Have you heard of “site authority” before? You may have also heard “domain authority” or “page authority”, but all of those terms boil down to the same thing: the way the search engines determine the relevance of your website for a specific subject or industry.
You might have a really nice website with tons of relevant information, but even so, you could still have a low site authority. For example, if your site is too new or if no one links to it (i.e., it has no backlinks), then the search engines are not going to see it as having much authority, and it won’t rank as high. On the other hand, if your site has been around for a while, has seen steady growth, and has managed to build a sizeable number of backlinks, then the search engines are more likely to rank it higher because they’ll see it as having a good site authority.
So, how can you improve your site authority? Here are 5 simple tips:
1. Build High-Quality Backlinks
This is probably the most important part of site authority. High-authority and high-quality sites kind of run the show. If you can manage to get higher-authority sites to link to yours, this sends lots of good vibes to the search engines.
2. Get Rid of Low-Quality Links
Have you ever looked at your inbound link report for the month and realized that some spammy site found your URL and decided to link to it? That can be bad for your ranking and your site authority. Now, this does happen sometimes, and it’s typically beyond your control. You can try emailing the site owner and asking them to take it down, or you can try to contest it with Google (but they want you to have made a good faith effort on your part first). In any case, a few spammy sites linking to you isn’t going to hurt you too much.
Now, if a bunch of spammy sites are linking to you, that’s going to raise some flags. Are you buying sites and backlinking to your own preferred page? Or are you buying backlinks from people who own low-authority domains and using those to build your backlink count? These are no-nos and will get you penalized.
3. Create Content
An important part of site authority is high-quality content published at regular intervals. This isn’t to say that you have to run a blog with a new post every day. But it helps to choose a schedule and stick to it. Your content should also be full of useful information—bonus points if it’s “evergreen”, meaning you’ll be able to share this article for years to come and the information will still be helpful. Create “shareable” content that people will want to link to, and you’ll start getting backlinks naturally.
4. Organize Your Site
You might have heard about sitemaps and internal linking structures. Or you might not have—no judgement. But essentially, this means that your site should be well organized and have a useful link structure unto itself. Internal links help your site visitors find their way around, which improves user experience. And as we’ve discussed, user experience is essential when trying to retain visitors and improve your SEO. Search engines can index entire sites more easily if your link structure is sound.
5. Mobile-Friendly, Speedy Delivery
We’ve hammered this point home multiple times, but that’s because it’s non-negotiable in 2020: Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. People use all kinds of devices to access the internet now, and your site should display properly on all of them. Whether your visitors use a desktop, laptop, Chromebook, Macbook, mobile phone, tablet, television, or use a voice assistant, your site needs to be responsive.
Speaking of responsive, another element you can’t forget is site speed. No matter which device people use, they want the site to load quickly. Make sure you don’t have unnecessary addons, flash videos, or broken code that the browser has to load before your page is displayed. People will end up leaving your site if it takes too long to load, which increases your bounce rate. Bounce rate is an important signal in site ranking because it indicates positive or negative user experience. For example, if most people leave your site within several seconds, it means they’re not interested in what’s on the page—or they’re tired of waiting for the slow site to load. On the other hand, if they’re sticking around and clicking on other internal links, you can bet that they’re interested in your site and are having a positive experience.
Of course, as with everything else, there are many other ways to help boost your site authority. However, these 5 easy tips should help you get started so that you can focus on fine-tuning your tactics down the road. If you want help, simply get in touch! We’d be happy to assist you.
You can check your site authority for free here*: https://ahrefs.com/website-authority-checker
(And you don’t have to provide an email or any personal information. It’s fast and easy!)
*We are not affiliated with ahrefs.com.