Having worked in digital PR for a while, I’ve picked up quite a bit, especially in terms of SEO and SERPs etc. One of the most interesting things I found out about however was Domain Authority, a term i’d not heard of before working but could have done with knowing about as a blogger.
So, what is domain authority?
First of all, Domain Authority is search engine ranking score created by Moz that basically ranks your website quality. Your DA score ranges from 1 to 100, higher scores correspond to a better DA and search engine identity.
But why should you care?
Well, if you’re a blogger or a business even trying to grow your outreach, DA is actually incredibly important as it represents to an extent your sites reputation and the efficiency of it. The best sites (such as Google) will have a DA of 100 but the most common for blogs and small business sites is 20-50.
You can check your DA score if you head over to Moz, but be wary that the score will only be accurate for self-hosted domains. If your blog ends in .wordpress.com for example, the DA will be representative of WordPress, not your own site.
Bloggers in particular want to aim for a good DA as this is something that PR’s look for when choosing brand ambassadors and influencers to seek out for sponsored content. Unfortunately, if you have a poor DA then chances are you’re going to be overlooked. So, if you’re in the blogging business for the business then its time to grow your Domain Authority if you haven’t already, here’s some of my suggestions as to how.
And how can I grow it?
I should mention, it’s not easy to grow your DA and following the steps below will not transform it overnight. Also, there’s no one true proven method to grow your DA, these are just a few tactics I’ve known to work. I’m no expert though so don’t take my word as law.
What these tips will do is hopefully help you to work towards growing your Domain Authority over time, the highest DA’s come from sites that are well established, post regularly, have good relationships with other sites and that are always posting relevant (and clean!) content.
Get to know how to use keywords to drive traffic
One of the best SEO tools is to make use of keywords. Keywords are the words you want associated with your blog or website, they’re what you want people to search for, and bring up your site as a result.
There’s a lot of reading to be done on how to use long tail keywords to improve your web traffic and i’m not a complete expert, however having worked in digital for almost 8 months there’s a few tips of insight I can provide:
- Repeat key words, most importantly in the title and in the first few paragraphs of your content
- Use the 160 character rule, which is basically the rule that you try and (subtly) integrate your key words in the first 160 characters of your post, as this excerpt is what is most picked up by search crawlers such as Google spiders.
- Use terms that are searched for. You can use sites such as Moz (the actual creators of DA) to search for terms that people are searching for the most. If you can establish your key words from these kind of searches, and then integrate them using the tactics above then you’ll be well on your way to improving your DA.
Make use of internal and external links
Domain Authority can also apparently be built on the back of hyperlinking in, and out of your site. This can also help you improve your SERP.
The general rule of DA is that it represents how established your site is and how many relationships it upholds.
It’s good practise to use both internal and external links in your posts (emphasis on the internal, though) as this is what helps to improve your DA apparently. Not only this, but supporting other bloggers and businesses is a great way to build relationships and if they do the same for you, it can aid growing your outreach.
Be careful of your content
Another trick of the trade i’ve learned working in digital PR is that DA is influenced by the content of your site, or more so, whether it is clean.
By this I mean steer away from using profanity in your posts, or if you must, try to use a star (*) to blur a letter so that spiders are less likely to pick up on it.
Once again, i’m no expert on DA and the only ones who know its algorithms inside and out are the ones who produce and maintain it. This is purely something I picked up on in the digital PR trade and noted it as share-worthy.
Become a format-addict
Another trick that is an apparent method of upping your chances of raising your DA is to format the hell out of your posts.
Chances are, you probably do it already but if you’re using headings and subheadings when writing posts (and repeating key words, remember!) you’ll be improving your chances of being picked up by G-Spiders.
Try to start your post with text rather than an image, as this is something Google also apparently picks up on too. Featured images are my favourite tool for including images in my blog as I can illustrate my content with media, without this messing up my chances of upgrading my DA.
Register your Domain
I’d like to make an addition to this post, courtesy of the lovely Melina Elisa.
Another sure fire way of increasing your DA is to register your domain with Google. I had a little look at this last night after becoming self-hosted and on a one-woman mission to improve my DA. If you visit Google Search Console you can register your domain there. If your CMS is WordPress then theres a handy little guide on how to register here.
In short, nobody knows the sure fire way to improve your Domain Authority, it’s an apparent company secret. However, by making use of internal and external links, looking after your format, watching what you say and by honing in on those key words i’d go ahead and say you’re definitely on the right track at least.