What is Domain Authority?
Domain authority is a search metric developed by MOZ to help website owners determine their website’s authority. DA is measured by a number between 1 and 100 with the highest score meaning the site has higher chances of ranking on search results.
Notably, Google doesn’t directly use domain authority as a ranking factor. However, MOZ has developed a very advanced algorithm which offers very similar results too Google’s. Essentially, the metric looks at the number of inbound links and linking root domains. These metrics are then combined into a single score.
Is Domain Authority Different from Page Authority?
Domain authority evaluates how likely a website will rank on the search results. In contrast, a page authority metric measures the capability of a specific web page to rank on search results.
All the links within the website are evaluated to predict domain authority, including those pointing to the home page and other web pages on the site. On the other hand, page authority only takes an interest in those links pointing to a specific web page.
It’s possible for the scores to either increase or decrease due to a variety of reasons. If the number of (healthy) links to your website increases then this can lead to your domain authority increasing. The opposite can be seen if you receive many spam links however Google has become very good at simply ignoring these.
Now that we know the basics, how can we improve domain authority?
How to Improve Domain Authority
I never recommended my clients to fixate directly on their DA. MOZ takes into consideration so many factors before evaluating a score, just like Google does. So instead, I suggest to focus on improving the number and quality of links and your overall SEO for better ranking.
Here are some of the ways you can improve your website’s ranking capability.
1. Use a memorable domain name
When picking a domain name, I encourage my clients to use a name that is memorable and relevant to the brand. For example, if you deal with children’s toys, it’s important to have a domain that denotes to potential visitors what you deal with.
Having a memorable domain name and good content also makes it easy for other brands to link back to your pages. By now, you already know that the more quality links you have, the better the chances of your website ranking.
2. More inbound links
If there are many websites wanting to backlink to your website, it shows Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo that you have authority in your field. You see, before any website can link back to you, they have to visit your site to confirm that you have linkable content.
The more sites that want to link to your website; the more search engines will trust your website to offer helpful information to users. Such metrics may help your website rank better and also score a higher DA.
3. Is your website fast enough?
The fastest websites take approximately 0.18 seconds to load, while slow ones will take as long as 10 seconds to load. Generally, visitors don’t have the patience to wait for a site that takes forever to load. Instead, they will leave to other fast loading sites, which contributes to high bounce rates. High bounce rates can negatively affect your ranking on SERPs because it shows search engines that your content isn’t providing value to the visitor and hence not meeting their search intent.
Improving load speeds is a huge topic that I will reserve for another (or three) blog posts. However two of the best yet most under-looked tactics are to increase the loading speeds by reducing the number of redirects. Visitors will not wait for the HTTP response cycle to load. The other tactic you can apply is the optimisation of images. The images should not be too large that they decrease the loading speeds.
4. Content is king
Creating valuable content for your audience is one of the fastest ways to rank on search engines. The first step towards creating content that your audience will have an interest in is understanding user intent. Research would help you understand what your target audience searches for and why. This way, you can create unique content that can easily outrank your competitors. And guess what? I can help you do this!
Publishing quality content regularly can also help you attract links from other websites. Other publishers want to link to content that their audience would resonate with and learn from.
5. On-page SEO
The ultimate goal of search engines is to display only the relevant results based on the search queries. As a website owner, you need to optimize your content such that your target audience and crawl bots can find it easily.
On-page SEO involves creating engaging content, using the right keywords without overusing them, and optimising titles along with many other factors. Well, optimised title tags, meta-descriptions, and headlines make it easy for your readers and Google to find relevant pages on your website.
6. Leverage social media
To increase your domain authority, it’s a good idea to use social signals to show Google and other search engines that your content is of good quality. Content that the audience resonates with has many likes, shares, comments, and clicks on social media platforms.
These days it’s even possible to create social media ads that can ultimately help you attract more followers. Sharing your blog posts, insights and answering questions on social media is a great way to help your brand interact with the visitors.
7. Is your site mobile friendly?
Search engines now more than ever favour websites with a mobile friendly version of the site. Many of your visitors will use their mobile phones and other hand-held devices to browse the web.
Now, as a website owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure the site is well optimised, even for mobile users. It also means that you need to ensure the fonts and the click buttons are large enough to give the visitors a great user experience. Two good resources to use: Google Search Console & Google’s Mobile Friendly Site Test Tool.
8. Avoid spammy links
The worst mistake most website owners or SEO specialists make is using bad quality links. The links are mainly from low quality sites and which will ultimately hurt your SEO and ranking possibilities. Another thing you should avoid is having any broken links on any of the pages as it increases bounce rates. These are the real basics of SEO and can be a good test for anyone new working on your site.
9. Guest posting is good for your DA
Publishing posts on other authoritative websites can help you drip some juice back to your website, ultimately increasing the DA. When you finally land a chance to publish a guest post on a more authoritative website, it’s important to link back to relevant pages on your site.
Alternatively, a high DA website that mentions your brand even without having to guest post can help you increase your DA score.
What is a Good Domain Authority Score?
A score of 60 and above is considered great for any website. Such a site can rank very well if it also incorporates SEO practices such as correct keyword usage etc. A new site starts at DA 1, increasing with time as the site continues to attract more inbound links and other referring links.
The score keeps changing as different algorithms are updated and as you keep improving your website authority.
How Do you Check your Domain Authority
There are many tools you can use to check for your domain authority score or even page authority. Some of the tools are paid, while others are free to use, of course, depending on your budget.
MOZ DA checker is among the best in the market, helping you analyse your website and different pages for authority. The tool will also help you look at the number of referring links and any broken links on the site. You can also check the spam score so that you can clean up the website to rank better. All you have to do is head to MOZ open site explorer and paste your domain URL.
Achieving a high DA score isn’t a short-term goal but a long-term one. If you’re patient enough, you’ll witness your website ranking better. The process involves acquiring as many links through guest posting, creating unique content, optimising the content for search engines, and making the website mobile-friendly.
If you would like some help with this or even just to be pointed in the right direction, contact me today for a free 30 minute consultation.