SEO

What is domain authority and how do I increase it? 

What is domain authority and how do I increase it? 

Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz (an SEO software company) which predicts how well a website will rank on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). 

DA is scored from 1 to 100 and the higher the score the higher the domain will rank. The higher scores are allocated to websites who Google 'trust' the most and these sites usually have a greater amount of high quality back links, engagement, and content. In comparison newer, smaller businesses with fewer of these factors will be given a lower score.  

The exact metrics used are not known although people have developed theories of what is considered in your ranking score. We do know that it's based as closely as possible on algorithms similar to that of Google’s ranking system and that ultimately if you jump through Googles hoops, they will reward you accordingly with a higher domain authority which will inevitably help your website rank higher on search engines. .  

According to Moz, Domain Authority should always be used as a relative metric. Your website’s DA score will be relative to the DA of your competitors and should only ever be considered as such. Your primary purpose should be to have a higher DA than your competition as this elevates your chances of ranking highly.  

Click here to see what your website’s Domain Authority Is and to check if yours is higher than your competitors.  

As Domain Authority is a logarithmic scale, the process of increasing the score varies in difficulty. For example, if your DA is lower and close to the 20 mark it will be a lot easier to increase it to 30 than it would be to increase a DA of 70 to 80. This is due to the quality of the websites that have higher DA scores. These websites will have more backlinks and higher engagement rates, making them harder to compete with.  

It is hard to define a ‘good’ DA score as it is a comparative metric, so the best way to check if your score is ‘good’ is by comparing it to that of your competitors. Your goal shouldn’t be to have a DA of 100 but rather to have the highest score of all your online competitors. 

How to increase your Domain Authority: 

Develop a healthy link profile  

Google recognises a healthy link profile as an indication of a trustworthy and authoritative website and will rank it higher which will increase your website traffic and, in turn, your DA. 

Google likes a healthy link profile. A link profile is a list of all of your websites backlinks. For this to be considered as ‘healthy’ it should contain links from a large variety of sites which have a high authority. A link audit should be executed to reveal any toxic backlinks which are links that come from bad or broken sites and pollute your link profile. These bad links need to be removed from your link profile and your site so that they do not have a negative impact on your DA.  This process can be done in one of two ways. The first is to contact the website who is linking to you, and ask them to remove the link from their site. In our experience this very rarely works in which case you need to use Google Search Console's Disavow Tool in order to tell Google you do not want that link associated with your website. Note- when using the Disavow Tool we would always recommend using a professional as if it goes wrong it could really damage your rankings. 

Produce good content– blogs, case studies etc 

If you write great content and share it with people in your industry you will earn back-links from high quality sources. This will increase your site’s traffic and grow your reputation in Google’s eyes, leading to a better DA score. 

The key to writing good content is really identifying and knowing your audience. You need to live, breath and think like your consumers to truly understand what they want to read and what will keep them engaged. If you’re able to produce content that provides solutions to your searcher’s problems, they will appreciate your content and engage with it more. Another advantage of answering these problems is that if you can provide the solution, you automatically become the best option to purchase this solution from because they feel confident you can resolve their issues.   

This isn’t easy, and if your content isn’t good it will not increase your Domain Authority as people won’t read it. Think quality, not quantity. 

Earn highquality links  

Once you have mastered the art of writing good content, you need to earn high-quality backlinks to this content. Social media is an excellent place to start. Share your blog posts on social media and encourage your readers to do the same. By sharing your content with other websites who have a high DA and asking them to link your content, you will earn strong backlinks which is crucial for boosting your domain authority. One thing that is a massive no no is buying links online. Whatever you do, do not buy backlinks because Google will heavily punish you if they find out you have done so. Plus, the quality of paid backlinks are never as good as those organically earned, you would be far better investing the money in a good SEO strategy or content writer. 

Don’t underestimate the power of internal links. They help to keep readers on your site for longer and keeps them engaged. You are more likely to satisfy the reader and have a greater chance of answering their questions or solving their problems if they stay on your website and, as discussed, if they are engaging with you online they will boost Google’s perception of you.  

Improve SEO  

Improve your user experience by reducing your website’s loading speed. 47% of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less and 40% will abandon a page that takes three or more seconds to load. To reduce loading speed you can fix broken links, compress images, remove unnecessary plug-ins and add- ons, and use systems like Google's PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix to help you get that website loading faster. This will reduce your site’s bounce rate which once again increases Google’s perception of you.  

More than 60% of Google searches take place on a mobile device so your site needs to be mobile friendly, ensuring search engines can process your content easily and effectively.  It is essential that your website is mobile optimised and user friendly because Google reads websites mobile first, meaning your mobile performance is actually more important than your desktop performance, and Google will punish you if your mobile experience is poor.  

Optimising your on-page SEO will also help search engines to crawl your site. You can do this by using Meta tags, Title tags and Meta descriptions. These features help search engines and readers better understand your site and the type of content that is on it. If your site can be processed easily and your content can be clearly identified, it will improve your ranking and your DA score.  

Read our complete guide to SEO and read more about improving your sites on-page optimisation.  

Conclusion 

Improving your DA score is a long-winded process that won’t happen overnight and is something that should be part of your SEO strategy. Ultimately if you domain authority increases, this acts as a signal to Google that your website can be trusted, consequently resulting in higher search engine rankings. 

Looking to increase your domain authority?

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Jack Kennedy
Jack Kennedy
Jack is the founder of Invanity marketing and has worked in digital marketing since the age of 17. Having been involved in both the client-side and the agency side of the process he is building Invanity with a vision of creating a marketing agency that truly delivers on the results it has promised.