Search engine optimization is an important task for any budding entrepreneur. While a large task in and of itself, one important aspect of search engine optimization is the concept of authority. In this article, you will learn how to build domain authority and what exactly domain authority is.
What is Authority?
Domain authority refers to how much any given search engine trusts that your site is legitimate. Authority translates effectively to trustworthiness. When search engines display results, they check the authority rating of the site when listing search results. Priority goes to higher authority sites. Search engines do this so that they can assure user satisfaction. Pages with higher authority are more likely to provide a positive user experience for search engine users.
Determining authority is based on how many other reputable sites link to your site. Authority matters as well because it involves contacting other people in your business sector and building connections. Having hyperlinks to and from similar businesses creates a larger authority score.
Authority comes from links to sites that themselves have high authority. What sites your site links to and which sites link to you, called backlinks, have a profound effect on your authority ranking. Building up healthy backlinks is integral to building domain authority.
Alongside other factors, authority makes up a rank that determines how high in search rankings your site will appear when a search is done.
How to Build Domain Authority and Factors that Influence it
The most common method to build authority is to associate your site domain with other high authority sites. This can be difficult to do, but essentially, by contacting other business owners, you can try to build up your authority via connections with other sites and businesses in a similar sector to your business.
While some sites may be unwilling to work with you for fear of diluting their own authority, finding at least a few businesses that are willing to partner with you and exchange links can greatly benefit the growth of your authority.
In terms of actually measuring your domain authority, it’s not a transparent statistic that you can easily find, but some software like Moz can provide insight into their understanding of your domain authority. Moz also provides some tips on how to build domain authority for its users. When Moz ranks your authority, it places it on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100. It bases this score off of both the quantity of backlinks, and their relevance to your business. Backlinks containing keywords relevant to your business will increase your rank higher than backlinks that are not relevant to your business.
Getting other sites to link to you is more about providing a service or product that actually is relevant to their business that they would want to show on their site, rather than directly contacting people. If your product or service is relevant to, say, a blog online about your area of business, then reaching out to them about your product is a great way to obtain a backlink for a relevant site.
It’s also important to check what sites you link to, and see if they are relevant to you. If we assume that most businesses are checking their backlinks like you are, then when they see that you are backlinking them, they might just backlink you as well to return the favor.
Creating a network of links and connections in your business field is a good idea anyway at a business level, so why not add in some search engine optimization on top of it, right?
The Usefulness of Domain Authority
While domain authority is not the only search engine optimization aspect that matters, and it is not even the most important metric, its usefulness should not be underestimated. Backlinks are important both for building up authority but also in a general business sense of driving traffic towards your site and creating mutually beneficial networks among your fellow businesspeople.
The single-purpose domain authority as an isolated piece of business strategy actually makes it not particularly attractive, but when paired together with the already sensible strategy of reaching out to others, it becomes a nice addition to things you’ll already be doing.
A particularly useful combination is adding a blog to your website. Blogs are easy to link to for just about any site if they want to provide their users with further reading, and they also do a good job of garnering loyalty among your users.
That is the best way to view domain authority: a tacked-on bonus to things you ought to be doing already anyway.
Backlinks and their Importance
As previously mentioned, backlinks are links on other sites that go to your site. The most important aspect of authority is your backlink portfolio. Many software services offer backlink audits. An audit will show you every backlink your site has. Depending on how big your site is, this may or not be a very long list.
Theoretically, your authority will either be benefited or be hurt by these backlinks. Backlinks from sites that have low authority themselves will drop your authority, while those with high authority will raise your authority. You may be interested in reaching out to low authority backlinks and asking them to remove their link to you. With luck, they might just comply, and that will aid your authority score. If that will not work though, you can try using a link disavow via Google.
Remember that when asking how to build domain authority, you should be thinking long-term. If your domain authority is around 30 when you start out, you should expect to wait upwards of 2 or 3 years to reach 50-80. Achieving scores above 80 is nearly impossible, although not entirely impossible. Focusing too hard on your domain authority though, is not always a good idea. There are more important aspects to search engine optimization.
Domain authority is a very long-term project. It should not be your primary focus anyway. Building up a backlink inventory is useful simply for outreach tough, regardless of actual domain authority effects. While you’re learning about how to build domain authority, taking the opportunity to incorporate keyword research and working with others in your field of work helps you avoid missing the forest for the trees in general. Tunnel visioning into figuring out how to build domain authority is an easy trap to fall into.
Building up Domain Authority with Great Content
As obvious as it may sound, authority also comes from genuinely being a provider of high-quality content. While many companies have been cultivating domain authority for decades, and it might appear that they have such a huge advantage over you, building up authority is ultimately a meritocratic endeavor.
With higher quality content, you’re more likely to be shared by people who genuinely find your content valuable. If your blog content genuinely helps people, they will post you on reputable blogs in a positive light. This has the dual effect of bringing you more traffic and bringing in a higher domain authority score.
Another way to get shared more is to offer unique content that fulfills a niche. By targeting specific niches within a market, you can monopolize that niche and become a dependable source in that niche. Monopolizing niches is a great way for Google to recognize you as a legitimate source.
Keep in mind also that Google checks for more than just the authority of your site. Maintaining a strong social media presence across several platforms will help Google recognize your site as legitimate as well.
It can seem like a difficult ladder to climb, but with enough time and effort, the steps to building up domain authority can actually be a great guide for getting your business up and running to begin with. Most, if not all, of these steps, are things you should be doing anyway for your business’s health.
Useful Software to Help you Build your Authority
If you’re looking for help with how to build domain authority, there are several software providers which can help you with authority and all the other aspects of search engine optimization alongside that. A particularly useful software is SEMrush, which is famous for essentially being the king of search engine optimization tools. They provide information about all aspects of search engine optimization and can provide you with backlink audits alongside actionable advice on how to build up more authority.
An alternative to SEMrush is Moz, which is the software that actually provides a domain authority score for you. This score is free to access, but Moz offers tools to help you build up your authority among other tools for search engine optimization. Moz is usually seen as a less comprehensive tool than SEMrush but is still respected as a solid software option for those looking to expand their search engine optimization.
More Subtle Ways to Increase Authority
Some of the less obvious ways to increase authority are minor but can still help slightly. Picking a domain name that actually suits what you’re doing is a good idea. Google likes easily readable URLs and domain names that are similar to what is relevant to your business. This coincides with using keywords in your headers and content sections of your pages so that searches will be relevant to your page; relevance is the key to building authority.
Something you may never have even considered is font and formatting. Using sans-serifs fonts for your body in any given text section is important for maintaining readability. This is good both for the user experience, but also for getting a higher authority score.
Creating a more robust internal linking structure in your site also is important for garnering authority. Google examines the structure of any page it shows on its search results and those which are more organized such that the user experience is positive. Google cares deeply about user experience.
User-friendliness in mind, having a page that functions on all platforms, including mobile, influences your authority as well. Make sure your site will appear as intended on any device, ranging from a PC to an iPad.
Building Domain Authority and Why it is Important
Overall, learning how to build domain authority is a significant step for any entrepreneur but is not the key to a business success. Your success still hinges on high-quality content that draws in loyal and recurring customers. Your goal with domain authority is to obtain more traffic, and no matter how high your domain authority is, it cannot replace a solid marketing and business strategy.
Using backlinks, social media, font choice, domain name choice and helper software like SEMrush and Moz can significantly aid you in your quest to obtain high domain authority, but even with all this help, it will still take potentially years to obtain a high level of authority.
Authority is important because it places you above your competitors in the online world, and it also encourages good business practice in trying to raise it. Consider it a guide to building up a better business in the first place, with the authority rating being a nice bonus on the way to it.
Cultivating a healthy site and healthy connections with other businesses is a great business practice for you, and the additional domain authority you get from it helps you solidify your search engine optimization.
Don’t lose patience and keep up with your social media in particular so that Google recognizes your brand and site as a trustworthy brand. Creating a well-structured site with good font choices is great for the user experience too, and all these things together should result in a steady climb up the domain authority ranking.
Ensuring healthy backlinks and doing audits to ensure the health of your backlinks is good practice for your domain authority as well. Be sure to keep up good business practices and continue to make high-quality content so that your business can reach the ambitious heights you have for it.