How to Increase Website Authority in 2024 (7 Proven Strategies)

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Written by Kate Starr –

Since Backlinko’s launch in 2012, we’ve experimented with countless tactics to build website authority. Some successful. Others not so much.

We’ve built our reputation (and authority) by consistently creating high-quality content that people actively seek out. This is evident not only in our authority scores but also in branded searches we receive on Google:

GSC – Performance – Top Queries

This article breaks down seven proven strategies to increase website authority to your domain in 2024.

Understanding Website Authority (Metrics Compared)

Website authority is a concept in SEO that refers to a site’s overall strength and likelihood to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Although not an official Google metric, it’s frequently used in the SEO industry as an indicator of a website’s potential ranking power.

The term Domain Authority is often used interchangeably with website authority. However, Domain Authority (DA) is actually a specific metric developed by Moz to predict how likely a website is to rank in search results.

DA is a widely recognized metric. But it’s just one tool’s interpretation of website authority. Other SEO tools like Semrush and Ahrefs have their own metrics for measuring website authority. Each with its own unique calculation methods.

How Is Your Domain’s Website Authority Calculated?

The three leading SEO tools—Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs—each offer metrics for assessing website authority.

While these metrics share similarities, they also have differences in their calculations. Which often results in varying scores for the same website across platforms.

For example, Backlinko’s website authority is 62 in Semrush, 90 in Ahrefs, and 74 in Moz.

Backlinko – Website Authority

Does this mean that one tool is more accurate than the other?

Not necessarily.

Each tool uses a unique algorithm and dataset, leading to variations in the factors considered and how they are weighted.

For example, all tools consider similar factors, like backlinks. However, they might prioritize them differently. Some might heavily emphasize the quantity of links, while others focus more on link quality.

Additionally, each tool’s dataset of website traffic and backlinks isn’t identical, leading to further variations in calculations.

This is why it’s important to understand how each tool calculates its metric to interpret the scores effectively.

So, let’s break down how each platform approaches website authority:

Semrush: Authority Score (AS)

Factors considered in AS calculation:

  • Link quality and quantity
  • Estimated organic traffic (monthly average visits)
  • Indicators of manipulation or spam in the link profile
Semrush – Authority Score – Elements

Semrush’s Authority Score is unique in that it factors in both backlink data and organic traffic estimates. This is a more holistic view of your website’s authority. It looks at not only its link profile but also its ability to attract visitors through search.

AS also considers organic traffic at the domain level, weighing in both branded and non-branded traffic.

Moz: Domain Authority (DA)

Factors considered in DA calculation:

  • Number of unique domains linking to your website
  • Total number of backlinks pointing to your site
  • The authority and relevance of the linking domains
Moz – Authority Checker – Backlinko

Moz’s Domain Authority primarily focuses on the variety and overall strength of your backlink profile.

In particular, the number of unique domains linking to your website is an important factor in determining your DA score. The more diverse and reputable your referring domains, the higher your authority is likely to be in Moz’s eyes.

Ahrefs: Domain Rating (DR)

Factors considered in DR calculation:

  • Number of unique websites linking to your website
  • Domain Rating of referring domains
  • Number of linked-to websites
Ahrefs – Website Authority Checker – Backlinko

Ahref’s Domain Rating measures the strength of a website’s backlink profile. It heavily emphasizes the number of unique referring domains and their respective DRs.

Additionally, DR considers how many other websites a referring domain links to. The fewer outgoing links a referring domain has, the more “link juice” (ranking power) it passes to each individual link. Including the one to your website.

What’s a Good Authority Score?

There’s no universal number that defines a “good” authority score. What’s considered good depends on factors like your industry, competition, and goals.

High website authority (90-100) is often associated with popular, well-established websites like Google, Amazon, and Apple.

If your website has lower authority (10-20), it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worthless. It’s common for new websites to have a low domain authority. Simply because you haven’t had time to accumulate backlinks and establish your reputation.

A “good” website authority in a highly competitive industry might be significantly higher than a “good” authority score in a niche market. For example, if you have an ecommerce website, it doesn’t make sense to compare it to Amazon’s authority.

Instead, benchmark your website’s current authority against your direct competitors. This will give you a clear picture of where you stand and help you set realistic goals for improvement.

Let’s take a look at the keyword “how to choose a wetsuit for surfing” as an example.

Google SERP – How to choose a wetsuit for surfing

And analyze the top-ranking domains., the domain that holds the first result, has a website authority score of 28. And a total of 462 unique domains refer to it.

Backlinko – Website Authority Checker – is the domain that ranks in the second position for the same keyword. Although it has a higher authority score, fewer domains have linked to it.

In some cases, that’s why a domain with a lower authority score outranks the one with a higher score.

Backlinko – Website Authority Checker –

Use our free Website Authority Checker to research what level of authority is considered competitive in your industry.

7 Strategies to Increase Website Authority for Your Domain

Here are the seven proven strategies that have worked well for Backlinko. Use them to boost your website’s authority and search engine rankings.

Strategy #1: Create Linkable Assets

One of the most effective ways to earn high-quality backlinks is to create valuable stats or data pages.

Or, as Brian Dean called it, doing reverse outreach.

These pages act as linkable assets, providing bloggers, journalists, and other content creators with reliable data to reference and cite.

Stats pages have been one of our core strategies as well.

As the graphic below shows, 32.17% of the websites linking to us with high-quality backlinks do so because of our stats pages. Even though these pages make up only 16% of our published content.

Sum of RDs

Why does it work?

For one, stats pages position your website as a source of expertise and credible information.

Reporters and bloggers often need data to back up their stories. Finding your page can be like finding a treasure trove for them.

And when these reporters and bloggers cite your data, you naturally earn backlinks. Which is a crucial component of improving your website’s authority.

For example, one of our stats pages, Twitch Growth Stats, earned 1.3K backlinks from 457 domains.

Twitch users – Backlinks – Referring Domains

And a link from Forbes Home, showing its value as a linkable asset.

Forbes – Home – Twitch users – Backlink

Exploding Topics, the platform that provides stats on rapidly growing topics, has more than 1.7 million backlinks.

Semrush – Exploding Topics – Backlinks

And its Authority Score increased from 53 to 60 in the last 12 months.

Semrush – Exploding Topics – Authority Score

But it doesn’t just work for a B2B website. CookUnity, a food delivery company, is a great example of this.

The company published a stats page about what percentage of Americans are vegan. Which has generated 658 backlinks to date:

CookUnity – Post – Backlinks

And its AS increased from 44 to 48 in the last 12 months:

CookUnity – Authority Score Trend

Here’s how to do it:

Identify Topics Journalists Are Looking for

The first step is to identify the topics that journalists and bloggers need stats and data for.

These aren’t the typical keywords your customers search for. Your target audience might be interested in your products or services. However, journalists and bloggers are looking for data that supports their articles and reports.

Analyse Your Competitors

One of the best ways to find journalist keywords is to analyze your competitors’ backlinks.

Enter your competitor’s domain in Semrush’s Domain Overview tool. And click “Search.”

Semrush – Domain Overview – Search – Backlinko

Click the number of backlinks to analyze all your backlinks.

Domain Overview – Backlinko – Backlinks

Then scroll down to the Backlinks tab, which shows you the list of the backlinks this domain has. Go through this list to discover the pages that have been linked to the most.

Backlinko – Backlinks

Repeat this process using other competitor’s domains.

If you have an established website with content that has earned backlinks, analyze your domain in the same way.

Look at Your New Content

We also look at our new content and see if there’s an opportunity for us to cover that with our statistics article.

For example, we recently published an article on affiliate marketing statistics to enter the affiliate marketing space and earn backlinks.

A quick Semrush analysis shows that this article already earned 90 backlinks from 50 unique domains:

Affiliate marketing statistics – Overview – Referring Domains

Follow Industry Trends

We also create stats pages based on the topics that are trending.

For example, our TikTok statistics article was very timely when we published in response to discussions about the influence of TikTok in the US.

Since TikTok was a hot topic, a lot of people found our article relevant and linked to it. This article has earned 5.9K backlinks from 2.4K referring domains.

TikTok users – Referring Domains – Backlinks

And a lot of these backlinks are from domains with high authority scores. Such as Forbes, Exploding Topics, Autoweek, NewYorker:

TikTok users – Backlinks

Brainstorm Industry-Specific Phrases

In addition, brainstorm industry-specific phrases. Think about the types of questions journalists might ask about your industry or niche. For example:

  • How many food delivery companies are there in the US?
  • How often do Americans travel internationally?
  • 2024 trends in smart home devices

Curate Existing Data

Once you know what kind of data journalists are seeking, gather relevant information.

You don’t always need to conduct original research. In many cases, you can curate data from reliable sources. Such as:

  • Government agencies: E.g., Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Institutes of Health
  • Industry associations: Many industry groups publish reports and statistics relevant to their field
  • Research firms: Companies like Gartner, Forrester, and Pew Research Center conduct extensive studies that can be a goldmine for data
  • Reputable news sources: Articles from major news outlets often cite statistics that you can use
  • Academic journals: If your topic is more academic, explore academic publications for relevant data

When you’re curating data, ensure that it comes from trustworthy sources with a solid reputation.

Backlinko – Trustworthy sources

And always cite the data to the original source to maintain transparency and avoid plagiarism.

Answer Search Intent Right Away

You have the keyword. And the data. So, when you draft the stats page, make sure to frontload the value of your page by getting straight to the point.

Keep the introductory text brief, then deliver the most relevant statistic as high up on the page as possible.

In our B2B Marketing Stats article, you can see that we provide the statistic high up in the section and then cover the context.

Backlinko – Statistics in post

This ensures that journalists and bloggers can quickly find the data they’re seeking without having to scroll through the entire article.

Follow up with additional, related statistics that complement the main question but don’t directly answer it.

This keeps your content concise and focused while still offering additional value to readers.

Strategy #2: Focus on Content Marketing

Publishing high-quality content that ranks well in search engines is another great way to attract backlinks. And increase website authority for your domain.

This strategy aligns perfectly with how Semrush calculates Authority Score.

Specifically, high organic traffic indicates that your content is ranking well and meeting Google’s quality standards. Both of which are positive signals for authority.

Plus, valuable content that ranks high is more likely to be seen and shared by other websites, naturally earning you backlinks.

Backlinko is an excellent example of this. We focus on creating content that provides value to our readers, attracting 1 million monthly organic traffic. And has earned over 2.3 million backlinks.

Backlinko – Backlinks – Organic Traffic

How to do it:

Do Keyword Research

Keyword research is the cornerstone of successful content marketing.

But it’s not just getting a bunch of keywords from a tool. It’s about understanding broader patterns and aligning your strategy with proven demand.

Let’s say you run a meal delivery service. A quick Semrush analysis of your top competitor, CookUnity reveals the following:

  • Focus on informational search intent: Most of CookUnity’s organically trafficked pages are informational blog articles (after navigational pages). This indicates a focus on targeting users seeking information and solutions rather than just those ready to purchase.
    CookUnity – Organic Search Positions
  • Question-based keywords: Many of their top keywords are phrased as questions. Such as “is quinoa keto friendly” and “what cereals are gluten-free.”
    Cookunity – Organic Search Positions – Questions
  • Content pillars: Their content strategy centers around pillars like “gluten-free,” “keto,” and “vegan.” This allows them to establish authority in these niche areas and cater to the specific needs of those audiences.

Once you’ve identified your competitors’ successful strategies (like their focus on a certain search intent, keyword type, and specific content pillars), use a keyword research tool to find relevant terms to target in your content.

For example, if you decide to have “gluten-free” as one of your content pillars, enter that keyword in Semrush’s Keyword Magic tool.

Select your target region in the drop-down menu and click “Search.”

Keyword Magic Tool – Search – Gluten-free

You’ll see hundreds of thousands of keywords you can possibly target in your content.

Keyword Magic Tool – Gluten-free – Results

Go through this list and select any keywords that you’d like to create content around. Then click “Add to keyword list.”

Gluten-free – Keywords – Add to list

Name your list (e.g., Gluten-free to reflect your content pillar and organize your keywords based on their themes).

To review your list, navigate to the Keyword Strategy Builder from the left side menu and select your list from the “Keyword list.”

Keyword Strategy Builder – Keyword list

You’ll see all the keywords you saved in this list with their respective keyword metrics like search volume and keyword difficulty.

Keyword list – Gluten-free

Provide Value in Your Content

Once you have your target keywords, focus on creating content that truly delivers value to your audience.

This means going beyond surface-level information and providing in-depth, comprehensive, and actionable content.

You can do so by:

  • Addressing your audience’s pain points (like “gluten-free bread recipe”)
  • Answering your readers’ questions (like “is rice gluten-free?”)
  • Offering unique insights or solutions (like “gluten-free substitutions for traditional baking ingredients”)

According to Google’s helpful content update, high-quality content should demonstrate experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

This means showcasing first-hand experience or knowledge, providing accurate and reliable information, and establishing yourself as a credible source in your niche.

Take a look at this article from Good Housekeeping sharing expert tips from pros about how to start running. By collaborating with running professionals, this article demonstrates E-E-A-T:

  • Expertise: The information in this article comes directly from professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in the running field
  • Experience: The professional gives tips to running beginners based on her own experience as a runner and coach
  • Authoritativeness: Good Housekeeping is a well-established publication known for its reliable advice
  • Trustworthiness: The article cites specific credentials of the expert (like the profession of their expert—Track and Field Olympian), building trust with the reader
Good Housekeeping – Article – E-E-A-T

Remember to keep your content up-to-date and continue to provide value to your readers. So, regularly update your existing content with fresh information and insights to maintain its relevance in the eyes of both your audience and search engines.

Distribute Your Content

Creating great content is only the beginning. To maximize its impact, you need to distribute it effectively.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Use multiple channels: Share your content across various platforms like social media, email newsletters, industry forums, podcasts, and YouTube. Each platform reaches a different audience segment. For example, we actively share our content with our newsletter subscribers:
    Backlinko – Newsletter – E-E-A-T
  • Repurpose for different formats: Transform your blog posts into YouTube videos, social media snippets, or podcast episodes
  • Engage and interact: Respond to comments, questions, and feedback you get on social media and review sites to foster a community around your content

Strategy #3: Do Digital PR

Digital PR is a strategy that uses online channels to increase brand awareness, build relationships, and earn valuable backlinks. It involves creating newsworthy content and promoting it to journalists, bloggers, and other online influencers.

One highly effective approach to digital PR is using the “be the source” approach. This involves doing original research, surveys, or studies that generate interesting and unique data. This data should attract attention from publications and websites looking to cite credible sources in their content.

However, it’s important to be realistic. Simply hiring a PR firm that promises to feature you in major news publications doesn’t guarantee results.

In order for journals and news publications to feature you, you need to do something interesting.

But how do regular businesses generate buzz? Not just those with revolutionary products or services.

One of the most effective strategies is to create original studies or surveys that provide valuable data and insights.

In other words, be the source of unique, interesting data. Then reach out to relevant publications and news outlets to share your data.

As Brian Dean recalls, Backlinko’s authority and traffic massively grew when he published his first industry study.

Industry study traffic spike

Brian even calls this post a game-changer for him and his business.

This industry study post is “We Analyzed 1 Million Google Search Results. Here’s What We Learned About SEO.”

Strategy #4: Respond to Media Requests

Journalists often seek expert opinions, data, and quotes to add credibility and depth to their stories.

Find Journalist Requests on Specialized Platforms

Use platforms like Featured and Help a B2B Writer to discover journalist queries.

Featured – Homepage

When you find a question that is relevant to your expertise, answer it. Reporters then choose the best answers and feature their authors on media sites.

Find Journalist Requests on X

Another way to find journalist requests is through X (formerly Twitter).

Open your X account and click “Explore” in the left side menu.

X – Explore

Type the hashtag #JournoRequest in the search bar and click “Search for #JournoRequest.”

X – Search – JournoRequest

The results will show you the combination of “People” (accounts with the phrase “journo requests” in them) and the posts. Click “Latest” to filter out the latest posts with this hashtag.

X – JournoRequest – Latest

Here you’ll see all the posts with the hashtag JournoRequests in them sorted by their posting time.

Click the comment icon under the post.

Type your reply in the pop-up box and click “Reply.”

X – JournoRequest – Reply

Tips to Get Your Answer Chosen

Here are a few tips that can get you the best chances at getting your answer chosen:

  • Be responsive: Reply to queries as quickly as you can, because journalists often work under tight deadlines
  • Provide value: Offer detailed, insightful answers that go beyond the basics and show your first-hand expertise. Share unique data, personal experiences, and expert opinions.
  • Be clear and concise: Get to the point quickly. Journalists appreciate clear, concise answers that are easy to understand and quote.
  • Follow instructions: Pay close attention to the journalist’s specific questions and requirements
  • Include your credentials: Briefly mention your relevant experience and qualifications to establish credibility

Strategy #5: Keep Your Backlink Profile Healthy

Building quality backlinks is a long-term process. It requires time, effort, and well-thought-out strategy.

While high-quality backlinks help increase your authority, low-quality or spammy backlinks can harm your site’s reputation. And, ultimately, its ranking potential.

A good, high-quality backlink is one that comes from a reputable, relevant website with high authority. It should also be naturally placed link to your content because it provides value to their audience.

So, what do you do to keep your backlink profile healthy?

First, focus on earning links from real, authoritative websites that are relevant to your niche. Ideally, you’d want to get referral traffic from these links as well. But the primary goal is to build credibility in the eyes of search engines.

And second, avoid bad backlinks. Bad backlinks are links from websites that are considered low-quality, irrelevant, or spammy. These can include:

  • Links from penalized or low-authority websites: These sites often have a history of spammy tactics or poor content, which can reflect negatively on your site
  • Irrelevant links: Backlinks from websites that have nothing to do with your industry or niche can be seen as unnatural and manipulative
  • Paid links: Buying or selling links is against Google’s Guidelines and can result in penalties
  • Links from link farms or private blog networks (PBNs): These are networks of websites created solely to manipulate search rankings

Strategy #6: Improve User Experience

A website that’s easy to navigate and provides a seamless user experience is more likely to attract and retain visitors.

Search engines like Google also recognize the importance of user experience (UX) and factor it into their rankings.

A positive UX leads to longer visit durations and lower bounce rates. This signals to search engines that your site is valuable.

Plus, a user-friendly website is more likely to be shared and linked to by other websites, naturally increasing your backlink profile.

Here’s what to do to improve your website’s UX:

Have Logical Site Architecture

Organize your website’s content in a hierarchical structure that makes sense to users. This involves having a clear main menu, categories, subcategories, and individual pages.

For example, we structured our guides based on their categories. So if you’re looking for a guide about link building, you’ll see relevant articles under that category.

Backlinko – Guides – Menu

A well-organized site makes it easier for users to find what they’re looking for and encourages them to explore more pages.

Optimize for Speed

A slow-loading website can frustrate users, causing them to leave before they even engage with your content.

Optimizing your website for speed, you’ll create a better user experience, encourage visitors to stay longer, and potentially boost your search rankings.

Use Google PageSpeed Insights to identify the issues that are slowing down your website.

Then, work on solving them.

This might involve reducing image sizes or minimizing code.

Conduct User Testing

Understanding how people actually use your website is key to improving their experience.

Use tools like Hotjar to analyze how users interact with your website. Hotjar lets you to see where visitors click, scroll. And even where they get stuck, frustrated, or confused.

Hotjar – Scroll & move map

This allows you to pinpoint specific pages or elements that need improvement.

Optimize for Mobile

The majority of web traffic comes from mobile devices.

So, make sure your website adapts to different screen sizes and provides a seamless experience on smartphones and tablets.

Check your website from a mobile device:

  • Do images fit the screen without being cut or distorted?
  • Is the text big enough to read without having to zoom in?
  • Are buttons and links easy to tap with your thumb?

If the answer to any of the questions above is no, optimize your web design until it’s smooth to use on mobile devices.

Strategy #7. Build Backlinks with Outreach

The strategies we’ve covered so far are the most powerful ways to build backlinks and increase domain authority today.

But they’re not the only options.

Here are a few more tactics that have worked well in the past. And are still helpful today.

While not as impactful as our top recommendations, these methods still help you get more links and strengthen your online presence.

Build Broken Links

Broken link building is the process of finding broken links on other websites (links that lead to a 404 error page) and suggesting your content as a replacement.

This is a win-win situation, as you’re helping the website owner fix an issue while gaining a potential backlink.

One of the best ways to find broken links is by using Semrush’s Backlink Analytics tool.

Enter one of your competitor’s domains in the tool and click “Analyze.”

Semrush – Backlink Analytics – Search – Backlinko

Go to “Indexed Pages” and select the “Broken Pages” filter.

Backlink Analytics – Indexed broken pages

Here you’ll see the list of broken pages of your competitor.

Locate the broken page (in the “Title and URL” column) that’s most relevant to the page on your website you’d like to get linked.

Click the number in the “Backlinks” or “Domains” column to see where that page appears.

Broken page – Referring domains – Details

You’ll see the list of pages that refer to your competitor’s broken page.

Visit these websites. And reach out to these website owners via the email or contact form on their site to ask them to replace the broken link with your link.

Claim Unlinked Mentions

Sometimes, websites might mention your brand or content without linking to you.

Enter your brand name in the free Google Alerts tool. And click “Create Alert.”

Google – Alerts – Backlinko

Now, every time someone mentions your brand online, you’ll get an alert via email.

And if they haven’t included a backlink to your website, reach out and ask them to do so.

List Your Website in Relevant Directories

If you have a local business, create listings on online directories like Yelp (best for local businesses) and Tripadvisor (best for travel-related businesses).

These directories help improve your local SEO and visibility, making it easier for potential customers in your area to find you online.

Plus, it’s an easy way to get backlinks.

Contribute to Relevant Blogs

Guest blogging is when you write and publish articles on other websites or blogs in your industry.

It’s a mutually beneficial exchange. You gain exposure to a new audience and a valuable backlink to your site. And the host blog gets fresh content from a knowledgeable source.

While guest blogging isn’t as powerful as it once was, it’s still a tool for earning relevant backlinks.

To get the most out of guest blogging, focus on quality over quantity. Look for highly relevant, industry-specific, and reputable blogs with engaged audiences. And provide high-quality, original content that delivers genuine value to their readers.

Ready to Increase Your Website’s Authority?

Increasing website authority takes time and effort. But the rewards are well worth it. Like higher rankings, more organic traffic, increased brand credibility, and a real shot at higher revenue.

Carefully review the seven strategies in this article. It might seem like a lot to take in, so start by picking one or two strategies max.

Focus on making consistent progress for the next six months. Go deep within each strategy and experiment with different approaches.

While your website’s authority is important, it’s just one piece of the SEO game. Google considers hundreds of factors when ranking your website.

So be sure to read our post about Google’s 200 ranking factors.

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