A simple search in Google for SEO advice will open up a realm of people seemingly there to help you by imparting wisdom in number-based BuzzFeed lists – don’t listen to them. Most SEO consultants are obsessed with overreacting and focusing on unimportant factors. If you are ever to understand the intricacies of your website and their relevance to the web, then it’s vital that you evaluate the most important SEO metrics. These will let you look at your site with a mathematical eye and obtain clear perspective on what needs to be done to generate those visitors you crave.
Developed by search engine legends Larry Page and Sergey Brin, PageRank is an algorithmic metric used by Google to rank the importance of websites in search results. The score is on a scale of one to ten and is determined by the quantity and value of do-follow links from other websites to yours. ‘Do-follow’ is a code that invites Google to follow your links and use them to determine your PageRank. Sites like Facebook and Twitter designate these links as ‘no-follow’ – these links won’t help.
How to increase PageRank
Acquiring do-follow links from respected sites with impressive rankings is the only way to elevate yours. New websites will find this to be a nightmare because nobody is going to naturally link to their site. In contrast, respected websites like BBC and Wikipedia will have no shortage of contributions. To summarise, your best option is to obtain links through guest blogging at related websites and embedding do-follow links to your site within the text (here is additional information on PageRank).
Scored out of 100, page authority (PA) is determined separately for every page of your website. Mathematically, PA is calculated on a logarithmic scale. For those of you that didn’t cherish high school mathematics, this essentially means that it’s tougher to increase a higher score than a lower score (for example: rising from 10 vs. labouring on 40).
How to increase page authority
To increase PA, you first need to deliver high quality content and perform on-page optimisation to make it appealing for search engines. Disappointingly, this is not even half the battle. The biggest challenge in developing your PA is to develop a backlink profile that is diverse but relevant in keywords, and they need to come from reputable websites in your field – this is going to be very tough.
Now that you understand PA, you will likely grasp domain authority (DA). Where PA ranks the individual pages of your websites, DA scores the entire collection. In essence, the scoring system is the same as PA (scored from 100 on a logarithmic scale and it’s more difficult to increase a higher score than a lower score).
How to increase domain authority
DA is another key metric in determining where your website will position in Google search results. Like PA, the most important thing you can do is to build a large backlink portfolio with diverse keywords from respected websites in your field. Additionally, improving this metric will require you to think of the big picture. To that end, these factors will also have an impact on your score:
- Is there a clear sitemap?
- Has the sitemap been submitted to search engines?
- Are their any dead links?
- Is the site mobile-compatible?
- Has every page been optimised for SEO?
- Are there any search engine penalties against the site?
Three key SEO metrics
Those were three key SEO metrics you need to focus on for digital success. Your best bet for monitoring these values is to download the Moz toolbar (available for Chrome and Firefox) and monitor your progress over the coming weeks. Lastly, there will be no progress if you don’t take the time to acquire links back to your website – links = visitors. Finally, please don’t buy your links in bulk from backlink farms. Google will only punish you heavily and kill your chances. Quality over quantity is the only way.
By Mike Porter