The domain authority (DA) of a website describes its relevance for a specific subject area or industry. This relevance has a direct impact on its ranking by search engines, trying to assess domain authority through automated analytic algorithms (Wikipedia).
Domain ranking is based on a scale of 1 – 100 (100 being the best). The closer you are to 100, the better your site will rank in *SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). So much for loving your ‘great personality’ – Google wants a high score for this relationship to thrive.
This is what a SERP looks like.
Various factors contribute to how well your domain (e.g. www.johndoe.com) ranks. These factors are important to take note of if you want your business or service to ‘romance’ Google into loving you (and showing you off to potential clients) more. Here they are:
Age only matters if you’re a cheese (or a domain)
This relationship actually requires seniority in age (no younger models need apply). The older your domain, the better its chances to woo Google.
This is why we always advise our website revamp clients to keep their existing domain (if they already have one), like www.johndoe.co.za. If they for instance want a minor update (like changing it from [email protected] to [email protected]) we will keep the .co.za domain (because it is the older one) and secure the .com domain (if available) in addition. We then proceed to redirect the existing .co.za domain to the new .com domain (it’s not as complicated as some relationship statuses would have you believe).
For clients about to launch brand-new sites, we recommend picking an easy, industry-relevant domain, suited to their industry (e.g. www.johndoecars.co.za) and ensuring it is something they will want to use for a long time.
The DA ranking language of love: on-page optimisation
On-page optimisation is where the ‘behind the scenes’ magic of the relationship between your website and Google happens. Take loving care of the following aspects:
- Site structure
- Meta tags
- Other: H1, title tags, image alt tags, site architecture, etc.).
Link together in perfect harmony
Love begets love.
Loving on your internal website links (keywords or call-to-actions that link from one area of your website to another) is an important ‘self-care’ activity to beget the love of Google. Functional links could be the difference between a potential client finding what they need quickly, or leaving in frustration for being redirected to broken page links.
Get rid of link baggage
External links are updated or removed from sites all the time. Having a clean link profile is essential to obtain and maintain a great DA score. To clean up your link profile, you must distance yourself from any bad links.
Nurture the ranking relationship with fresh content
Don’t build it and then neglect to show it the love it deserves. Websites are living, breathing entities on the Internet. It’s a long-term commitment and needs constant updates to be assured of your ‘love’. Breathe some DA ranking love into your website by scheduling regular, quality content updates (like loading new blog articles, adding products, or including new pages or sections).
Focus on your strong traits
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Just focus on the beauty of your product or offering and become an expert in your niche. Curating authoritative content about your industry and being generous with sharing the love (your expert advice on your industry) will establish you as an authority in your niche and benefit your brand.
Authoritative content is to your DA ranking what constant romantic gestures are to strong long-term relationships.
Is it even still necessary to talk about the importance of responsive design in this day and age?
Other than the fact that millions of people view websites on cell phones, Google also favours mobile-friendly sites.
Not sure if your site is on responsiveness par? Take this test.
Don’t leave them hanging
Nobody likes to be left hanging in a relationship. Google is no different and will not increase your DA ranking if your website page takes longer to load than a shy teenager trying to pluck up the courage to ask his crush on a date.
A faster, slicker site will swoop in for the win, if your page speed is lacking.
If you want to get noticed you have to be willing to ‘put yourself out there.’ The same rule goes for your DA ranking.
While search engines like Google won’t insist that sites make social signals a priority to increase their rankings, site runners must still take advantage of social media to: promote their sites products, and services; and to tell people about any events, contests or other important updates.
Is your website wooing or repelling Google?
Now that you know how to get Google’s attention to improve your domain ranking, you may want to check how your website DA ‘lovability’ is scoring in these areas.
Have a look at our website audit tool to find out if your website has Romeo & Juliet level status, or if it needs some Dr Phil-level intervention to ‘save the relationship.’