Is Domain Authority (DA) more important than Page Authority (PA) for retailers?
In the ongoing battle of DA versus PA for successful, high ranking search results, does the retail sector create a ‘unique’ anomaly where DA wins?
Over the past few years Google has made many changes to the algorithms it uses to index and rank your websites and individual web pages. These changes have been designed to make search results more relevant to users by assessing not just the content of your websites and pages, but also the URLs which link to those pages. Google’s algorithms assess the level of ‘authority’ for your website by assessing it’s relative authority to other websites with similar content.
As well as deciding whether your content is unique, search engines assess whether inbound links to your site are relevant to the pages they exist on, or if they are just ‘spam’ links posted purely to increase traffic to your site. Whilst it’s important to build and maintain a list of back-links linking to key pages of your website, it’s also important not to pollute that good work with links from pages with irrelevant content, which could even be damaging to your business image. Take porn websites or adult chat rooms for example, they may receive tens of thousands or even millions of hits globally, but would you really want to paste a back-link to your website amongst their blog pages?
This concept of Domain Authority and Page Authority, is also important when creating your own websites and deciding on what content you wish to include (this also applies when approving comments on your blogs or customer reviews on product pages). Manufacturers are obviously keen to get maximum exposure for their products, but most don’t really care which of their distributors make the actual sale – just as long as they keep ordering new stock. So make sure you scrutinise any overly positive ‘customer’ product reviews placed on your e-commerce website, they could be from a well meaning member of the manufacturer’s marketing team and they may also have placed the same comment on half a dozen of your competitor’s websites. This duplicate content will have almost no additional SEO benefit to your site, and could actually guide customers away from your site if you allow URL links within comments or attached to the reviewer’s name.
Unfortunately for retailers, this struggle to produce and maintain unique content doesn’t stop at just ‘spam’ product reviews (these can also be negative reviews placed by competitors – shame on you… you know who you are!). Producing and maintaining unique product descriptions is almost an impossible task when you operate a website selling thousands of product lines from a range of manufacturers. So the question for online retailers becomes, will my product pages ever reach a level of useful page authority (PA), or should I just concentrate and creating high Domain Authority for my website as a whole?
This conundrum is relatively unique to e-commerce retailers or distributors of other people’s products, as most B2B companies like Sparkstone, offer their own products or services like our CMS or Advanced Ecommerce Systems, which are developed in-house. This allows companies like Sparkstone, to talk about our own products with unique content generated by the people who developed them instead of using content purchased from freelance copywriters or copied from other websites. This means that the Domain Authority of the Sparkstone website is relatively high in relation to search terms like EPoS, Mobile Commerce or Graphic Design, but carries little weight on our Ecommerce demo pages where product info includes content supplied by manufacturers for general release.
So if my PA is non-existent how do I increase my Domain Authority?
The easiest thing you can do to increase your website visits, is to regularly add new content that you know is unique to your website and will not appear anywhere else (at least until you are sure it’s been indexed by Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines). By adding regular news stories and blogs containing keywords about your business and products, you’ll by adding content that supports the information on product pages and any blogs written by your customers.
If you create a library of authorative blog pages that people visit regularly, they will generate their own page authority as people make comments and link to those posts from their own social media accounts. You can then include your own links within those stories and direct readers to relevant products and category pages within your website, where they can actually buy the products you are talking about.
It’s a self feeding cycle that requires some effort to get going, but if it is maintained and the content is good, then it’s a technique which uses the power of the people, to increase visits, increase time on site and increase sales. By creating an additional social element to your website you’re also giving customers another reason to VISIT YOU instead of your competitors, as they build an appetite for your brand and your own USP through the personality of your business which is reflected in your blog.
Check out some of our other self help SEO tips here
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