So.. You’ve used one of those website analysis tools to check out the health and rank of your website. Backlinks, website age, social shares; these scores all look familiar. But what about domain authority?
This little score has a big pull on your website’s SEO. Domain Authority, or DA, is a metric created by Moz. It combines metrics like linking root domains, number of total links, MozTrust, MozRank, and others (40 in total) to determine the strength of your website.
Moz themselves admit that this is a difficult metric to improve, and many debate whether it’s possible to influence at all. It may take some effort like all things encompassed by SEO, but yes, it is possible.
Start with a relevant domain name.
If you checked out our last blog post regarding domain names, you already know how important they are in indicating your website’s credibility. Choosing one that corresponds with the service you offer shows that your website is consistent.
However, you should also be cautious not to select an exact match domain. An exact match domain includes a keyword or a string of keywords that users type into search engines.
In September of 2012, the former head of the Google webspam team announced, “Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.”
Make sure your website is responsive on all devices.
Google’s priority is to provide searchers with results that they will be happy with. If you’re searching for a local restaurant on your cell phone and the website you click on is glitchy and laggy, are you happy with that result? Probably not.
To accommodate the growing number of mobile users, Google announced back in 2015 that they would be expanding their mobile friendliness ranking signal. This signal is responsible for identifying if a website will display and function appropriately on mobile devices.
If the website does not display correctly on mobile devices, it will be disfavored in search engine rankings.
Routinely check for bad or broken links.
Broken links are bad news. They translate to negative user experience and a website that has been poorly maintained.
If your website users come in contact with a broken links, they are likely to “bounce” out of your website which will hurt your ranking and domain authority. Maybe your links aren’t broken, but the website you’ve linked to has been changed, or even worse, hacked.
Linking to unrelated websites can be classified as an unrelated link exchange, a big no-no as far as Google’s concerned. Having a number of these can hurt your website’s trustworthiness and can even result in a ban from search engine results.
Banish all bad backlinks.
It’s pretty straightforward to remove links on your own website to bad websites, but what if those websites are backlinking to yours? Just a mention of your website from a spammy source is enough to establish an association to Google.
Here’s your solution.
- Scan your referral traffic in Google Analytics. Visit any link you don’t recognize and check their credibility with a website like SpamAdviser.
- Ask spammy websites to please remove their backlinks to you.
- They refuse? No problem. Simply disavow them through Google Webmaster Tools.
Don’t underestimate internal links.
Internal linking rarely receives the credit it’s due. Linking to pages within your own website helps Google crawlers understand what’s related and what’s significant.
For example, we would recommend linking to your most important pages more often. Such as your services or popular products. When these links correspond with your domain name, keywords, and every other ranking signal within your website, it shows again that you are consistent and deserve a higher domain authority.
High quality backlinks from multiple, credible domains are a factor for both MozTrust and MozRank.
How can you increase your backlinks? The good ones can’t be bought, that’s for sure. The only way to do this is by creating content that people find useful and want to reference.
Ultimately, the #1 tip you can receive from anyone regarding SEO, is to focus on quality rather than quantity. Of course if you can maintain both that’s preferable.
Yes it is indeed possible to improve your website’s domain authority. It just takes a little effort!