Authority is arguably the most important factor responsible for your SEO campaign. If your domain is considered authoritative, you’ll have a much easier time ranking for various keywords, and if your domain is not authoritative, you’ll have a much more difficult time. You can improve the strength of your domain authority over time, but the process is slow, leaving many businesses with new domains to wonder whether it’s worth it to pursue an authority-building strategy.
The short answer is yes, it’s always worth trying to increase your authority, especially if you’re just starting out. Since authority increases faster over time and through consistent effort, the sooner you start developing your authority consistently, the better.
Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to get a high domain authority out of the gates. But with a handful of carefully executed strategies, you can prepare your domain for steady, reliable long-term growth.
Why New Domains Struggle With Authority
The problem with authority for new domains is actually quite simple. One of the biggest factors Google considers when evaluating the reliability of a site is history. It makes sense; if a site has a long history of providing meaningful, accurate information to its users, it deserves to be seen as more authoritative than a site that just launched. Unfortunately for you that means no matter how hard you strive for perfection in your material and your approach, you won’t be able to touch the authorities of those long-established juggernauts (at least not for a while). Still, if you take the proper steps to build your authority at the beginning of your campaign, you’ll be in a prime position to start ranking in as little as a few months.
First, we’ll look at the onsite changes and tactics you should use to boost your domain authority.
Straightforward, Appropriate Navigation
Your navigation means a lot to search engines. If your navigation is easy to follow, organized in a logical way, and well-documented with onsite sitemaps, search engines will be able to crawl your content easily and will consider you to have a high authority. Structuring your navigation also gives you the chance to create pages that correspond to your primary lines of business. Using pages as major anchors for those keywords can increase your authority for their related topics; for example, having a page for “content marketing” will make you more of an authority in the marketing and advertising world.
Rich, Well-Written Content
You’ll also want to make sure your site is full of interesting, well-written content. Make sure you have at least a few hundred words of content on each of your pages, including your home page. Otherwise, Google won’t have much to crawl, and it may consider you to have a lower authority as a result. Also be careful not to stuff your content with keywords related to your business; as long as you’re writing naturally for your target audience, Google will determine you to have a high authority in your industry.
Recurring Blog Content
The value of ongoing content for your domain authority cannot be underestimated, and the earlier you get started the better. One of the first moves you should make for your website is establishing a premise for a long-term blog. Prioritize publishing at least one new post a week, increasing in frequency as your website and your audience develop.
It’s also important that you remember the offsite tactics that can build your authority over time.
External Links on High-Authority Sites
One of the biggest indicators for site authority is the quantity and quality of external links pointing to your site. Older, well-established sites have tens of thousands of backlinks pointing at them from all kinds of sources. You won’t be able to compete with that, but you can get started on the right foot. Build links only on sources that are relevant to your industry, or sources with a very high authority of their own, and be sure to diversify the types of links you build and the places where you build them. Your best bets are educational websites ending in .edu and government websites ending in .gov. These links can be hard to get, but they’ll go far in building your initial domain authority.
Thriving Social Media Presence
Google also uses social signals to evaluate your domain authority, so building a strong social media presence is crucial in your early stages. Publish and promote your content through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and reach out to new contacts to build your audience. The larger your audience, and the more active your followers are, the more authority you’ll be seen to have.
Social Sharing of Unique Content
One of the best way to build links and authority is to create and distribute unique, highly valuable content. Pieces like infographics or whitepapers tend to get shared often, circulating online and attracting thousands of natural links at a time. Creating these pieces takes time, but if syndicated properly, the process is always worth it.
The process of building authority for a new domain is time consuming and, at times, challenging, but if you put in the time and effort, eventually your domain will be running with the best of them. Prioritize the strength of your domain and remember that user experience must always come first. As long as you’re keeping your users happy and you’re publishing great material, the rest should come naturally in time.