Local SEO & Domain Authority

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 30, 2016

Understanding Domain Authority In Regards To Local SEO

“Domain authority” is one of those SEO buzzwords that many people assume they know how to define without really understanding it at all. Like many of the advanced SEO concepts, there’s more to it than meets the eye and mastering the concept can take time. In the simplest terms, domain authority relates to how well a website, blog or domain is likely to rank or currently ranks in Google search results.

When attempting to establish high domain authority for non-local SEO, the stakes can feel overwhelming. However, when one is trying to dominate in a localized niche, the journey can be a pit easier, provided that you know what you’re doing. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to create great domain authority with a localized search term.

Knowing What Domain Authority Is And Is Not

Domain authority is a measurement of where your site ranks for search terms related to it. If you are attempting to optimize the website for an ice cream parlor in Omaha, Nebraska, and your webpage is the fifth result when someone searches “Omaha ice cream,” you have good domain authority. If your business doesn’t show up until the fifth or so page of search results, your domain authority is rather poor.

Domain authority can be measured in one of two ways. The simplest way is to merely search your keywords in a search engine and find your business within the given results. However, there are also specialized tools that you can use to get more in-depth data on how your business ranks. More information on domain authority and a list of tools that can help your analysis can be found here.

Why The Local Business Has A Better Shot At Domain Authority

Local businesses truly have a leg up when it comes to establishing domain authority. Localized search terms in small cities can oftentimes have zero competition or your competitors have created websites that lack any sort of concerted SEO efforts. Of course, in larger markets like New York City, the competition can be as stiff as non-local and non-niche keywords.

Your goal should always be to dominate in the results for multiple search terms that all contain your city or town’s name. A local business that does not have an online e-tail operation should never under any circumstance worry themselves with non-local keywords. For example, that aforementioned ice cream parlor would be foolish to worry about how they rank in the search results for the phrase “great ice cream.” Brick and mortar businesses need only focus on search results that pertain to their local area.

Smart SEO That Spans Multiple Platforms

Domain authority for local businesses is best accomplished by incorporating niche and local keywords into text across multiple platforms. To dominate in your local area, your website, blog, Twitter, Facebook and other assorted social media platforms should all incorporate localized search terms. The end goal should be to not only have domain authority for your website, but for the first five or so search results for your keyword to be social media sites, blogs or reviews that relate to your business.

Competition is obviously a factor here. Businesses in larger cities have more work to do. However, with the right team and the right SEO efforts, it is absolutely possible to achieve localized domain authority. Once you have domain authority, you will see a dramatic increase in sales and a thriving, popular business that new customers eagerly and easily flock to, thanks to your fantastic presence on Google and in search engine results.