Bloggers, companies, e-commerce stores and everyone else present on the webosphere are obsessed with one thing – web traffic. As the legend goes, the higher the traffic, the higher the chances of conversions. In the end, it is all about strengthening your bottom line.
However, getting to the top isn’t an easy feat. Also, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years of consistency and patience to get that top position on search listings. It’s still doable if you’re motivated and incentivized enough.
Before we get into the details, let’s sort out some facts.
What Is DA (Domain Authority)?
Domain authority, or website authority, is the ranking given to your website. This system was developed by Moz, the Amazon of SEO and marketing analytics. It considers over 40 different factors to give your website a rank on the scale of 0-100, 100 being the best. The higher your domain authority, the higher you rank in search results.
An important thing to remember is that it differs from page rank. The domain authority gives a cumulative result of all your web pages. There is a possibility that one of your web pages is a particular favorite with your audience. It’ll have a higher page rank, which basically shows its popularity.
How Is DA Computed?
Although this ranking scale was developed by Moz, they are quiet about the factors that influence domain authority. People can speculate, but they can’t quite be sure what influences domain authority.
Moz mentions there are over 40 different dimensions that are considered. They also talk about the machine learning algorithms that test the website in question against live websites already at the top of the search results.
The points on the scale move logarithmically, so it is easier to push up the points when they’re close to zero than when they are above 70. It gets more difficult the higher you get.
Moz mentions four factors that influence the DA: linking root domains, the total number of links, MozRank, and MozTrust. Two of these are Moz’s own brainchild (not surprisingly). So improving your domain authority takes more than just a strategy and effort; it takes dedication and the willingness to learn from (sometimes costly) mistakes.
Tips to Improve Your Website Authority
Although there’s no one way to go about improving your domain authority – one shoe doesn’t fit all – there are certain guidelines that can help. Every website is different and without an individualized audit, it’s difficult to say what will work and not.
Here’s a generic formula that works for most websites – you may already be proficient at some of these.
1. Content Is King
…and the kingdom is the Internet. If you want to rule it, build a content strategy that keeps your audiences contained within your fort!
It is the unsaid principle of staying online – content. And this doesn’t just include the written word. Given the reducing attention spans of customers (even a goldfish is better), dynamic and interactive content like audios and visuals have gained more popularity. The quicker and clearer you are at delivering your message, the more likely it will stay with your audience.
For e-commerce stores, clear and compelling images are the key. From a human perspective, visuals are what keeps the target audience hooked on a website. The more frequently they revisit a site to feast their eyes on those absolute must-haves, the better this communicates to the search engines that will automatically bump up your stats.
On this note, people (and search engines) don’t generally like sedentary websites. There’s a difference between finding your voice and droning on. There’s nothing wrong with breaking the monotony and spicing things up.
Target trending topics and create awesome content that has the potential to go viral. This virality plays a role in bumping up your domain authority by a few points.
2. Links Audit
Here’s the second most important thing you need to do: conduct a links audit to see who is linking back to your content. It is, at max, a day’s chore, but this simple step can have a profound impact on your domain authority. Moz Analytics is the perfect place to start.
Since Google revised its policies, the quality of links has become integral to website authority. Not just any Tom, Dick and Harry will do – you need to be looking for links that come from high authority and relevant websites.
Guest posts and signature links don’t work the same way as they used to. The numbers game has long lost its meaning and purpose. Anything that doesn’t meet the criteria set by Google needs to be disavowed immediately.
You can still work on generating backlinks from websites like Quora and your industry-specific forums. Or you can suggest your own website URL against broken links on popular high authority websites.
When you post somebody else’s link in your post, send it out to them for social sharing and you’ll see a natural increase in traffic.
Generating backlinks is a game of ‘give and take’ that everybody plays on their own terms. You can’t force anybody to link to your content. The best way to go about it is to create valuable content that folks in your industry will be compelled to share.
3. The Nitty Gritty of SEO
You must have your basics sorted out. There are a few things about content SEO you need to know. Getting these right will put you somewhere on the online landscape even if you’re not at the top of the skyscraper!
- Selecting Keywords: There are quite a few tools for this. What are the key phrases you want to be answered? This depends a lot on consumer behavior and in part on your ability to choose well.
- Setting Keyword Density: Keyword stuffing is frowned upon. Don’t go overboard with getting keywords in your content. It should always be about quality and value before SEO.
- Using Keywords in Headlines: This just helps in ranking your page better and supporting your domain authority along the way.
- Using H1, H2 and H3 Heading Tags: Google, no matter how closely it resembles one, isn’t human. The bots will read and evaluate your website based on these tags. Make it easier for the bots so they can, in turn, make it easier for your audience to find you.
- Meta Title, Tags and Descriptions: It works well for search engines when they’re displaying a glimpse of your website to your potential prospects.
- Image Optimization via Alt Text: Google can’t read images. Mostly, it will grade and evaluate visual content based on tags and ALT text available.
- Internal Linking: It is a good practice to internally link your content where sensible to augment the overall value of your piece. Particularly if your content revolves around a specific niche, you need not reiterate content from previous posts all the time. Linking it will not only help readers/viewers find relevant information but also rank well in search engines.
4. Publishing Frequency
Experts suggest selecting a publishing frequency for your content to keep your fans hooked. They will know when to expect something new and they’ll frequent your website accordingly. But there’s more to this than just keeping your audience engaged.
Most search engines favor websites that are updated frequently. And by updates, it means adding new content, refreshing old content, re-purposing and curating content from other places, and basically adding value to your online kingdom with every passing day.
So set a publishing frequency that is workable and keeps search engines as well as target readers engaged.
5. Build Responsive
Building responsive is the need of time.
There’s a large segment of the population that accesses websites on desktop computers (yes they still exist!) and laptops. Most youngsters enjoy the power of their handheld gadgets.
Whether it is tablets or smartphones, if it is connected to the internet, people will use it to view websites. And if they’re landing on your website to an extremely distorted display, they’ll probably never come back. In fact, this is rated as one of the leading factors that lead to horrible web experiences.
Don’t lose potential long-term customers; think responsive right from the beginning! Even the search engines rank mobile-friendly websites higher than non-responsive ones. You don’t need two separate identities on both forums; you simply need to make these fluid enough to fit whatever screen your prospects use. Follow good coding practices so your website gives a good return on investment.
Building domain authority is a tedious task that takes years. Even then, it’s not complete. The protocols for ranking your website keep evolving to counter spam. Focusing on quality can often get you places without fearing a downfall.
Whatever you do, avoid shortcuts. Remember: slow and steady wins the race!
Author Bio: Jenny Harrison is a passionate business and lifestyle blogger. She loves to engage with readers who are seeking business, home, lifestyle-related information on the internet. Follow her on twitter @MJennyHarrison for more updates.