When considering any sort of SEO impact, it is always important to be aware of a few points. At this very moment, where is your business and where do you want it to go? How are you going to get it there? It is true that these aren’t small questions that can be resolved in short snappy responses and even beginning the basics to the questions, such as the quality of your website, can be tricky. To start you off, this article will cover ways in which to measure the so-called ‘strength’ of your website. This can help you gauge where the work you have put in so far has taken you, if your current strategy is working for you, and it can ultimately lead you to make more informed choices in your future strategy.
As everyone knows growing your business with SEO is a complicated area that needs constant attention, development and implementation across multiple areas. Although it can be overwhelming, even for the enthusiastic beginner, it is a necessity for those starting their own company. The added bonus of furthering your knowledge and having the capacity to tend to these issues yourself holds immeasurably positives, alongside potentially saving money on outsourcing. While on the subject of money, it’s important to note that the tools discussed are subscription based. They both offer functional trial periods to test their software and training guides or tips.
Whatever your goal, measuring the strength of your site, and potentially competitors will be important for many aspects of your work, including your positioning on a SERP (search engine results page) which inherently has knock on effects for the ‘attractiveness’ of your site to potential visitors and collaborators. When measuring website ‘strength’ there are two tools that are most regularly used by professionals, these are Domain Authority from Moz and Trust Flow from Majestic, commonly known as DA and TF respectively. Both Trust flow and Domain Authority help SEO professionals make judgements about the usefulness of backlinks from a site in order to ensure their website ranks higher in Google.
These are two competing metrics, and for that reason you might imagine that they must use different data in producing their results. However, they both input almost exactly the same data but differ in the way they work with and grade the information to produce a general rounded score that can be related to every other website online. In the past this area was measured with tools such as Alexa (not the assistant!) and Google’s very own Page Rank – perhaps the most influential tool that kickstarted this area of SEO – but these are now inept in this role as the area has grown well beyond what these initially covered. Here is some need to know detail on both DA and TF.
Moz Domain Authority – Developed by Moz, Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating linking root domains, number of total links, Moz Rank, Moz Trust and more they keep secret to produce this single all encompassing (almost) figure. All new websites start with a DA of one, rising up to the most popular sites with a very large number of high quality external links ranking up to 100. It is important to note that DA only measure the strength of subdomains or domains (your website as a whole) and not individual pages (URLs).
Majestic Trust Flow – According to Majestic, “Trust Flow is one of the Majestic Flow Metrics, which is weighted by the number of clicks from a seed set of trusted sites to a given URL, or Domain.” To make that understood, the score produced is provided by the traffic that flows through a link, the relevancy of the linking website, and the links linking to the linking site. Beyond this TF allows you to measure these statistics on individual pages, subdomains, and domains.
It has been seen in various sources that Trust Flow is a good predictor of organic search traffic, and an even better predictor of ranking within the top 20. This therefore means that a domain with a higher Trust Flow will rank for more keywords and therefore benefit from this larger source of Organic Traffic. Majestic also provides Topical Trust Flow, an intriguingly accurate measurement to provide you with topic segmented details that a website is closely related to, eg. Business/Marketing.
The positive correlation between the results produced by both tools is encouraging news as we know they are both working accurately alongside the other. This means the results are reliable enough to inform our next steps. A benefit to using both these tools simultaneously enables you to be sure that one metric hasn’t been ‘modified’ by crafty webmasters, and if you are interested in breaking this down further, the image above is from a 2014 article showing in incredible detail the mathematical breakdown of domain authority vs trust flow. It also provides a very useful table in order to cross-reference results you obtain from both of these metrics. eg. DA 10 = TF 6 (+/- 2).
So now you know the tools to use to accurately and reliably measure this area of your website, how do you use this knowledge to enhance your performance?
It is here that we enter the realm most popularly inhabited by link building, whether you are outreaching or accepting links here are a few ways to correlate this new found knowledge into a strong strategy.
Increase the amount of high quality links/content to your website – Find websites that have strong scores in the areas you desire, learn from them and try building a relationship with these relevant connections. Increasing the quality of the work on your own site will inevitably raise the likelihood of larger sites sharing your work on their own sites.
Remove irrelevant and ‘bad’ links – If your former strategy had you sharing and building links with companies in an area completely different to your desired one, for example a strong Business/Transport TF when you want to be Science/Health, begin to rid your site of these links which will usually have a low TF themselves and effect you via association.
On-site SEO – Ensure that the content on links you obtain matches with your onsite SEO structure, a mismatch here can ruin all your efforts elsewhere.
Internal links – Instead of duplicating content across multiple pages, and therefore having internal pages competing in search ranking. Create internal links between pages to declutter your pages and improve site navigation.
An improvement in these factors can also lead to increased revenue from advertising around the site and guest posting fees. Always ensure that increases here correlate positively with SERP and other analytics results, as a well-rounded SEO approach is always the most fruitful.
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