Today we have an incredible guest blog from those creative geniuses over at Zeal – a full service digital and creative agency who have got some fantastic advice for you on how to improve domain authority on your blog or website.
Whether it’s an ecommerce site, online publisher or even a blog. SEO is very important if you want any online platform to succeed. Let’s start with the basics, what does SEO mean?
SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimisation which means exactly what it says, optimising your site to appear in search engines. There are several ways you can optimise your site, and the more you do SEO the better the chances you have of ranking.
Improve your domain authority
DA, which stands for domain authority was created by Moz and it indicates how effective your site is in terms of potentially ranking naturally in Google search results. Every website is scored on a scale of 1 to 100 and the higher the DA the better.
There are arguments explaining why DA doesn’t matter but in fact it does – if two sites are offering the same products, services and information then the competitor with the highest DA should appear higher, thereby converting more search traffic. Think about it, how often do you scroll to the second page of google if the answer is on the first?
There are several ways you can practise great SEO to improve domain authority. Here are a few:
Backlinks from authoritative sites:
A backlink, otherwise known as a clickable hyperlink on a website, links back to your website from another website. In the past Google had ranked sites with it’s Pagerank algorithm, giving top ranks to websites with the most links from other high domain authority websites. This led many to practice black hat SEO e.g. building many low quality links on spammy sites and link farms. Over time however, Google picked up on these trends and changed it’s algorithm. Today, when it comes to backlinks, it is quality over quantity. When building links to your site remember the following:
- Keyword relevant anchor texts are important
- Too many links created in a short amount of time can be problematic,
- Not all links are good links
- Site content and quality is very important
- Competitor links are a goldmine of insights
The sites you want links from have to be relevant to your own site. Once these relevant links are created, your site becomes much more authoritative in natural Google search.
It’s not just about placing as many links as possible over the entire internet, consider where they are placed, how many are placed and what impact this will have on Google; it might take a little time to get it right but it’s well worth investing in links.
Here’s your chance to boost ranks for other pages that you have on your site. Internal linking goes hand-in-hand with improving ranks.
Linking internally builds the authority of pages across a website, it helps Google to identify the most important pages on your site and the keywords that relate to these pages. Remember to keep links relevant and natural, both your readers and Google can spot the difference.
Alt tags improve your images
It’s good SEO practice to add images on any site and when you do be sure to alt tag them. Not only do image alt tags strengthen the message of your post, they help improve the relevance of your post to Google keyword searches that you are targeting. Adding alt text to your images also ensures that all users, even those with impairments can appreciate the content on your site.
Here’s an example: Google might see the following image and be able to interpret that it’s the beach or a pier.
However, if you’re trying to rank for “Beautiful Places To Visit In Brighton”, you’ll need to lend Google a helping hand.
e.g. <img src=”kids_playing_beach.jpg” alt=”Children playing on beautiful Brighton Pier”>
Mobile friendly site
Every year people spend more and more time on their tablets and mobile devices, yet many websites are slacking behind this trend! There is nothing worse than clicking onto a page and the website doesn’t fit on your screen, Google is more than aware of this annoyance and as a result slow webpage speeds and poor designs are a key factor that contribute low domain authority and high bounce rates in all other digital marketing campaigns.
A subheading about headers
It might sound like a given that headers should be used in all posts for your visitors and yes, an attractive header certainly grabs the attention of readers. But what do great headers do for Google, and how does that benefit your SEO?
Search engines, like Google appreciate headers such as H1, H2 and H3. Use them to highlight the most important parts of a post. So changing headers from “SEO and headings” to “Why you need to use headings to boost your SEO” gives Google a much better grasp of the main topics that your page is about. It also allows readers to scan through your post and decide whether it is something they are interested in, reducing bounce rates.
Can a post be too long or too short?
The short answer to this is, yes! Here at Zeal, as a rule of thumb we recommend posts should be a minimum of 300 words and no longer than 1,000 – unless you’re writing for the UK Blog Awards, in that case you go big or you go home! You want to engage your reader or listener if they’re using voice search, not overwhelm them as they scan or listen through your webpage content.
UPDATE: Google has now indicated that longer pieces of content (we mean 1,000 words +) will be ranked much better than a 400-600 word piece. It perceives the longer piece of content as offering more in depth, expert advice (so make sure it does!)
Poorly written posts no matter the length will not rank well with Google. The chances are that readers will not finish long, unstructured and poorly written content. Nor will they return to your site or share the post across their social media. The winning strategy here is structure! By having structure in a post, not only will it improve the focus of content but it also makes things easier to read and avoids the temptation to stuff keyword into content for SEO which is easily detectable. You can check this by using a keyword density tool and spotting any irregular mentions of keywords.
Pick a good domain
The phrase – a domain is for life, not just for Christmas, might seem a little bit dramatic but the importance of picking the perfect domain name is right up there with being a responsible parent.. Before deciding a domain, think whether it is an easy to liken brand name, is it too long, is it unique enough and is it intuitive enough to survive future directional shifts i.e. will it hold you back in the future if you chose to change direction?
Your blog is your brand, let it look and read as such. Try to avoid numbers and hyphens like ‘How-To-Make-The-Best-Cakes’, domains like this are hard to remember and may actually direct your audience to another domain.
Following on from this, think about your domain being intuitive, let it speak for itself. Ideally you want a domain that gives possible readers a strong idea of what your blog is about, so a domain like Deliciously Ella, Zena’s Suitcase, Eat Cook Explore and The Blonde Abroad are all definite wins!
Create great topical content
Entice your readers with topics they want to read about. Any content you create needs to be geared towards them. For example, if you are in the interior design niche, make sure you create content which appeals to your core fans, like this content about New Home Living Room, which not only appeals to the audience of this website, but it also offers useful, interesting information for a wider group of people.
Interact with other authorities
You can improve your domain authority by working more closely over social and interacting with key authorities from your sector. Whether it’s a follow on instagram or sharing another bloggers post, interaction is key. The more your do it – the higher chance these acts are reciprocated to your own posts.
A great example of this is like when bloggers create “linky love” pages showcasing their favourite bloggers. There is a usual pattern of reciprocation whereby if you link to fellow bloggers then they are more likely (on request) to link to you. So there you have it, a couple of tips to improve domain authority for your blog. Don’t panic if you get confused or overwhelmed, just remember: small steps = big changes! Good Luck