Best techniques to increase your Domain Authority (DA)
TL ; DR
The Most important task of any Blogger \ Website owner is to get more traffic, doing the conventional ONSITE \ OFFSITE optimization will get you ranking on Google search results and you will gain some traffic. There are many ONSITE optimization techniques that don’t work anymore and got outdated as Google improved its algorithms, some of the OFFSITE optimization techniques are outdated as well and many website owners and bloggers seem to feel that nothing really works or getting them the results they wish for. Many of you heard about Moz’s DA metric and how important it is, but no one seems to tell you what this DA is and how you can increase it. In this article I will share with you the basic methods of increasing your DA metric to make your brand much stronger.
What is Domain Authority?
Domain authority is the potential of a website to rank higher in search engines based on several metrics and elements. These metrics are ranking metrics which every website have and combined together in the right form creates high DA, which represented by your brands authority on the internet.
The Metrics which makes Domain authority:
- Number of Different root domains Linking to your website
- Total number of links to your website
- Diversity of links to your website
- Social signals (how your content is engaged on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc.)
- Bounce rate for Main pages on your website
- Domain Age
- Brand search volume
The basic guide to increase your Domain Authority
The more domain authority you have better your chances to rank higher on Google search results. Back in the day all you needed is high page rank and high quality links to your homepage and that won’t cut it today. High PR does not help much to increase your DA although it is a part of it. In this Guide I’ll show you exactly how to increase your Domain authority and increase your website’s potential to rank higher in your desired keywords.
I am advising every website owner to use the help of professionals when doing internet marketing. It is a time consuming process which most business owners don’t have and you want to do this properly, doing it wrong can cause actual damage to your website’s image and brand and sometimes in an irreversible way. With that said let’s go over the list of techniques you should use to increase your Domain authority.
- Internal content structure
- Internal link structure
- Links diversity
- High quality content
- Social media management
- Seniority – Ongoing process
Internal content structure
Hummingbird algorithm changed the way Google analyzes phrases, with the launch of Google’s knowledge graph and “Conversational search” (Searching Google by voice) we see that Google analyzes associated phrases much better than before, The surrounding text on a page \ website \ competitors website became a crucial factor in the way quality score is given to specific pages and websites.
To Increase your potential of getting higher quality score you need to use the correct combination of keywords and phrases on your website, this demands a profound market research, keyword research and competitor’s research.
Here are several Tips to get you going:
- Use well known keywords which are commonly used by your clients \ users and by your competitors
- Use synonymous keywords
- Make sure different keywords appear in strategic places (H1 tags, Title tags, Description tags etc.)
- Make sure All important pages use a big diversity of keywords, phrases and synonymous
- Make sure to correct all misspelling and your grammar
Never stuff keywords on your articles just for the sake of getting more keywords; I will get to it later on the “Quality content” section. In a nutshell, you will use keywords anyway while writing on the subjects you want to rank for
Some of the tools you want to use to make your researches easier and efficient
- Semrush – will allow you to conduct a full competitor research
- Google keyword planner – will allow you to know the keywords and phrases Google already connected
- Moz’s Open site explorer – will allow you to know the links and DA rankings of your competitors and other website in your market
- Google trends – will allow you to recognize trends on your market to fine tune your website accordingly
Internal Link structure
Internal linking is the corner stone of a strong website since the days of PR sculpting. You have to make sure all of your pages are built strongly enough and linking to one another properly. Google must know that all of your pages worth ranking as much as your home page and make sure that each page is targeting a different set of keywords. This procedure is the foundation for achieving better domain authority in the long run. All pages must have high trust factors, trust factors are achieved by correct interlinking with the right keywords and phrases.
- Create strong internal links between different pages with a diversity of anchor phrases and high relevancy. You may see this tactic on websites such as Wikipedia and Big publishers, creating internal high quality links with actual added value for your readers makes all the difference.
- Try to create a funnel of internal links to your main pages or articles, for example if you write an article on domain authority (2) and you have already an article on the subject (1) make sure article number (2) links to article number (1) and if in other related article you mention this factor make sure to link to it again (to article 1). Creating a funnel to high quality, high valued content will increase your trust factors within pages allowing you to build the foundation for a stronger Domain authority down the road.
- Create links to your internal pages from high quality pages on your website. A good example will be a slider or “featured article” plugin, creating this spotlight on a certain page will increase its trust factor, try to do this to as many pages as possible.
- Diversify with your anchor text or phrases when linking to the same page, for example if you wrote an article on “why link building works”, make sure that you link to it with different anchor text and use different keywords and phrases when linking to it. Good examples will be: “Find out why link building works like magic”, “the reason behind link building still works”, “building links never worked better find out why” etc.
- Always monitor for broken links and images, broken links weakens your website and you need to always monitor it.
- Hunt down websites which rank high for the keywords you want to rank and get a link to the page which targets that specific phrase or keyword. Getting several links like those will increase your trust rank significantly.
Always remember that this is an ongoing process which demands fresh content and ongoing work. Never give up on quality, it is not a quantity game and it is not a blitz, this is an ongoing process to increase domain authority and it takes time.
Make sure to watch Moz’s video on internal linking:
Links diversity – Smarter link building
Link diversity is one of the link building methods which allows you to build links “Naturally” or to appear as natural as possible in order to gain high rankings with specific pages. In my article why link building works like magic, I wrote a little about the myth of regular link building VS. Real link building, to explain it in a nutshell you need to diversify all of the external link building tactics in order to get the results you want, and the main goal of this tactic is to gain higher trust factors and domain authority along the way.
You must create a wide diversity of links pointing to your website with different anchor text, different type of links, different pages which get linked and different websites linking back to you.
A good example for the lack of diversity is commenting on blogs for free links, Many people discover a certain high quality blog which lets them comment, and they return every week to make comments and get links, Google will consider the first few links as high quality links and the more links you get from the same website let alone the same page the less they matter and in the end it will even damage your quality and will be considered as spam. The right way to diversify with the same websites over and over again will be to get links from different pages on the same website to different pages to your website in different anchor text, I would recommend to let go of “Free Links” concepts and methods because all the low quality, spammy link builders go there. You need to comment on high value and quality pages and link to your target pages, do not link only to your home page but to related articles on your website etc.
Here is a little method I developed to avoid being targeted by Google as a spammer if I choose to use the same websites to gain more links: This chart shows how many links to get from a specific website according to its quality levels.
High quality blogs or websites (Which means big publishers, big brands, government websites and university websites)
*Refers to several links from the same website.
- Up to 20 links with different anchors linking to different pages and on a timeline of at least 4 months (meaning you will build 20 links from that website in 4 months and not bombard yourself with links from the same website)
Medium quality blogs and websites (bloggers from your field, websites with high relevancy, medium brands or local brands)
- Up to 15 links with different anchors linking to different pages on a timeline of 2 months (meaning you will build 15 links from that specific website in 2 months and not bombard yourself with links from the same website)
Low quality blogs or websites (low quality forums, blogs and websites that are less monitored)
*This is a danger zone, building links of this sort may get you in trouble make sure these sort of links are less than 3% of the total links to your website, more than that can cause you damage or even penalize you.
- Up to 3 links with different anchors linking to different pages on a timeline of 1 month (meaning you build links on those websites and never get in them again, never build links from them again) such as article bases, free directories and bookmarks or other spammy websites.
Remember that blog comments, forums and directory links will contribute less than actual quality links from content or guest blogging, therefore you’ll need to be as creative as possible when link building. Creating high value content to submit in other websites is a great tool to gain high quality links and the stronger the page gets over time the better the links from it.
When guest blogging or posting articles on external websites (such as Linkedin for example) make sure to link to older articles on your website, link to different relevant pages with different anchor phrases.
Make sure you link to the following pages on your website
- Main categories
- Articles and informational pages (videos, guides, tutorials)
- Sub categories
- Product \ services page
- About us
Almost all of your pages need to get links, and high quality ones as much as possible. Remember never use shortcuts such as automated tools or robots, always do it manually and always think of the outcome. Try to get as many external links to your internal pages and remember to diversify as much as possible, lack of diversity will raise a red flag to Google’s algorithm, and once you get hit by Penguin, there’s no going back.
Old but Gold (Whiteboard Friday – Link diversity 2009)
Make sure to diversify as much as possible while maintaining a high quality level domains linking back to you, try to avoid low quality domains at any cost, if you still want those links remember not to let them be more than 3% out of your total link profile.
High quality content
search engines such as Google worked to give users the best results possible for their queries, for example if I searched “Wedding cakes in new York” and I would have got low quality content starring in the 1st ranking it would have damaged Google credibility as a search engine. Google as developed over time because it is trying to better understand what users are looking for when typing a certain query. Using sophisticated algorithms such as Google panda which was release back in 2011, Google managed to clean out low quality pages screening out duplicated content, scraped content and thin low value content making a revolution in the way websites had to conduct. Many websites lost their authority when their content was marked as low quality content, and many websites had to remove many pages to retrieve their lost rankings.
What is high quality content?
High quality content contain high value for the reader, lots of information, links to high authority sources and as detailed as possible. You can gage how effective your content is by looking at several factors among them how users are interacting with your content, is it shared or liked? Do you get commented on it or not?
Google released a set of questions (Found here) related to high quality content; make sure to check them out while making your content strategy.
Crucial points to take under consideration when creating content:
- Avoid duplicate content – more on duplicate content here
- Detailed content as much as possible – make sure to give as much value as possible when publishing your content
- Be innovative and teach something new – make sure to teach your reader something new do not recycle content or subjects unless necessary (guides or tutorials)
- Under any circumstances do not stuff keywords in your articles – it is natural to use certain keywords when writing on specific subjects. Remember you are writing for users and readers not search engines
- Make sure the grammar is correct and that there are not misspelling
- Make sure to link to authority information resources whether it is internal linking or to external sources it has added value for your readers.
- Make sure all Meta tags on the page are correct (Title tags, description tags etc.)
- Avoid using to many ads, or promotional links on the page
- Make sure to use different type of content (Videos, inforgraphics, images, text)
These are the main elements to watch for when creating content, the quality of content is determined by a lot of metrics, following these guidelines will protect you from making silly mistakes that can damage your website. You can also increase your Authority by hosting your Video content on several platforms such as Vimeo, Youtube and your own website.
Make a content strategy which is consistent with your goals
For your website to gain high Domain Authority you must create a plan, a well plan strategy which is dynamic enough with the changes of the market can help you gain Trust rankings and Domain authority ranking better and faster. Keep in mind that there are trends in every market and your strategy should be dynamic enough to take advantage of them. Making the correct strategy can help you gain more traffic and more users, make sure you create content which stays consistent with your brand and services.
Here are some ideas for content you might want to consider making
- Create User guides on your product, services or about topics your brand specializes in.
- Create informative Q&A articles with as much information as you can
- Create High quality video content
- Create presentations and visual content for users to use and share
- Create informative articles on the topics your website specializes in
- Create practical guides or reviews for tools your industry uses
Social media management the right way
Branded3.com conducted a study (can be found here) which proves tweets affect your rankings; this is not surprising because of the importance of social signals. The way your content is being shared and interacted with is critical for your Domain Authority and therefore you must engage in social media management, Open a business page and profile and make sure to create high quality content which people want to share.
Any website that wants to gain high rankings and high Domain Authority must fully engage in the social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook , StumbleUpon, Google+, Reedit, Pinterest and others.
The study above proves that pages with over 7,500 genuine tweets will likely to appear in the first 5 results for specific keywords; you may also just look on very strong websites and see that these websites have content which is shared regularly. You may think they are shared because they are big but it is the other way around.
What to make sure when engaging in social media
- All pages must be shared on social media, including articles, case studies etc.
- Do active work to gain more tweets, likes, shares etc. to as many pages as possible
- Make sure to upload only high quality content which will get as many shares, like tweets and retweets as possible.
- Active campaigns on twitter and facebook to gain as many users as possible (money campaigns can gain you active trust from users and better sharing percentage)
- You must active on all social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and others.
Ongoing process – Let it age
Domain age was a very important ranking factor back in the day. Today it is an important factor but not as important as before, Google as changed the algorithms this is still a ranking factor though. Don’t expect to get high Domain Authority in a month or even three; Domain Authority depends on time as much as your ongoing work. Make sure you create high quality content which is engaged by users and interacted by the internet, gain as many high quality backlinks to your pages and do not stop. In the long run the quality content you have the better chances you have to gain Higher Domain Authority.
It is important you set goals for traffic and know how to monitor them, high quality content or pages tend to get more visitors and lower bounce rate.
High domain authority depends on your brand. It is a slow process which demands careful planning and a lot of effort but in the long run that is the only way to build a strong brand which rank higher and faster in search results. To check your domain Authority level, go to Moz’s open site explorer and make sure to look for the DA rankings. Take under consideration that the higher your DA is the more likely you are to rank higher in specific keywords relevant to your website.
Be sure to check out the full publication on Linkedin