How to improve domain rating?
Short answer: Build more relevant, high quality backlinks. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
What is Domain Rating, and Why Does it Matter?
In the vast ocean of the internet, the success of a website hinges on its ability to be found. Domain Rating (DR) plays a crucial role in this journey.
But what exactly is it? Domain Rating is a metric developed by Ahrefs, a popular SEO tool, that measures the strength of a website’s backlink profile.
The higher your DR, the more credible your website appears to search engines, ultimately improving your visibility and organic traffic.
Now that you know the importance of Domain Rating, let’s dive deeper and understand the difference between Domain Rating and Domain Authority.
Domain Rating vs. Domain Authority: The Key Differences
Domain Rating and Domain Authority (DA) are often used interchangeably, but they’re two distinct metrics.
Domain Authority is a metric developed by Moz, another reputable SEO tool.
While both DR and DA assess the strength of a website’s backlink profile, they use different algorithms to arrive at their scores.
Consequently, the scores may vary, and it’s important to understand this when analyzing your website’s performance.
How Can You Check Your Domain Rating?
Curious about your website’s Domain Rating?
Fret not: checking your DR is a simple task. Just visit Ahrefs’ website, enter your domain in the Site Explorer tool, and voila!
You’ll have your Domain Rating at your fingertips.
Keep in mind that Ahrefs offers a paid subscription to access their complete suite of tools, but a free version is available with limited features.
Decoding the Calculation: How is Domain Rating Determined?
Understanding how Domain Rating is calculated can provide valuable insights into your website’s performance.
Ahrefs calculates DR using a logarithmic scale that ranges from 0 to 100, with 0 being the lowest and 100 the highest. The scale is logarithmic because achieving a higher DR becomes progressively more challenging as you climb the ladder.
Ahrefs considers the number of unique referring domains pointing to your website and the DR of these referring domains. The more high-quality, relevant backlinks you have, the higher your Domain Rating will be.
Factors that Affect Domain Rating: What You Need to Know
A multitude of factors affect Domain Rating, and understanding these can help you devise an effective strategy to improve your DR. Some key factors include:
- Quality of Backlinks: High-quality backlinks from reputable websites with a high DR positively impact your Domain Rating. On the other hand, low-quality or spammy backlinks can hurt your DR.
- Number of Referring Domains: The more unique referring domains you have, the higher your DR. However, the quality of these domains is essential, as one high-quality backlink is more valuable than multiple low-quality ones.
- Link Diversity: Having a diverse backlink profile with links from various sources, such as blogs, forums, and news websites, is beneficial for your DR.
- Link Velocity: The rate at which you gain or lose backlinks can also impact your DR. A stable and consistent link velocity is ideal for maintaining or improving your Domain Rating.
Now that you have a better understanding of Domain Rating and the factors that influence it, it’s time to learn how to improve your DR effectively.
What Constitutes a Good Domain Rating Score?
A good Domain Rating score is subjective and depends on your niche, competition, and goals. Generally, a higher DR is more desirable, but it’s essential to focus on the bigger picture. Strive for continuous improvement in your DR, but don’t forget to prioritize user experience and high-quality content.
Why a Good Domain Rating Score Matters
Having a good Domain Rating score is vital for several reasons:
- Improved Search Engine Rankings: A higher DR often correlates with better rankings in search engine results, leading to increased organic traffic.
- Increased Credibility: A high DR indicates that your website has a strong backlink profile, which boosts your credibility in the eyes of both users and search engines.
- Better Conversion Rates: A good Domain Rating helps attract high-quality traffic, leading to better conversion rates and increased revenue.
Understanding High Domain Rating Scores
A high Domain Rating score generally refers to a DR of 60 or above. Websites with high DR scores are authoritative and well-established, making it harder for newer or smaller websites to compete with them.
Is a Low Domain Rating Score Necessarily Bad?
While a low Domain Rating score might not be ideal, it isn’t necessarily bad. It could simply mean that your website is new or that you haven’t focused on building a strong backlink profile yet. However, a low DR score can negatively impact your search engine rankings, so it’s crucial to work on improving it.
How to Increase Domain Rating: Proven Strategies
Below are some practical strategies to help you enhance your Domain Rating:
Acquire High-Quality Backlinks from Authority Sites
Build relationships with authoritative websites in your niche and acquire high-quality backlinks from them. These backlinks will positively impact your DR and search engine rankings.
Create Killer Content That’s Link Worthy
Craft engaging, valuable, and shareable content that other websites will naturally want to link to, enhancing your backlink profile and DR.
Audit Your Site and Remove Bad Links
Perform regular link audits to identify and disavow low-quality or spammy backlinks that could harm your DR.
Optimize Your Website Structure and User Experience
A well-structured website with a positive user experience encourages users to share and link to your content, improving your DR.
Improve Your Internal Links
Optimize your internal linking structure to ensure search engines can effectively crawl and index your content, positively impacting your DR.
Work on Your Off-Page SEO
Focus on off-page SEO strategies, such as building high-quality backlinks and improving your social media presence, to enhance your DR.
On-Page SEO Optimization
Optimize your on-page SEO elements, including title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags, to improve your search engine rankings and DR.
Work on Your Technical SEO
Address technical SEO issues, such as site speed, HTTPS, and XML sitemaps, to improve your website’s performance and DR.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Ensure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly, as this can positively impact your search engine rankings and DR.
Increase Your Social Signals
Leverage social media platforms to share your content, generating more backlinks and improving your DR.
Improving your Domain Rating takes time and persistence. Stay consistent in your efforts, and your DR will gradually increase.
By implementing these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to improving your Domain Rating and enhancing your website’s visibility, credibility, and performance.
How Do You Check Domain Rating? Top Tools to Consider
Several tools can help you check your Domain Rating and analyze your backlink profile. Some popular options include:
Moz Link Explorer
Moz’s Link Explorer is a powerful tool that allows you to check your Domain Authority (DA), which is Moz’s equivalent to Ahrefs’ Domain Rating. By analyzing your backlink profile, you can gain valuable insights to improve your website’s performance.
Ahrefs is the creator of the Domain Rating metric, making it the go-to tool for checking your DR. Their comprehensive suite of tools also includes valuable insights into your backlink profile, keyword rankings, and much more.
SEMrush is another popular SEO tool that offers a variety of features, including backlink analysis and domain rating checks. With SEMrush, you can analyze your website’s performance and devise strategies to improve your DR.
How to Increase Domain Rating: Key Factors to Focus On
To improve your Domain Rating, it’s crucial to understand the factors that influence it. Some of these factors include:
Create Content that People Want to Link To
Craft engaging, informative, and shareable content that encourages other websites to link to your site, improving your backlink profile and DR.
Pitch Authoritative and Relevant Websites
Reach out to authoritative websites in your niche and pitch them your content for guest blogging or collaboration opportunities, ultimately securing high-quality backlinks.
Use Internal Linking to Improve Important Pages
Implement a strategic internal linking plan to enhance the visibility and authority of your most important pages, positively impacting your DR.
Get Links from Easy Sources
Acquire links from easy sources, such as business directories and social media profiles, to quickly improve your backlink profile and DR.
Tips for Improving Your Domain Rating: Expert Advice
Here are some expert tips to help you enhance your Domain Rating:
Create Your Own Research and Data
Produce unique research and data-based content that other websites are more likely to reference and link to, improving your DR.
Rank Organically for Data-Based Keywords
Optimize your content for data-based keywords that have high search volume and low competition to improve your organic rankings and DR.
Create a Community of Writers
Build a network of writers and content creators who can contribute to your website, increasing your content diversity and improving your DR.
Improve Your Existing Content
Update and optimize your existing content to ensure it remains relevant, engaging, and link-worthy, which can positively impact your DR.
Look at Your Technical SEO
Address technical SEO issues, such as site speed and mobile-friendliness, to improve your website’s overall performance and DR.
Implement an Internal Linking Strategy
Create a strategic internal linking plan that helps search engines crawl and index your content more effectively, improving your DR.
Why is it Important to Increase Domain Rating?
Increasing your Domain Rating is essential for several reasons:
How DR can predict a website’s ranking on Google
A higher DR correlates with better search engine rankings, leading to increased organic traffic and visibility for your website.
Keep an Eye on Important Metrics
Monitoring your DR helps you keep track of your website’s performance and identify areas that need improvement, ensuring your website remains competitive.
By focusing on the factors that influence Domain Rating and implementing proven strategies to improve it, you can enhance your website’s performance, credibility, and visibility in search engine results.
Case Study: How I Improved Domain Rating From Zero to 54 in 1 Year
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 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.