Domain authority (DA) is one of the most important factors that determine how your website will rank in search engine result pages (SERPs).
Therefore, it becomes imperative to get your domain authority sky-high to boost your website’s chances of getting visibility in the search results. But, how can you increase domain authority in 2018 and beyond?
In this article, we will talk about the simple steps you can take to increase domain authority and rank higher on Google.
1. Get down with on-page SEO
Google drives 63,000 searches per second per day. If you want your website to perform well in SERPs, you need to make an effort. And, having on-page SEO in your marketing plan is one of the most important decisions you can make. One of the first things you need to keep in mind to increase your domain authority is on-page SEO.
On-page SEO is a set of techniques to rank web pages higher and earn more organic traffic in search engines. On-page SEO entails:
- optimizing the content on individual web pages, and
- optimizing the HTML source code of a page and the website that can be improved,
as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links back to your site and other external signals.
Here are some factors that play a role in on-page SEO:
- Site structure
- URL structure
- loading speed
- meta tags
- alt tags
- keyword-rich content
- the word count per page
2. Kill toxic links
Now, when it comes to off-page SEO, not all backlinks are created equal. There are certain types of links that can be toxic and harm your domain authority.
But before we get into what toxic links are, let’s first explain that off-site SEO refers to backlinks on third-party web properties. These backlinks are the primary factor that Google uses to determine domain authority and trust of a website.
You need to know that Google’s algorithm penalizes fishy or low-quality websites which offer no user value, but instead try to manipulate or deceive users. If a link pointing back to your pages is found on such websites, your DA might drop significantly.
Toxic backlinks are like bad company; even you have nothing to do with some people in your group, they can spoil your reputation.
This is why you need to keep an eye on the quality of backlinks, and take all necessary action to get rid of them as soon as you can. There are several online tools that allow you to track backlinks, like SEMrush, Ahrefs or backlinkwatch.com (which is free), and so many others.
In case you spot a link that seems suspicious, you can ask the website owner to remove it. If that doesn’t work out well, then you should use Google’s disavow tool to let Google’s crawlers know that you want them to ignore that bad link.
3. Update your sitemap regularly
The structure of your website’s content is another important parameter that Google uses to calculate the user-friendliness of the website. And that, in turn, will affect your domain authority.
As a matter of fact, most experts agree that it shouldn’t take more than 3 clicks for the user to find what they are searching for on a website. In other words, you should structure your content so that it’s not more than 3 levels deep.
Your website sitemap is a map of your website pages. Google bot uses the sitemap to crawl your content. It is advised that you analyze your website’s sitemap or page hierarchy to see whether it is more complicated than it needs to be.
An easy way to go about is it to examine your main menu. Do you give the user too many options? Do you have a lot of sub-categories that fall under the main categories, i.e. about us, services or portfolio? If so, try to re-organize your content into 3 levels.
If you want to locate the sitemap file, try entering your domain name followed by a forward slash and the file name sitemap.xml, e.g. mydomain.com/sitemap.xml. If it’s not there and your site is running on WordPress, you might want to install Yoast SEO plugin, which can create a sitemap for you automatically, and keep it up-to-date as you publish new content. Then, head over to Google Webmasters Tools and submit your sitemap, so that Google crawls your site faster.
Keeping content structure as simple and easy to navigate as possible, will help you maintain high domain authority.
4. Create amazing content
The quality of your content will determine how far your website will go in terms of visibility and search engine rankings.
According to DemandMetric “content marketing generates three times more leads as compared to traditional marketing while consuming 62% fewer resources.”
This gives a pretty clear picture of how important it is to have the right content marketing strategy. If you are planning to get your website domain authority to the top, you need to focus on creating equally good content.
Content and backlinks are two of the most important factors that will determine your website authority and SEO results.
When it comes to creating epic content you need to keep the following in mind what quality means in this context. Here are some traits of really good web content.
- Fresh and unique ideas that appeal to the users
- Concise and to the point
- Simple structure
- Free of plagiarism
- Informative and instructive
- Interesting and easy to understand.
It’s always worth investing in good content not only for search engines but mainly for people. Visitors who come to your website would expect to see much more than simply who you are and your service offerings.
5. Bring down the page loading speed
According to research, human beings have an attention span of fewer than eight seconds on the web, which is shorter than a goldfish! And, believe me, it is getting shorter over time.
In this highly impatient world, you cannot afford to have your website load slowly, or you will end up losing customers before they even get to know your brand.
This is the reason why having an optimized website with faster loading time becomes important. First, you need to test your website’s speed. Go to PageSpeed Insights to check out what Google thinks of that. Then, use web caching tools and a CDN to load images, scripts and other web page elements faster.
Additionally, there are some basic issues you might want to address when it comes to improving the loading time of your website:
- Web hosting provider (server)
- Too many images
- Big images (dimensions or file size)
- Poor coding
- Too many WordPress plugins
- Your website is not mobile responsive
Most SEO experts would agree that you need to aim for less than 3 seconds loading time, to increase your domain authority and page authority.
6. Market your content right
This is a no-brainer. Content marketing should be at the center of focus for all your efforts to drive organic traffic.
It makes sense that a website which has great quality content and garners people’s attention on the internet will also maintain high domain authority.
But it is not just the quality of content that matters. It is your marketing efforts that will actually allow people to discover your content. And, the more traffic you get, the better the chances to see a rise in your website’s domain authority.
We have a lot of valuable posts on DoneForYou.com about content marketing and promoting your content effectively – here’s some recommended reading:
7. Ask for contribution from guest bloggers
Guest blogging is like a barter system. You give the guest blogger a link; in return, you get quality content and you are given access to their audience.
Guest blogging is a marketing method that can work wonders in increasing your domain authority. It’s easy and it’s smart.
All you have to do is ask bloggers to contribute to your website. If you succeed at getting their attention, not only will you be able to get top-quality content published on your website, but you will also get an opportunity to spread the word about your business in the already established community of the blogger.
After writing a piece, most bloggers will share it with their following. This means that your brand reach and web traffic will increase. Also, your content will get more social signals.
With traffic on your website getting a boost, the probability of reaching a higher domain authority will also be greater.
8. Don’t forget to use social media
Every time you publish new content, make sure you post it on your social media profiles. Social media has become the heart and soul of marketing.
A business that performs well on social media is bound to get more traffic from the billions of active users on various channels.
As a matter of fact, content that gets more shares on social media adds to the credibility of the business and gets a thumbs-up from Google in terms of popularity.
Therefore, if you want to get your website’s domain authority to rise to the top, being active on the social media and creating is key.
There you have it – the top 8 steps that you can take right now to boost domain authority and gradually rank higher in SERPs. In the end, it is all about putting in the effort to get the desired result.