Domain authority is a metric introduced by MOZ to add value to an entire website. This metric works hand in hand with Page Authority to give others a good idea of the value an external link will provide when on that page. However, there are several factors influencing both these metrics and over time, we have learned a lot about the direct factors. Before I continue, MOZ has indicted the “Domain Authority” is an intelligent guess taking into consideration “known” elements. What exactly is domain authority and how can we influence it? Let’s look at the definition provided by MOZ…
“Domain Authority is Moz’s calculated metric for how well a given domain is likely to rank in Google’s search results. It is based off data from the Mozscape web index and includes link counts, MozRank and MozTrust scores, and dozens of other factors. It uses a machine learning model to predictively find an algorithm that best correlates with rankings across thousands of search results that we predict against.”
Several months back, I had written a 5,000 word post on the Google Panda update and how it will effect rankings. I talked about “domain authority” and how the number represents age, popularity, and size. For example, the older the blog, the more credible and larger with thousands of pages and all these factors together can give you a better understanding into the factors we should focus on to boost rankings. What does this mean?
If you can influence those factors, then you’ll have a better chance of building authority in the SERP results. Technically, all you have to do is build links from high “DA” websites and you should start seeing improvement. However, it’s NOT that easy and we’ll be looking at these factors in more detail. I’ve decided to do a “2” part series so I can explain things in depth.
There are several ways to increase domain authority, some factors on your blog and others by leveraging external factors. Let’s get started…
These are elements controlled by you and basic factors contributing to your DA. The exact values they add to your authority are unknown, but for SEO purposes, they are very important. For example, without a solid on-page SEO campaign, it’ll be hard for Google to determine your site structure, content, description, etc. Adding a sitemap.xml will help with indexing and building links will be much easier because anchor text will be aligned with “target keywords”. Next,
On-page elements can be split into the following…
- Site structure – internal links, navigation, average links on page should be limited to 3-4. Google indexing website by following links so it’s important to link every page so it’s easy to crawl.
- Content – Very important to have a keyword density of 2%-4% so Google knows your focus keywords. Content should flow smooth and must be in-depth, providing a complete solution. Don’t forget to utilize H1, H2, bold, italics, etc.
- URL structure, title, and description all should include your keywords. If you’re using WordPress, don’t forget to change permalinks to “post name”.
I’ve just touched on these and you have several more descriptive sources available to you. Perform a quick search in JohnChow.com and you’ll find in-depth resources. I actually performed the search for you. Here are the results.
Google has tweaked their search algorithm several times over the last two years. Many of you will remember these changes as the Panda and Penguin update. These changes were made to improve the user search experience by understanding how people engage with content. The higher the engagement, the better value it provides, which is why it’s important to focus on writing the best content. Here are a few factors contributing to user content experience…
- Social shares
- Time on page
- Keyword density
- Long-tail and LSI usage, etc.
The more content you provide, the higher you’ll be ranked because of the “freshness” update implemented by Google. This update uses a system where it rewards websites depending on how often they post or refresh content. You’re building your domain authority by increasing the size and popular by creating content so it’s important to keep a frequent posting schedule stable enough where quality will not be jeopardized.
Here are a few tips to help you produce the best content in your niche…
- Find a common problem within your niche and provide a solution better than your competitors.
- Write something unique, adding images, video, and infographics.
- Evergreen content is great because it has no expiry date.
- Outreach to authority bloggers to share.
- Get people to share – Utilize your email subscribers, social media followers, etc.
Many people underestimate the power of social media, but it’s one of the best outlets you have to build momentum and find authority links. Social media is a great way to get your content in front of authority people, with some of them owning powerful blogs. If they like your content, then this can lead to a link back to your page, which is awesome for a valuable external link but you have to know how to leverage social media.
For example, social media can be time consuming so it’s recommended to focus on the top 4-5 networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. Then you can move to the next step…
- Link to your social profile when guest posting to get higher brand awareness.
- Always follow so people will follow back. Make sure they are relevant to your niche.