Do you know what domain authority is and how important it is to build domain authority?
When you are growing your accountancy practice, the kind of numbers your mind naturally focuses on may be turnover, profit, costs… thanks to your training.
When you think about your marketing specifically, you may consider number of clients, number of leads, how much you are spending and so on.
But what about the real nitty gritty numbers in your marketing? The metrics that don’t in themselves tell you how you are doing, but which underlie your marketing performance. Understanding and optimising these can help you accelerate the growth of your practice.
One such metric is termed “domain authority” and it refers to how respected your website is in the eyes of search engine algorithms.
What is domain authority?
Domain authority is a tool created by Moz to predict how well a website will perform in search engine results pages SERPs. It is a score out of 100 which is determined by how many links point to your website, and the quality (or level of domain authority) of the websites from which these links originate.
It’s a form of social proof. If respectable websites link to you, it is an indication that you are respectable yourself. The higher your score, the more likely you are to do well in search engine results and the quicker your site will be indexed by search engines. However, Google does not directly use domain authority data, so think of it as a reliable correlation rather than a certain route to ranking highly.
A score of 100 is unattainable for most websites. You need the clout of Facebook or other behemoths for that. But it is a spectrum and industry specific. Simply put, you only need compete against others in your industry and the higher up you reach the more chance you have that your digital marketing will be successful.
Quick principles to understand about domain authority
Domain authority is an important component of SEO, but if you do not live and breathe it every day then it may seem a little obscure. These are some of the important principles to keep in mind:
- Achieving strong domain authority is an ongoing effort. Take your foot off the accelerator or misstep and it will deteriorate, keep following good practice and it will improve.
- You do not have direct control over domain authority. Instead, the actions you take on your website will indirectly influence your score.
- It is possible to damage as well as enhance your score. For example, lots of low quality backlinks will be interpreted by search engines as trying to game the system and be penalised.
- By consistently following good content marketing practices, you should naturally improve your domain authority.
How quickly can you make a positive impact on building domain authority?
Domain authority improvement is not a matter of flicking a switch. It takes time but there is a methodological process you can carry out and results will follow. When embarking on any journey, it is helpful to know where you are starting and the good news is that it is easy to find this out.
Moz, the creator of the original domain authority tool, will give you a snapshot here.
Once you know your domain authority, here are four steps you can take to improve its current level.
Step one – Audit your links, optimise technical SEO
Go through your website and identify all your links. It is quality you are after, not quantity. You may be surprised who is linking to you – some completely irrelevant or maybe, on the plus side, an obviously good link.
You need to ditch the bad links if you can. The first step you must always take is to contact the originating websites and ask them to remove the links. A word of caution – be careful when using the disavow tool to remove links unless you’re an expert. This is something that can cause more harm than good if you don’t know what you are doing and without the true knowledge of what actually qualifies as a bad link.
As well as attending to your links it is important to address the technical fundamentals of your SEO. These are things like your site navigation, its URL structure, alt tags and header tags among others. They are important to get right if you want to increase your domain authority.
Step two – Generate content worthy of being linked to
Content marketing works by creating and sharing good quality information with your target audience which helps them achieve their goals. In return you will accumulate goodwill, trust and data so that when the time is right for someone to use the services you offer, they come to you as the provider.
When you create and publish genuinely good quality content it will be shared and read and shared again, sometimes through a back link. To develop content worth others linking to, think about subjects which will both showcase your expertise and be useful to your target audience at the same time. Then get creating!
Step three – Go after those good links
The higher the domain authority of the sites that link to you, the better for your own domain authority. Any PR outreach may help here, with a dream link being one from a national media source. But local media is a good place to start. Can you nurture relevant quality links from your business network? If the content is good enough and visible enough, overtime the good links will occur organically.
An important aspect of link building is developing the internal links within your site. The good news is that this is within your control. As you create more content it is easier to connect pages with internal links. Blogs to service pages. Service pages to case studies. Everything linking through to contact pages. It makes your site easier to navigate for users and search engines alike, and helps with conversion. Each page also has its own internal link rank strength so having a good linking strategy can enhance your SEO if you know what you are doing.
Step four – Be consistent
As we have said, developing a strong domain authority is an ongoing process. Therefore, it is essential to continue consistently with all of the above steps to ensure that any gains are maintained and built upon. So keep trying to get rid of bad backlinks. Keep generating useful content. Keep encouraging good quality links and setting internal links. A rising domain authority will follow.
Domain authority improvement for accountants
It may seem like an awful lot to get right for just one sub-metric of your digital marketing. But, in practice, everything you need to do for improved domain authority will feed into holistic good marketing.
At PracticeWeb, we specialise in providing digital marketing services to growing accountancy firms, including high performance websites and content marketing.
If you would like a more bespoke conversation about how you can build domain authority of your firm, please get in touch.