Know The Right Way to Increase Domain Authority
Whether you are an experienced digital marketer or just starting out in the SEO world, there is a good chance that you’ve heard of Domain Authority before. It’s been around for ages and is typically used by people to figure out how powerful a site can potentially rank for certain keywords.
Moz Domain Authority Score Example
How do you measure domain authority and what does it mean? The ranking of your website in search engine results is determined by this metric. It is not only sought after by SEO professionals but also by anyone who wants to improve their rankings on SERPs (search engine result pages).
In this article, I hope to demystify domain authority by answering the following questions:
- What exactly is domain authority? And how can you calculate it?
- What are some factors that affect Domain Authority?
- How do you go about increasing your domain authority?
- How can I use DA in my online marketing strategy?
What is domain authority?
Domain Authority is a metric used to calculate how likely it is for a domain or webpage to rank highly on search engines. It ranges from 0-100, with the higher scores denoting greater chance of ranking well in SERPs (search engine result pages).
Curious about how your own website fares with its domain authority score? Check it out here.
How is Moz Domain Authority Calculated?
Moz employs several factors when calculating Domain Authority (DA) of domains, with inbound links or backlinks being one of the most influential.
An index of links in Moz’s Link Explorer is constantly updated. Domain Authority scores are statistically higher on sites with more backlinks and unique referring domains.
In Moz’s Definitive Scoring Guide, you will find all the math behind domain authority. In order to make things easier for you, your backlink profile is what matters most.
What is a good domain authority score?
Since Domain Authority is on a 100-point scale, it’s easy to say if certain scores are good or bad. But reaching perfection for this metric is an impossible goal which only the best of the best can accomplish without fail.
Moz makes it clear that this metric is only used for comparison. On search engine results pages, sites with lower DA scores often rank highly.
Suppose your website has a DA of 25. While it might seem relatively low when compared to other businesses’ scores, it could still be higher than those in your industry – so you can surpass them with greater ease on important keywords in that field.
It follows then, that if you want to overtake another website’s ranking in Google, it is necessary for your domain authority to be greater than theirs.
How to Check Domain Authority
Curious about your own website’s domain authority score? There are many options available to you. This list has three examples of how you can test it yourself:
- Moz’s Domain SEO Analysis Tool
- Domain Authority Checker for Linkgraph.io
- Website Authority Checker by Ahrefs
- Domain Authority: What You Need to Know
So, why should website owners or digital marketers care about domain name delegation?
If your primary goal is to gain new customers through the search engine, then you do not need to know all of the complicated details about how this calculation works.
It may seem strange at first, but domain authority does have some immediate correlations to the success of an SEO strategy. A domain authority (DA) is one of the most important metrics to monitor.
1. Domain Authority Is Not a Ranking Factor
While DA can help measure the future potential of ranking, it is unrelated to Google’s algorithm for ranking.
Therefore, smaller or newer sites with low domain authority scores can still outperform their competitors if they create quality, informative, fresh, and relevant content.
Several factors Moz uses to calculate domain authority are Google ranking factors, such as linking root domains and linking pages.
For this reason, it is common for DA scores to correlate positively with other SEO metrics, such as keyword ranking, average position, and organic traffic.
2. Domain authority is not the only indicator of site authority
Besides Moz’s domain authority, there are other site authority metrics available for SEO. Several big SEO brands and keyword research tools have developed their own metrics of authority. The following may be familiar to you:
- Majestic’s citation flow
- Semrush’s Definitive Score
- Domain Rating (DR) by Ahrefs
- DR (Domain Rating) is Ahrefs’ domain authority indicator.
And because each of these brands use their own set of metrics and ratings, it’s possible that your website will rank higher or lower than others.
For instance, in the graph below you can see how Ahrefs DR and Moz DA ratings show a correlation with higher site authorities.
How to Increase Domain Authority – Domain Authority vs Domain Rating
There is also evidence that domain authority (DA) and domain rating (DR) scores can differ significantly. Domains with significantly lower DA ratings than they do in DR measurements might be because Ahrefs takes into account both link quality as well as other external factors when calculating a domain’s score.
However, DA is not always indicative of a site’s rankings, despite being the most popular and authoritative metric in SEO. There are other metrics that you can use to gauge your site’s current standing as well.
3. Google’s PageRank is the Original Authority Metric
Google’s page rank became an original authority metric years before domain authority would enter the world of SEO.
Prior to changing its ranking algorithm, Google provided a public view of the PageRank scores for each page in its toolbar; this allowed black-hat search engine optimization (SEO) specialists to game the system and build undesirable links.
A page loses some PageRank (or link equity) every time it links to another page. Backlinks give up more PageRank than other pages, so pages with many backlinks will lose more PageRank. In this case, it looks like this
Unlike Domain Authority which Google uses to rank Web pages for search engine results, PageRank is a ranking factor that determines how well Google promotes your page. Because of this, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise when you find out that links still pass PageRank (or link juice) throughout the internet – even if they don’t do so anymore openly through Webmaster Tools or Analytics.
4. Improve domain authority and off-site SEO go hand in hand
Domain authority is calculated mainly by backlinks, so off-page SEO techniques such as link building and digital PR are the only ways to boost DA metrics.
While on-page SEO is still very much a worthwhile endeavor, it doesn’t affect your ranking in Google’s search engine as much as backlinks do.
Higher quality content on your site can make gaining links much easier because of increased awareness. A multi-disciplinary approach is more effective than just one strategy when striving for search engine optimization (SEO).
How to Increase Domain Authority (Security)
With DA being determined mostly by backlinks, off-site strategies like link building are the most effective way to try and increase your score. However, it’s not as easy as it may sound because there’s no guarantee that other sites will want to do anything with ours.
As well, some link-building tactics can be considered black hat, which means that if your site appears to be paying for backlinks or engaging in spammy linking practices, it might be penalized by Google.
In order to improve the Domain Authority (DA) metric for your domain, there are many different ways to do so. One way is through building quality links which I will explain below since they are both effective and compliant with Google guidelines.
1. List in a directory
By listing your domain in online directories, you can significantly increase your company’s ranking on Google. These are the top ten best sites to list your website.
Locally-focused SEO strategies such as citation building may be some of the cheapest ways to grow your business online.
As Google learns more about your markets and niches, these links from authoritative sources will improve your DA score.
2. Write the content
First and foremost, focus on the quality of your content so that other sites will easily find and provide links to it (E-A-T).
Write a high quality keyword-targeted post so that bloggers or businesses writing on the topic will find your post in their research and want to link back to your website in their posts. The likelihood of this happening is increased when you can provide information they can’t access easily elsewhere and cite all sources accurately.
However, if you share original research or thoughtful articles related to the topic (something that will be difficult for anyone else to replicate), then there’s a higher chance of getting a backlink out of it.
You can use this method for a large number of keywords or ultra-niche topics. Be sure to share it on social media to get more attention.
3. Contribute a guest post
Contributing blog content, original research, or thought leadership to other relevant blogs within your industry is also a great way to accumulate more links from those blogs.
Publishers crave quality content, and if you supply them with it then not only will your own brand be strengthened, but also sometimes get backlinks to your site in the byline and even in the body of your post.
To increase your domain authority at a fast pace, look for guest blogging opportunities on industry-specific sites pertaining to your niche. For example, the graph below displays how my own website has been relevant to our competitor in terms of its topics.
Most of our competitors’ backlinks come from business and technology-related websites. To make sure we were making strides over them, we focused on securing guest blog opportunities at websites with a similar topical relevance to ours.
For any business of any size, having a PR team can take them to the next level. However, if you’re looking for some high-quality backlinks in reputable publications – then you need to look no further than an enterprise-level brand that has world class domain authority!
In terms of ranking for search engine optimization purposes, it’s been proven that sites without links can still have positive SEO returns. However, if you want to rank high in all categories when it comes to keyword density, or DA specifically – publications’ dofollow links are going to be essential down the line.
If you’re a small to medium business that doesn’t have the resources of a PR team, then sign up for Help A Reporter Out (HARO). This service provides journalists with expert sources in your field and is a great way to connect yourself with reputable people working in similar fields.
4. Attempt to build broken links
Backlink tools are much more advanced in that they can analyze your backlinks, but finding new links using Broken Link Building is an easier and less time-consuming way to increase your DA score. The process goes as follows
- To find broken links on other websites use a backlink analyzer tool.
- Create content that replaces missing resources or identifies existing content on your site.
- Contact the editor and let them know you can provide your article as a replacement.
- Other Ways of Utilizing Domain Authority
Aside from authority elasticity, domain authority scores can also be used for targeted SEO campaigns. Because the comparative nature of DA helps establish realistic goals, it makes for an excellent measuring stick when trying to determine how effective your campaign is or isn’t.
1. Select keywords according to DA
When it comes to choosing keywords, analyzing Domain Authority (DA) can be an important measure of how competitive your site will be against other pages currently ranked on the first page.
I recommend optimizing your pages for keywords with keyword difficulty scores below or equal to your domain authority. A DA of at least 60 might be needed to rank on the first page for a keyword like coffee subscription boxes.
This is not an absolute barometer for what keywords will work for you website but it can be very helpful in finding low competition words that may drive organic traffic to your site for now until you build up your domain authority.
2. Determine your SEO priorities
DA is a comparative metric, so you should compare your scores with those of your competitors.
For instance, if your DA is much higher than that of other competitors, high-quality content may only get you to page one. This means your team should invest resources into on-page optimizations that are more affordable and can often be performed in-house.
It takes significant time, resources, and expense to execute an effective off-site search engine optimization campaign. If your domain authority doesn’t compare well with that of your competitors’, it may be necessary for you to pursue an aggressive strategy in order to rise above them on Google.
3. Pay attention to Google’s guidelines
Though Moz Domain Authority is not an official ranking factor (it’s just a metric they use) it signifies two key things: E-A-T and backlinks. According to Brian Dean in his article for Backlinko’s 2022 SEO Guidelines, Google has said that the creators of your primary content can contribute to your rankings.
Increase domain authority and improve your rankings
Domain Authority is a key indicator of an SEO’s success. High Domain Authority scores are rare and difficult to attain, however, this does not mean that you will fail in your efforts if you do not have high Domain Authority.
Still, increasing your Domain Authority (DA) is worth it because DA relies on criteria necessary for ranking high in Google, meaning more traffic to your site. To prove that you are an established and trustworthy source of information online, follow these steps below to boost your Domain Authority:
- The list is found in the directory
- Write concise and clear content.
- Visitors post on various other Websites
- Investing in Public Relations
- Attempting to fix a broken link