Among the many measures and metrics used to gauge the relative search engine optimization is something called Domain Authority. Developed by Moz, Domain Authority is rated on a scale of 0 to 100 (higher numbers are better) and it is meant to mirror the algorithms used by Google to determine how well a website should rank in the search engine results page.
This is a far better indicator of SEO performance than some alternatives like an Alexa ranking, because the Domain Authority figure accounts for some 40 different factors and metrics. Regardless of the kind of online business that you’re in — whether you’re an e-commerce site, a premium membership training site, or a technology blog — it is always in your best interest to perform as well as possible in the search engines. More traffic means more income potential.
So, how can you increase your website’s Domain Authority score? Here are five big tips to get you started in the right direction.
1. Seek out good links from high value sites
Easier said than done, I know. Even so, driving high quality backlinks to your website is, by far, the most important factor in determining and increasing your Domain Authority. The “white hat” way of doing this is to write really great content that people will naturally want to link to anyway. If your content really is terrific and you promote it in the right way, it’s going to get shared.
Of course, that’s not always going to be the most effective or efficient way to get backlinks. Even though Google has cracked down on paid links, the official stance is that strategies like native advertising are still perfectly acceptable if they provide real value to the website visitor.
2. Eliminate bad links from poor quality sites
Just as “good” backlinks from “good” websites is one of the best things you can do for your website’s Domain Authority, having “bad” backlinks from “bad” websites can have an equally negative impact on your Domain Authority. When Google flags a site as a link farm or one that is associated with malicious content, the negative characteristic can also be transferred to any sites it links to as well.
That’s why you should always keep tabs on who is linking to you (there are multiple tools for monitoring that) and work to remove those toxic backlinks on a regular basis.
3. Keep a list of recent posts in the sidebar
A lot of the focus can be on the external links from external websites, but your Domain Authority is also affected by what you do internally on your own website too. It’s important to engage in a smart internal linking strategy on your site. This not only helps real people navigate around your site to discover relevant content, but it also helps the spiders and bots find their way around too.
Part of your internal linking strategy could involve keeping a list of recent posts in the sidebar of your blog. This is something that I do on Beyond the Rhetoric, but only when someone is viewing a specific post. If they are on the main index, the “Recent Posts” widget does not appear, because the homepage is already linking to my most recent posts in the main body.
4. Maintain a clean and clear site structure
This is hardly the most exciting tip on the list, but it is just as useful and just as vital as the others. A website with an inconsistent, convoluted, or unnecessarily complex site structure is not going to have the best Domain Authority. Set up a clear and simple permalink structure on your site (WordPress makes that easy) and make sure that you maintain a clean sitemap for the spiders too.
5. Speed up your page load times
Again, while it may not be the sexiest way to improve your Domain Authority, improving the load time on your website can also have a dramatic impact on its performance. We’ve covered many tips for improving your blog’s load time before and that post is worth revisiting if you haven’t already read it. Google prefers sites that offer a responsive mobile-friendly design, load very quickly, and offer real quality content that people actually want to see.
There is no single magic bullet for skyrocketing your Domain Authority. It should continue to be an ongoing goal for you if you want to bolster your SEO and jump to the top of Google’s rankings. Content might be king, but it needs a queen, as well as many lords, ladies, dukes, duchesses and servants too.