Domain Authority Guide: The ONLY Guide You Will Ever Need

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Did you know that domain authority of a site contributes to 20% of its SEO success?

That means if you’ve a good domain authority site, it becomes very easy for you to get first page rankings for a keyword when compared to a site with less domain authority.

Have a look at the image below to know few key ranking factors considered by Google to rank a website on search results.

google ranking factors

So if you are looking for practical ways to increase your domain authority, this detailed guide will help you.

Before we begin to knowing about how to increase domain authority of your site, here are a few things to consider.

Check your current domain authority (DA): You can use Moz toolbar to find out your website’s domain authority. You can use their tool (it’s free) to find DA of any website. It’s also helpful for you when you are trying to do link building for your sites to improve your site’s authority. The better the DA of a site the better backlink profile it has.

What is domain authority?

Domain Authority also known as DA is a score which was originally developed by Moz team (#1 SEO blog) that predicts how well a website will rank on Google search. The higher DA of a website the higher rankings it can get. It’s as simple as that.

What is page authority?

It’s nothing but predicting how well a specific page will rank on Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Moz developed a score for this that ranges from 0 to 100. Where higher the score, greater the ability to rank.

Based on the data from Mozscape web index, it calculates Page Authority (PA) which includes link counts, MozRank and many other factors. It fluctuates when they update the algorithm that calculates Page Authority (PA). Just like Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority is calculated using a machine learning algorithm.

Domain authority ultimate guide for bloggers

Domain authority guide

Increase dwell time of your website

Increasing your website’s dwell time and reducing your site’s bounce rates can immensely help you increase your website’s domain authority really quickly.

What is dwell time?

Dwell time is an important SEO metric that calculates your website’s

  • User engagement
  • Session duration (aka bounce rate) and
  • Click through rates (of your search results)

The more people who spend time on your site reading a page (article, infographic or video) the better rankings it will get.

dwell timing

Dwell time simply means how long your blog visitors are staying on your site without hitting back button. Google is giving more importance to the sites with better dwell time so your domain authority is also increases if you focus on improving your dwell time.

Here are few powerful tips that you can use to increase the dwell time of your websites:

  • Start creating 2000+ word blog posts
  • Show related posts under every blog post
  • Do interlinking regularly and do it wisely
  • Open external links in new tabs

Now let’s talk about them in detail.

#1. Start creating 2000+ word blog posts:

Short content is dead long ago. If you want to compete with others then start creating 2000+ word blog posts. The long posts drive quality traffic and generate more leads. Google always favours detailed and long content.

If you want to get ranked in Google’s top 10 organic position then your blog post should contain minimum 2000 words. Creating that long form of content takes time but it attracts backlinks and organic traffic.

In an analysis done by Buzzsumo on 100 million articles, it’s revealed that in-depth articles got the most shares on social media. Longer posts gets more social media engagement

  • Find evergreen content ideas and dig through Google trends for trending topics. Write on “how-to” guides, frequently asked questions in your niche.
  • Gather data and perform scientific study. Do extensive research before writing long form of content.
  • Create a robust structure and outline your ideas.
  • Once you have structured the ideas then start writing.
  • Use pomodoro technique to avoid distractions while writing.
  • While writing break long paragraphs into 2 to 3 sentences.
  • Double check grammar and spelling mistakes before publishing.

Once published, do promotion of your posts.

#2. Show related posts under every post:

To increase page views and reduce bounce rate, you need to see that users won’t leave your blog after reading first post. So, what can you do?

Show related posts under every post. For this, there are several plugins in wordpress.

  • Yet another related post plugin. It is one of the most popular wordpress related posts plugin which supports both text display and thumbnails of related posts.
  • Contextual related posts:  This plugin tries to improve relevancy by contextually matching posts. It will display related posts as thumbnails and text.
  • Related posts for wordpress: It is a lightweight alternative to more popular related posts plugin.It uses cache to display related posts. It is faster and does not slow down your website.
  • Yuzo related posts: It is  very easy to setup and it has set of features that you can expect from related posts plugin.
  • Inline related posts: It is quite different from other plugins because instead of showing related posts below the content,it shows them inside your blog posts. Usually this is used by news and blog sites.

The best way to keep your blog visitors for a long time on your blog is to show related posts at the end of the each blog post. So start installing any one of the plugins discussed above and check the results for yourself.

#3. Interlink to your old posts:

Interlinking is nothing but linking to your old blog posts. To interlink, focus on targeting the right keywords. If you do it in the right way, you can drive massive traffic to your blog.

What interlinking can do?

  • Gets more organic search traffic.
  • It helps in ranking better for the desired keywords.
  • It increases page views.
  • The pages that are linked more often gets high page rank.
  • It helps search engine to crawl each and every page.

To perform automatic interlinking of your posts, here is the wordpress plugin:

  • SEO smart link: It automatically links your other posts. You can set the words like “blogging tips” should link to specific posts. It not only interlink to previously written posts but also to future written posts.
  • Mentionable: It adds internal links to your blog posts. You can configure it to show suggestions from your pages.

#4. Open external links in new tabs:

By opening external links in new tabs, it can reduce bounce rates. Because if they go down a rabbit hole, your blog site will be there in a separate tab waiting for them. If you are a wordpress user, you can use the open external links in a new window plugin.

And make sure to reduce your website’s bounce rates to increase your overall site’s domain authority. Bounce rate is also known as exit rate which is a factor that’s involved in your website’s user behaviour.

If someone is leaving your website without clicking on any other page (i.e on their first visit itself), it’s considered as a bounce rate. The lesser bounce rate or exit rate your site has the better it is for you to increase your SEO and hence your overall domain authority.

Be smart about external linking

Your external links and backlink profile plays a VITAL role in improving your domain authority. Have a look at the image below to understand how important backlinks are when it comes to boosting your domain authority.

domain-authority factors

Here’s another important thing to consider. If you’re giving away too many links to others from your site without actually acquiring new backlinks, it’s very hard to increase domain authority of your sites. So be smart while linking out to other sites, references or web pages.

As a rule of thumb, you can use rel=”nofollow” tag whenever you’re linking out to

  • Plugins
  • Tools
  • Affiliate products
  • Social media platforms
  • Software
  • Reviews etc

Use the 3 link building tactics

#1. Guest blogging

Guest blogging always works like charm in link building. But most of the bloggers fail to do proper guest blogging because it takes time, dedication, effort and some strategies.

Here are the strategies to follow while doing guest blogging:

  • Write to only authoritative sites in your niche. Put your effort in writing amazing content for them.
  • Use guest posts to grow your email list. To build email list, you can use leadpages to create landing pages.
  • Connect to the blog owner before you even pitch with the topic. For this, comment on their blog posts, reply to their social media statuses etc.
  • Once you write for them, promote your guest post like your post.
  • Write inspirational posts or the post that involves top bloggers to get an instant hit.

#2. Infographics

People love infographics. These are the most shared and liked content on the web. Infographics can turn the boring data to an interesting post. Visual posts earn more backlinks than the textual content.

To create an original and unique infographic:

  • Find the right information before creating it.
  • Know who your audience are
  • Once you determined your main message, develop a compelling narrative to engage readers.
  • Design your infographic.

Promote it in all the social media platform.

#3. Run giveaways to build links

Backlinks are extremely important for SEO. Most of the bloggers don’t give backlinks just like that. Then how?

Contests. Yes, it has been a marketing tool and helps in increasing brand exposure, awareness, quick sales.

There are three types of contests:

  • Giveaways: Well, who doesn’t love if something is coming for free. That is why giveaways are hugely popular contest type.This is ideal approach if you want to attract bloggers and influencers to spread info about them.
  • Product promotions: It works like giveaways but are more product than brand focused. If you want to introduce a new product or service to the market then this is the best approach. The prize is the product itself and so it attracts visitors. It attracts the bloggers and helps in generating links in this process.
  • Coupon codes: If you want to target specific audience, these are ideal contests. These are distributed as a reward for participation in a survey.

Remove toxic backlinks

When Google launched the penguin 2.0 update in 2013, all of a sudden most of the sites experienced a drop in pagerank. This is because of the toxic backlinks. Previously it had little effect but now it harms your site.

What are toxic backlinks?

These are the backlinks that harm your website’s SEO. For example, paid links, links that are received from link schemes, links from gaming or payday loan sites are considered as toxic.

Why to remove toxic backlinks?

If Google notices that your blog has fair number of toxic backlinks, then it reduces your site’s DA and it is likely that it excludes your site from its database.

If you notice a sudden drop in traffic and if you receive a warning notification from Google then it means your blog has toxic backlinks. If you are getting links from sites that are not indexed by Google, sites that have less domain authority, sites with very less traffic, sites with an unusual number of external links then you must remove those backlinks.

Here is how you can remove toxic backlinks:

  • Contact the site owners and request them to remove your links.
  • Use Google’s disavow tool to remove toxic backlinks.
  • If your website is new and has very less traffic but more toxic backlinks then it’s better to delete the website.

Once you remove toxic backlinks, file a reconsideration request with Google. Make a humble request and outline what steps you took to correct the problem. If you want to get ranked well, then you should take removing toxic backlinks as a serious issue.

You can also use Google’s disavowlinks for removing toxic links from your sites.

Disavow links

Check and recover from Google penalties

Every blogger wants to get more traffic to his/her blog and get ranked well in the top 10 search results.  Your business success depends entirely on these two aspects. And yes, a small drop in traffic impacts rank in Google. In that case, there are chances that your blog may have been hit with Google penalty.

Sometimes Google removes the blog link from its search database and in the worst case it bans too. So, it is very serious issue and proper steps to be taken in order to prevent your site from Penalties.

How to identify Google Penalty?

Monitor your website ranking. Yes, it is very important step. If you don’t monitor, you will not be able to spot Google penalty. Believe me, it is not at all time consuming process. You can use tools for it.

  • Google Analytics: It helps you to know your site’s overall health and you can track changes in organic traffic. This tool interacts with many other SEO tools that are available online. Apart from monitoring your website traffic, you can also check ranking status.
  • Google webmaster tools: It is also free tool and helps in monitoring your website traffic.
  • Moz rank tracker: It is not free tool but once you become pro-subscriber, it offers valuable SEO tools. If your site is penalized by Google, you can recover from its penalty with the help of its 30 day free trial.
  • Search metrics: It gives you clear cut idea of what actually happened on your blog and how to fix them.
  • Seositecheckup.com: It offers a vast number of SEO tools to monitor your website. You can these tools to check so many on-page factors, undesired links and much more.

Types of Google Penalties

In the process of identifying Google penalty, it is good to know the types of penalties too, Here are the 2 types of Google penalties:

  • Algorithmic penalty: This comes when there is a change in Google’s algorithm.Whenever they update algorithm the changes are seen. So, always check for major updates.
  • Manual review penalty: These begin by a triggered Algorithmic penalty. If you are hit by this penalty then you will receive an email in Google webmaster tool. Just log into your Google webmaster tool account and under section “Search Traffic”, select “Manual Actions”. If no penalties on your blog, then you will see a message “No manual webspam actions found”

How to recover from Google penalty?

Low-quality backlinks penalize your site heavily. These can harm your site beyond repair.

In order to escape from such bad backlinks, avoid getting links from the

  • Sites that are banned by Google.
  • Sites with duplicate content.
  • Sites that are not related to your niche.
  • Sites that has thin content.
  • Gaming sites

95% of the Google penalties are related to site’s backlinks only so identify backlinks that are causing a drop in your rankings.

Here is how you can identify bad backlinks:

Go to Google webmaster tools, click on “search traffic” and select “links to your site”. From this module “who links the most”, click on “more” to see all the backlinks. To export all your backlinks, click on “Download latest links”. Now, import all these backlinks to your SEO tool and remove those links. You can use Monitor backlinks tool.

Once you identify bad backlinks, put a request removal of those links.

Create an email with a request to remove a link.

Once you send the mail, there are three possible scenarios that can happen.

  1. Either your link will be removed or
  2. Your email will be ignored or
  3. Site owner may request for money to remove your link. In this scenario, just disavow the domain.

In the Monitor backlinks tool, Go to “filters”, click on “Tags” and select “disavow”. From this, you can easily create disavow report.

Once you are ready with the disavow report. Upload your file to Google disavow and it takes 2 to 4 weeks to process your request. Once done, you will see change in your rankings.

Maintain a user friendly website

If your website is difficult to navigate, then it frustrates user to the great extent. And most likely they won’t return. So, creating a user friendly website is very important if you are serious about business.

  • Guide visitors to specific path in your site. Make sure that visitors know where they are and to where they need to go, you can use “Call-To-Action” for this purpose.
  • Don’t use jargon words in your content. Make it simple and easy to understand.
  • Add search functionality  to your site. It makes easy for your visitors to find the information they want.
  • Highlight keywords and bold or underline specific texts to make it easy for visitors to understand better.
  • Place your navigation either to the left or the top of your website. So, that they will be able to see the options to navigate through your site.

Once you have made these changes, make sure that you test your website.

Create a white hat SEO strategy

Implementing white hat SEO strategy is nothing but getting natural backlinks to your blog. If a high number of pages linked to your blog which are relevant to your niche then Google loves to rank your site higher.

How to get natural backlinks?

  • Content is the king. Write remarkably great content that which is not easy to find on other websites. You can write controversial topics, case studies, fact and figures.
  • Hang out on forums, events related to your niche and build connection with the fellow bloggers.
  • Almost every social media sites allow you to put links in the Bio section. It has great value as far as SERPs are concerned.
  • Building relationships with other bloggers in your niche helps in getting natural backlinks. Comment on their posts to get their attention.
  • If you have good programming skills or know about html then create tools that helps users. It will fetch you tremendous backlinks.
  • Check for broken links and replace your link provided you have similar type of content.
  • Write genuine guest posts to authoritative sites in your niche and include a link to your site.
  • Republish the viral posts and link to original source. There is a possibility that most of the blogs link back to your blog while citing them.

Always remember that, quality backlinks help to get quality traffic and to get better rankings really quickly to any website no matter how old or new it is.

Final thoughts about domain authority guide in 2017

Your backlink profile, content quality and user experience – all these factors come into play in increasing the domain authority of a website.

So make sure to focus on removing toxic links and try to acquire as many quality links as you can use by using guest posting, email outreach, skyscraper technique etc.

So what are your thoughts on this domain authority guide? Did you find it useful? Do you have any more tips or techniques to increase domain authority of a site in 2017? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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