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Increasing domain authority is one of the best things you can do as a small business to increase website traffic. The more trustworthy your site is, the more likely a user will choose you over a competitor.

In fact, ask any marketer worth their salt and they’ll agree website authority is one of the most important SEO metrics you can measure. While it’s true that search engines rank individual pages and not websites as a whole, a site with higher domain authority is more likely to rank for its target keywords.

But what exactly is domain authority (DA) and how can you measure it?

What is Domain Authority?

“Website Authority” has been around about as long as the internet itself. Everyone wants to be the most trusted site in their niche. It means more clicks. However, the “Domain Authority” metric was developed by Moz to measure a website’s trustworthiness and authority in its space. This metric tells you how strong your SEO is, how likely you are to rank for your target keywords, and where you’re likely to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). Obviously, the higher Domain Authority score you have, the better.

Moz’s Domain Authority tool scores your website’s authority on a scale of one to 100 – with 100 being the highest score possible. The tool takes several things into account when measuring a domain’s authority. For example:

  • MozRank – This is the number of links within your website. Quality is key. You can have 1000 low-quality links on your site and still earn a lower MozRank than another website that had only 100 high-quality links.
  • Content Quality – Is your site full of spammy, keyword-stuffed content, or have you taken the time to develop resources your users can actually utilize? The higher the quality, the better.
  • Backlinks – In addition to links on your site, the Domain Authority tool also checks the quality of the sites that link back to you. If you have a bunch of links from less-than-trustworthy sites, that’s bad news for your DA.
  • User-friendliness – This metric is based on how user-friendly your site is and how easy it is for a search engine to crawl. Is your meta data optimized? Is user experience a priority? If not, you’ll suffer in this area.
  • Social Media Engagement – Not only does Moz want to know how high-quality your content is, it also checks your site’s overall social media engagement. How many times is your content is being liked, shared, and commented on?

Ways to quickly build your domain authority

Now that you know what goes into domain authority, the next step is to do the work to earn a higher score and snag that top ranking in the SERPs. Here are 10 easy ways to start building your website authority today:

1. Get links from friends

An easy way to get quality external links is to ask your connections to link back to your site. This is beneficial only if you’re trying to rank for a keyword that they rank for (but that isn’t critical to their core business.) A word of warning – be sure the sites you’re asking for links from are high-quality. Ensure that the link will actually increase the post’s value and not just add spam. 

2. Write guest posts

Another great way to utilize your connections is to guest post on other company’s blogs. This increases your site’s domain authority, your expertise, and drives traffic back to your site. When guest posting, be sure to do your homework so you can pitch a topic that’s mutually beneficial and write a high-quality share-worthy post.

A second option is to reach and offer a content swap. You write a guest post for their site and they write one for yours. This arrangement gives both sites relevant backlinks, free content, and an entirely new audience to write to. Plus, this is much easier to sell.

3. Appear as a guest on podcasts

An easy way to generate more content without actually having to do much of the legwork is to appear as a guest on a podcast. This strategy works to build your clout and your brand authority. Plus, both parties can swap links and share traffic. It’s a win-win.

4. Create great content

Ensuring that your content is top-notch and valuable is one of the most important pieces in building domain authority. Creating spammy or low-quality content may fill up your blog quickly, but the time wasted isn’t worth it. Aim to create deliberate content that answers user questions, gives practical insights, shares new data, and positions you as the go-to for information in your niche.

5. Promote (and re-promote!) your content on social media

Social media moves quickly, which means posting new content once on each channel just isn’t enough. The content you’ve likely spent hours or days creating will quickly be lost amongst other likes and shares. Aim to post all of your content multiple times over all of channels, and schedule old posts to be re-posted at regular intervals as well. The more visible your content, the more clicks and shares you’ll get.

6. Utilize influencers

There are several ways to creatively use influencers to help build your website authority. Try creating a roundup post of quotes from influencers in your space. Get involved in or organize a Twitter chat. Retweet and share posts by experts on your own social media channels. Swap content. Engage, thank, promote. They’ll likely return the favor.

7. Weed out spammy links

Bad links are detrimental to brand authority. This includes both broken links, which hurts your user experience, as well as spammy links that go to either untrustworthy sites, or irrelevant pages. All of the links on your site should add value to your end user, not just take up space. A quick way to check whether you have bad links on your site is to use the SEMrush backlink audit tool.

8. Link to your own content

While it’s important to get external backlinks, it’s also a great idea to create internal links between your own pieces. This benefits you in several ways. One, it keeps users on your site longer by leading them to more information about a given topic. Two, it gives you more opportunity to get eyeballs on the other great content you’ve created. Three, it makes it easier for Google to crawl your site to gauge your site’s authority. The more links between high-quality content you have, the better.

9. Optimize your content

One of the most critical (and simple) things you can do to increase your domain authority is to optimize your already existing content. Ensure that your content has relevant keywords. Use synonyms, secondary, and long-tail keywords within the body of the content to give yourself even more of a boost in the SERPs. The easier it is for Google to tell what your content is about, the more visible it will become.

10. Review your technical SEO

The foundation of domain authority is SEO optimization, so ensure that you’ve double-checked all of the basic elements of good SEO on your site as you aim to improve your website authority. It’s a good idea to do a site-audit to review the technical elements of your content including meta tags, alt tags, keywords, site structure, and content word count. Be sure that your site is easy to navigate, easily searchable by keywords, that images load quickly, and that your site is responsive. All of these factors are considered in your domain authority score and should be taken seriously in your SEO strategy.

Boost your website authority with expert insights

Building your website authority is critical for every small business owner. It can be a tough job with a lot of moving parts. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Big Leap has helped hundreds of small businesses like yours improve their domain authority through innovative SEO strategies, intelligent content marketing, and set-it-and-forget-it marketing automation. Schedule your free consultation with a Big Leap SEO strategist and start playing in the big leagues today.

Meg Monk
Meg Monk is a freelance writer and content strategist based in Salt Lake City. When she's not writing about marketing strategy, she's camping in Utah's mountains in her 1976 Airstream or planning her next international trip - 29 countries and counting! You can find more of her work at megmonk.com.