Page Authority is a metric that’s been getting a lot more attention in SEO circles recently, but, while many people are quite happy to give a number, relatively few people have a clear understanding of what that number actually measures, how to compare different scores, or how to increase the page authority for a given page.
As a top San Francisco digital marketing agency, this is the sort of thing we do every day, so we’ve put together this quick reference chart for increasing your page authority. If you’re not familiar with SEO in general, we’d suggest you take a look at this post on Technical SEO to give yourself a grounding in the subject matter. If you’re a seasoned SEO veteran, we hope this post will still be useful, even as the basis for a checklist or a reference.
Now, without further ado, let’s get started!
What is Page Authority?
In short, Page Authority is a predictor for how well a page is likely to rank in general. It’s meant to be used as a way to compare two wholly unrelated pages, or to measure progress toward performance targets. Among other things, it lets you find common ground between a blog post on, say, top San Francisco digital marketing agencies, and one on virtual reality marketing. Regardless of their relative quality, it will be easier for the VR marketing post (with the more niche title) to rank based on keywords alone, so typing in the titles and seeing which post ranks higher isn’t a fair test if you’re trying to compare the two.
Page Authority is based on a number of factors (over 40, according to Moz) but one thing that it’s not based on is specific keywords. It’s a measure of the page over all, rather than its ability to rank for any particular phrase.
Note also that the scale is logarithmic. In other words, the jump from 10 to 20 is smaller than the jump from 50 to 60, which is, itself, significantly smaller than a jump from even 90 to 91. The higher the number, the bigger the gap it will be to the next number, and so the harder it will be to increase your score when you get into the higher levels.
Don’t confuse Page Authority with Domain Authority. They’re related terms — they’re even calculated more or less the same way — but while Domain Authority applies to the whole website, Page Authority is particular to a specific URL. That URL might be the homepage of a domain, or an individual blog post, but the takeaway here is that two pages within the same domain will have different respective Page Authorities.
What Is Page Authority Based On?
It’s calculated based on a variety of trust scores, but the core of it is just the same as the core of Google’s ranking algorithm (originally, PageRank, way back in 1997) has always been. Page Authority is heavily based on the number of links to the page, and the relative trustworthiness of the linking sites. In practical terms, a page with high Page Authority will have a diverse link network from a variety of high-quality sites in a number of different spheres.
How Do I Increase My Page Authority?
That’s the million-dollar question. There’s no surefire way to increase your page authority, just like there are no other hard and fast guarantees in digital marketing. However, there are a few pretty strong bets:
1. Build links to the page you’re optimizing
We’ve covered a number of link-building tips in our post on Off-Page SEO, so we won’t get into too much detail here. Just remember the cardinal rule — more isn’t always better. You only want good quality, relevant backlinks. Linking for its own sake is wholly transparent, totally spammy, and will hurt your rankings rather than help them.
2. Share the wealth!
Most of your links will go straight to your homepage, or to a few especially popular blog posts or pages on your site. You can try to mitigate that by sending hosts direct links to the pages you’re trying to optimize, but on the whole, you’ll find that you have a few heavy-lifters and plenty of pages that could use more visibility. That’s normal, but don’t just accept the status quo. Link from your own high-value pages to some of your hidden gems, and let the rank power flow from one to the other. It won’t impact your website as a whole, but it can radically improve the score for a particular page if you’re clever about it.
3. Sharing is caring!
Make sure you’ve got a full suite of easy sharing options built into your pages. If a user can share a great article to a whole new audience with the simple push of a little blue bird button, why let your stuff get left behind?
4. Content is queen!
It’s a favorite aphorism in our offices, and it bears repeating here. The absolute best thing you can do to get a highly scoring page is to just publish really great stuff. That’s it. That’s the secret. Everything else is just gravy. Just be awesome.
Want Help Increasing Your Page Authority?
SEO, Page Authority, digital marketing… these things are all quite complex. But you don’t need to go it alone! Our team of experts at Colibri Digital Marketing can help you increase your page authority and more. Simply reach out for a free digital strategy session with our CEO Anna Colibri, and let’s get started!
Originally published at colibridigitalmarketing.com on August 25, 2017.