You’ve been blogging for quite some time now, but you’re having trouble getting to the first page of the SERPs.
Maybe you haven’t been paying attention to your domain authority.
Among the many hundreds of factors Google uses to determine a website’s ranking on the SERPs, domain authority is one of the significant ones.
1.8 billion websites exist across the internet. With so many webpages fighting for first place on the search engine results, it’s no surprise that you need to go beyond just keywords and site speed.
I’ve worked with high-growth startups, influencers, content marketers, and bloggers, to increase their domain authority and scale their growth at uSERP. And recently, we just acquired Wordable.io, and plan to do the same.
In this post, let’s focus on how you can increase your domain authority by developing amazing content, obtaining natural links, guest blog posts, and creating synergistic link building networks.
Ready? Let’s go!
What is Domain Authority?
Before we get into how you can increase your domain authority (DA), let’s first talk about what it is.
Domain authority is a metric developed by Moz that is commonly used to measure a website’s authority. It is measured on a scale of 0-100, 0 being low-authority, and 100 being high-authority.
If you want to grow your search engine rankings, you need to keep an eye on your domain authority. The higher your DA, the greater your chances of ranking high on the SERPs. This will automatically bring you more organic traffic.
Unlike the ranking score used by Google (called PageRank) that uses hundreds of factors, DA is calculated using only 40 factors. Some of these factors include the number of links to your website, the quality of those links, your website’s content quality and current SEO performance, and even the popularity of your site on social media.
According to Adam at Loganix, “Google has made one thing crystal clear; one of the best ways to increase your chances at ranking for higher volume keywords is by increasing your domain authority.”
Needless to say, it’s an important element that you’ll want to pay attention to.
There are two main ways to measure a website’s DA. One is a free tool by Moz, called Open Site Explorer. You can create a free account and get 10 free link queries per month.
The other one is Ahrefs, a paid tool. Instead of Domain Authority, Ahrefs refers to it as Domain Rating, but it’s pretty much the same thing.
There are other tools like SEMrush, Majestic, and more, but I personally prefer Ahrefs or Moz.
How Do You Increase Domain Authority?
There are many ways you can increase your DA. I’m going to show you a few of those methods right now:
- Maintain a Healthy Link Profile
Your website’s link profile is a list of all the backlinks pointing to your site. In other words, a link profile is a snapshot of what sites online have linked back to your content, and why!
Make sure that most of your links are obtained following Google’s guidelines so that your site does not get penalized.
Links from high profile sites with high DA’s are good for your own website’s DA. Google uses your link profile to judge whether your website is authoritative and your backlinks are relevant:
In addition to getting links from high profile sites with high DA, you want to make sure they’re relevant to the topic matter of your website as well.
For example, if you were an ecommerce store selling shoes, you’d want to be linked to and featured on a post like this:
Further, if you operate in multiple regions and have internationalized your content, it makes sense to build links from local regions to those pages, as well.
In case you find backlinks to your website from low-quality or ‘spammy’ websites, you can always disavow them to tidy up your profile using Google Search Console. This will improve your DA.
- Create Link-worthy Content
The type of content you create has a bearing on your Domain Authority.
How, you ask?
Your content should generate interest among your target audience and be in a form that is easily consumed and shareable.
Reports, web video production, podcasts, blogs, and social media content are the types of content that produce the highest conversion rates. This is because visual and audio content that shows original research will generate the most email subscribers, backlinks, and social media shares from your audience.
Any form of content that includes value, for example, LinkedIn message templates, will be shared with ease.
Using Matcha’s Blog Creator’s analytics, creation, and blog optimization tools, ecommerce marketers can easily discover the types of content most likely to engage their audience, create and optimize content for email collection and product views, and easily promote their content to their social and email audiences.
Remember to focus on writing quality content when publishing, optimizing your images, headers, and keywords.
Focus on the most share-worthy topics you can generate. For example, check out this piece on how CEO’s sleep in comparison to non-CEOs:
Complete with original research and data, this piece is a surefire way to generate shares and backlinks. Plus, it directly helps them sell mattresses.
As another example, Listicles are also highly shareable, and a great way to subtly promote your products:
An example of a share-worthy listicle by DTC brand tosi.
You want to diversify your content and get them all linked on the internet, not just a top-of-the-funnel blog post.
For example, start creating more comparative advertising style content that targets the middle of a buyer’s journey, rather than the entry level stages.
What does this mean? Here is a prime example from Oars and Alps, who targets competitors directly within their content, with a focus on “harmful ingredients”:
This allows them to target multiple keywords and brands in a single piece, while also targeting users in the comparison stage of buying.
In an interview with him, he talked about harnessing the power of a firm position in generating new links.
People love to engage and share pieces that go against the grain. Instead of just listing tips, take a firm side and tell your case. Whether people agree or disagree, a strong piece generates more engagement everytime.
- Build good homepage links
Building homepage links (outbound links coming directly to your homepage, i.e, getmatcha.com) can help you skyrocket authority in your niche.
The only problem is: building homepage links is extremely difficult. They often aren’t very relevant or are too broad.
To combat this, you have a few options to choose from:
- Contact bloggers in your niche writing content similar to “best [shoes] for [women]” and ask to be featured / listed
- Go more broad and search for blog posts listing different companies in your niche
- Ask to be listed as an example for content marketing pieces, like I’ll show you below
Personally, I’ve used both with great success. One of the best ways to do this is by showcasing product or service images on your homepage. For example, Elemental Labs showcases a direct look at their product and customer service directly on the home page:
Doing so surely helps them acquire more links from various forms of content marketing in ecommerce.
Without images, they likely wouldn’t have the backlink profile they have.
Another great way to incorporate more content and visuals on your home page is by adding social proof in the form of customer testimonials.
Check out how Veeqo uses both testimonials from clients alongside compelling graphics:
Ideally, you should get creative with the types of content you add to your home page and try to steer away from thin content pages that are lacking purpose or value.
- Pay Attention to Your SEO Strategy
Your SEO strategy is crucial in getting your DA up. On-page SEO aspects such as your title and meta descriptions help the search engine bots to crawl your site easily and discover its relevance. It also helps users navigate your site smoothly.
For example, take this piece from ManlyWellness, reviewing BetterHelp:
First off, it’s categorized cleanly into brand reviews, mental health, and more, making navigation smooth and topic indication clearly aligned.
In the review, they also include a table of contents with semantically related keywords:
This helps to expand the potential keywords they rank for, and better match search intent.
In addition to on-page SEO, make sure your entire website is responsive and can be viewed flawlessly on any device – mobile, tablet or computer. More than 52% of all online traffic comes from mobile devices, so it pays to put in some effort here.
How to Get the Most Value from Links
Now that you know how important links are in increasing your domain authority, you need to also know how you can extract the most value from these links. A few link best practices will help you do this.
- Anchor Text
Anchor text is the clickable text that is usually highlighted and links to an external or internal link on a website. It is usually used to provide contextual information to the page being linked.
To make your anchor text SEO-friendly it needs to be relevant to the page and concise. Do not overload it with keyword-rich phrases as Google will penalize you for this.
For an example, let’s use GetMatcha’s Blog Creator: https://getmatcha.com/blog-creator/
Here are examples of appropriate, natural anchors:
Create a blog
Conversely, you’d likely want to avoid anchors that are spammy, like:
Best blogging tool here
Get this blogging tool now
- Link Position
The location of your link on the page influences its value perceived by Google. Links that are found within the content of the page have the most value, unlike links contained in footers or the navigation bar.
- Multiple Links on a Page
The first link on the page is what matters to Google. This means that if there are multiple links to the same page, Google will take note of only the first link and its placement for SEO. Also, links that are more accessible to users will get more clicks, and therefore more SEO weightage.
- Link Equity
Link equity (also known as ‘link juice’) is a measure of the value of a link. It tells you how much SEO equity is passed on to your website from the website that is linking back to you.
It goes without saying that a link with higher equity will increase your keyword rankings and organic traffic, thus improving your SEO.
Contextual links from other websites (external links) that have a high domain authority will have higher link equity. The trick is to diversify your link profile and obtain more natural links.
How to Generate Natural Links
- A great way to get natural links is to create statistics. When you conduct surveys and create strong statistics, they can be easily used in blog posts of other websites, gaining you some natural backlinks. Not convinced?
Here’s a great example of this method in practice – some time ago BusinessOfApps has published a report about Spotify usage and statistics. They haven’t done any outreach or link-building and yet, the article picked up quite a few backlinks organically.
- Clear and organized infographics that hold a lot of information are another way you can get backlinks. When you compile important information in a well-designed infographic, people are more likely to share them and link to them.
- Useful quotes can also get you backlinks. When you write original, informative statements that are easily linkable, people would be more likely to share them on social media and even in their blog posts.
- Create hub pages, also known as category pages where you can display tons of useful information within a specific topic or niche. For example, check out this home office hub page guide:
- Creating quality content like images, videos, and blog posts and making them easily shareable is another way of getting your content in front of many people and getting more natural backlinks.
- Yet another ingenious way to generate natural links is through lead magnets. The best part about lead magnets is that there are so many different ways to incorporate them.
One strategy is by triggering an exit-intent popup and offering a lead magnet in exchange for someone’s email address. I’m loving this interactive one from Sea to Summit, that goes beyond that:
The cool thing about this lead magnet is that it actually drives value for the customer without asking for any money upfront. This gives them the chance to hook you with a great product, rather than force you to buy before you are ready.
Apart from highly useful blog posts and video tutorials, they also offer a free eBook (their lead magnet) to help customers, generate leads, and also gain backlinks.
You can even set up a separate landing page using one of the many landing page builder tools such as EngageBay or LeadPages.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that people love in-depth content on a topic that’s relevant to them, so try offering an e-book and add it to your guest author bio when you submit guest blog posts.
- Try also incorporating comparison content like this post from Login Lockdown, which is easy to link to:
Not to mention, creating this type of content will also allow you to target multiple keywords and brands.
The Power of Guest Blogging
Guest posting is an excellent method to build your brand and improve your domain authority and thought leadership.
Guest blogging also has many benefits such as helping you establish authority in your niche and even potentially landing new clients, but we’re not going to be talking about those benefits in this post.
When you guest blog on high authority websites, you can include links back to your website. As you already know, Google crawls links to find out whether a webpage is of high quality and could rank well for relevant keywords.
With plenty of guest blogging services out there, it’s easier than ever to build connections, earn great quality links, and grow your thought leadership.
Create Link Building Networks
Creating the right link building network strategy for your business need not be rocket science.
Although ideally, link building should happen naturally when you create the right kind of content, there are ways to accelerate the process.
Reach out to websites in your niche to build relationships and link networks. You can offer them a particular piece of content from your website that will be useful for their audience so that they can link to it.
You can also pitch guest posts to them through email.
My personal favorite? Build actual, real relationships with people in marketing groups on Slack, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.
For example, here is an Ahrefs guide on marketing Slack communities:
Joining these gives you instant access to meeting more people in marketing, SEO, and your niche.
Connect with people here daily, share your stories, and offer them value.
In these Slack groups you can exchange links, help each other acquire better links, and work together to produce awesome content.
Link building is far from easy. But the easiest way to scale is by building relationships with like-minded marketers. And Slack is my favorite place to do it.
Domain authority is one of the factors that contribute to your page rankings and SEO.
The most common and effective methods of increasing your domain authority are by maintaining a healthy link profile, creating great content that people would like to link to, and focusing on your SEO strategy.
Once you start acquiring links, you need to figure out how to derive the most value from each of them. This can be done simply by following some link best practices such as focusing on link equity, positioning your links strategically, and optimizing your anchor text.
The best ways to generate natural links are to use statistics, infographics, quotes, and quality content that people find useful enough to link to.
Guest blogging is another powerful link building tactic that can not only increase your DA but also help you establish your brand and gain authority in your niche.
Use email outreach to build relationships with websites in your niche and create link building networks. You can also reach out to experts to help you devise the best link building strategies that will help you improve your DA.
About the Author
Jeremy is the Chief Marketing Officer at Wordable, and a Co-Founder of uSERP. His expertise is featured in Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur, Foundr Magazine, and more..
Featured imaged by Laura Seaman.