Series: Complete SEO Marketing Guide

Part 1: Domain Authority 101

Domain Authority 101

All websites aren’t created equal. Prominent websites such as news publications, major online store chains, and large companies all have a standard advantage over businesses with lesser-known websites.

Of course, there are ways to improve the prominence of your website. This involves increasing your site’s domain authority (DA). Domain authority is a very essential web statistic that can affect how your site ranks online.

Websites with a high domain authority are interpreted by search engines to be trustworthy and reliable sources of information. If you want to understand the basics of domain authority, then continue reading for more in-depth information on the subject.

Domain Authority 101

What is Domain Authority

Domain authority is a self-explanatory concept. It simply is defined as the amount (between 0 to 100) of “authority” your domain or website has compared to other sites. Domain authority influences the rankability of your website.

Generally speaking, Google is more likely to rank an article from History.com about World War II than the same article from your blog. This is because History.com has built a reputation for providing quality content and has tons of backlinks.

Backlinks are links directed back to your website. Websites that contain a diverse portfolio of backlinks are more likely to rank well online and typically have a high domain authority.

Do you see the pattern?

Websites that receive tons of backlinks will rank well, increasing their domain authority. Ultimately, this means that your website has to produce some valuable information or resources that other websites will want to link to.

The process of acquiring links across the web is called link-building, and it’s one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization (SEO). According to Search Engine Journal, marketers say that link-building is their most effective SEO strategy.

This is because building links throughout the web is like purchasing real estate. The more properties you have, the higher your net worth and lucrative your revenue streams will be.

Likewise, the more links you acquire, the higher your SEO score and domain authority will be.

Now that you fully understand what domain authority is and why it’s important, here are some ways you can improve it for your website.

Create Exceptional Content

Again, unless you run a popular company like Apple or Coca-Cola, you don’t have much of a chance of creating content that will rank above those types of competitors.

But, there is a major caveat.

If you take a strategic approach to create exceptional content, you have a great chance of doing so. One way you can is by using Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Method.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can utilize this method to your advantage.

Content is King
  1. Browse Popular Topics - Ideally, you’ll want to target popular topics that are generating meaningful traffic. By using an SEO tool like Moz or BuzzSumo, you can browse online content that’s doing well online.
  2. Find the Topics That Rank Well - Next, find the articles that are ranking well for a particular topic. View these articles, write down their word count, and everything else that makes them unique.
  3. Make Your Content Better - By seeing what other popular topics are doing, you can build off those to make your content better. You can start by creating longer and more in-depth content, full of both short and long-tail keywords.
  4. Wait for Results - It takes time for content to rank. Wait for results and optimize accordingly.
  5. Reach Out to Obtain Links - Finally, when your content ranks, use a link-building tool to see which websites are linking to the top articles on the topic you wrote about. Now that you have a better piece of content, ask that they link to yours instead.

As you can see, the Skyscraper Method is straightforward. By creating exceptional content, you can usurp your competitors and even industry giants. As your content begins to rank, you have a unique proposition.

Prominent websites will want to link to a better resource, which is your article. On your end, you’ll receive a backlink.

Again, the more backlinks you receive (from prominent websites), the higher your domain authority will be. However, creating great content is only half the battle. There are other aspects of building your domain authority

Ask for Links

Link-building is one of the most tedious and manual marketing activities you will ever participate in, but it’s highly rewarding. Unlike automated marketing and email software you can use to make tasks more convenient, you will have to dirty your hands if you want to acquire more links.

Essentially, asking for links is a proven strategy of doing this. Granted, it will take a lot of time to do this and you may not know where to start. Nonetheless, if you want to take the necessary steps to increase your domain authority, this is an important step.

Here is how you can successfully ask for more links.

Link Building
  • Craft Personalized Emails - Do you want to know the quickest way to get your request rejected? It’s sending copy and pasted emails. If you want organizations to take your requests seriously, show them that you’re serious by sending personalized emails that will grab their attention.
  • Make a Great Offer - Think about it - if your recipient does agree to link to your article, they’re going to have to put forth some effort in updating their existing content. A lot of people are busy and will be reluctant to link to your content if they don’t see anything beneficial in return. If your content suddenly ranks in the top five of Google’s search engine page results (SERPs), then you have a great offer at your disposal, which is their chance to link to a helpful resource to build their own SEO.
  • Get Creative - Link-building is a competitive activity. Thousands of marketers are doing it. You can imagine that prominent publications receive thousands of correspondences every day regarding link-building. Get creative in your approach to grab and hold your recipient’s attention.

Asking for links is completely manual, which means you’ll have to invest significant time and resources to get it done properly.

Add Links to Your Content

Part of building an incredible resource that will generate links is actually finding quality content to link to. By linking only to content that’s resourceful (and from prominent websites), you’ll be boosting your own domain authority.

This concept is very similar to an essay. If you were writing a paper about how drinking water can fight cancer, you better have well-researched sources to validate your thesis and make your paper more authoritative.

In the same way, if you’re writing a blog article about the causes of diabetes, it makes sense to link to popular web references, like WebMD and Mayo Clinic. Google regularly rewards these sites with rich snippets, or a small excerpt from their articles you will first see when typing in a question on Google.

To check the domain authority of any website, you can use Afrefs’s tool to get the job done.

When writing your content, make sure you are always linking to prominent references. By doing so, you’ll be participating in a perpetual cycle of link-building that will impact your domain authority score over time.

Build Your SEO

An unrelated way of impacting your domain authority is building your SEO. After all, how will prominent sites gift you links if your website doesn’t rank well in the first place? Usually, websites that rank poorly online are not designed well.

With this often being the case, many publishers will become reluctant to link back to a site that doesn’t look the part. Invest your resources in hiring an experienced SEO agency to make sure that your website is in perfect shape.

If your website is built to thrive online, it’ll be much easier for you to create content with high-ranking potential.

Build website SEO

Promote Your Content

Through effective content marketing, you can succeed in getting the word out about the content you’ve created. Promoting your content is much more than posting links to your articles on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s much more than that. Content promotion is an extensive and time-consuming process. In fact, it’s highly recommended to share your content more than once on social media.

If you want to get a head start on effective content promotion tactics, then you can try to repurpose your articles into infographics and videos to post on YouTube and Instagram. The more ways you can present your top content, the better.

Outreach to Journalists

If you’re writing heavily-researched articles or statistics, you can always pitch an article to a journalist, especially if it’s about a serious matter. For example, if you run a medical practice, you can contact a journalist if you’re noticing a massive outbreak in the flu. The journalist will do all of the work in writing an article and linking back to your website.

Final Words

Improving the domain authority of your website is a comprehensive process that will take time to develop. By starting the process now, you’ll be laying the foundation to reap amazing benefits in the long-term.

Of course, before you can successfully increase your domain authority you’ll need to learn about helpful visual search tactics. The next post in this series will be about the basics of visual search and how you can implement it for your business.

Visual Search
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