This article shows you how to increase your Domain Authority. Before you read another word of this post, I want you to do something.
Go to OpenSiteExplorer.org and type in the URL of your website. Then hit 'Search'.
In the results you'll see a figure for Domain Authority. If the DA for your website is less than 30, I've got some bad news for you…
It's going to be very difficult for you to rank on page 1 of the Google search results for any of the keywords that you're chasing.
Want to Increase Your Domain Authority? Follow these 9 practical steps to do so
So how can you increase your Domain Authority? And how long will it take?
The short answer is:
- by creating content that other sites link to and
- it will take time (we’re talking months rather than weeks).
At this point you may be feeling like someone just took the wind out of your sails, like a sailing boat becalmed on the high seas.
But that’s not the case at all.
There are many other sources of traffic that are independent of Google. And you can tap into them right away (more on that later).
Use those alternative traffic streams while you take steps to increase your domain authority.
But first, let’s look more closely at DA.
What Is Domain Authority?
DA is a metric on a scale of 10 to 100, created by Moz, that predicts a website's performance in search engine rankings.
Here are some important facts about Domain Authority:
- DA rank is based on over 40 factors, including (1) the number of links pointing to your site from other websites, (2) the Domain Authority of those sites that link to your site, and (3) the age of your website.
- Although Domain Authority is not a concept or term that Google uses, the Google algorithm takes these factors into account when deciding how to rank a web page.
- Because DA is a logarithmic scale, a DA of 20 is ten times (not twice) the strength of a DA of 10.
- It is much easier to go from a DA of 10 to a DA of 30 than it is to go from a DA of 50 to a DA of 80
To easily see the DA of your own or any other website, simply install the Moz SEO Toolbar Chrome Extension.
Once you’ve installed it, you’ll need to sign up for a free Moz account.
When you’ve activated your Moz account, the Moz Chrome Extension will display a small black box with a green bar. Inside that box is a number that shows the Domain Authority of the site you’re currently visiting.
In the screenshot below, the Moz Extension shows a DA of 100 for Wikipedia:
How To Increase Your Domain Authority
1. Publish Content That People Will Link To
It’s a cliché but its true: content is King.
You need other sites to link to your site and the only (legitimate) way to achieve that is to create content that other people want to link to. This is a surefire way to increase your domain authority.
2. On-page SEO
Optimizing the on-page SEO factors for each of your blog posts will also help to increase your Domain Authority.
For more information on this, read Neil Patel’s On-Page SEO Cheat Sheet.
3. Internal Linking
Linking from within your blog post to other blog posts on your website will improve user experience and increase the time that visitors spend on your site.
These are both factors that Google’s algorithm measures. So Internal Linking will also increase your domain authority.
For information on how to do Internal Linking, read the Moz Guide on Internal Links.
4. Guest Posting
Guest Blogging will increase traffic to your site and will increase the number of sites linking to your site.
So Guest Posting will also increase your Domain Authority. For an excellent guide on Guest Posting, read Brian Dean’s article, referred to below.
5. Social Signals
Google monitors the number of times your blog post is shared on social media.
These ‘social signals’ are part of the algorithm that determines how high your page will rank in the search results. More social media shares means higher DA.
For a detailed guide on getting more social media shares for your blog post, read Adam Connell’s How To Get More Social Shares: The Definitive Guide For Bloggers.
6. Buy an Aged Domain
A big part of Domain Authority is simply the age of the domain.
One strategy some people use is to purchase an Aged Domain in the After Market and then use it as their blogging platform. If the Aged Domain has a good DA this technique can save you the 6 to 12 months it normally takes for a brand new domain to acquire Domain Authority.
An alternative strategy is to point an Aged Domain to your brand new domain. The new domain then acquires some of the Domain Authority of the Aged Domain.
For an excellent introduction to buying and using Aged Domains, read Brandon Gaille’s The Right Domain Name Strategy Can Make or Break Your Blog.
7. Blog Frequently and Regularly
One of the key factors in driving more traffic to your site is the frequency and the consistency of your blogging.
Hubspot reports that businesses that blog 20 times or more per month get 5x more traffic than those who blog 4 times or less per month.
Aim for 2 blog posts per week.
8. Reduce Site Loading Time
Site loading time is another factor that Google measures. Again, its part of the algorithm that determines how high your site ranks.
But it also impacts visitor behavior.
Let’s say someone clicks on your site from a Google search results page and then clicks the back button because your site is taking too long to load. Google is watching that and is going to push your page further down the results (because they’re constantly trying to improve user experience).
For some great tips on how to reduce load time, read Kathryn Aragon's 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Website – and Improve Conversion by 7%.
9. Mobile Friendly website
51.3% of all web visits are now made from a mobile device. (Source)
If your site is not optimized for mobile, you will you lose a large chunk of your potential traffic.
But more than that, Google will notice that your site is not mobile-friendly and will penalize you in the mobile search engine rankings.
So a mobile responsive website design is another factor that will increase your Domain Authority.
StudioPress has some great mobile-responsive WordPress themes. I can recommend them because I'm using one of them for this website. Also, StudioPress themes are well-known for being SEO-friendly.
Bonus Tip => Create Infographics
One of the easiest ways to get external links from high DA websites is by creating and publishing Infographics.
Good quality infographics that display the latest statistics on a particular topic have a good chance of being linked to by a news site.
And news sites typically have very high Domain Authority:
- CNN: DA = 98
- BBC News: DA = 96
- Reuters: DA = 95
- Forbes: DA = 90
- Huffington Post: DA = 72
As Brandon Gaille explains, one or two links from a high DA news site can do more for your website rankings than hundreds of links from run-of-the-mill blogging sites.
When you create Infographics you give yourself a huge advantage over other creators of content.
This is because only 1000 Infographics are published every day. This compares with 2 million blog posts published every day. (Source)
Obviously, you have a much better chance of getting a link from an Infographic than from a blog post.
Not only that:
- An infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a purely textual article. (Source)
- Infographics are "liked" and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content. (Source)
What To Do While You’re Waiting?
As I said, increasing your Domain Authority takes time. Months, maybe even a year.
Some experts believe that Google places all new websites on probation for a period of up to 6 months.
Referred to as the ‘March 2004 Sandbox filter’ (because that’s the date it was first noticed), the effect is that new websites rank lower than would otherwise be expected for a certain period of time.
That period of time can range from 1 to 6 months, with three to four months being the most common timeframe. (Source)
So what can you do to get traffic in the meantime?
There are many ways of getting traffic to your site quickly without waiting for your blog posts to rank in Google.
Here are just some of them:
- Guest Posting - write a blog post for a high-traffic website. Read Brian Dean’s Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging.
- Roundup Articles – write a roundup article that contains advice from 15 to 30 experts in your niche. When the article goes live, those experts will share the article with their followers. Read Sue Anne Dunlevie’s Everything You Need To Create An Expert Roundup Post.
- Pinterest – many successful bloggers are getting a huge percentage of their traffic from Pinterest. Take Summer Tannhauser’s free 5 Day Pinterest Power Course to discover how.
Forum commenting – Some people have had great success with this technique. Read for example, Matthew Woodward’s blog post How I Drive Traffic To My Blog. The advantage of answering questions on forums is that these are people who are pre-qualified as being highly interested in your content.
Wrapping It Up
Domain Authority is vital for getting your blog posts listed on the first page of search results.
Two of the most important factors that determine DA are:
- age of your domain
- number and quality of external links
Other than buying an aged domain that already has high Domain Authority, there are no shortcuts to getting a higher DA.
The surest way to increase your website's Domain Authority is to create high quality content that gets linked to by other websites.
And that takes time.
There’s no short-term fix for domain authority. Especially when you consider that your new domain may be in the Google Sandbox for up to 6 months.
But while you’re creating all that high quality content and getting all those external links, there are plenty of alternative traffic streams you can tap into.
What's Your Experience?
How did you go in your first year of blogging?
How long did it take you to rank on the first page of the search results? What alternative strategies did you use to drive traffic in your first year of blogging?
I'd love to hear your experiences! Leave a comment below.