In the age of the digital consumer, a company’s website is a key player in building a strong marketing and demand generation funnel—and how your own website ranks against competitors is where you’ll get ahead. To understand how you compare, it’s essential to analyze your website’s digital health and learn how to increase domain authority.
A website’s domain authority (DA) is a score from 1 to 100, predicting the searchability and rank of its content against other pages. The greater the score, the greater the ability to rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Unfortunately, there are many bogus articles and even agencies out there claiming they know how to increase your domain authority in X days (i.e., the digital marketing equivalent to get rich quick schemes). The truth is that the process requires diligent, consistent work and takes time.
If you want to increase your DA and increase your chances of connecting with your target audience, we’ve prepared some domain authority insights to include in your digital marketing strategies:
Before You Start: Build On-Page and Off-Page Strategies
What happens on your website is just as important as all other factors off of your site.
Both on-page and off-page SEO tactics impact domain authority. Think of it this way: search engines are looking for the answers to two important questions:
- Is the content on your website high-quality and relevant to your target audience?
- Do other websites or outside organizations validate your content by linking to it?
If you hone in on creating strategies that answer both of these questions, you’ll create a digital ecosystem that maintains a high domain authority.
For a deeper dive, refer to our guide, Defining On-Page and Off-Page SEO (And Why Each Is Important).
Now that you have a grasp on that fundamental concept, when figuring out how to increase your domain authority (the right way), try these three key tactics:
1. Invest in High-Quality Content Creation
Like it or not, your website is defined by the copy on it. Just take a look at how many of Backlinko’s 200 Google ranking factors have to do with content caliber. Effective content begins with robust audience research, competitive analysis and developing a solid brand foundation to guide your writing.
Increasing the value of your content for your readers not only makes your site more successful in the eyes of Google but also encourages natural backlinks.
Consider the following elements to level up your content:
- Illustrative visuals: designing infographics to easily share key data points to readers;
- Video and audio: produce a short video that complements your long-form content;
- Content linking: Share internal links to supplemental content like additional articles, podcasts or research.
Based on what you know from your audience research, develop website content tailored to their specific preferences and needs. For even more pointers, check out our four content strategies to help you write for both humans and SEO.
2. Create a Link Building Outreach Plan
High-quality content is most effective when it’s linked to, shared and re-shared. The more people linking to and talking about your content, the more likely a search engine views it as helpful and valid. Surprisingly, roughly 66.31 percent of pages contain no backlinks, but Google data shows us that the more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic it ultimately captures.
While value-driven content is more likely to receive natural backlinks, you can’t just create and wait. An organic link building outreach plan ensures you’re getting the most mileage out of the resources you create (i.e., bolster ROI) and ultimately increases your DA. The tricky part is ensuring your link building strategies are white-hat (following the latest, above-board practices, and OK-ed by Google).
In short, you need to guest post, employ digital PR, and network with other relevant, high-value sites to secure links back to your appropriate content.
Use the following guidelines to start your outreach strategy:
- Identify the angle: analyze the content you want to use and determine how you’re going to pitch it to your ideal sites or publications. What idea or benefit will you use to catch their attention? What makes your pitch fresh and unique?
- Outreach: develop a list of contacts that 1) could use your content to improve their website and 2) have the potential to help you capture new audiences. Make sure to pitch websites with high domain authorities to help increase yours.
- Follow Up: the art of getting a backlink doesn’t just happen with one email. Often, it takes a series of follow-ups, conversations and re-pitches to get the right placement.
Remember that once again, diversity of content is vital. Consider pitching a variety of material from helpful videos to infographics or long-form articles. The larger your content pool, the larger your potential for backlink opportunities. Additionally, not every website will accept guest posts, consider partnerships, or even respond to you. So don’t get discouraged as you start your outreach.
3. Improve Your Website User Experience
A website’s functionality and user experience (UX) are significant factors for domain authority. What’s more, the upcoming Google Page Experience update will put even more emphasis on UX.
To break it down simply, here’s a quick checklist to help you manage both overall functionality and UX:
Website Functionality: Technical-Focused Needs
✔️ Does content load quickly for users without broken videos or images?
✔️ Is the website free of broken links?
✔️ Is the navigation accurate and representative of the website content?
✔️ Does our website work on both desktop and mobile?
User Experience: Content and Brand-Focused Needs
✔️ Can users easily navigate between different forms of content?
✔️ Is the information laid out in a way that’s easy to understand and navigate?
✔️ Does our content maintain an appropriate page length?
✔️ Are page CTAs interesting and do they motivate user behavior?
✔️ Does our site design consistently represent our brand image and clearly showcase our core message?
✔️ Is our content targeted to the right audience? Are we speaking directly to their needs?
Performing an audit of your current site under these two parameters will help give you a roadmap of where you’re succeeding and where there’s room to improve. The better the experience of a user when they land on your site, the longer they’ll stay. As such, when your site performs well and provides value to users, several data points will reflect this, which ultimately works to improve your DA.
How to Get Started
The process of building a comprehensive domain authority improvement strategy can be complex and lengthy. Unless you have direct experience, it’s wise to outsource to experts.
When you work with a team, you have access to the diverse experience needed to achieve the above three tactics. For example, you’ll need:
- A team of writers to ensure you develop and publish the right type of content for your audience and attract natural links (imperative for DA);
- SEO experts that guarantee you follow the latest SEO best practices for site performance, functionality and UX. It can be easy to fall for black-hat SEO tactics that will significantly damage your site’s reputation and ranking;
- A digital PR and outreach specialist with an extensive network of relevant contacts within your industry to actively build backlinks.
To get a better idea of a comprehensive strategy to bolster DA, refer to our link building and backlinks process at 10x digital.
Contact us today to learn how to increase your domain authority—the right way—and how our team can help you boost your website’s overall digital health.