How quickly can you improve your website’s domain rating? I was able to take my website from ZERO to DR54 in a single year.
In this article, you will discover how I increased the domain rating on my website. You will learn how to improve your website’s domain rating, and drive more backlinks to your site without paying for a single link.
All of the backlinks I built were completely free and white hat too.
Table of Contents
What is DR (Domain Rating)?
For those of you who don’t know, Ahrefs’ domain rating is a score of how many backlinks your website has and the authority of those backlinks compared to every other website in Ahrefs’ database.
The higher your domain rating, the stronger your backlink profile. The stronger that your backlink profile is, the easier it’s going to be to rank number one on Google.
Starting from Zero
So, how did I improve my domain rating from Zero to 54 within a year? Back in 2017, I started my website and initially had zero backlinks. Because Ahrefs’ domain rating measures how many backlinks you have to your site and the authority of those backlinks, I had a zero domain rating.
In other words, I wasn’t ranking for anything. I wasn’t getting any backlinks and I had to start completely from scratch.
Continue reading and I will explain how I grew my website to DR54 and how you can improve your own domain rating using the same Link Building strategies.
How did I first start getting backlinks to my site? I began by using the good old-fashioned technique of guest blogging, which allowed me to get my first five to 10 links to the site.
Getting guest bloggers is actually pretty easy. We reach out to other webmasters, offer them a guest blog (usually four) and the option of a few different topics, and tell them which ones we want.
Problems with Guest Blogging
Guest blogging worked really well and started landing me links. The issue with guest blogging is that it is simply not that scalable.
You can’t get as many links from this approach because you have to produce the content and then wait for it to be published. There is also no guarantee that your content will be accepted.
Another problem is that so many people are offering guest blogging these days. This means that there are loads of websites that charge you just to write your own content and get it published on their site.
Additionally, sometimes you might write all the content and include the link, but when the webmaster publishes the guest blog, they either exclude the link, or the link isn’t do-follow.
Of course the webmaster has the editorial right to change the links in their content. I simply realised that if I really wanted to improve my DR and get to a decent level, I needed a new Link Building strategy.
Audio Link Building
I decided to do something completely unique that I have not seen anyone else do so far, and that is Audio Link Building.
This is essentially where you contact the webmaster and tell them how much you love their content. You explain to them that you actually love it so much that you recorded an audio version of it.
You then send them the code to embed on their site for the audio version. Inside that code, you include a little sneaky link back to your website. This is a really great way of creating unique content.
The cool thing about this Link Building strategy is that it’s very unique. For a webmaster, audio link building is really valuable.
Because this approach is so unique, it makes you stand out from your competitors, and it helps to create a great impression with the webmaster.
Again, the issue here is that this is simply not that scalable. You still have to record the audio content and that can be quite time-consuming.
In fact, recording it can also be quite a painful process. If you really want to improve your domain rating, you need a far more scalable strategy.
The Skyscraper Technique
At this point, we started using the Skyscraper Technique. This is where we worked out a far more scalable way to build links for a site, that are high quality and can bring us links every single day.
In fact, we are building so many links, that we’re now getting two to three links per day using this simple and very scalable approach.
If you aren’t familiar with the Skyscraper Technique, it essentially involves looking at what your competitors are doing. You see who is linked to them, and then you reach out to those websites and say something like, “hey, I’m not selling to Joe Bloggs. Perhaps you want to link to me. Here is my content and these are the reasons why you should link it to me”.
Scalable and Effective
This is an awesome way of getting links to our site because not only is it very scalable, but it is also very easy to do. There are so many tools that can help you out there.
If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you know exactly how to use The Skyscraper Technique to get links to your site.
Sometimes people ask me, “does Skyscraper Link Building still work in 2020 when there are so many people sending outreach emails that are using this same technique?”
The truth is that the reason so many people are using the Skyscraper Technique is because it works so effectively.
Sure, the conversion rates aren’t that high. You might have to send 100 emails before you get one link back. But that doesn’t mean it’s not effective anymore. The Skyscraper Technique is so low maintenance, easy to do, and it replicates itself.
Boost the Skyscraper Technique to Improve Your Domain Rating
If you want high quality links to your site on a consistent basis, then the Skyscraper Technique is going to help you.
For our website we were at the point where we had tried guest blogging, the Skyscraper Technique, and audio Link Building. I knew we needed something even more scalable.
We really wanted to scale up the skyscraper outreach that we were doing. We were getting three to four backlinks a day, which is really good, but we wanted it to be 10X times that to be able to grow our website to a substantial point of a DR above 50.
I have my own Link Building agents too. I work with nearly 30 clients and I have to manage their campaigns as well as the Skyscraper Link Building that I’m doing for my own websites.
That is when we decided to put the Skyscraper Technique on steroids and really scale up.
The way we apporoached this was that we created 30 email accounts. We used these accounts to send skyscraper emails and had a whole team managing email inboxes and campaigns, and topping up the prospects.
We sent 30,000 emails to 10,000 webmasters across 30 different outreach accounts, and built thousands of backlinks along the way. By this point, we had hit DR50!
However, if we wanted to get to DR51, it was actually far harder than getting from DR49 to DR50, for example. This is because the Ahrefs’ domain rating is a logarithmic scale. That basically means that the gap between DRzero and DR10 is much lower than the gap between DR10 and 20.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO)!
Essentially, improving your domain rating gets more challenging as you try to level up. At this point we started using HARO to get high quality links to our site so that we could level up our DR even higher.
When it comes to skyscraper outreach, you’re never really going to get those DR80 and DR70 links, or you are not going to get them very often. HARO has loads of high quality links on their website.
HARO is basically where journalists pitch a story, and as a website owner you can respond to that story with your own opinion. In return, you usually get a backlink to your site.
This was the tipping point between going from DR50 to DR54, because we are getting so many high quality links from HARO.
If you are interested in using this yourself, I would encourage you to check out my blog tutorial on Link Building tactics with HARO. This tutorial will teach you exactly how to do this yourself.
So, what were the results? Obviously, getting to DR50 is great, but at the end of the day it is kind of just a vanity metric. After following all of the steps that I have outlined, my website is now 10X in traffic.
One page on my website alone gets over 105,000 page views and generates five figures. I also make money affiliating Amazon products and generate further income with advertising. I expect that this will only continue to grow.
I am not just saying this to boast, but to show you what is possible with Link Building. While Ahrefs’ domain rating is more of a vanity metric than an official Google ranking factor, this does not change the simple fact that Link Building makes a huge difference to your site.
If you can do this, you will build authority to your site and you will be more likely to rank on Google.