You've built a website for your business and you have plenty of competitors for the keywords related to your business. How do you outrank the competition in the search engines and begin generating revenue via your website? The first step is to understand domain authority which is one of the most important metrics in determining how your website will rank in the search results.
Domain authority is a metric that was created by Moz, a well-known resource in the SEO world. Domain authority is based on a scale of 1-100. Brand new websites will have a score of 1 while established websites like Google, Yahoo and Facebook will have a domain authority hovering around 100. The higher your website moves up the domain authority scale, the more difficult it is to keep improving. For example, improving your website’s domain authority from 0 to 20 is much easier than improving it from 40 to 60. To discover your website’s domain authority, visit OpenSiteExplorer.com and type in your web address. OpenSiteExplorer is owned by Moz and will also let you discover the domain authority of competing websites.
In the early days of website's creation, you’ll need to scratch and claw with your content marketing and link building efforts until your website begins to generate a respectable domain authority and begins to rank organically. According to SEOPresser.com, websites with a domain authority between 40 and 50 are considered average, 50 to 60 are considered good and above 60 are considered excellent. Reaching a domain authority of 40 will require an effective SEO strategy and could take several years depending on the website's concept.
There are more than 40 different factors that will help determine your website’s domain authority. Some of the most important factors include
- Number of websites linking to your website. Websites with a high domain authority will provide the biggest boost for your website’s domain authority.
- How readers interact with your website’s content on social media, also called “social signals”. Content that generates lots of likes and shares will rank higher in the search results. Are you generating content that is engaging and useful to readers? Publish content that is geared towards the enjoyment of readers and profit will follow.
- Your website's friendliness to search engines is a very important factor because the search engines need to be able to crawl your website to find new content. Do you have sitemaps integrated into your website? Does your website use search engine-friendly URL’s? Are your pages interlinked really well to allow users to navigate your website with more ease? If not, it’s very important that you fix these issues.
- Your website’s MozRank and MozTrust scores. These scores are both based on a scale of 1-10. Mozrank calculates the quantity and quality of the backlinks that point to your website. Building spammy backlinks to your website will weaken your MozRank. It’s important to make sure your backlinks all come from reputable websites. MozTrust calculates the trust of the backlinks that point to your website. Websites with a .Edu or .Gov domain are considered very trustworthy so it’s great to have backlinks from those types of websites. Unfortunately, they're nearly impossible to establish on your own.
Domain authority also has another important metric that accompanies it called page authority. Page authority determines how well your website’s individual pages will rank in the search results. Page authority is a very important metric for websites that regularly publish news articles and content because you want those pages to rank well. As your website continues to publish original content, your website’s page authority will continue to grow.
There are several steps a website owner can take to boost their website’s overall domain authority. They include
- Promoting your website’s content on social media. We always tell our clients that they should at least have an account for all major social media channels. Here is a helpful article we wrote on how to determine which social media channels will have the biggest impact for your business. Facebook is a no-brainer but businesses need to first build a respectable following on Facebook before expecting a return on content promotion.
- Continuously build backlinks to your website. There are tons of places that will allow you to create backlinks to your website. The most common places include social media channels, citation listings and business directories, blog websites like Tumblr or Blogger, publishing press releases related to your business, social bookmarking websites like Reddit and online forums. The greater the number of domains that point to your website, the more Google will see your website as an authority and the better it will rank in the search engines.
- Take steps to increase the load speed for your website’s pages. Some important steps you can take is to make sure all of your pages and images are optimized and have the correct descriptions and metadata information. You should also identify broken pages (404’s) and redirect those pages (301’s) to live pages. Integrating Google Search Console into your website will help you identify your website’s broken pages. Google Analytics can also provide your website’s page load speed for specific date ranges. You can also run Google’s PageSpeed Insights test here and read their recommendations for increasing your website’s page load speed. You might need to hire the help of a web designer to complete some of these steps.
- Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Google is now giving priority to website’s that are mobile-friendly in the search results. In fact, searches on mobile devices has surpassed searches on desktop computers. If you’re not sure whether or not your website is mobile-friendly, you can test it here by typing in your web address.
- Make sure your website’s pages are interlinked using anchor text. You’ll notice throughout this post that we have links that will take you to other areas of our website. This practice should be replicated throughout every page on your website.
- Make sure every page within your website is optimized. This includes making sure you publish the ideal article titles, meta descriptions and meta keywords on the backend of your website.
- With time, your website’s domain name will age and this will add to your website’s domain authority score. Older websites are considered more trustworthy since there are millions of new websites popping up every months only to shut down a few months later.
- Delete spammy links that point to your website. There is a saying in the SEO world that your website “shouldn’t hang out in bad neighborhoods”. As a website’s popularity grows, you can’t always help who links to you. But in the beginning of your SEO strategy, it’s important to only build links from well-respected websites. Here is an excellent article on how to find spammy backlinks and delete them.
Are you an entrepreneur in Nashville, Tennessee that needs help increasing your website’s domain authority? John Mann SEO Consulting can help. We are a reputable SEO company in Nashville, Tennessee specializing in areas such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, content marketing and email marketing services. To learn more about how we can help your business build a stronger digital presence, give us a call at 615-491-9819 or complete our inquiry contact form.