Your domain rating (known also as domain authority) is a huge factor in where you rank in search engine results. With a higher domain rating, your website has the ability to shoot up in search engine results pages (SERPs) and may even hit in the coveted results on the first page.
There are other SEO factors besides a domain’s authority that matter, but since a domain rating includes so many signals for search engine crawlers, it’s definitely one of the most important to get right.
So, what do you need to do in order to achieve a higher domain rating? Let’s take a look at some easy ways to raise your website’s rating for SEO.
Your Website’s Domain Rating and Why It Matters for SEO
Domain Rating (DR) has always been an important ranking signal for Google, Bing, and other search engines. The fastest way to build that rating is through other websites linking to your pages. These websites should have high-quality content, trustworthy links, and keyword relevance. In SEO, this is also called a backlink profile.
Your website’s rating matters the most when it comes to ranking in Google. (Each website linking back to yours is an upvote.) Some websites have been building their votes for a decade… meaning they have thousands of votes! That doesn’t mean you can’t rank up and join the first page of results for certain keywords, but it does require a strong SEO linking strategy to get it done.
What Do Domain Rating Strategies Look Like?
For something like “Ohio SEO,” businesses would want to create an SEO strategy around local and state SEO keywords. Links through affiliate websites, other online partner businesses, guest blogs, earned media coverage, directory profiles, and social media shares are also very important. There are a number of ways to build links, but the most important thing to remember is to NEVER purchase paid links on spammy websites or low rated blogs.
A typical domain rating strategy includes the following:
• Content marketing
• Blogger and influencer outreach
• Press releases
• Social media shares
Domain rating strategies revolve around building healthy links to your website. This is mainly done by building your website content around topics and videos that your audience will love. As you link to your content through social media, press releases, guest blogs and other websites, you will build a natural backlink profile as more people share your content and link back to your pages.
Search engine crawlers calculate the number of inbound links and look at the domain ranking of the site where they originate. Each link increases your domain rating, but when a high authority websites such as Wikipedia, Forbes, or Business Insider links to your site, it gives you a big boost. (This would be like a celebrity sharing your content and giving you a huge upvote.)
How Can I Increase My Domain Rating?
Based on the strategy above, there are some best practices and advanced ways to get your website ranking higher based on its domain strength, content, backlinks, and social media content. You may also want to consider working with an SEO company to get an expert custom strategy that will help you rank up faster.
Pick a Great Domain Name
You want an easy to remember and easy to share domain name that pertains to the keyword that describes what you do most. For example, if you’re a pizza place in Ohio who wants more local traffic, you may want to have a domain that’s like “louspizzaplace.com” or “louspizzadayton.com.” You don’t have to necessarily fit the keyword in the domain, but this is one factor that helps you rank higher for certain keywords.
Optimize Your On-Page Content
Everything on your website has a “meta” tag, which is used to signal search engine crawlers to what your content is about. If you have title tags, header tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.), image alt tags, meta descriptions, and keyword anchor text, then you’re optimizing with on-page factors. You also want to make sure that you are using different keywords, and you are not “keyword stuffing.” Crawlers can spot content that is packed with too many keywords and will rank you down if you don’t have a good readability score.
Create Linkable Content
You could also call this step “create readable, exciting, shareable, and relevant content.”
Linkable content means that you have high-quality copy with multiple headers, bulleted lists, and expert knowledge. Your content actually explores something new and offers new images, videos, and language that adds to the conversation. As more people read your content and link to it, you’ll build your domain rating naturally. In terms of word count for content, quality writing above 1,000 words tends to receive more engagement than shorter content.
Improve Your Internal Linking Strategy
There are a few things to unpack with your website’s linking strategy. For one, your site structure and site map are two very important factors that help crawlers understand how your site is organized and whether it’s relevant to search queries around specific keywords.
If you want to rank up for “Ohio SEO,” for example, you would create website pages with URLs like “yourdomain.com/ohio-seo” and “yourdomain.com/best-ohio-seo-company.”
Internal linking means that you link to other pages of content in a strategic way. Your main page has navigation that links to all the other pages, but you also want to make sure that each page is linking out to other pages that are relevant and helpful to the reader.
This keeps people browsing your website and offers more opportunities for sharing.
Perform Backlink Audits
What sites are currently linking to your content? Do you have any bad links or spam links bringing down your SEO? It’s important to see who is linking to your site and what they are saying about it.
Poor reviews, spam blogs, and bad foreign sites may slow down your rise to the top SERPs. You can disavow any links or ask other sites to take down links that you feel are spammy.
Fast Page Loading and Mobile-Friendly
All websites should load within 1 to 3 seconds, and your content should be accessible on all mobile devices. (Both are user experience signals that crawlers look at when deciding if your domain rating is strong or not.)
A search engine won’t want to send a user to a poorly loading site that does not work on mobile.
Market Your Content on Social Media
This is all about getting more links and working with influencers. Share your content and get involved in groups on social media that help you link around the web.
By joining Facebook groups, Twitter chats, Instagram hashtag communities, and other social media chats, you increase the likelihood that your content will be shared again and again.
Build Longer, Strategic Pages of Content
Do you have the definitive guide to something relative to your brand and keywords on your website?
These are longer pages of content that reveal your expertise and give you tons of linking possibilities through others who want to share expertly written content like yours.
As you build your content marketing strategy, you should think about the authority of your content and how you can stand out to influencers who have the biggest audiences.
What Diminishes Your Domain Rating?
Domain authority can decrease quickly if you don’t pay attention to the quality of your links. You should perform a monthly or quarterly backlink audit to check that the websites linking to your pages are of good quality.
In other cases, your competitors may be ranking up and pushing you down in results, which is why you have to create content daily and share it as much as possible.
Improving SEO and increasing organic presence is over 60% of a marketer’s top priority according to a survey conducted by Hubspot in 2018. It’s a no brainer that you should be taking a look at your business’ SEO and where you stand.
Want to rank higher in search engines? Work with a top-rated SEO company. We have digital strategists who would love to help you with a custom strategy. Get in touch today!