One of the most important factors that search engines use to determine a website’s ranking is Domain Authority. Domain Authority is website metric, ranging from zero to 100, that is applied to all websites. Basically, the higher your website’s Domain Authority, the better your chances of ranking higher in search results. In this article, we’ll explain eight easy steps to help you improve the authority of your site.
1. Select a good domain name
A good domain name is important for authority because it helps internet users and search engines understand the nature of your website. For startups who haven’t yet created a website, you have the perfect opportunity to choose a domain name that is relevant to your content. For example, if you are a law firm, include the work law in your domain: rather than SmithJonesandBrown.co.uk, call your website sjblaw.co.uk or sjbsolicitors.co.uk. Your domain name does not have to be the same as your company name, so you are free to choose something which can have a greater impact on the internet.
Domain names should also be easy to remember and simple to type on a mobile phone – so don’t make them too long and try to avoid the use of hyphens or underscores which force mobile users to have to select the symbols function on their keyboard.
If you are looking for the perfect domain name, check out our domain finder page.
2. Ensure your website’s technical SEO is optimised
Technical SEO is important for both search engine ranking and Domain Authority, and this is an area where, as the website’s owner, you have complete control over what you can achieve. To improve your Domain Authority, make sure that you optimise all the relevant areas of your website: title tags, header tags, meta tags, image alt tags, site structure, navigability (menus), breadcrumbs, URL structure, URL length, URL titles (slugs), page word count, keywords, and keyword variations.
3. Create more likeable content
One of the most important factors in generating a high authority website is the number of backlinks your content receives from other high authority websites. (Links from poor quality websites can have the opposite effect!) These precious backlinks can only be earned through creating great content. For this reason, you should endeavour to regularly post content that is useful to your readers, solves their problems and answers their questions.
Doing this will improve the chances of people sharing your posts and pages on social media and linking to them on their own websites. The better the quality of your content, the more likely that other authority sites will link to it.
4. Develop an authoritative social media profile
When it comes to Domain Authority, social media plays an important and growing role. What other people think about your website is an important factor in determining how authoritative your website is, so the more people that like and share your content the better. However, as we mentioned in the section above, this can only be done by creating great content in the first place.
In addition to providing great content, you also need to give people the opportunity to like and share what they find on your site. To do this you should enable the use of social sharing buttons on your pages and posts.
It is also important to engage in a meaningful way with your followers. Using social media for things like customer service, to give advice or to share your charity work, etc., can enhance your company’s authority. It will also improve your brand’s identity, help increase traffic, encourage more external links from high-quality sites and give you the opportunity to get noticed by leading influencers in your niche.
5. Eradicate bad and toxic links
Whilst high-quality backlinks can do wonders for your Domain Authority, poor quality backlinks can do the exact opposite. They can even cause you to get a Google penalty so your site disappears from search results. Poor quality links are those which are:
- from link networks (usually on low authority websites)
- in the footers of other websites
- found in blogrolls
- site-wide links
- posted in blog comments
- found in forum profiles
- placed in web or article directories
- frequently use the same anchor text
To eradicate these links, you need to find out where they are coming from. The easiest place to do this is on your Google Search Console. Once you have found any toxic links you have two choices of how to get rid of them. The first choice is to contact the website on which the links are found and ask the webmaster if they would remove them. If this doesn’t work, you can use the disavow tool on your Google Search Console. Whilst this will not remove the links, it will inform Google that you do not want them to be taken into consideration when it assesses the quality of your site.
The other form of bad link which needs to be dealt with is the broken link. If you have broken links internally on your site, you need to either update or remove them. If you have external links pointing to pages on your site which no longer exist, you should redirect them to a new page rather than having visitors arrive at the 404 error page.
6. Develop your website’s internal link structure
An important but often overlooked element of technical SEO is the use of internal links. Internal links create a user-friendly network across your site that not only benefits the user but enables search engines to better crawl and index your site.
Internal links are useful at signposting visitors towards the content they want to read and in this way, they enhance the user experience. Good internal linking should enable visitors to easily find all the relevant information they need, no matter how old the post or where on your site is it located.
Another useful aspect of internal links is that they help keep the visitor onsite for longer, increasing your analytics metrics for the number of pages visited and length of session whilst decreasing your bounce rate: all of these metrics can help increase your authority and Google ranking.
Internal links can be added manually within the content of your site or created automatically using breadcrumbs or suggested further reading plugins.
7. Your website must be responsive
We now spend more time surfing the internet on mobile devices than we do on computers. In the UK, we spend an average of an hour a day surfing on a computer and two hours surfing on a phone. For this reason, users want mobile friendly websites that they can access on any device no matter where they are browsing. The only solution is to have a responsive website.
As most websites are now mobile friendly, those that are not are essentially internet dinosaurs. If you don’t have a responsive site, it is highly likely that you are missing out on two-thirds or your potential visitors and many of those that do land on your site will turn away quickly once they see how difficult it is to read your content.
Mobile browsing has become so important that Google now uses ‘mobile friendliness’ as a ranking factor – it even has a mobile-friendly test.
8. Select a good hosting provider
A good hosting provider can do wonders for your website’s authority. One of the ways this is achieved is through improving the speed of your website. Faster loading websites have higher authority and this can be achieved by choosing a web host that uses fast and reliable servers that are configured to improve loading times.
In addition, security is becoming increasingly important in denoting authority and a good web host can provide the robust security needed to monitor and protect your website. Having a secure website reduces the risk of your visitors being scammed, infected or hacked and thus, helps your site achieve a higher Domain Authority.
Having a high Domain Authority is an important element in helping websites improve their search engine ranking. From reading this article, you should now have a better idea of how you can make simple but effective changes that will help improve the authority of your own site.
If you are looking to register a new domain check out our domain page. Alternatively, if you are looking for a web host that provides robust security and fast loading times to help improve your Domain Authority, take a look at our range of affordable shared hosting plans.