One thing we love in our agency (If you know how to do it right) is referring domains.
Because building links is building trust. This is where referring domains step in. They are the cornerstone of link prospecting.
The more (and diversified) referring domains a site has, the higher the credibility it is. Thus, backlinks from high-traffic, trusted domains will have a lot more value than those from low-quality sites.
In fact, there is a positive correlation between the number of referring domains and DA score.
At this point, you might have a lot of questions revolving around referring domains. Well, relax…Let us know if you recognize these questions:
“What are referring domains? Can you explain it to me in layman’s terms?”
“I often get confused between referring domains and backlinks. Can you explain it to me”
“In link building, people talk about referring domains. The question is, WHY?”
“There are already a lot of tips to improve referring domains, and I get sucked into them. Could you tell me the top 1-2 tips that actually work?”
Well, if you are looking for answers to the above questions, this article is a one-stop solution for you.
Table Of Content
Understanding Referring Domains From A Layman’s Perspective
Referring domains are the number of websites linking to your content or page. In fact, they play a crucial role in backlink building as they indicate to search engines that your website is trustworthy and authoritative.
So, when you get more and more high-quality referring domains linking to your site, you are likelier to rank.
This is exciting.
BUT People often misunderstand referring domains with backlinks.
Referring Domains vs Backlinks – Differences Explained
Backlinks and referring domains are different.
A website can send many backlinks. However, that website will be counted as one referring domain.
Simply put, backlinks are inbound links pointing to pages. Meanwhile, referring domains are websites that are linked to yours.
Source websites of the backlinks. Precisely, the websites that are linking to yours.
Hyperlinks from/to another website.
One word explanation
The credibility and reach of a particular website.
The popularity of a specific page, article, or resource.
Also Known as
Between different websites – referring domains are the source of backlinks.
Between different pages – backlinks come from different referring domains.
So, backlinks are like having friends vouch for you while referring to domains, which are the broader community supporting your online presence.
Picture this: a referring domain is like a city, a broader community that supports your website. On the other hand, a backlink is akin to a specific recommendation from an individual within that city.
Why Are Referring Domains Important In Link Building?
Link building is largely influenced by referral domains. Because they are pivotal when it comes to link prospecting, as more referring domains signify a trustworthy site.
They are the compass guiding your website’s credibility.
Each domain represents a distinct source that attests to your content. The more, the merrier. This digital applause enhances your site’s authority.
And…it’s no secret that everyone loves to link to credible websites.
Think of it like a popularity contest. When numerous reputable websites link to yours, search engines take notice. They view your site as a trustworthy source, boosting your rankings.
It’s not just quantity; quality matters, too. A link from a high-authority site carries more weight. It’s like getting a thumbs-up from an expert in the field.
Beyond popularity, diversity matters. A diverse array of referring domains signifies a well-rounded endorsement. It’s like having diverse friends supporting you, each bringing a unique perspective.
However, tread carefully; not all links are beneficial. Spammy or irrelevant domains can tarnish your reputation. It’s akin to associating with the wrong crowd.
Moreover, the speed of acquiring referring domains matters. A sudden influx can raise red flags. Gradual growth is key. It signals organic, natural endorsement.
How To Check Referring Domains?
We will share three methods here.
1. Google Search Console
Do you have an account in the Google Search console? If not, create right now – it’s absolutely free.
Once you log into it, you will land on the dashboard.
You’ll see an overview page once you’ve linked your website to Google Search Console. Find the Links report on the left sidebar.
Scroll down to the left sidebar and locate the Links report. Then, you’ll find metrics entitled Top Linking Sites. This displays the top referring domains that link to your website.
2. Use Google Analytics
Navigate to Google Analytics and take the necessary steps.
-First, go to Acquisition.
-Secondly, click on All Traffic.
-Finally, Choose referrals.
For better clarity, check the image below:
In essence, following these steps will lead to a list of referring domains.
3. Leverage Ahreh’s Free Backlink Checker Tool
Simply a Google search will lead to Ahref’s free backlink checker tool. Now, put the name of the website that you want to monitor. For example, we took Forbes.
After placing your website, now click on check backlinks. Now, you will be redirected to a page with backlink profile analysis.
Pay attention to the linking website tab to see the sites linking to a specific website. This “linking website” insight reflects the number of referring domains.
Top 2 Ways To Improve Referring Domains?
We are mentioning the list of strategies to improve your referring domains. WHY? Because most of you asked about what worked best. The top two hacks are guest posting (guest blogging) and partnering with a reputed link-building agency.
A detailed explanation follows:
Become a contributor – start guest posting.
Relevant, high-quality guest posting is one of the most effective ways to increase your website’s referring domains. Here, the emphasis should be on ‘relevant’ and ‘high-quality’ because poorly written content won’t suffice.
Moreover, guest posting is a mutually beneficial white hat technique… It can positively impact the number of referring domains over time if done right.
Make A List Of Popular Blogs In Your Niche That Accept Guest Contributors.
There are different ways to do it. Let us show you the strategies.
Google your main keywords with these combinations
[Your Niche] + “Write for Us”
Example: “Technology Write for Us”
[Your Niche] + “Guest Post Opportunities”
Example: “Fitness Guest Post Opportunities”
[Your Niche] + “Submit a Guest Post”
Example: “Travel Submit a Guest Post”
[Your Niche] + “Contribute”
Example: “Finance Contribute”
[Your Niche] + “Become a Contributor”
Example: “Health Become a Contributor”
[Your Niche] + “Guest Author”
Example: “Food Guest Author”
[Your Niche] + “Submit an Article”
Example: “Fashion Submit an Article”
[Your Niche] + “Guest Post Guidelines”
Example: “Business Guest Post Guidelines”
[Your Niche] + “Write for Our Blog”
Example: “Education Write for Our Blog”
[Your Niche] + “Guest Blogging”
Example: “Marketing Guest Blogging”
Remember to replace “[Your Niche]” with your specific industry or topic. These search queries should help you discover websites actively seeking guest contributors within your niche. Top of Form
Replicate Competitor’s backlink Strategy
Perform a backlink analysis of your competitors on Ahref. You will be able to see which sites are linking to your competitors. The next step is to contact those sites and ask for a backlink.
But how can you reach out in the right way? Keep reading; the next point will give you the answer.
Leverage X (formerly Twitter)
Go to X’s search button and then place your keyword + guest post. Once you review the search results, you will find sites looking for guest posting opportunities.
Now, sort sites based on DA, DR, and traffic. For better results, look for sites with at least 35+ DA, 45+ DR, and 1500+ traffic.
Warm Up Your Prospects
Your network is your net worth. Therefore, you must build a meaningful connection, resulting in referral domains. In this way, you can boost the referring domains.
It’s human psychology that people refer to people they know because they trust you.
When people trust you, they refer you to others in their network.
The success rate of cold emails is decreasing. Moreover, it has become a highly competitive tactic.
Therefore, Take A Strategic Approach Rather Than Sending Random Outreach Emails For Link Building:
First, you should compile a list of sites you want links to.
Create a LinkedIn profile (relevant details and a professional photo).
Connect and engage with them. Meaningful comments on their posts are highly appreciated. Try to initiate conversations.
You can also send them a DM to discuss a specific topic.
After you do this for a month or so with your prospects, send the outreach emails.
As long as you provide them with high quality content that their audience will find helpful, there is a greater likelihood that they will link to your site.
This process will take some time. However, this approach will empower you to earn links whose results are long-lasting.
Write Jaw-Dropping Content
Firstly, you have to research well about the prospects. Brainstorm ways that lead you to write even better content than the existing ones.
Find out where your prospects’ blogs can be improved.
It’s as simple as that. But be careful. Your job is to give what they love to hear from you, not what you think they will like.
Again, Backlinko data states that articles of 3000+ words attract the most backlinks.
And we at our agency believe the same as well. But that does not imply you write a low-quality content piece just to match the word length.
So, what do people read?
Very simple. They love content that exactly matches the search intent and solves a problem.
Search your focus keyword on Google. Next, go through all the top 15 pages ranking for the keyword. Now, aim to curate content that is at par with your competitors.
(Ideally, the goal should be to write even better content).
And as we are in 2024, keep TWO things in mind…
Unique and original content.
Provide real-life examples.
Share your personal insights.
Written for people – not machines.
Contribute to improving user experience.
Matches the search intent.
Prepare Your Pitch And Send It
Remember in the above steps, you have already created a list of prospects.
Also, you already built a rapport with them and created the content. Now, the crucial step is waiting for you.
Disclaimer: The publisher doesn’t even care about you, or what you have written. But they care about their audience. So, if you have something amazing for their audience, they will shower love upon you.
But you have to KNOW how to stand out in their packed inbox and convey your message.
Problem? Most outreach emails are generic. People are using the same template again and again for everyone.
We have ONE SIMPLE QUESTION: Considering the SEO benefit of referring domains, why aren’t you creating a personalized email for each prospect?
Again, articulation is another aspect where most people fail. What’s that? How do you clearly write your message that attracts the publisher? And, more particularly, what makes them reply?
Very simple. BENEFITS.
Firstly, start with a catchy (short) subject line.
(Pro tip: mentioning their name in the subject line immediately grabs the attention.)
Next, comes the body of your email. It should reflect that you took the time to read their blogs. In fact, this shows your genuine interest. And, precisely, mention the existing content gaps and how you are going to fix those gaps.
Anddddd…..it’s time to hit the send button. Then, wait for some time and if you haven’t received the reply yet, send a follow-up email.
In fact, a follow-up email can get you 40% more links.
Note: We encourage you to write a customized email for your prospects. And if you want some references, we can send some emails used by our link building experts.
Being in the content writing landscape for 4+ years, Tuhin likes to go deep into the minds of his readers through his writing. He loves sharing content related to SEO, digital marketing, content writing, copywriting, Education, and lifestyle. Besides his inherent inclination towards creating content, he is also a sports enthusiast and travel freak.