If you are pursuing a link back to your website, Domain Authority should not be the sole deciding factor. Relevance should be the most important factor you should consider. Domain authority can’t determine the relevance that two sites have in relation to one another. When you have your link on a relevant website (or vice versa), the links are genuine and in their natural habitat. Think, placing a zebra in a safari setting rather than Antarctica (I quite like zebras).
You can check your domain authority using the Moz website
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How do you determine relevance?
You want your links on a page or post that is on topic and useful to the reader. Don’t place a link on essential cat grooming tips on a post about lawn care. That doesn’t make sense. Your link should add extra value to the post or page where it is placed. The reader should be lead on a natural journey bridging links between information.
This will naturally help your domain authority, if it makes sense to the readers, it will also make sense for search engines. Regardless of DA, it is still a good, high-quality link.
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Relevance produces targeted traffic
At the forefront of your mind when you are building links and working on SEO should be, how does this serve my business and how does this provide value to the reader?
Building links with relevant websites has the power to bring you targeted traffic from sources that are a natural progression for the reader. This is the quality traffic that you want. Relevant links can bring you targeted traffic that will often lead to conversions.
Even if you build links with a website that has a high domain authority, if they are not in your niche or relevant to your website, there is very little chance of converting those readers into customers.
Think like a reader, most users of the internet don’t even know what domain authority is (or even cares what it is). They just want to get the information they are searching for. When this reader clicks on an external link, they have a specific intent and expectation that the link will fulfil that.
If the destination page isn’t relevant or useful you can be sure they will bounce right off and never come back.
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Relevance can be a strong ranking signal
SEO isn’t really designed with the reader in mind, it is taking search engines and Google bots. Often people forget that they are trying to target real people.
Although relevance isn’t as concrete as domain authority, it is a more powerful metric as the user is more likely to click on that link. It matches what they are looking at, provides them with more information and value. It is more ‘click worthy’. That is a more powerful factor than simply putting a link on a random website because they have a high domain authority.
The whole purpose of a link is connecting and bridging pages of the internet to create a better overall user experience.
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Relevance is more scalable
Domain authority can fluctuate. It goes up and down depending on a load of factors and algorithm changes (gah, algorithm changes). Sometimes, we can be doing all the right things but still, our domain authority fluctuates. However, you can work towards increasing your authority.
Relevant links also have the potential to become authoritative over time. As domain authority increases, your link will also be gaining more ‘Google Juice’ (think like real juice, only less sugar and better for your website).
High-authority links are rare and difficult to land. It is much easier to gather a big list of relevant links in your niche than it is to find authoritative links. If you decide to target only authoritative sites, you’ve immediately narrowed your prospect pool quite considerably.
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Relevant links are more organic
You can’t talk about link-building without bringing up sustainability. Relevant links are the ultimate natural link. This is becuase you are creating natural links between websites that make sense to the reader rather than trying to manipulate Google’s algorithm. Which let’s face it, that can be a fruitless exercise with all the changes it brings out every year.
At the forefront of your mind should always be the question: is the content I am creating worth linking to? While you are creating content, before you add an external link think: is this content useful to my reader and a natural progression?
Relevance has a domino effect. Your authority will increase, and your entire SEO profile will be strengthened if you focus on quality linkable assets. Boom!
Related Resource: Dare to Conquer free SEO boot camp
Although domain authority is a great metric, it should not be your sole focus. Building trust with your readers and quality content should always come first. Remember, real people are reading your content, they should be your sole focus.
What are your thoughts on relevant links vs domain authority?
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