Domain Authority: The Forgotten SEO Technique
When it comes to search visibility and attracting motivated traffic, web-based business owners face the same SEO dragon. The trouble is: you can’t slay the beast once. Much like a phoenix (or that rash on my Uncle Carl’s elbow), the need for SEO maintenance resurfaces again and again. That’s especially true for domain authority.
There is more than enough blame for the constant need to keep your website in Google’s good graces. Chalk it up to algorithm updates, competing content, and evolving audience demographics. Even though SEO improvement remains an ongoing and necessary milestone, there are a few fundamental truths regarding online visibility.
Keywords are one of them. You know about those. Quality keyword selection involves high search volume with low levels of competition. You want relevance for the target audience, so that you rank for an individual avatar, not a concept. Of course, this is all widely known and relatively simple stuff.
There is an SEO technique that too often flies under the radar. Domain authority.
What is Domain Authority?
Domain authority is a measuring stick for quality SEO, invented by Rand Fishkin and the good people over at Moz. Domain authority is calculated through the age of your website, number of linking root domains, and overall popularity.
So it’s a fancy term for digital street cred.
For new businesses, improving domain authority creates a few pesky challenges. For one, it’s not such an easy task to call up everyone you know and ask for inbound links. Even if you have the funds, the process becomes expensive and time-consuming. No matter how much you spend on a link-building campaign, if the links are placed on non-relevant referral sources, Google will shrug its shoulders like Margaret Reynolds did when I asked her to dance in the eighth grade.
And this isn’t the case only for new websites. When you compete against billion-dollar industries, it’s damn near impossible to reach the top of the SERP or attract a motivated audience. As a result, several entrepreneurs forget domain authority all together.
As a result, their website becomes nearly invisible. These are not the websites you’re looking for. So, unlike these droids, whether you wield the power of the Force or not, you DO want to be found.
SEO Ninja Moves to Improve Domain Authority
It’s a simple equation: improve domain authority, enhance search results. And though I can’t (read: won’t) mail you a billion in business funding, I can show you how you can create a website that Google loves to rank higher.
Step 1: Perform Regular Website Checkups
Using a good keyword on a bad website is the equivalent of decorating a burning house.
Finding broken links, deleting or correcting irrelevant information, and securing the user experience creates good karma between your audience and your website. Google picks up on those positive vibes and rewards you.
Step 2: Increase Social Sharing
Social sharing works in two ways. On one hand, it works as a testimonial that your content is worth the time and effort it takes to consume. On the other hand, social sharing sends a signal to Google. That message states that your article, landing page, or video is drenched in awesomeness. For that, your search results improve.
Step 3: Optimize Your On-Page Content
Link structure, working re-directs, meta data, and image title tags constitute the SEO grunt work. These factors give Google fodder for their search robots to crawl. But optimization goes much deeper than that. Make it clear that your content is exactly what the audience wants—e.g. adding the word “guide” or report to your articles.
Splicing in some multimedia doesn’t hurt either. And don’t forget to update information based on the latest updates in your industry. Outbound and appropriate inbound links are cool, too.
Does Any Website Have a Perfect Domain Authority Score?
Very few. This one for example:
If you can somehow acquire 16.9 million outbound links and 223,000 root domains, then you’ll have similar luck. But if you’re not a gazillionaire who runs the most visited website in the world, then no dice.
No worries. Google is not looking for perfect. And chances are, you’re not looking to compete with Facebook.
What Google Is Really Looking For
While there will always be room to improve the technical elements of your website, Google cares only a little bit about the boxes you check off. Google serves in the role of gatekeeper—they create an Internet that’s enjoyable and helpful. So build a website that people actually want to consume.
And when you have content that fits that criteria, domain authority and online visibility becomes an effect.