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We all have heard the SEO mantra – content, content, content! Whether you’re building up keyword-rich website content, guest blogging for credible websites, or spreading your backlinks across the WebSphere, all Internet marketing has a cornerstone for search engine optimization. But did you know your domain authority counts as part of Google’s evaluation on your search engine ranking?
Your domain name is more than just an address. It symbolizes your web presence and tells Google a lot about your web history – more than you may think! As you consider your SEO approach, understand how your domain name plays a role so that you can utilize it to the best of your ability.
First and foremost, it’s critical to understand what we mean when we reference “domain authority.” This term refers to the strength of your domain name and its influence on your ranking. Search engines like Google favor websites that have been around for a while.
Why? It all comes down to trying to produce quality search results for engine users. Numerous new websites launch on the Internet every single day. Yet many of those sites won’t be around three months, six months, or even a year from now.
It’s easy to create content on the web, but not all of it is useful content. Think about how many blogs are created and then abandoned after one or two posts, or the startup online businesses that fail or run out of funding within the first few months or years of business. Google isn’t trying to produce amateur results for keywords and phrases. They want to deliver the best content first, and most of that comes from sources who have proven their seniority and consistency in delivering high-quality content.
There are three different ways your domain name is rated: Age, Size, and Popularity. Age is less influential than the other two factors, but it matters nonetheless. As we mentioned previously, search engines are seeking out trustworthy, relevant results for their users.
The older your URL (or domain name) is, the more credibility it has. That doesn’t mean that age is the only thing that gives your website priority status. You can’t lean solely on seniority to keep your website ranking. However, you can consider it a residual benefit for sticking around.
The second factor that influences your domain authority is your website’s popularity. This is something that you can directly influence through marketing efforts. In fact, we highly encourage it! Your SEO strategies should include backlinking, PR, and guest blogging that will further boost your online credibility.
Popularity on the Internet comes down to how many other websites and online platforms are talking about you and your business. It isn’t just about listing your name, either. The connection between your website and theirs is made through “do follow” backlinks.
Not all hyperlinks are the same. The difference between “Dofollow” and “Nofollow” is whether or not the hyperlink influences the rankings of the linked address. Readers of the article will be able to click on the link regardless of whether it is designated as “Dofollow” or “Nofollow,” but search engines will not consider it to be relevant attribution when weighing your domain authority.
At least, not as much. Google did recently announce that they would consider Nofollow links despite the HTML instruction. However, they don’t have the same link juice and placement does matter. Like, keywords and key phrases, the higher the link is in your copy, the better the odds.
Last (but certainly not least) is the size of your website. How much content do you offer to the worldwide web, and how frequently do you provide and update it? The number of pages that exist on a domain increases your odds of inbound links and gives Google more content to crawl.
The bigger, the better. Simple, right? Not necessarily. You can’t just throw up content haphazardly and call it a job well done. The content has to have keywords or keyphrases and be relevant to those designated keywords and keyphrases.
Google recently shifted toward seeking out rich content that satisfies the user’s search. For content writers, that means creating content that is both relevant and rich. Perhaps you’ve noticed that articles are getting longer. The average optimum word count has leaped to around 2,500 words.
So how do you determine the difference between a Dofollow or Nofollow link? It isn’t obvious just by glancing at the page. You have to look beyond the text by inspecting the code behind it. A Nofollow link has a specific HTML command that looks like this:
Notice the specific instruction inside the HTML that states “nofollow.” This same address as a Dofollow link would look like the HTML string below:
By default, links are designed to automatically label themselves as Dofollow. The publisher has to manually set it to serve as a Nofollow link if that is their desire.
But how do you find this HTML? It’s easier than you think. Simply right-click on the link you want to investigate and click on “Inspect.” A sub-window will pop up showing you the HTML surrounding that link. Compare it with the HTML examples we showed you to see if the Nofollow command is incorporated within the HTML.
Always aim to generate new Dofollow links when possible.
So how do you go about using these factors to your advantage? It takes a cohesive strategy that touches on several different SEO tactics. In this article, we will focus on two strategies that are directly in line with the factors of domain authority: size and popularity.
First, we’ll touch on the popularity factor, which ultimately revolves around building backlinks on other credible websites. The key is quality over quantity. You will get a lot farther having an article linking back to your site published on Forbes and Huffington Post than you will through a dozen informal blogs.
But how do you get these backlinks? There are various ways to get your website backlinked via another website’s content. Vectra Digital covers a few of the most effective approaches below:
Public Relations extends to your online presence, as well as your community and global impression. A great way to build your brand and gain the trust of your desired audience is to engage in interviews and spread company news through press releases. Journalism professionals seek out experts to answer interview questions and assist them in research for articles in progress, and who is a better expert in your field than a business owner like yourself? Believe it or not, getting interviews can be both free and easy if you use platforms such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO). You can also reach out to Podcasts in your industry and send out press releases that share enticing news about your business. Just make sure the press releases you’re writing are worth the interest of the publication you’re submitting it to. If you aren’t familiar with writing press releases or you’re having trouble getting yours picked up, consider these tips on drafting an effective press release.
Another way to get published online is through guest blogging. Not all blogs are equal, so you want to make sure the website you’re looking to get published on has good domain authority and credibility. You can discover a website’s global and national ranking through a free online tool provided by Alexa.
Do your research and create a list of several blogs in your industry that rank well on Alexa’s scale. Most blogs that accept guest posts have a page on their site dedicated to explaining the regulations and manner in which you can pitch your post.
Some blogs expect or allow you to provide the content they will publish while others may prefer to write the content themselves and include your site as a reference with a backlink. In some cases, they may want to interview you for your expert opinion and include your quote in their post.
The amount of control you have over this content varies from website to website. If you aren’t drafting the post for them, make sure you’re teaming up with a credible website that you trust to write content for you. Review their currently published content to get an idea of their post’s quality and whether it meets your expectations.
You can also ask questions ahead of time regarding how much say you have in the content before its publication. Make sure you’re clear on exactly how the process works before agreeing to a guest post. This includes asking whether you can approve the copy, in whole or in part, before its publication.
On top of guest blogging, you can also pitch your own articles to various online publications. This requires some copywriting expertise. More specifically, experience or understanding of the writing style required for online publication.
Journalism isn’t as rigid as it was a few years ago. Now there is a lot of flexibility in how an article is written, including an informal style closer to that of an opinion column than an actual article.
Writing styles and voices can vary from website to website, but each one typically has its own preference and style. Make sure you familiarize yourself with an online publication before drafting an article for publication. Review their submission guidelines and make sure you identify the contact for submission before starting on your article. You can even email an editor ahead of time with your story idea and ask any questions regarding the do’s, don’ts, and the technical writing style they expect.
Once you establish the submission process and who to send your article to, aim to write your copy in alignment with the angle, voice, and style of the publication you hope to publish it on. Keep in mind that high authority domains often require original content, but it’s worth the effort.
If you draft and submit an article only to have it rejected, don’t despair. You can always submit it to other alternative publications to see if they want to post it on their website. If you find yourself receiving rejection after rejection, make sure you review your copy to see if there is something wrong with the angle, style, or relevance.
When in doubt, ask the editors for the reasons why they rejected your submission. Their advice will help you with your current and future articles so you can increase your odds of getting published.
Backlinks also generate more traffic and increase your credibility with your audience. In general, people gravitate to brands and companies that they feel familiar or acquainted with. The more people see your name—especially on well-known websites—the more trustworthy you become to them.
Think of the brands you are most familiar with and how you became familiar with them. Getting your name out there and seen will build a familiarity that will eventually be associated with your products or services.
In short, the more backlinks your receive on credible, relevant, high authority domains, the better.
Now that you know the basics of domain authority and how to build it, you can start incorporating these methods into your Internet marketing strategy. Remember, the best results happen when you go in with a plan.
Map out your strategy ahead of time, including SEO and SEM tactics to build your online presence. Your website is the hub of your marketing strategy, but many “spokes” branch off of it, including Social Media Management and Marketing, Local SEO, and the SEO and SEM we mentioned previously.
Also learn about Google Adwords.
For many companies, this strategy is a full-time job that requires a designated professional to manage. If you don’t already have one on staff, or if you are seeking an outside firm to help you plan, manage, and execute an effective Internet marketing strategy, feel free to talk to us.
Vectra Digital is a website design, print, and marketing firm that specializes in helping companies grow their business. To contact us, simply call 239-234-2566 or fill out our online form below. We’ll be happy to discuss your business goals with you and your team.