A common question that our clients ask us is, “Why isn’t my website being found on Google?” or “Why are all of my competitors showing up before me in search?” Thankfully, the answer isn’t to do a little Internet dance and burn some incense on days that end with “y,” or press A, B, X, X double jump… you get the idea. Below we share 3 tips to increase your Domain Authority, to show up in higher results on search engines.

Before we jump into the tips, a well known search ranking factor for generating results is to produce high quality content on your website. However, we understand how frustrating it can be when you post a new piece of content on your website, only to realize that you aren’t getting any traffic. We trust you when you say that you put in a lot of effort into creating content that works for your audience, but posting the piece on your website or blog isn’t enough anymore. In fact, that’s the old school way of doing things, where companies would throw some content up on their website and stuff it over and over again with keywords, hoping that their customers would run head-first into it with their wallets out and ready.

But, the not-so-secret truth is that you need to create a strategy to promote your site and everything you’ve created to generate traffic. But, before you get started on this strategy, you need to see what you’re working with and you should first look at Domain Authority. Just in case you are not familiar with what Domain Authority is, Domain Authority came from the SEO wizards at Moz and is a measure of the power of a domain name and is one of many search ranking factors. Moz created an algorithm that evaluates the quality of any given site based on a complicated combination of onsite, what you do on your website, and offsite, what referrals you get from other websites, factors to calculate a score between 0 and 100. For example, a brand new site will likely have a score closer to 0 while a high authority site with a well-know brand might have a score of around 80.

Unlike some other SEO metrics, Domain Authority is a bit more difficult to influence directly since multiple factors are included to make up its score, which is great when you’re established, but tough when you’re starting out. The equation is complicated on purpose so that it accurately shows how competitive a given site is on Google. However, you can improve your domain authority by improving your overall SEO. Here are a few tricks to get you started.

1. Incorporate long-tail keywords throughout your site and content to enhance the chances of your site being ranked well in search engines. Long tail keywords are those 3+ word phrases that are very specific to the products and services that your company offers. Typically, when consumers search using long-tail keywords, they know exactly what they want and are farther down in the buying process because they’re not merely shopping around. For instance, if you’re a multi-location swim school, you’ll want to incorporate long-tail keywords throughout your site because the user searching for “baby swim lessons in Phoenix, AZ” is more likely ready to register right then and there compared to the user searching on “swim lessons” still browsing their options. In addition, long tail keywords are often less competitive and can be easier to gain results for on search engines.

2. Create a strategic content calendar that helps you focus on the content that your website visitors will love. Ideally this content is produced with your ideal customers in mind. If they like the content, they might share it on other sites such as their blog and the more they share, the more links you will generate. Increasing relevant and quality links from other sites pointing back to your site will help increase your Domain Authority. You can  repurpose your content throughout various blog posts by inbound linking to other content,  increasing the chances of users staying on your site longer. Also, you can share your published content on appropriate social media accounts to remind your audiences that you are there to be a useful source of information and to solve their pain points. 

3. Work to remove any bad or spam external links that are pointing to your website using Google Search Console or Open Site Explorer. Unfortunately when we work with new clients we often discover that their prior agency used black hat, not best practices, SEO tactics to try and trick the search engines to improve their search results. They often did this by purchasing links to point back to their site. Google has a very complex and sophisticated algorithm and these links are ignored or can reduce your domain authority. You will want to work to remove any spam or irrelevant links as you work on increasing high quality links. If you are unable to have links removed, you can leverage Google Search Console to request the links to be removed.

If you are interested in understanding how your site is currently scoring with Domain Authority, we suggest to try out Moz’s free Open Search Explorer tool. We hope these tips on how to increase your Domain Authority were helpful. You’ve worked hard on your content and we want you to get the most from it. If you follow these three tips to start, remember to be patient, and analyze your results to make changes and improvements, you’ll be in good shape. But, if you would like some help getting started with a strategy now or want to learn more about how Domain Authority works in the vast web of digital marketing, please contact us!