Created by a third-party company, Moz, Domain Authority [DA] is a score that has been designed to estimate the probability of a website ranking on Google’s Search Engine Results Page [SERP]. While DA isn’t directly linked with Google’s ranking metrics, there are some shared attributes that deem it an element of great significance. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of achieving a higher DA through link-building strategies, we need to understand what these two actually mean and do for a website.
What Is Domain Authority?
As mentioned earlier, DA is a score that was created by Moz to help website owners determine whether their link-building strategies are working efficiently or not. Having a high Authority doesn’t guarantee any website a spot on the first page of the SERPs. However, it does increase its chances of leapfrogging its competition, at least for one term, if not more.
Scored out of 100, the metric evaluates a website’s backlink profile. If a website has an authority that is either higher or similar to its competitors on the first page of the SERP, it will have an increased probability of appearing alongside its competitors, given that the particular webpage is well optimized for SEO. Other websites, including Ubersuggest and Ahrefs` can be used to calculate a website’s Domain Authority as well.
If you want to know more about SEO and what it does for a website, you can find detailed information on this topic here.
To put it simply, DA reflects the level of trust, authority, and relevance that search engines bestow upon a specific domain. Consequently, domains with quality backlinks are able to rank and index new content on their websites relatively more easily. As an example, we searched Wikipedia’s Domain Authority on all the three platforms mentioned above and found the following results:
Results on Moz
Results on ahrefs
Results on Ubersuggest
Of course, there are other factors that can affect a website’s SERP ranking. These factors include the following:
- Search intent optimization
- Target keyword optimization
- Internal link building
- External link building
- Content length compared to competitors
What Are Backlinks?
Also called one-way links, incoming links, and inbound links, backlinks are links from one domain page to another website’s specific page. If you have a website and someone links to it, that means you have earned a backlink from them. In the same way, if you link to another webpage, that specific website will have a backlink from you. As an example, we’ve linked these words to Wikipedia, meaning the website now has a backlink from us.
If other websites perceive the contents of a particular website as relevant and valuable, they are more likely to link to it. However, DA is not affected by the number of backlinks but by their quality. If the pages linking to a website have a relatively better website authority, the website receiving the backlinks will enjoy a higher DA.
The following are some of the many benefits of backlinks:
- They help enhance off-page SEO metrics.
- The website ranks higher on SERPs.
- Website content gains more visibility.
- The website gets more indirect referral traffic.
- They increase the chances of higher revenues.
- Backlinks increase page authority.
- They increase brand awareness.
- They create more credibility for the website.
- Continuous promotions are generated through backlinks.
- They grow the website’s DA.
How to Improve Domain Authority with an Effective Link Building Strategy
As we’ve already established, link-building strategies can help increase DA and, as a result, increase a website’s chances of ranking higher on SERPs. If you’re on the lookout for a professional SEO agency to make your website reach its true potential with bespoke link-building services, we can help you! Book Content Development Pro’s SEO services and get on the track to higher SERP rankings now!
You can also take a look at the following expert tips and tricks to help accelerate your website’s growth and build a higher or, at minimum, similar Domain Authority as your competitors:
1. Internal Linking Structure
While internal linking does not directly increase DA, it will pass Page Authority between numerous pages on your website. Furthermore, internal linking helps search engines, such as Google, understand different pages of a website and find and index them, which increases their chances of ranking higher on a SERP.
One of the best practices for internal linking is the use of keyword-rich anchor text, which helps both viewers and Google understand what the linked page is about. However, it’s important to remember that using the same anchor text multiple times on a page might not be safe for your DA.
You can use tools, such as Semrush, to find out which page on your website is high-performing and link to those pages on a new page that you want to rank higher on a SERP. Additionally, using descriptive anchor texts is also vital so as not to confuse Google in regards to pages that have varying information on a single topic.
You could also use your homepage, which is more likely to be the most authoritative page on your website, for other pages that need some more authority and attention. Lastly, it’s best not to automate the internal linking process, as that can create more chaos than good for your website.
2. Off-Page Links
Listing your business in online directories is not only high-impact but also cost-effective, which makes it a perfect link-building strategy for small and local businesses. Citation building, which is one of the best local SEO strategies, is one of the most cost-effective growth strategies. By listing your business across online directories, you will help search engines better understand the areas and markets that your website or business serves and gradually elevate the site’s DA.
Build Your PR
Public relations is another aspect that indirectly affects link-building strategies and consequently affects DA. Gaining backlinks through well-known publications is crucial in competing against relevant websites with high Domain Authority scores. Even press coverage without any backlink is essential for brand awareness and can have a significant positive impact on SEO. This is because search engines like Google also evaluate off-site signals, including brand mentions, to understand a website’s DA.
However, it is the dofollow links from top-notch publications that have the most significant impact on DA. For a small to medium-sized company that can’t invest in a PR team, there are several platforms that connect industry experts with reporters who want to receive valuable information from thought leaders in the industry. One such platform is the Help a Reporter Out or HARO website.
Receive Backlinks from Legitimate Sites with Real Traffic
The Moz DA score algorithm takes into account whether or not the backlinks are generated through legitimate websites with real traffic and discounts the ones from illegitimate websites with no apparent traffic coming through any source. Both Moz and Ahrefs can be used to determine whether a site has real traffic coming in through search engines.
In addition to the monthly traffic, you should also evaluate the growth trend of the website’s traffic to ensure that the domain’s traffic is not spiraling down. A sudden decline in website traffic could point to penalties by a search engine and could mean that the site has a low value.
Moreover, visit the site’s social media platforms to evaluate the web site’s traffic from various channels and look for signs of spammy, low-quality content on the website before seeking out a domain for backlinks.
Community Participation is an excellent community-building method that allows for increased brand awareness and relatively easier conversions. You will have to conduct a survey of online discussions, threads, and forums and evaluate where your target audience is the most active.
By using such platforms to build communication with your target audience and subtly promote your brand, products, or services, you can build a higher DA. Once you have gained their trust, you can also request a link for your website.
3. Competitor Analysis
Since DA takes all websites into consideration when setting a score for a specific website, it’s pertinent to remember that you must only outrun your competition in terms of a faster backlink-building strategy. This can sometimes also mean that even though you’re building more links in the least amount of time compared to your competitors, your DA score can still be lower because the score takes all existing websites into account and not just a domain’s direct competitors.
Naturally, website owners and SEO strategists are often advised not to obsess over the DA score and only focus on getting ahead of their direct competition in terms of SERP rankings and DA.
Review your competitors’ link-building strategies and evaluate which types of businesses and websites have created a backlink for them. It would be a good idea to seek websites and businesses focusing on similar topics for your own website. You can also go a step further than your competition and seek out guest blogging opportunities on relevant websites.
Keeping a close eye on your competitors will help you stay ahead in the game and take the lead in terms of both link-building strategies and Domain Authority.
4. Guest Posts
Another great way to increase DA is contributing thought leadership, original research, or blog content to other relevant and high authority websites that are operating in the same industry as your business. You can contribute valuable content and, in return, gain a backlink either in the body of the post or in the byline.
One great way to do this is by researching industry-specific publications and seeking our guest blogging opportunities from websites that have topical relevance to your website.
5. On-Page Content
EAT is short for elements that each high-quality page needs, according to Google. The acronym represents expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Plugging these elements into a website’s content will increase its overall quality and lead to other websites discovering and linking to it without any additional effort. The content should be well-researched, and keyword targeted so that others can discover the content during their research and (hopefully) link to it.
Sharing thought leadership pieces or original research articles would best serve the purpose of creating high-quality backlinks, as these content types can’t be replicated and increase the chances of getting a backlink. You can also share the content on social media websites, include high-volume keywords, or create content around super-niche topics to increase the probability of receiving backlinks from other domains.
6. Social Media Promotion
Sharing your content on social media would automatically increase the viewership of specific pages on your website. The comments, likes, or shares you receive would also further increase your chances of building a higher DA and ranking higher on a SERP.
7. Mobile-Friendly Website
Not creating a mobile-friendly website and making transitions to meet the changing needs and demands of your target audience will only hurt your DA and cause a blackout from SERPs. Consequently, making your website mobile-friendly and ensuring that the mobile version includes all of the key internal links that are present in the website version of your website are crucial nowadays.
8. Page Speed
One of the most important factors that Google and other such search engines consider is the page load speed, and any site that’s doing worse than its competitors in terms of loading speeds would potentially see a decline in their organic keyword position on the SERP, thus decreasing their overall Domain Authority. It’s therefore of utmost importance that you decrease your website’s loading time for both website and mobile versions, which would also help your case in terms of bounce rates.
9. Link Exchange
While paid links are against the guidelines shared by Google, it is not uncommon for website owners to ask for a specific sum of money in exchange for a link to your website on their existing content. You can consider getting paid links from relevant websites and platforms, given your budget allows for it.
10. Broken Links
Many websites face missed opportunities for quality backlinks because the links on other websites are broken. You can take advantage of such broken links on other websites and reach out to the owner or editor to offer your content as a replacement. To do this, you can find broken links on other websites and create content that can replace the missing resource.
If you have similar content around the missing resource on your website, you won’t have to create any and can reach out to the editor without any efforts toward content creation.
Remove Bad and Toxic Links
The following are some of the toxic and bad links that you should avoid adding to a webpage:
- Numerous exact-match anchor text links
- Several links from unrelated websites
- Foreign language sites’ links
- Links from ‘bad neighborhoods’ such as online gambling, pharma, or pornography
- Links from link directories and link farms
- Links from penalized domains
You can also use platforms such as Monitor Backlinks, SEMRush, Moz, and Ahrefs to check which links they’ve marked as “toxic.” You can ask such websites to remove the backlink from their website before requesting Google to ignore it, which is a standard protocol for the removal of bad or toxic links.
We’ve discussed some of the many easily adaptable link-building strategies that can help you increase your DA quickly. However, if you’re looking for more significant and long-lasting results, you may need to consider hiring a professional SEO agency for the job.
At Content Development Pros, we offer a wide range of SEO services, including SEO Keywords Research, On-Page SEO, Local SEO, and Link Building Services. Our dedicated team of experts will evaluate your current DA and devise a customized plan to increase it through various mediums, including Blogger Outreach & Guest Blogging, Press Release Writing & Distribution, Business Profiles, and Community Participation strategies.
Let us help you create effective link-building strategies tailored to increase your Domain Authority and help you rank higher than your competition on SERPs in the most time- and cost-effective manner.