How Niche & Authority Site Builders Can Use SEMrush

by Corey Philip
December 7, 2020

100+ Hours Using Semrush

40+ Websites Monitored

5 Tools Featured

20 Industry Experts Consulted

If you're looking for ways to generate income online, or you're currently the owner of a content-driven website, stick around and read this article. We’ll be discussing the different ways you can boost your niche or authority website's reputation and profitability through SEMrush. 

Before anything else, let's try to define what niche and authority sites are exactly. Is there even a difference between the two? For starters, the terms niche and authority are actually what determine the scope and quality of a website. Niche sites are usually of a smaller scale, mainly focusing on limited topics. On the other hand, authority sites include a lot more content, so their scale is more extensive in terms of the multiple contents and topics available. With that being said, authority sites have experienced being labeled as a niche site, while niche sites have the potential to be authority sites.

Niche and authority sites became a thing sometime between 2012-2014 when most people came across AdSense, and affiliate commissions became a great source of passive income. As more and more people discovered this type of business, the need to establish authority had grown. Stated below are the reasons why establishing authority is important and how you can achieve this with the help of SEMrush.

Why Website Authority Matters to Niche Websites

A majority of people rely on niche and authority sites for trusted and accurate information and content. I’m sure you have your own go-to blogs for info on things like gardening tools or self-help books. But the growing number of competitors has turned the internet into a battlefield. Most brands and businesses are trying to outrank others just to stay at the top of the food chain (in this case, the search results). So how are these websites ranked?

Website authority, otherwise known as domain authority, can determine a site's relevance, credibility and value. This is based on search engines and is one of many standards for the success of your website. A website with low or no authority cannot be trusted by visitors. Think of those shady sites with loads of spammy pop-ups that make you press the back button immediately.

The overall domain authority of a website can predict how well it can perform against other competitors. People will tend to choose a website with strong authority versus those with weak authority. When you check your website’s authority score versus your competition, you will be able to identify your site’s existing weaknesses and what you need to work on. Thus, you can criticize and evaluate your current strategies and tactics.

As we all know (and if you didn’t, know you do!), one of Google's top-ranking factors is content and link building. Therefore, having authoritative links leading back to your website can boost your rank and allow your audience to consider the content you publish as informative and trustworthy. Looking into your and your competition's authority can help you determine where you should acquire backlinks and guest blogging opportunities.

Ultimately, having a high authority score can do wonders for your website’s performance. But how exactly can you build your domain's authority?

How You Can Build Authority Using SEMrush

Building authority for your domain will surely take time, so don’t give up right way. It is essential to maintain your content quality and the frequency that you put your content out. To be a trustworthy and relevant site, you will need consistency and excellent timing.

Calculate Your Authority Score

Consider using the SEMrush authority score as the basis for measuring your domain's overall SEO performance and quality. Through this, your site's trustworthiness and authority can be ensured. Your authority score can be easily found on the website's free Authority Score checker. Having a high number can entail a more robust website and an excellent backlink prospect. 

The authority score calculation is done through a neutral network algorithm that measures a website based on the popularity, quality, and backlink signals. With just two steps, you can know the calculation of your domain's authority. The first step uses organic search, backlink, and website traffic data to identify the rankings of the most relevant and popular domains on the internet. The second step will then use the backlink data to detect how the authority of a website can increase or decrease through gaining links. There are several standards for this specific calculation, and these are the number of:

  • Referring domains pointing to the site
  • Outbound links from each referring domain
  • Referring IPs pointing to the site
  • Referring subnets pointing to the site
  • Backlinks pointing to the site
  • Inbound links
  • Outbound links

The authority of each referring domain also matters. There is a scale from 0 to 100 that measures the value of authoritativeness, the strongest being 100. All of this sounds mighty complicated, but you can check your website’s authority simply by using the Domain Overview tool of SEMrush. 

First, enter your domain name and select your target country. A few months back, I checked the authority of the Momentum And Business website with a worldwide audience. You can then click Search.

In this section, you can see that the website’s current authority score is 13. When you hover over the arrow next to the SEMrush Domain Rank, you can see how the ranking has progressed month over month. Our site hopped up in rank by 5,000,000!

A good authority score can be influenced by the quality of your backlinks, referring domains, referring IPs, and SEO strategies. Even if another website might have more of these factors, your domain's ranking will be higher if your quality is better. 

So, how can you maximize your knowledge of the authority score?

1. Assess Your Website

First, you can have an objective assessment of your website and see in which areas you would need to improve. You’ll be able to track the impact of your SEO campaigns over time. An authority score that improves is great news! And if you notice any sudden dips in your authority score, be wary, because you might be experiencing a negative SEO attack.

2. Find the best domains for backlinks and guest posts

Second, you know which domains would be the best for backlinks and guest posts. Getting links from websites with a great authority score can help boost your own as well. This is where link juice comes in. Yes, the name might sound weird, but it is a term often used in the SEO world. Technically, a website that links to you passes its link juice or value on to you. Search engines take note of link juice that other websites give you, and will deem yours worth promoting.

3. Conduct competitor analysis

Third, you can use authority score to compare different domains for their quality and authority. Instead of entering your own domain, use your competitor’s! Once you have identified which competing websites have high authority, you will be able to reverse engineer what they are doing.

If their authority score is much higher, you can take a look at what backlinks they have, what types of backlinks they are using, what domains are referring to them, and what pages of theirs are indexed. You can then point out what are the necessary actions you need to take in order for your domain to get past the competition and how beneficial a new partnership or investment can contribute to your website, whether it be trying to get similar backlinks or making better pages.

Strengthen Your Backlinks

As mentioned before, SEMrush can be of great help for getting links that can boost your domain's authority score. Specifically, it’s the Link Building tool  that will come in handy. It ranks a website's link building prospects by basing it on the authority score. This may include the domain's quality based on keywords, traffic, links, relevance based on common categories, and its health based on the existing toxic backlinks.

First, enter the domain or select the project you’d like to work on and click the button.

You can then set up your Link Building campaign by entering up to ten keywords for which you would like to improve your organic rankings.

Then, you should add ten competitors at most who have great backlinks you would like to replicate. If you haven’t done your research yet, don’t fret. The SEMrush database can automatically generate the data you need through its Organic Competitors report. Then, click “Start Link Building”.

It will take a few minutes to load, but the results are worth the wait!

You can know review your list of backlink prospects in the Prospects tab. For this website, SEMrush was able to generate MORE THAN 400. That's a huge timesaver for digital marketers like me that always have a full schedule!

All I need to do is choose the prospects I think would be relevant for this website, and move them to the In Progress tab through the To In Progress button beside the Prospect rating.

Moving on to the In Progress tab, I'll be able to directly contact the domain owner to request for a backlink. I could even send over a pitch for a guest blog! All you need to do is click the Contact button, type in the email, send it over and wait.

You can then monitor the progress of your prospects in this section.

Generate Top SEO-Friendly Content and Get It Noticed

Additionally, in order to acquire great quality backlinks, you should consider applying strategies for generating premium content for your website. You wouldn't be able to get any backlinks if you didn't have content to share with other websites in the first place!

Now this section of the blog post will be quick, since we've pretty much covered it in our other SEMrush articles. But here's a quick review on what you would need to do!

First, you would need to use SEMrush's Keyword Magic Tool to find the best keywords to target for your content. This is what your audience would be typing into search engines to reach your website. You want to provide the type of blog posts that would be relevant to their needs while still being connected to your niche. We can even determine the TOPIC and the KIND of blog post to put out by taking a look at the top results for those keywords, or refer to Topic Research for a more specific list.

What's inside the actual blog post is up to you, but using the different tools that SEMrush has to offer, you can:

  • Optimize your meta titles and meta descriptions
  • Create attention-grabbing headers and follow the correct header structure
  • Interlink your blog post with other useful content from your website
  • Audit your content to check for possible errors and issues

And now that your content is posted, do you just wait on backlinks? Of course not. Aside from pitching backlinks to other high authority websites, you can also promote your content on social media. You can use Topic Research again to review top trending social media content related to your blog post. With this info, you can make your own social media posts, reach out to posters to get them to link to your content, or even find influencers you can reach out to.

Once you've taken care of your social media, you can also check out directories and indexes your website can be added to. SEMrush's Listing Management tool will distribute your website's data to directories with the highest authority.

Next, you can look for the top articles or lists in your niche.  You'd have to make use of the Keyword Magic Tool by searching for your niche or topic and applying filters such as "top" and "best". Once you've found these top lists, you can reach out to the website owner to be included.

Takeaway: You need to boost your authority score if you want to matter

To conclude, a domain's authority score has a great significance for your website's overall ranking and relevance. You should not ignore it if you want your domain to flourish. Though it might seem a little tedious challenge (and will take a lot more than a few clicks to work on), you can create a name for your domain in no time with the right determination as well as marketing tools offered.

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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