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Backlink Profiles & Site Security: The SEO & Competitive Advantages

Jose Han

For marketers, a solid investment in the functionality and aesthetics of your website is essential. But, assessing the “health” of your home-on-the-web from a security and search engine perspective is critical.

If you want to
get your business found via search engine and if you want to attract and retain customers who trust you with their time and money, you’ve gotta pay attention to two little acronyms.

SSL and DA

Your Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protection and your Domain Authority (DA) are, ultimately, the
biggest predictors of...

  1. If your site is listed on a search engine,
  2. If your site is visited, and...
  3. If your site visitors are safe while they browse.

So, they’re kinda (super, ridiculously) important. But, what is a Secure Sockets Layer? What is Domain Authority? And how do you use them to improve traffic and visitor trust?

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SSL - Secure Sockets Layer

A Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, essentially provides users with assurance that their connection is safe. It’s that tiny lock that you’ll see to the far left of your URL bar, usually accompanied by the word “Secure”.

The SSL is critical for your users’ online protection, and it’s particularly important for eCommerce sites (in which financial data is submitted) and any domain through which sensitive information is exchanged. Sites without the Layer are more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.

lock iconSSL protects information by encrypting data between two servers. Only the host computer can decrypt the data and only the client computer can verify the server certificate. If the session is interrupted for any reason, the session is broken and must be reestablished. Sites that implement the SSL/TLS protocol display a padlock icon in the address bar.” - SSL.com 

SSL protects the privacy of website visitors and ensures a safe connection, but it’s also an important factor in gaining a competitive advantage.

Bolster your SEO performance. If you have SSL validation, your website will appear higher up on search engine result pages (SERPs), as it will be identified as a safe domain for visitors to explore.

Eliminate barriers to entry. Most browsers will also now make it clear to a visitor if a site is NOT secure. If you don’t have SSL, some browsers will alert the visitor and then prompt them before moving forward, asking if they’re “sure” about navigating to the website.

Psssttt… HubSpot makes it easy for customers to acquire a free SSL Certificate at all subscription levels. 

DA - Domain Authority

A website’s Domain Authority is a score (from 1 to 100) that predicts a website’s ability to rank on Search Engine Result Pages (or, SERPs). The higher the number, the easier time the site will have ranking higherthe ranking. Sites like Facebook will have a DA of 100, but any number over 50 is widely considered ‘exceptional’.

DA is calculated through a number of different metrics, but some of the important ones are: a website’s age - as all new domains begin with a DA of 1 - and its Link Profile. Download the free Moz SEO toolbar for an accurate DA read on anywebsite.

Domain Authority toolbar

A Link Profile, put very simply, is a list of other sites that link back to your website.

According to Google, “a link from a site is regarded as a vote for the quality of your site.” These links are comprised of “Follow Links” (which alert search engines to crawl the page and follow the link to it’s destination), and “No Follow Links” (which block search engines from crawling and following a link.) Tools like HubSpot will often prompt users, when pasting a link, to select between "Follow" and "No Follow" advanced options -- see below.

Link URL example

It’s also possible for websites to get attacked through bad website links. Your websites ranking can easily get buried (seriously diminishing it’s DA) through the creation of links to your website from one that has extremely low Authority.

Domain Authority affects your website’s visibility from a search perspective, and your attractiveness to potential partners. So, improving your DA over time means higher rankings and increased trust.

The process of raising your DA number is not a quick or simple one. However, a good rule of thumb is to regularly disavow “bad links”, and try to earn “good links” through content sharing partnerships, earned media, or syndication opportunities.

Bolster your rank. According to Google, “...a link from a site is regarded as a vote for the quality of your site”, so - disavowing links, using Google’s Disavow tool will help increase your PageRank.

Build up good links. There are plenty of ways to build up a solid backlink profile, but getting your website mentioned on a page with high DA is the most effective. Do this by...

  • Seeking out opportunities to be interviewed or quoted in prominent publications
  • Write guest posts on popular blogs or online platforms
  • Put together a content distribution plan, and share your vendor-agnostic information with organizations which discuss similar topics
  • Get listed on software, product, and service review sites
  • Work with only trusted and vetted influencers/experts
  • Forge link-sharing partnerships with non-compete companies whose audience will benefit from your expertise 

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Keeping your site security (SSL) and your backlink profile (DA) at the top of mind when building your website, and creating/sharing helpful, persona-aligned content, will aid in the acquisition and retention of prized customers.

Want to talk about rising up those SERPs? Bolstering your DA? Securing an SSL? Let’s talk about it!
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