
A normalized 100-point score representing the likelihood of a page to rank well in search engine results during the specified date range.
Tracking page authority will tell how well a specific page will rank on Google search engine.
If you’re using SEMrush and AHREFs to track your metrics, you can easily track this data through Databox, as well. Some of the things you can learn about your website’s domain authority with databox visualizations include,
Incoming internal links
Total number of Incoming Internal Links on your Website, defined by Range (1, 2-5, 6-10, 11-50, > 50).
Total number of Backlinks of all Types (including Images and NoFollow) found on Web Pages on Educational Domains that link to the Target Website.
If you want to start tracking all of these metrics in Databox, you can do it for free. Just create your free account here and get started connecting and visualizing your data.
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