Imagine Stephen King, one of the world’s best writers, was holding a conference on how to be a good writer. In another hall down the corridor, another virtually unknown writer is holding a similar conference. Who of the two do you think would attract a bigger audience?
Stephen King, of course, because he is an authority and a thought leader when it comes to writing.
Just like writers and other professionals have different levels of authority, so do websites. For websites, the level of authority is measured using a metric known as domain authority.
The higher your website’s domain authority score, the better its reputation, and the higher its chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages.
Fortunately, it is possible for you to improve your website’s domain authority – and therefore, its chances of ranking higher on Google. In this article, we’ll show you how you can increase your domain authority by 5 points in just 2 weeks.
What Is Domain Authority?
If you do some research on search engine optimization, one of the terms that will crop up soon enough is domain authority. What exactly does this term mean?
Domain authority is a metric that measures a website’s reputation as a thought leader, as well as its likelihood of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPS) compared to other similar websites.
Note that we say “likelihood” because domain authority does not give an accurate projection of how well a website will do on SERPS. This is because domain authority is not one of the factors used by Google to determine how to rank websites.
This means that increasing your domain authority will not directly lead to higher search rankings. However, to increase your domain authority, you’ll need to improve on some of the ranking factors used by Google, ultimately leading to better performance in SERPS.
Domain authority can also be used to assess the performance of your website in comparison to your competitors’ websites.
Domain authority is typically influenced by the size of your website and the number of pages on the site, the age of your domain, and the quantity and quality (domain authority) of the sites with backlinks to your site.
This means that a backlink from a website with high domain authority is better than two backlinks from low domain authority sites.
Domain authority usually runs on a scale of 0 – 100, with higher numbers representing higher domain authority, and better chances of ranking higher in SERPS.
It’s good to note that domain authority is a logarithmic metric, which means that increasing your domain authority gets more challenging the higher you go up the scale.
For instance, increasing your domain authority from 5 to 7 is a lot easier than moving from 65 to 67.
Domain Authority vs Page Authority
Page authority is very similar to domain authority in that both are calculated the same way, and they both run on a scale between 0 and 100. The key difference, however, is their focus.
Whereas domain authority looks at how likely your entire website or subdomain is to rank high on search results, page authority applies the same evaluation to individual pages.
Page authority is a very important metric that can help you determine which pages on your website you need to work on.
For instance, you might have a website that ranks well on search engines, but then you notice that there’s little traffic going to a page you want people to visit – such as a products page, or a pillar page.
By checking the page authority of such a page, you can determine how easy it is for people to find this page organically through search. If you notice that the page has low page authority, this could be the reason for the low traffic to the page.
You can then work on improving its page authority, which will increase its chances of ranking better in search results and being found by your target audience.
How To Increase Your Domain Authority Score
Now that you understand what domain authority is and its potential impact on your website, let’s take a look at 5 key actions you can take to increase your domain authority score.
1. Audit Your Link Profile
One of the factors that has the biggest influence on your website’s domain authority is backlinks – both the quantity and quality of backlinks. Therefore, it makes sense that the first step to increasing your domain authority score is to perform an audit of your link profile.
A link profile audit is basically taking an in-depth look at all sites linking back to your site in order to understand what kind of backlinks you have, as well as their impact on your domain authority and search rankings.
A link profile audit helps you do the following:
- Discover the number of webpages and domains linking back to your website
- Determine the overall quality of these backlinks
- Discover which pages and sections on your website attract the highest number of external links
- Identify harmful or bad quality links that could hurt your domain authority and your chances of a high ranking on SERPs, which you can then remove or disavow
- Find opportunities for earning more high quality backlinks
Performing an audit of your link profile involves two key steps…
Step 1: Identify Your Backlinks
The first step when performing a link profile audit is to identify all the web pages that link back to your site.
While there are several tools that you can use to identify your backlinks, one of the best tools for this is Google Search Console. We recommend using Google Search Console because it provides the most up to date and accurate information about your backlinks.
To identify your backlinks using Google Search Console, simply log into your account, go to “Search Traffic” on the left sidebar menu, then select “Links To Your Site.” This will give you a breakdown of all the external links to your site as shown below.
Google Search Console will also give you information about sites with the highest number of links to your website, your most linked content, as well as the most popular anchor texts for your backlinks.
Google Search Console allows you to download this data about your backlinks, either as a Google Sheets document, or in CSV format.
Step 2: Analyze Your Backlinks
Now that you have information about all the external links pointing to your website, it’s now time to analyze the links and determine how they affect your site’s domain authority and search rankings.
You have two options when it comes to analyzing your backlinks. The first option is to do it manually, which involves opening each link separately and evaluating its quality.
While this can be an effective way of analyzing your backlinks, it is not very practical if you have thousands of links – it could literally take you hundreds of hours to go through every link individually.
The second option is to use a link analysis tool. With a link analysis tool, you only need to upload a list of your backlinks, and leave the link analysis tool to do the rest of the job for you.
There are several link analysis tools to choose from, but we recommend SEMrush Backlink Audit, a powerful tool that checks all your backlinks for 30 “toxic factors” or red flags that could be hurting your SEO efforts and contributing to a low domain authority score.
Once it has identified these factors, it then gives recommendations on how to improve the quality of your links.
Aside from SEMrush Backlink Audit, Other reliable link analysis tools that you can use are Majestic, Ahrefs, and Moz Open Site Explorer.
Factors To Consider When Analyzing Your Backlinks
Whether you decide to analyze your backlinks manually or opt to use a link analysis tool, there are several factors that you need to watch out for in your analysis. Here are some of them.
- Number of links: How many external links point to your website? A higher number of backlinks translates to higher domain authority, and better chances of ranking higher in search results.
- Domain authority: Links from sites with high domain authority pass more link juice compared to links from sites with low domain authority. However, a good link profile should have links from both low and high domain authority sites – this is a sign of links that have been earned naturally.
- Page authority: Here, you are checking the authority of the individual page linking back to your site, rather than entire websites. Just like domain authority, pages with high page authority pass more link juice compared to those with low domain authority.
- Number of referring domains: This is the number of unique domains linking back to your website. Generally, having 10 backlinks links from 10 different domains is better than having 10 backlinks from one domain. Actually, having a very high number of backlinks from one domain can be seen as suspicious by Google.
- Dead backlinks: These are backlinks to pages that no longer exist on your site. Such backlinks do not add any value to your website.
- Anchor text: This refers to the text a site user clicks on in order to open a link. A good link profile should have a variety of keywords that are closely related to your page content. If the anchor text on all your backlinks is an exact match, Google could take this as an indicator of link spamming. Anchor text related to topics like gambling and male enhancement pills could also hurt your domain authority.
- Ratio of dofollow to nofollow links: A good link profile that has been grown naturally should have a healthy mix of both dofollow and nofollow links. Too little nofollow links could be an indicator of links obtained dubiously, while too little dofollow links means that your backlinks are contributing very little to your SEO efforts.
- Deep link ratio: Here, you should compare the number of backlinks pointing to your homepage against those pointing to specific pages. Deep links (those to specific pages) are more valuable than those pointing to your homepage. However, it is okay to have a mix of both.
- Deep page vs homepage links: Check whether your backlinks are coming from the homepages of the linking sites, or from specific pages within these websites. Links from specific pages are generally more valuable compared to those from homepages, but there is no harm if you have a few from homepages.
2. Create Compelling SEO-Optimized Content Using Keyword Research
The content on your website has a very huge influence on both your domain authority, and your search rankings. To improve your domain authority, you should focus on creating high quality, SEO optimized content that is based on keyword research.
Doing Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process of studying and analyzing the terms and phrases that people use to search for things on search engines.
Keyword research allows you to identify the phrases that your customers use to search for the kind of products and services you offer. Armed with this information, you can then target these keywords with your marketing content.
For instance, let’s say you have a company that offers bulk SMS services, and you want to optimize the company’s content to attract organic search traffic. By doing keyword research, you might realize that the majority of potential customers are searching for “SMS marketing providers.”
Had you optimized your content for the keywords “bulk SMS,” you wouldn’t attract any customers, because only a handful of people are searching for this term.
However, by targeting the phrase “SMS marketing providers,” you can potentially attract the hundreds or thousands of people searching for this phrase.
So, how do you conduct keyword research?
First, you need access to a keyword research tool. There are many keyword research tools in the market, but we recommend using SEMrush.
SEMrush is very easy to use, even for a complete beginner, and comes with a ton of very useful keyword research functionalities. SEMrush also has a very handy tool known as Keyword Magic, which has a database of over 20 billion keywords – the largest in the market.
Below, I’ll show you how to use the Keyword Magic tool to find relevant keywords that you can target with your content.
To start, log into your SEMrush account dashboard, locate the “Keyword Research” section and click on “Keyword Magic.”
In the provided search bar, enter your seed keyword. This is a main keyword that is related to your industry, or your products and services.
Going with the previous example of a company that offers SMS marketing services, let’s use “SMS marketing” as our seed keyword.
When you hit the search button, you’ll receive a list of all popular keywords that are related to the seed keyword “SMS marketing.”
The SEMrush Keyword Magic tool allows you to sort through the list of keywords by search volume, keyword difficulty (how hard it is to rank among the top 10 for the keyword), keyword CPC (cost per click), competitive density, SERP features (such as reviews, AdWords results, FAQs, featured snippet, video carousel, and so on), or by the volume of organic search results available for each keyword.
Keyword Magic also allows you to set different modifiers for the keywords you want displayed. For instance, you can choose to view exact match keywords, phrase match, broad match, or related keywords. You also have the option of choosing which keywords to include or exclude.
You can also find question-based keywords related to your seed keyword by clicking on the “questions” modifier.
On the left hand side is a groups tab that allows you to find keywords grouped by topic. For instance, if you click on “bulk,” you’ll notice that all keywords include the term “bulk.”
If you select “software”, the keywords change to those that include the word “software.”
This is an easy way to identify the best keywords that align with your product or service. For instance, if your product is a SMS marketing software or platform, clicking on “software” will help you identify keywords used by people searching for a SMS marketing software.
If you click on the “free” group, however, you’ll find keywords used by people looking for free SMS marketing tools, who might not be the ideal customers you are targeting.
By tinkering with the different modifiers and filters, you’ll be able to identify keywords that are most relevant to your business, and those that provide the most opportunity.
Ideally, choosing good keywords is a matter of finding keywords with the right balance between search volume and keyword difficulty.
The keywords should have sufficient search volume to warrant trying to rank for them, but their keyword difficulty should not be so high that it would be an exercise in futility trying to rank for them.
Creating Compelling Content
Now that you have identified the keywords you want your website to rank for, it’s time to start creating content targeting these keywords. This basically means that you need to include the keywords within your content.
Here are 9 different places where you need to place your keywords in order in order to boost your domain authority and search rankings:
- Meta description: The meta description is a piece of text (usually 160 characters or less) that gives internet users and search engines a description of what is contained on a web page. Inserting one or two keywords in your meta description is a great way of helping search engines determine what your webpage is about.
- SEO Title Tag: This is the clickable title of a web page that appears on SERPs. The SEO title tag is limited to just 50 – 60 characters, so you should only include one primary keyword to avoid keyword stuffing. Here is an example of a SEO title tag.
- Article title: This is the main article title that readers see when they open a webpage, rather than the one visible on SERPs. Since the title tells your readers (and search engines) what the content contained on the page is about, it is a good idea to include your primary keyword here as well – provided you can do so naturally.
- Within the first 200 words: The first 100 – 200 words of an article establish the context of what will be discussed in the rest of the content, and therefore, adding keywords within this section is a good way of reinforcing search engines’ understanding of your article. If possible, use the main keyword within the first paragraph, and one or two secondary keywords within the second or third paragraph.
- Body content: Your keywords also need to be distributed throughout the body of your content. Ideally, you should insert the primary keyword once for every 150 – 200 words, while secondary keywords should be used less frequently. The important thing to note here is that the keywords need to appear naturally within the article. Never force a keyword into your article, since this will affect the quality and readability of the article.
- Within the last 200 words: Just like the first 200 words, adding your keywords in the conclusion section of your content can also give a major boost to your keyword rankings. If possible, place the keyword within your content’s call-to-action.
- Headings: H1, H2, H3, H4 headings and so on are very important when creating content. They help break up your content into smaller sections discussing a key idea, thus making it easier for your visitors to skim through your content. In addition, they also help search engine crawlers to make better sense of your content. Since these headings signify what is important within your content, including keywords in the headings will help search engines to better understand what is important and relevant within your content.
- Image alt tags: Images not only make your content more engaging and visually appealing, but they also provide you with more opportunities to optimize your content for SEO. You can do this by adding your keywords to your image alt tags. This gives search engines even more context into what your content is all about, thus increasing your chances of ranking higher in SERPs.
- URL: Finally, the URL gives you another opportunity to add a keyword to your content. Here, just adding one primary keyword is enough. Adding multiple keywords to the URL, which is usually very short, could be seen as keyword stuffing.
Aside from optimizing your content for search engines using keywords, you also need to make it link-worthy. In other words, your content should be able to earn backlinks on its own. To make your content link-worthy, the content should be:
- Helpful: If you want other sites to link to your content, you have to make sure that the content is highly helpful. To do this, your content should either focus on providing information (such as studies, stats, and new ideas, resources), or teaching new skills (how to articles).
- Non-commercial: Content that is only meant to help you make money, such as product and sales pages, is very poor when it comes to attracting backlinks. Link-worthy content focuses on providing value to your readers, not to you.
3. Improve Your Internal Linking Structure
Whereas external links point to your website from another website, internal links are those that point to a different page on the same domain.
For instance, if you have a button on your homepage linking to your contact us page, that is an example of an internal link.
While internal links do not directly increase your domain authority, they do increase the page authority of linked pages, which can lead to higher search rankings for these pages, and eventually, better authority for your entire site.
Having a good internal linking structure does the following for your website…
- Makes it easier for users to navigate through your website, leading to longer user sessions
- Makes it easier for search engines to understand your website architecture and hierarchy
- Passes page authority to different pages on your website
Basically, internal linking helps improve the number of pages on your website that rank high on search engines (which is the ultimate reason you want to improve your domain authority).
So, how do you improve your internal linking structure? Below are some tips on how exactly you can do that.
1. Use Your Target Keywords In Your Anchor Text
Your site users and search engines use anchor text to determine what content is contained in the page you are linking to. For instance, if you look at the below anchor text from one of our internal links, you can quickly tell that the linked page talks about ERP platforms.
To boost the chances of a linked page ranking higher, you should always use keywords as anchor text in your internal links, rather than generic phrases like “click here” or “learn more.” Such phrases do not help search engines understand the content on a page.
2. Link To Important Pages
When you add an internal link to a page on your site, you are essentially sending page authority from the linking page to the linked page, which can boost the search rankings for the linked page.
You don’t want to waste page authority and potential rankings on a meaningless page, so your internal links should be focused on important pages – such as a guide you want to rank high on SERPs, a pillar page, or a highly converting page.
To transfer maximum page authority to the linked page, you also need to make sure that you are linking from other pages that already have high page authority.
A good way to do this is to go to the Google Search Console dashboard and navigate to external links.
From there, identify the page with the highest number of external links. Such a page already has good page authority due to the link juice flowing from all these external links. What you want to do now is add links from this page to other important pages whose rankings you want to boost.
3. Avoid Using Same Anchor Text For Different Pages
On this site, we have an article on best shared web hosting, and another one on best dedicated web hosting. Now, imagine if we used the anchor text “best web hosting” to link to both articles.
This would be very confusing to Google, because Google crawlers would assume that both articles talk about the same thing, while they are very different in actual sense.
To add to the confusion, the optimized keywords for each article are different. Such confusion can ultimately lead to lower rankings for both articles.
4. Use Contextual Links
If you have several articles around a similar topic, it is a good idea to link them with each other.
For instance, if you have an article on “how to launch a blog,” another one on “how to make money blogging,” another one on “how to pick a profitable blog niche,” and yet another one on “best blogging platforms,” you need to link all these articles to each other.
Doing this serves two purposes. First, it makes it easier for your readers to find more information about this topic.
Second, it tells search engines that all these articles are related. This can help boost your overall rankings for queries related to that topic, because it shows you are an authority on that topic.
5. Don’t Link Excessively
While having multiple links helps pass page authority from one page to another, this only happens up to a certain point.
Beyond that point, each additional link passes less and less page authority to the linked page, while acting as a distraction to your readers. An excessively high number of links could also be seen as an indicator of link spamming by search engines, which could lead to penalties.
Therefore, it is important not to overdo your linking. Ideally, you should not have more than 100 links on a page (both internal and external links).
Keep in mind that the navigation buttons on your menu and the links on your footer all contribute to the number of links on a page, so you can easily exceed this number without realizing it.
4. Remove Bad And Toxic Links
If your website has a significant number of external links, it is inevitable that some of these links will be bad or toxic. Some types of backlinks that are considered as bad or toxic include…
- Links from domains that have been penalized
- Links from or to pages that no longer exist
- Links from websites that promote gambling, drugs, and pornography
- A large number of links from websites covering unrelated topics
- A large number of external links with exact match anchor text
Bad and toxic links have a negative impact on your website and can lead to a decrease in page and domain authority, and lower rankings in search engine results pages.
Bad and toxic links can even get your domain penalized by Google, or in extreme cases, your site could get de-indexed, which means that it cannot appear on Google search results.
So, how do you tell if you have bad and toxic links on your website?
While it is possible to manually check every single external link on your website, this can quickly become hectic, especially if your website has more than a couple hundred backlinks. The best option is to use a backlink analysis tool like SEMrush Backlink Audit.
SEMrush Backlink Audit allows you to quickly identify any links that are toxic or contain any red flags. This tool will also let you know why each link has been flagged as toxic, thus giving you insights into what you can do to protect your site from such backlinks.
Once you’ve discovered that you have some toxic backlinks on your site, the next thing you need to do is to get rid of these links so they won’t continue negatively affecting your domain authority.
There are two approaches to removing toxic backlinks from your website. The first one is to reach out to the owner or webmaster of the offending site and request them to remove the link.
When using this option, remember to keep your request polite, and point out the exact location of the link you want removed.
You can find the site owner’s contact information on the contact us page of the source website, or by running a WhoIs domain lookup. It’s good to note, however, that spammy websites will usually have sketchy contact information, even when you do a WhoIs domain lookup.
Even in the event that you are able to find the contact details of the owner of such a site, there is a high chance that they could ignore your request. However, Google requires that you try this option before moving to the second option.
The second option for removing toxic links is to disavow the backlinks. When you disavow a link, you are basically asking Google to ignore this backlink.
Disavowing should be used when you have a high number of low quality, artificial or spammy links pointing to your website, when you have requests for removal of such links have been ignored, or when such links have caused a manual penalty on your site, or when there is risk that your site could receive a manual penalty.
To disavow your bad or toxic links, create a text file with a list of all links you want disavowed, then upload this text file on the Disavow Links Page on Google Search Console.
It might take a while for Google to process the disavow request, but eventually, the toxic backlinks will be removed, and your domain authority, as well as your rankings, will gradually start recovering.
When using the disavow option, you need to be very careful when creating your disavow list – you don’t want to end up disavowing high quality backlinks that were crucial to building your domain authority.
5. Earn High Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are one of the most important factors that influence domain authority and search rankings. If you want to make a significant boost to your domain authority, therefore, you have to find a way to get other websites to link to your site.
While most website owners consider link building to be one of the most challenging aspects of search optimization, we are going to show you 4 tried-and-tested techniques that you can use to effectively earn high quality backlinks from sites with high domain authority. Let’s check them out below.
1. Skyscraper Outreach
Developed by Brian Dean of Backlinko, the Skyscraper Technique is an amazing link building strategy that is based on three core principles:
- Find well-performing content that has earned tons of backlinks
- Create your own content on the same topic that is 5-10x better than the content you identified
- Promote your new skyscraper content and watch your backlinks grow
The Skyscraper Technique is founded on the notion that human beings are naturally attracted to the best.
Everyone knows that Everest is the highest mountain on earth, but how many know what the second highest mountain is? Very few.
Similarly, everyone knows that the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, but do you know what the second tallest building is? Probably not.
With the Skyscraper Technique, you are basically trying to create the Everest or Burj Khalifa of content – the best on its topic. If you can do this and let people know about it, it is inevitable that they will love it and want to tell others about it – by linking to your skyscraper content.
To use the Skyscraper Outreach Technique to earn high quality editorial backlinks, here are the three steps you need to follow…
Step 1: Find Well Performing Content With Lots Of Backlinks
The first step of the Skyscraper Technique is to identify content that is already performing well in terms of backlinks. If a piece of content is already performing well, it is very likely that you’ll achieve success if you create content on the same topic that is 10x better.
The easiest way to find well performing content is to use good old Google search. If a piece of content is performing well on Google, this is an indicator of high quality, informative content.
There is also a high chance that the top content on Google already has a high number of backlinks.
Let’s assume that you have a website where you teach people how to make money selling online courses. If you go to Google and search for that exact phrase, here’s what comes up.
All these sites have great pieces of content that you can potentially improve to create your skyscraper content. However, you also want to make sure that they have a high number of backlinks. To do this, we are going to use SEMrush.
Copy the URL of one of the top results, open SEMrush, click on “Backlink Analytics”, paste the URL in the search bar, and hit “Analyze.” I’m going to use the URL of the first page on our search results above.
When we analyze the URL, we see that the first page on our search results above has 910 backlinks from 99 unique referring domains. This is a good candidate for the Skyscraper technique.
You can repeat the process for the other search results to find the page with the highest number of backlinks.
Ideally, you should go for the piece of content with the highest number of backlinks. However, you also want to make sure that the piece of content provides opportunities for improvement.
Step 2: Create Better Content
Now that you have identified a piece of well performing content, it’s now time to start building your skyscraper content – content that is 5-10x better than the piece of content you just identified.
There are several approaches that you can take to improving on the content. You could choose to…
- Make the content longer. For instance, if the content you identified talked about 10 ways to make money online, you can push it to 27+ ways to make money online.
- Make the content in-depth by going into the details that other content creators ignored
- Add images and graphics to make the content more visually appealing and easier to understand
- Add expert opinions to the content
- Update the content – works if the well-performing content you identified contains outdated information
- Add case studies to the content
- Add examples and lessons from your personal experience
There is no shortage of ways to make existing content better. You just have to find what works for the topic you identified, and then focus on creating a piece of content that provides significantly more value than any piece of existing content.
Step 3: Promote Your Skyscraper Content
You might create the best piece of content to ever grace the internet, but if you don’t let people know about it, no one will ever read it or link to it.
Therefore, once you are done creating your skyscraper content, it’s now time to start spreading word about it and hopefully getting those much-coveted backlinks.
The best way to do this is to go back to the content you identified in step 1 and reach out to all the people who have linked to that content.
Mention that you saw that they have linked to the initial content, and then let them know that you have created an updated version of the content that would provide more value to their readers.
Highlight the key ways through which your new skyscraper content provides more value, give them a link to check out your new content, and invite them to add a link to your content in their article if they think it will be beneficial to their readers.
By doing this simple outreach, you’ll be able to quickly attract tens, sometimes hundreds of backlinks to your new skyscraper content.
If you have mentioned any people in your skyscraper content, you can also reach out to them and let them know about your new content.
For instance, if your new content has reviewed some tools, reach out to the creators of these tools and let them know that you’ve covered their tools in your content. Many will be happy to add a link to your new content because they are featured in it.
2. Edu Backlinks
The term Edu backlinks refers to a link from a site using .edu as its top level domain. The .edu top level domain is used on the official websites of academic institutions, such as universities and high schools.
Edu backlinks are highly coveted in the SEO world. This is because these backlinks can make a very significant positive impact on your domain authority and search rankings.
What is it that makes edu backlinks so powerful?
Edu domains are highly regarded by search engines due to several factors. First, most edu domains have been around for a long time, which contributes to high domain authority.
Second, edu domains are highly trusted, because they typically post high value content. In addition, since edu websites post lots of informative content, they usually attract lots of backlinks.
All these factors combine together to give edu websites relatively high domain authority scores. When you get a backlink from an edu domain, some of this domain authority is transferred to your own domain, thus boosting your domain authority score.
Fortunately, getting links from edu domains is not as difficult as it seems. Here are some strategies you can use to earn backlinks from edu domains.
Interview A Prominent Staff Member
An easy way to earn a backlink from an edu domain is to interview someone prominent within the institution – such as a dean or faculty head.
The institution will want to show off the expertise of their staff member, which means they’ll promote the interview – by linking back to the interview on your website.
When using this approach, always consider the relevance of the interviewee to your audience.
For instance, if your website discusses the digital marketing niche, a professor of digital marketing would make a great interviewee. A geography or physics professor, not so much.
Take Advantage Of Alumni Pages
Some schools and universities have alumni pages where they keep people updated about the achievements of their alumni. Such pages can be a great opportunity for you to get a backlink from an edu domain.
To use this approach, you first need to do something considered to be an achievement – such as getting published in a prestigious publication in your specific industry, or publishing your own book.
Once you’ve done that, reach out to the alumni department of your school and inform them of your achievement. Let them know that you’d really appreciate being featured on the alumni news, then request them to include a link to your website so that your former classmates can easily get in touch with you. This is a simple, yet effective way of earning an edu backlink.
Mention Edu Bloggers In Your Content
Most educational sites have bloggers who are assigned to create content for these sites. By mentioning them on your blog and letting them know about the mention, some of them will be inclined to link back to the content – from their edu profile.
For instance, let’s say an edu blogger has published a great article that is related to your topic. You could reference this article in your blog post and say something like, “I came across this interesting take on the topic by [blogger’s name] on [website name and link], where he/she says that…”
Once you publish your content, you can then reach out to this blogger and let them know that you liked their content so much that you decided to include it in your article. Don’t forget to include a link to your article.
While not every blogger you reach out to this way will link back to your content, some of them will, earning you a high quality backlink from an edu domain.
3. Guest Posting
Guest posting is a strategy that involves creating content for other websites within your niche or industry.
Done well, guest posting can be a very effective way of tapping into the audiences of established websites, showcasing your authority, and most importantly, earning yourself some high quality backlinks.
The idea behind guest posting is very simple. When you write content to be published in another website, many websites will allow you to link back to your own website in the author bio.
You also have the option of adding some links to your other articles within the body content of your guest post. Note, however, that some websites have editorial policies prohibiting this.
Using guest posting as a link building strategy involves the following three steps…
- Finding guest posting opportunities
- Pitching to the editor
- Creating a high quality guest post
Let’s take a more detailed look at each of these steps.
Step 1: Finding Guest Posting Opportunities
Before you can start guest posting, you first need to find websites that accept guest posts. A good way to do this is to use good old Google search.
Simply search for a keyword related to your industry, followed by terms like “write for us,” “guest blog,” or “submit guest article.” This will bring up websites within your industry that accept guest posts.
For instance, if you are in the digital marketing niche, searching for “digital marketing write for us” will bring up websites in the digital marketing niche that you can write guest posts for.
Another option is to search for posts that have compiled lists of websites that accept guest posts, then find a list that contains websites related to your niche or industry.
Since the aim is to earn backlinks from high quality websites, don’t pitch to every website that accepts guest posts. Instead, you want to pitch to sites that will help boost your domain authority. Therefore, you should only choose websites that…
- Are within the same niche as you
- Have significant levels of traffic
- Have good domain authority score
- Publish high quality content
- Have significant levels of social media followers
Once you have identified some high quality websites that are open to publishing content from guest authors, you can now move to the second step.
Step 2: Pitching To The Editor
You don’t want to write an awesome article, only for the website you identified to tell you that they are not taking guest posts at the moment, or that they already have a similar article on their blog.
Therefore, before you start writing your guest post, the first thing you need to do is to pitch your idea to the editor of the website you’ve chosen.
Before you start crafting your pitch, take the time to familiarize yourself with the website you intend to guest post for. Here, you should ask yourself questions like…
- “Who is their audience?”
- “What kind of articles do they publish?”
- “Which are the best performing articles on their website?”
- “Have they published any content on the topic you intend to pitch?”
- “Do they have any guest post guidelines?”
Once you are familiar with the kind of content that performs on your chosen website, the next thing you need to do is to come up with appropriate topics.
An appropriate topic is one that is relevant to the website’s niche and audience, a topic that the website has not already covered, and one that is likely to be popular with the site’s audience. Ideally, you should come up with 2 or 3 topics.
Armed with your 2 or 3 relevant topics, you can then send a pitch to the site’s editor, informing them of your interest to write a guest post for them and sharing your proposed topics. Give a brief explanation of each topic and explain why it will be beneficial to the site’s audience.
Step 3: Create A High Quality Guest Post
Once the editor has approved your pitch, it’s now time to create a well-researched, well-written guest post that will add immense value to the site’s audience.
When creating a guest post, avoid the temptation to promote yourself or your services. Instead, focus on educating the site’s readers and showcasing your expertise in the subject.
You should also keep in mind the site’s guest posting guidelines, particularly when it comes to things like word count, linking guidelines, tone, and so on.
When you create a high quality guest post, not only will this earn you a backlink, it will also introduce a new audience to your content and convert some of them into loyal followers of your content.
Once the guest post is published, the website will add a link back to your website in your author bio.
If you repeat this process for several websites, you’ll quickly earn yourself a significant number of backlinks, while at the same time establishing your authority and credibility and driving traffic to your website.
4. Resource Pages
Resource pages are another very easy and effective way of earning high quality backlinks to your website. What makes resource pages such an effective link building strategy is the fact that they are created with the sole aim of linking to external websites.
This means that whenever you request someone to add a link to your website on their resource page, you are improving the quality of their resource page, which makes them more likely to oblige your request.
Resource pages are so effective at link building, that 56% of webmasters report using them to earn backlinks to their sites.
So, how do you use resource pages to earn backlinks?
The basic idea behind using resource pages as a link building strategy is to find resource pages that are relevant to your niche, and then provide a resource on your website that the resource page can link to.
To identify relevant resource pages, all you need to do is to search for the following string on Google: [keyword] + resources
For instance, let’s say we wanted to find a resource page that could link back to our article on best social media listening tools. In this case, we would need to find resource pages related to SEO. To do this, we are going to search for “Social Media + resources”
All the above are resource pages that are relevant to social media marketing. If we click on the first link, for instance, we see that the page contains links to other websites. This would be a great candidate for our article on best social media listening tools.
Sometimes, you might have to go through several resource pages before finding one that will be relevant to your needs.
Once you’ve identified a suitable resource page, all you need to do now is to reach out to the site’s editor or webmaster, tell them that you appreciate their taking the time to build such a high quality resource page, and then let them know that you have a valuable resource that would be a great addition to the page.
In most cases, the webmaster will be happy to add a link to your resource, since this will make their resource page better. Win win situation for both of you.
If you don’t already have a resource that resource pages can link to, you’ll need to create one before reaching out to webmasters who have resource pages on their websites.
Repeat this procedure for a couple of resource pages, and you’ll be able to quickly build up an impressive portfolio of high quality backlinks.
Your Personal 2 Week Plan For Boosting Your Domain Authority
Now that you know all the key steps you need to take to increase your domain authority score by 5 points, below is a practical plan that you can use to implement all these steps.
If you follow the plan strictly, you will be able to complete all the steps within 2 weeks, leading to a 5+ point increase in domain authority, depending on your current domain authority.
Day 1: Link Profile Auditing
The first day of the 2 week plan should be spent auditing your link profile. The aim here is to identify all backlinks pointing to your site and analyze their quality.
Even if you have a site with thousands of backlinks, this is something you can complete within a day using Google Search Console and a link analysis tool like SEMrush Backlink Audit.
Day 2: Content Ideation
Start the second day by doing your keyword research to determine the best keyword to target when creating your content. Ideally, keyword research should take you about 2 to 3 hours.
Once you have identified the keywords you want to target, the next thing you need to do on day 2 is to come up with 5 blog post ideas that are relevant to the keywords you identified.
A good way to identify great blog post ideas is to plug the keywords you identified into BuzzSumo or Ahrefs and see the best performing pieces of content that are related to your content.
Days 3 – 7: Content Creation
Now that you have blog post ideas, it’s now time to actually create the content that you’ll publish on your website.
If you opt to hire freelancers, you can reduce the time taken to create content to one day. You can easily find freelance writers from some of the top jobs websites that freelancers use to find work.
If you will be doing the writing yourself, it is definitely going to take you much longer. Assuming that you’ll be creating articles that are about 1500 to 2000 words, you can do an article each day. This means that you should have completed writing the 5 articles within 5 days.
Day 8: Link Optimization
During the link profile audit on day 1, you probably identified some toxic links that are negatively affecting your domain authority. Use day 8 of the 2 week plan to get rid of these toxic links.
If you only have a couple of toxic links, reaching out to the webmasters behind these links and requesting them to remove the links should take you about 2 to 3 hours.
If you have hundreds of toxic links or more, you cannot possibly reach out to all these webmasters within a day. Instead, what you need to do is to disavow the links on Google Search Console. This should take you no more than a few minutes.
Once you’ve removed the toxic links, spend the rest of the day improving your internal linking structure.
Ensure that all your internal links have the right keywords in the anchor text, ensure that there are internal links pointing to all the important pages on your website, check whether there are different pages sharing the same anchor text, and ensure that all pages covering similar topics are linked to each other.
Day 9: Identify Opportunities For Backlinks
Start by identifying resource pages that are related to your niche or industry, then reach out to the webmasters behind these pages and request them to add your relevant resources or guides to their resource pages.
Next, identify any relevant educational websites that you can earn backlinks from and reach out to them.
For instance, you can reach out to the alumni department of your school and inform them about one of your recent achievements.
Alternatively, you can research about a prominent faculty or staff member in a relevant academic institution and reach out to them with an interview request.
Once you’re done with that, do some research to identify the best performing pieces of content in your niche that you can improve on to create your skyscraper content. This should take you about 2 to 3 hours at most.
Day 10: Send Guest Post Pitches
Start by identifying relevant and high quality sites that accept guest posts, then go through the sites you have identified, familiarizing yourself with their audience and content, and identifying content gaps that you can fill with your guest posts.
Next, come up with 2 to 3 guest post ideas for about 4 to 5 websites, then reach out to the editors of these websites and pitch your guest post ideas.
Day 11 – 12: Skyscraper Content Creation
Having identified a piece of content of well performing content that has opportunities for improvement, spend days 11 and 13 creating your Skyscraper content.
Assuming you are aiming for a properly researched and well-written piece of content that is about 5000 words long, this is something you can complete within 2 days.
Day 13: Guest Post Creation
By now, you should have received some responses from the guest post pitches you submitted on day 10. Day 13 should be spent creating a high value guest post that will wow the audience of the website you are writing for.
Day 14: Skyscraper Outreach
Having already published your skyscraper content on day 12, use the last day of the 2 week plan to promote your skyscraper content to relevant people, such as those you’ve mentioned in your content, as well as those with links to the content you were improving on.
If the guest post you submitted has been published, you can also spend day 14 responding to comments from the host website’s audience.
It’s good to note that your domain authority score will not improve immediately at the end of the 14 days. It might take some time for various domain authority checkers to register the changes on your website and raise your domain authority.
However, once you complete these steps, your domain authority score will eventually increase in a couple of weeks without any further action from you.
Domain Authority FAQ
Good domain authority falls between 50 and 60. Anything below 40 is considered weak, while anything above 60 is considered to be strong.
Attaining a domain authority score of 100 can be very challenging. At the time of writing this, there are only three websites with an authority score of 100. These are Google, YouTube, and Apple.
To get your domain authority to 60 and above, you have to spend a considerable amount of effort getting high quality links to your website.
he average domain authority for most websites falls between 40 and 50. It’s good to note, however, that the average domain authority will vary by industry.
For instance, the average domain authority for media and publishing, as well as academic websites is usually higher compared to the average domain authority for finance and insurance websites.
Therefore, when using domain authority to compare your website against your competitors, you need to take into account the average domain authority for your specific industry.
While domain authority is not a ranking factor, it is still a very important metric, because it helps you understand how likely it is for your website to rank high on search engine results.
Increasing your domain authority requires you to work on factors that search engines use to rank search results – such as link profile, SEO optimized content, and so on.
Therefore, by improving your domain authority, you are also boosting your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages.
Google and other search engines do not use domain authority in their ranking algorithms.
However, the metrics used by Google ranking algorithms are very similar to those used to calculate domain authority, making domain authority a very good predictor of search rankings. The higher your domain authority, the better your chances of ranking higher on Google.
Grow Your Domain Authority And Google Rankings
Domain authority is a great way of predicting your chances of ranking high on search engines and judging your website’s performance in comparison to your competitors’ websites.
Fortunately, it is possible to grow your domain authority, and in this article, we have just shown you how you can improve your domain authority in as little as two weeks.
Here is a recap of the steps you need to take to grow your domain authority…
- Audit your link profile
- Use keyword research to create high quality content that is optimized for SEO
- Improve your internal linking structure
- Remove bad and toxic links
- Earn high quality backlinks using strategies like skyscraper outreach, guest posting, and taking advantage of resource pages and edu links.
Implement these strategies on your website today and watch your domain authority increase significantly, which will in turn boost your chances of ranking high on search results.