The difference between a website that gets thousands of visitors every month. And one that gets zero can be very small. Increasing a website’s authority is key to gaining those valuable eyeballs.
This is easier said than done though. An entrepreneur can’t just say the words “I would like to increase my website’s ranking power.” And poof their website has the same domain authority as Nike.
Increasing your authority takes planning and hard work. But it is not rocket science. And with the right knowledge. Anyone can become a ‘dangerous website authority increasing ninja‘.
This post will give you everything you need to know about website authority. And will provide you the knowledge, tools, and resources you need.
Table of contents:
- What is website authority?
- What is good domain authority?
- How to increase website authority?
- All the tools you need to audit your websites authority
(Side note: In this article, I will use domain rank, website authority, domain score, and domain authority interchangeably.)
Google in its search quality guidelines shares the importance of websites’ expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T).
What is Website Authority?
Domain authority is a measurement of the authority and trustworthiness of a site. A website’s authority score forecasts its likelihood to rank well in search.
The higher a website’s authority. The easier it will be to climb to the top of the SERPs. Websites with a low score could have a difficult time getting to the top of the search pages.
Why was Domain Authority created?
Domain authority was originally developed by Moz. They introduced it as a score to predict how well a website will rank on search engine results pages.
Giving a webmaster the ability to view their site relative to its competitors. This can tell a business owner how easy it will be for them to outrank their competition.
Domain authority quickly became an industry standard for analytics and reporting purposes. Still widely used as a reporting metric for agencies and organizations.
How is domain authority calculated?
Domain authority is based on data from what Moz calls the MozScape Web Index. It is a very similar process to how search engines index websites. Moz’s spider DotBot crawls webpages and sorts them into the MozScape index.
DotBot is constantly crawling websites. Mapping the internet and building its understanding of how websites are interlinked.
Domain Authority is calculated on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100. Simply put it is much easier to increase your score from 10 to 20 than it will be to go from 80 to 90.
A few of the factors that go into a website’s authority include MozRank, MozTrust, and their backlink profile. Let’s take a look at what MozRank and MozTrust are.
MozRank measures the quality and quantity of a website’s backlinks.
A website that has 100 backlinks from DA 20 sites. Is going to have a lower MozRank than a website with 1000 backlinks from DA 70 sites.
MozTrust is a measurement of how closely a website is connected to websites with high trust. An example of this is .gov and .edu sites which typically have very high trust and authority.
A website that backlink profile includes links from sites such as these will see a gigantic boost in authority.
Domain authority was created with an intent to help digital marketing and entrepreneurs. It achieved its goal quickly. And has become an almost legendary buzz word (for better or worse) in the marketing community.
It is now time to take a look at what is considered good domain authority.
What is good domain authority?
I believe it is the declaration of independence that states “not all websites are created equal.” (Sorry for the horrible joke. But I couldn’t resist.)
A website’s authority is relative only to its competition. This means what is good authority for a local website might not be considered good enough for a large multi-national corporation.
Moz states “you should always use Domain Authority as a relative metric to compare against the link profiles of other sites”. Not a one stop shop for performing your SEO audits.
Is your website’s authority good enough?
So. How do you know if your website’s authority is good enough? Easy. What every business should be doing is comparing their authority against their competition.
If RC Cola (with an authority of 41) wants to check what it needs to do to outrank Pepsi for a keyword. Doing a bit of website authority research will help quantify how easy (or difficult) it will be to accomplish their goal.
This basic research can empower business owners.
Go to your favorite domain authority checker (like Moz’s Domain Analysis tool). Input your domain and a few of your competitors. Put the results into a document like the one above. You now have the knowledge you need to beat your competition (If you aren’t already).
So my final thought on what is a good domain score. Domain score is only as powerful as what you do with it.
How to increase website authority
The moment you have been waiting for is finally here.
This part of the guide will give you 10 actionable tactics to improve your website’s authority. Then provide an outline for creating a website authority strategy to help amplify any website.
The good news is… Improving your website’s authority can be done. With a clear plan and actionable tactics. Your website’s authority will grow and you can outrank your competition.
Here are 10 tactics to help you increase the likelihood of your website showing up at the top of the search pages.
10 Tactics to Grow your Domain Rank
After extensive research. This curated list holds the 10 best tactics to help you grow your website’s authority in 2020.
Going deep with one tactic at a time will allow you to become really good at executing that tactic. And create an efficient and repeatable process.
1. Omni-level Marketing
To stand out in 2020. You need to be connecting with your audience on multiple channels. A single social channel or YouTube channel is not enough. Eric Siu and Neil Patel on Marketing School podcast continually reference the importance of diversifying your content efforts.
With this tactic, you will be able to take one piece of content and turn it into three.
How to turn your video into a podcast:
- Create a video and host it on YouTube or any other platform.
- Rip the audio from the video. Turning your video content into an audio file.
- After you rip your audio file use a ‘Levelator’. This helps level out the audio experience adjusting for any highs and lows.
- Add a preamble at the beginning and end of the audio clip. Letting your audience know that it was originally part of a videocast.
- Post on iTunes, Spotify, and more. (You created a podcast. Awesome!)
Then take that same video content and turn it into a blog post. You can do this by transcribing the video. Google’s cloud Speech-to-text service uses machine learning and AI to convert your video to text. Fiverr and other gig sites also offer low-cost options. Daily transcription also offers transcribing services.
With three pieces of content. You now have more backlink opportunities. Doing this continually will help you reach more potential customers. Each form of content helps you reach a new segment of the market.
2a. Find questions your ideal customers are asking
Quora is the perfect platform to help you get inside the mind of your customer avatar. Allowing you to understand what problems your customers are facing.
Knowing what your customers are searching for will help you create content that they answer their problems and pain points.
2b. Provide value
This is a guaranteed way to get valuable backlinks from a high authority website. One of the main features of quora is the Q and A platform.
Chances are if you perform a search on quora many of your blog posts answer questions people are already asking on the website. Answer their questions with helpful content and provide a link to your blog post that adds more about the subject.
P.S. Don’t just post a link to your blog. When answering questions you need to provide value to your audience. The Quora community self-monitors spam and content. Remember this when posting.
3. 10x or Skyscraper Content
The one and only Rand Fishkin the founder of Moz & SparkToro. Provides a step by step process in this video that shows you how you can create your own ’10x content’.
Hard to replicate, uniquely delivered content is an excellent tactic to help you gain backlinks.
Conducting your own research through surveys, data scraping, expert reviews, and more. This type of content provides tremendous value and has a much higher chance of becoming ‘viral’.
4. Build Relationships in Your Community
This could be the most surefire tactic to build the authority of your website quickly. Personal relationships can help you gain exposure through co-marketing efforts, exposure to a new audience, and more.
What are the best ways to start building relationships? Here are a few suggestions:
- Local community organization (Chamber of commerce, BNI, Meetups)
- Social channels (use channels that your peers are on)
- Facebook groups
- Industry-specific events
- Collaborate with industry influencers
These are just a few examples of how you can start building relationships. These can prove tremendously valuable in expanding an audience. And gaining more customers.
5. Media Requests
Press requests can be excellent sources for gaining high-value backlinks. Websites like HARO are channels for journalists who are looking for references from industry experts (like yourself).
Heads up. Signing up for these services can leave your inboxes flooded with hundreds of emails every day. Create a folder to hold the massive amount of requests that will hit your inbox.
These are five sources for press requests:
- HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
- #JournoRequest (Twitter channel)
- #PRrequest (Titter chanel)
- Source Bottle
Getting featured in industry publications will build your trust and authority in your industry. Another bonus is being able to add the prestigious ‘As featured in‘ badges to your website.
6. Content hubs
Strategically creating content not only helps you build an impressive portfolio. It can also help you create content hubs.
How can a business create content hubs?
Local SEO is one of our agency’s specialties. A common topic in this circle is Google My Business. You could strategically create 5 or more pieces of content surrounding the subject of Google My Business. This could include a post on how to optimize GMB, a post on how to set up GMB, and so on. At this point, you have comprehensively covered a topic and with effective internal linking, you create a content hub.
Taking it a step further you can combine your vast knowledge of the subject and create and ‘Ultimate guide’. With your initial five posts, Ultimate guide, and effective internal linking. Your content hub is rich with value and information for your customers to consume.
Exposing visitors to more content and helping pass ‘link juice’ from one page to the next. Content hubs have can be used to create books around a subject. Further building authority of a business owner.
7. Community scraping
Web scraping can gain valuable insight. Scraping websites or communities such as Facebook groups can tell you who the most influential community members. Provide you valuable information like emails, and even tell you how many followers or connections they have.
8. Create a tool or a free resource
Relax. You do not have to be a programmer or a coding expert. The website 1K projects is an example of a service where you can snag an inexpensive SaaS tool that you can offer to visitors.
If your tool works well it will naturally attract a ton of website visitors and backlinks. This tactic positions your site as an expert and authority.
9. Interview industry experts
Social platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn provide opportunities to connect with experts in your industry. Performing outreach for things like roundup posts or recent industry news is a top tactic. And it can earn you content that can’t be found anywhere else except your blog.
The outreach process looks something like this:
- Gather a list of industry experts you want to work with
- Email or message them with your request (typically one or two questions… Keep it simple.)
- After you post the content let them know. This can lead to a social share or even backlinks from their higher authority sites.
Your response rate could be as low as 10% or as high as 50%. AB testing your outreach can help you learn what type of outreach works better for your industry.
10. Get rid of toxic backlinks
Perform link audits regularly to help catch backlinks that are hurting your website. Unnatural links that are spammy, artificial, or from sites that are not indexed on Google can seriously impact your ranking.
Google Search Console or a backlink checker like Neil Patel’s free Backlinks tool (pictured above) can tell you if your website has any of these toxic links.
If your site has been hit with these toxic links. Reach out to the webmaster and ask to have them remove the link to your site. If they are not willing to remove the link you can use the Google disavow tool to remove the link from your backlink profile.
Ten tactics to take your backlink game to the next level… mic drop. Now let’s take all these actionable tactics you learned. And turn them into a complete backlink strategy and plan that will take you domain rank game to the next level.
Domain rank action plan
This will help you take all of those tactics you just learned and create an action plan. This will include setting attainable goals, mapping your website authority strategy, measuring the performance of your plan.
How to increase website authority:
- Website authority audit
1. Perform domain link analysis (export or input into Google sheets or excel)
2. Perform a website audit (Structured data markup, On-page SEO audit, technical SEO audit,)
3. Directory listing audit (Local directories, Industry directories, Non-profits, etc.)
- Competitor authority audit
1. Perform competitor link analysis (export or input into Google sheets or excel)
2. Perform competitor website audit (On-page SEO audit, technical SEO audit, etc.)
3. Directory listing audit (Local directories, Industry-specific directories, Non-profit organizations, etc.)
- Set attainable goals
After performing these audits you should be packed with knowledge that can help create attainable goals. (Backlink gaps, Keyword gaps, website on-page, and off-page differences, missed directory listings)
1. Assign a value to goals (which goals are the most important? Where are the largest gaps?)
2. Create actionable goals (create key performance indicators; smaller goals that help lead to accomplishing the larger goal. These KPIs break the large goal down making it more digestible and easier to measure progress.)
- Create and Implement Website Authority Strategy
1. Set tactics based on key performance indicators (If your competitor is ranking for keywords you are not. Set tactics to create content targeted for those keywords. Creating skyscraper or 10x content should help you accomplish this goal.)
2. With specific tactics set to address goals. You have created your website authority strategy.
3. Implement authority strategy (creating content, outreach, directory listing, and more)
- Measure Website Authority strategy
Analyze plans regularly. Document ranking improvements, domain authority improvements, backlinks gained)
- Retrospective/Implement CPO (conversion process optimization)
Monthly review and retrospective. Analyzing domain authority improvement. Documenting what tactics worked well and which did not. Repeat website authority process adjust strategy based on lessons learned from the previous plan.
Because there is no one size fits all domain authority strategy (besides, get more backlinks, lose bad backlinks, and improve user experience). This domain authority template was meant to be flexible. And to provide an outline that will work well to create and analyze a domain authority strategy.
Because many of the processes above are quite technical. Having tools that help you easily perform these processes are necessary.
The next section shares all the tools you need to perform your own domain authority strategy.
All The Tools You Need to Audit Your Websites Authority
Tools prove to be very useful in scraping, analyzing, and enhancing data. This especially rings true when it comes to performing website audits.
Five years ago to perform domain authority analysis it could be expensive. Now you can perform the same research for a fraction of the cost (or even free).
Domain rank checkers will provide you a baseline score of your website’s authority right now. Backlink profile tools give a deep analysis of a website’s backlinks (One of the largest factors in website authority). And website audit tools look at your on-page and off-page SEO.
Here are the tools that can help you do this (some free, some paid, some ‘freemium’), enjoy.
Domain Rank Checker
One of the first steps of any website audit should be to check the authority of the website. In competitor analysis checking their website’s authority will help you understand where you stand in comparison to the competition.
Here are a few tools that give you domain authority data.
MozBar is one of my favorite SEO tools. Showing website and page authority scores. Including the number of backlinks, a website’s spam score, and much more.
Every time you visit a website at the top the MozBar will display each domain’s statistics. It will also show up on the search engine results page below each link.
MozBar is also very useful when performing keyword research. Providing you an understanding of the current strength of the websites on the first page of the search results.
Ahrefs Website “Authority” Checker
Ahrefs could have the most powerful website authority checker in the industry. Appropriately named the Website “Authority” Checker.
During the research process, Ahrefs continually returned a ‘deeper’ link profile than the other tools. The tool found more dofollow and nofollow backlinks than other tools.
Which is exactly why this is a paid tool. Ahrefs (along with Moz) offer the best suite of SEO tools on the market.
Ahrefs uses the domain rating score metric in reporting. And it is largely determined by the quantity and quality of backlinks pointing to a website.
Cost: $99 (lite plan) – $999 (Agency)
The Hoth Domain Authority Checker
The Hoth’s Domain Authority Checker is a bulk authority checker. This means you have the ability to examine more than one website at a time.
The results are presented in a table format. Making data extraction and comparison simple.
These three tools are highly useful for domain authority research. Simplifying the reporting and analytics. After you have completed the first step of the research process – checking domain authority.
Analyzing the backlink profile of your website and your competition is the next step. The tools I will share with you next can help you accomplish just that.
Backlink Audit Tools
Scraping backlink data would be an extremely difficult process without the help of the many tools available. These three backlink profile tools provide useful and insightful data.
Neil Patel Backlinks
Backlinks is my go-to tool for backlink audits. Neil Patel’s tool provides a ton of rich data for every website.
Backlinks dataset includes referring domains/pages they are referring to. Total backlinks including total links from ‘high authority’ sites. This is just a glimpse at all the data you can extract from this tool.
Backlinks is a powerful backlink checker that rivals the capability of many paid tools.
Moz’s Link Explorer
Domain authority has become synonymous with Moz. They created the original domain checker and coined the term domain authority.
They also offer what I consider the most comprehensive domain checker available. The ability to export to CSV, reporting on daily backlinks gained and lost, and much more. This tool has it all.
Cost: $99 (Standard) – $599 (Premium)
If you choose not to purchase what I consider the Cadillac of SEO tools you can still enjoy limited access too it. Moz is nice enough to give free users 10 backlink searches per month. If you are a small business owner this is all you need to perform a thorough backlink audit of your website and your competitions.
The final backlink audit tool I will leave you with tonight is the Open Link Profiler. The user experience and reporting are similar to Neil Patel’s Backlinks tool so I felt it deserved to be on the list.
The sorting and filtering on this tool are impressive and are an important feature when trying to drill down and perform a backlink audit.
For a free tool, the data and reporting are extensive. With free tools like this and Backlinks on the market, most businesses do not need a paid SEO suite like Moz offers.
These three backlink tools empower marketers and entrepreneurs to help improve their visibility and gain more customers.
Finally, let’s look at three SEO analyzers that will examine your website for on-page and off-page ranking factors.
SEO Audit Tools
Regularly auditing your website is recommended. On-page and off-page ranking factors not only impact your domain authority. But they also affect the user experience.
From secure websites to slow page speeds. Non-optimized websites can face severe penalties. These three tools (all of which are free) can help you streamline the SEO process.
Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer
Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer will thoroughly crawl your website and let you know what areas can help you improve user experience and ranking power.
This tool performs a ‘health check’ on your website. Analyzing your website and reporting any critical errors and warnings.
Critical errors are items that could seriously impact your website’s optimization and ranking power. Warnings are less severe issues such as missing ALT tags on images.
Neil Patel far and away offers the best suite of free SEO tools on the market. Giving anyone who is operating on a limited budget the ability to access extremely powerful tools.
Varvy SEO Tool
Varvy packs a ton of relevant data into their SEO tool. It does a great job inspecting the technical SEO of a website.
Auditing your robot.txt file, mobile responsiveness, sitemaps, and much more. This is a supplement to the SEO Analyzer.
As you can see even industry-leading websites like Nike need to work on their SEO.
Google Lighthouse is a noteworthy tool. Packing everything you could ever need to know about page speed. Google’s Lighthouse can be used through web.dev site (as above) or you can download the Chrome extension (as below).
I use Lighthouse every time I perform a website audit because of the easy reporting and extensive data. When it comes to page speed this tool is second to none. Giving micro-level reporting on everything from server response to first meaningful paint.
Domain Authority checkers, backlink profile audit tools, and SEO audit tools give entrepreneurs a ton of actionable and insightful data to grow their online presence and their business. Saving you a ton of time when creating and executing your website authority strategy.
Well, you have done it. We are near the end. It’s time to recap what you learned in this post.
This article covered everything you need to know website authority.
Moz created website authority to help measure the ranking power of websites. There is no invisible target for domain authority that you should be aiming for. Website authority is relative to you and your competition.
Here are the top 10 tactics to help increase your domain strength.
- Omni-level marketing
- Skyscraper content
- Build relationships in your community
- Media requests
- Content hubs
- Community scraping
- Free tool or resource
- Interview industry experts
- Rid yourself of toxic backlinks
An action plan to help create your website authority strategy.
- Performing a website authority audit including domain strength, backlink profile, and an SEO audit.
- Competitor website authority audit checking domain rank, their backlink profile, and SEO ranking factors.
- Setting attainable goals. Including keyword and backlink gaps. Mapping KPI’s to help align your strategy with organizational goals.
- Website authority strategy implementation. On-page and off-page SEO improvements, A/B testing, backlink outreach, and more.
- Measure and analyze website authority results. Backlinks gained, site speed improvements, etc.
- Retrospective and Conversion Process Optimization (CPO). An opportunity to reflect on strategy. Create a mutually agreed plan.
Tools, tools, and more tools. This post gave you all the tools and resources you need to perform an audit of all the factors impacting your domain strength.
Domain authority checkers tools that let you know your websites ranking power right now. Backlink profile audit tools to help you analyze you and your competitor’s backlinks. Uncovering any backlink gaps. SEO audit tools give you a glimpse into how your website experience can be improved. And how you can increase your chance of showing up in front of more customers.
If you would like help getting your business in front of more customers. And having more freedom in your business to do what you love. We help small business owners understand who their ideal customer is. Create marketing strategies and plans that speak directly to your customers. And design amazing customer experiences. Contact Michael Patrick Cortez Marketing to help take your business to the next level.
Michael “Help your business” Cortez