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What is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority is a search metric created by Moz to indicate the authority of all websites on the internet. Since Google stopped publicly displaying their PageRank data, Domain Authority is one of the industry standards for showing the search engine ranking position (SERP) potential on websites like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
DA is measured on a scale of 1-100. A higher score means the website has more authority and typically any pages on that site (or domain) stand a better chance at ranking, while a low score means the site will have to work harder in order to rank well for the same content.
The Domain Authority metric is not used by Google at all, but it takes a wide variety of factors into consideration including some of the same variables Google uses, but on a much simpler scale.
It is largely calculated by evaluating the total number of inbound links and linking root domains and combining them into a single score. It can give anyone looking at this metric an idea of how well the site would likely do on search engines. Generally, a Domain Authority over 60 is considered excellent.
Difference Between Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA)
Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that predicts how a website is likely to rank in the SERPs, while Page Authority (PA) shows how well a specific web page is likely to rank in the SERPs.
This means the Domain Authority of a website is based on the links pointing to the domain overall, including links to the home page and any internal pages.
Domain Authority is a useful metric when you want to analyze the ranking potential of a website. Typically, sites with a higher DA will rank higher in the SERPs than sites with a lower DA. This is of course a generalization as there are many other variables involved, such as how well the page is optimized for specific keywords, the quality of the content on the page, and so on.
The DA of your website will usually change over time. If you have a DA of 30 today, this doesn’t mean you will have a DA of 30 next week. DA and PA updates from Moz are becoming more and more frequent these days.
Typically, your site DA will increase over time as it gains more backlinks and trust. However, it is possible for your DA to decrease if you lose backlinks or if Moz makes a change to their algorithms which calculate the DA metric. This has happened recently when they introduced their Domain Authority 2.0.
Now that we have a basic understanding of how domain authority is calculated, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can improve your domain authority.
How to Improve Domain Authority
Increasing your DA can take a lot of work. You can’t just make a few tweaks to your website and expect your Domain Authority and rankings to skyrocket – this is a long-term process.
Your focus shouldn’t solely be based around increasing your DA, but improving your website as a whole and focusing more on general SEO principles.
Here are some actionable steps you can take toward improving your DA and the SEO ranking potential of your site as a whole.
1. Pick a domain name that suits your business
Choosing a domain name requires thought and careful consideration. It’s your identity on the web. A good domain name should be relevant to the content on your website and the services you provide.
Secondly, it should be easy to remember. If your website focuses on WordPress SEO plugins, then you can have something like PluginFactory.com. You should also try to use keywords that describe your brand.
Another example would be if you offer glass replacement services, your domain name can be A1GlassRepair.com. Share the name with your friends to make sure it’s appealing to others.
Having a good domain name doesn’t directly improve your domain authority, but indirectly it can have a knock-on effect and encourage people to link to your website as an authoritative resource, if your domain has a cool brand name, is memorable and has link-worthy content.
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2. Increase your inbound links
If you haven’t harnessed the power of inbound links, you are likely missing out. These links allow the search engine algorithms to view your site as an authority in your niche.
To increase your inbound links naturally, someone has to visit your website and give it a stamp of approval as a good resource and want to link to it. When such actions are repeated over time, you improve your website authority and traffic.
Other ways of increasing inbound links include publishing blog posts, commenting on other blogs, reviewing industry products, posting on social media, guest posting on other blogs, and so on.
3. Publish high-quality content
The fastest way to boost your domain authority is publishing valuable content regularly. When you focus on fresh content, you’ll gain many followers who appreciate your work and link to it.
After you publish the content, you should share it on social media. If you pump out low-quality blog posts and your content doesn’t stand out, you probably won’t rank high or encourage people to link to it.
The easiest way to produce quality content is to know your customers. Does your content spark their interest? Another way is to check your competitors. Observe what resonates with the audience of the competing business. Research is imperative, whether you’re creating visual or audio content.
4. Improve your website speed
When your site loads fast, you’ll have an advantage over slower websites. It also enhances user experience which translates to more signups and sales.
A slow website can have a tremendous effect on your bounce rate, and because most people are impatient, they will end up leaving your site altogether.
Thankfully, there are many tactics to make your site load faster. The most effective way of improving speed is reducing redirects. Most visitors don’t wait for the HTTP response cycle to complete.
Another strategy is to optimize images. You should ensure the images are not larger than they need to be. The fastest websites take 0.18 seconds to load while slow websites can take more than 10 seconds. People like websites that load quickly.
5. Improve your on-site SEO
This is a practice of optimizing elements on pages of your website to target different keywords and phrases in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
By optimizing your pages, both search engines and their users can get a better understanding of what they are all about. The ultimate goal is to find a page that is relevant to search queries.
If you want to improve your domain authority, you need work on your SEO. One way of improving on-site SEO is user engagement. How engaging is your content? This is a good indicator of the improvements you need to make on your site.
Other aspects of on-page SEO are title tags and meta descriptions. They help readers and search engines find what they are looking for. If your page titles and descriptions stand out in the SERPS, people will click on your website listings. If your tiles and descriptions are relevant to the keywords searched, Google will rank your website higher for these search terms.
6. Have a social media marketing plan
Social media plays a key role in determining your domain authority. You should increase your followers by posting your blog posts. Perhaps, you may want to increase your social media clicks by running ads on Twitter and Facebook.
It’s worth mentioning pages that rank high on Google have many likes, shares, and tweets. This is one of Google’s many ranking signals. To increase your domain authority, you should integrate social media buttons on your pages. This makes it easy for your readers to share your content. But before you post your content on social networks, be sure it looks great.
7. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Most online users use their mobile phones and other handheld devices like tablets to access the web these days. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you could be lagging behind the competition. You can also lose visitors if something is not displayed well on mobile.
Google also follows mobile-first indexing in their ranking and will favor sites which are mobile-friendly over those that don’t have a mobile-optimized version of their site.
You should also keep in mind that many people take their time to read content through their mobile devices. Think about the information they could be looking for and make it easy for them to find it on your web pages.
You should also think about the size of the screen they will be using and make the buttons large enough to click on when viewing on mobile devices. This will save visitors a lot of frustration.
8. Monitor and remove bad backlinks
Bad backlinks can lower your SERP ranking or kill your SEO metrics. You must go through your profile to remove toxic links. The most effective way of removing bad links is by asking your webmaster to remove them. This can take a lot of time and you may have to pay for the links to be removed in certain situations. If you can’t remove them you should disavow them.
You should also make sure you are not linking out to any bad sites or have any broken links on any of your pages. This will also have a negative impact on your rankings.
Another option would be for you to register a new domain name and start from scratch if you have a lot of bad links. This may seem like a drastic move, but it’s a fast and effective way of cleaning a lot of toxic backlinks which are dragging your site down.
9. Publish guest blog posts
You can siphon off authority, link juice and traffic to your websites by guest posting on other blogs. This increases the reputation of your site and enhances your domain authority. When you publish your guest posts, make sure you add links back to your website where you can, preferably in the body of the blog posts as opposed to in the bio section at the bottom. Editorial links are the best types of links.
When you link back to your website from an authority blog in your guest posts, or if you receive a mention from an authoritative website in general, some of the authority will transfer back to your website and increase your DA.
The Bottom Line
Every brand wants to rank high on the search engines. However, there are so many roadblocks to achieving this. Your domain authority score is a good indicator for gauging how your site will perform in the search engines. To fine-tune your SEO strategy, you must know how you’re doing in comparison to your competition.
With that said, you shouldn’t become obsessed with increasing your DA number. It’s no good having a high DA site which doesn’t get any traffic because the pages aren’t optimized properly for their target keywords.
There are many sites out there with good DA but don’t get any traffic, yet there are sites with low DA but get more traffic because the pages are properly optimized and feature good content.
You should focus on following basic SEO fundamentals and work on writing and publishing high-quality content which gives readers what they are looking for. You should also research the keywords you are targeting and optimize your pages properly. If your content is good, this will attract natural backlinks from other bloggers which will in turn increase your DA over time.
If you need help with your keyword research, content writing, inbound links, SEO or digital marketing in general, let us know. This is what we specialize in, and we would be very happy to assist you. If you are interested in having a conversation with us, just fill out the contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you!