Developing domain authority is one of the first SEO checklist items for a new business.
In fact, domain authority can be the one thing that holds a new business back from succeeding online. Since search engines are based on trust, domain authority is an SEO metric that puts a number on how trustworthy your site may be.
Generally speaking, the higher the domain authority of a website, the more trusted the website may be viewed by search engines.
How is domain authority established? Since Google’s founding in 1996 as a hypertextual search engine, the main way to establish domain rating (or authority) is by links. The more external websites that link to your site, the higher your domain authority may become.
Of course, there’s more to it. Promoting your new business isn’t all about acquiring links from any site who will link to you. Part of developing a healthy backlink profile is determining who will link to you, because backlinks can help search engines determine industry expertise as well.
Technicalities aside, you’re here because you’re wondering how to increase domain authority for your new business. In this brief case study, we’ll analyze how one new software business increased their domain authority over the course of a 9-month SEO campaign.
The challenge facing our new software startup, and the challenge that faces new businesses in establishing domain authority, is that it takes time.
Yes, developing links takes time. But the real challenge is promoting your business in a way that won’t have an adverse impact on your website.
The general thinking among SEO experts is that building links needs to be authentic and organic. That’s because Google’s Search Guidelines clearly outline what is considered a violation. Violations get penalized, and that can derail marketing efforts very quickly.
Instead, the challenge is improving the way you promote your business so that other sites naturally link to your content.
And of course, the main challenge with a new business is time. Every hour matters to a new business. That’s because every dollar matters.
So with these challenges in mind – some from search engines, and others from a new business – how can you increase domain authority in the right way?
For our new business client, the solution was to add their insights to articles that are relevant to their industry.
Since the client developed business software, the external sites who could be deemed “relevant” are other websites who talk about business software.
As an SEO company, we made it our goal to deploy a Digital PR campaign that would connect our client with journalists for quotes on news stories and articles. The thinking is that if the client contributes insights to an article, then the publisher of that content would attribute their insights with a link back to the company website.
The challenge was finding journalists. To do this, we:
- Monitored HARO queries (Help a Reporter Out)
- Proactively reached out to media outlets who cover business software
- Find out who was linking to competitors (but not our client) using Ahrefs
By formulating a list of sites who were likely to feature our client, we now had our targets. Then, it’s just a matter of figuring out a mutually beneficial reason for a media outlet to include a client in a story.
Most of the time, those reasons are:
- Expert insights to add to content or stories
- Something new or interesting to cover
- New addition to lists or guides
Once we had our unique angles, then it’s time to pitch outlets. This is where the real work comes in. And, it’s where most new businesses start to fade once they realize that there’s not a shortcut to success.
A good link building graph should look like this:
Slow. Methodical. Sustainable. Organic. That’s what the graph above says about link building. Developing domain authority is done by taking a long-term approach.
Alright, so increasing domain authority takes time. But when it does develop, what happens? Or more specifically, what happened for our new business client?
Here’s some of the stats.
- Increased Domain Authority from 0 to 25 in 12 months
- Grew organic search traffic from 0 to 750 visits per month
- Increased number of keywords ranking in top 100 search results from 0 to 500
- Reduced need for pay per click advertising costs
Here’s a graph that captures the upwards growth in organic search traffic as a result of the increase in domain authority.
As a result of the increase in domain authority, the new business can create content that targets relevant keywords and expect their content to have a chance to rank. This opens up a lot of new opportunities to market and grow their business through their website and content.
“The results have been great. As a new business, we knew we needed SEO. We’re glad we found Markitors to help us grow organically.”
– Marketing Manager, Software Company