The English language defines authority as having legitimate power or influence over something.
In other words, it means earning the right to have dominion over something or someone.
This term also applies to the SEO world because websites with a reputation for good, trustworthy, and reliable content are held in high esteem and ranked higher than the rest.
In SEO, this term is ‘Domain Authority (DA).’
A well-known and well-published website like “The Wall Street Journal” or “The Times” will most likely get higher rankings when they write and publish content on the Internet, as opposed to a freelance writer just starting their blogging journey.
In this blog post, I’ll show you (7) tried and tested ways to increase your domain authority and adequately understand what it is, how it works, and how to make it work for you.
What Is Domain Authority?
It is vital to understand what domain authority (DA) is and isn’t to know how to increase domain authority for your website.
DA is a metric developed by the Seattle-based software company “Moz” that reflects the likelihood and dominance of a website on search engine result pages (SERPs).
In simpler terms, it is a scoring system to show how high or low a website will likely rank as an answer to a user’s query.
Domain authority, however, is not a metric Google uses to determine a website’s SERP ranking. It works independently of Google rankings and does not interact with SERPs in any way.
Google does not consider domain authority when ranking websites, whereas Moz shows how well your website will likely rank on search engines based on your SEO efforts.
How Is Domain Authority Calculated?
Tools like Moz and Ahrefs calculate DA by combining multiple factors, including link profile, referring domains, content quality, and so on, into a single domain authority score.
This score can be used for competitive analysis or tracking a website’s “ranking strength” over time.
However, it is important to note that domain authority is calculated relative to other websites in the same niche.
For example, suppose a food blogging website suddenly gains many backlinks or becomes more popular with searchers due to external factors that cause its domain authority to rise. In that case, it will likely cause a decline in the domain authority of other food blogging websites that revolve around the same content.
How to Check Your Website’s Domain Authority
Moz allows you to conduct a limited number of monthly free domain authority queries. Its free tool shows the DA level, number of links, and top pages for the site.
To start, type in your domain name. You’ll then be prompted to make a free account. Once you’re done, click on the activation email to get started.
When checking your website’s domain authority using tools on the web, there are different tools to use to check your DA, and the results from each one may vary.
Now that you know how domain authority is calculated, you may wish to determine your website’s score using any of these tools. Still, it is crucial to consider the following factors when choosing a tool to check your DA score:
- Index size: How many URLs are contained within the software’s index?
- Frequency of index crawling: How often is the index refreshed?
- Correlation with actual rankings: Does a higher domain score equate to better rankings?
What Is a Good Domain Authority Score, and What Isn’t?
The truth is that the answer to this question is relative.
It is easy to think of DA as a grade from 1 to 100, and it may seem reasonable to aim for the highest score possible. Still, as mentioned before, domain authority measures your “rankability,” so you need a score higher than your competitors.
For example, a 78 DA score may not hold weight in a niche where the average DA score is 86, but a score of 35 may be celebrated in a space where the average DA is 20. So, when checking your DA, always compare it with your competitors.
Why Is Domain Authority Important?
According to Wildfireconcepts, a recent study found that domain ratings and keyword rankings are closely linked, proving that domain authority can be helpful when estimating if a website will appear in SERPs.
Understanding your site’s organic traffic and how likely it will rank in SERPs makes you more equipped to build your brand and create an engaging website. It also shows areas where your SEO efforts are lacking and what you can do to improve them.
Regularly checking your DA is an excellent way to monitor the effect of your other SEO efforts and ensure you are heading in the right direction.
How to Increase Domain Authority on Search Engines
There are several ways to increase DA, but here are seven (7) tried, tested, and foolproof methods to increase your domain authority:
Your link profile is the most crucial metric for your domain authority. If your website has a strong link profile, it is likely to get a higher DA score than one that doesn’t.
A website is said to have a good link profile when:
- It has incoming links (backlinks) from high-authority websites.
- Incoming links are from related websites.
- It doesn’t have low-quality links.
- It has links from several unique domains.
There are several ways you can strengthen your link profile by getting backlinks. First, you can look at your top referral sources and find similar sites for backlink opportunities.
You could also contact businesses with websites posting content similar to yours to build relationships with them and encourage mutual linking to each other’s content for mutual benefit.
2. Write good, quality content.
While domain authority is not necessarily part of the usual SEO strategies, it still relies on the same fundamentals as the others to rate websites.
Writing content that is accurate, current, easy to understand, and relevant is a surefire way to build your credibility online, which may, in turn, lead to other blog posts linking back to you for their readers to get more insight into what they’re writing about; this upgrades your link profile and domain authority.
Also, correctly formatting and optimizing your content are helpful tips to keep in mind.
The list below helps to have your website properly indexed and generally makes your work seem more appealing to the searcher, which is the primary goal of SEO:
- Optimize your metadata (meta title, meta descriptions, etc.).
- Use correct header tags (h1, h2, h3).
- Use sitemaps.
- Optimize your permalinks.
- Utilize proper image optimization strategies.
- Keyword optimization.
- Format your content to increase your chances of ranking in Google’s featured snippets.
3. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
One of the factors to consider when calculating domain authority (DA) is your site’s structure and mobile friendliness.
If your website is optimized for mobile devices, Google and other search engines can easily crawl and index it.
In fact, with Google’s new mobile-first indexing policy, having a mobile-friendly website is no longer an option but a mandatory task to achieve your SEO dreams.
You can strengthen your brand identity by boosting your reputation as an expert in your niche. This strategy will help increase traffic and the number of external links.
By becoming known in the real world, people respect you and your brand and will prefer your content over others, increasing your CTR, domain authority, and, ultimately, your rankings on SERPs.
5. Technical SEO.
Once you get your technical SEO right in the early stages of your blog, you won’t have to bother about it again.
However, bad technical SEO, or one that isn’t correctly done, can harm your domain authority and ranking.
Here are a couple of things you can do to improve your technical SEO:
- Register your site with Google Search Console (GSC) and Bing Webmaster tools.
- Create and optimize your XML sitemaps.
- Check your robots.txt to ensure the crawlability of important pages on your website.
- Switch from HTTP website to HTTPS.
- Include structured markup data for your web pages.
- Use an optimized breadcrumb menu on all your pages.
- Use hreflang tag attributes for multilingual websites.
Utilizing these few tips will help maximize your domain authority.
Regarding SEO generally, link building is an essential strategy because your domain authority, ranking potential, and sustainability depend on the strength of your link profile.
However, as important as it is, having many low-quality and spammy links can do more harm than good to any website. It is better to have fewer good links than numerous harmful ones.
Google practically analyzes every link from and to your website, and having links from a spammy website can reduce your domain authority or, in a worst-case scenario, get you penalized by Google.
You should check your website for harmful links and eliminate them immediately.
You can use several SEO tools to check for harmful links. The first step is to analyze your website’s link profile.
If you cannot remove the links, you can disavow or ignore them, which means that web crawlers won’t consider unnatural or spammy backlinks when indexing your website.
Another way to increase your domain authority is to improve your internal link structure. You can keep your visitors engaged by providing links to other informative web pages on your site.
In addition to helping index your pages, internal links facilitate search engine bots’ crawling of your website.
An additional benefit of having a well-thought-out internal link structure is the flow of link juice between pages.
Link juice refers to the SEO value of a page passed to other web pages. It validates your website for the search engines, as more links pointing toward a page show that it’s trustworthy.
All of these add up to increase your site’s domain authority.
Several SEO plugins are available to help with these strategies, like keyword research, link building, mobile friendliness, etc.
For instance, the Link Assistant addon from AIOSEO will automatically create an internal link report for your website and recommend relevant pages you can link to.
Now that you understand how domain authority works, its effect on your website, and how to calculate and improve yours, you can use this knowledge to take your SEO strategies to a different level.
Domain authority can be challenging to understand initially, but keeping it in mind when going about your other SEO activities is foolproof to increase your ranking and your website’s exposure to searchers.
CTA: What is your current domain authority? What steps will you take to improve it?