Domain Authority isn’t a new idea in the world of SEO. Still, many website owners have never heard the term, much less understand what it means. It’s a search engine ranking developed by Moz, and it’s one of the most important numbers when it comes to SEO. After Google stopped publishing Page Rank, it became the go-to resource for estimating site performance.
We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about domain authority, from how it’s calculated, to how to improve your score. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Domain Authority?
Before we get going, we’re going to share a few facts about domain authority to help you better understand how it works:
- Moz uses over 40 metrics to arrive at their score, including MozRank, MozTrust, and other Moz-proprietary factors
- Despite the complicated metrics, DA is thought to be mainly influenced by the quality of your website’s links
- Sites are ranked on a scale of 1-100, and it’s very difficult to get a perfect score
- The higher you move up on the scale, the harder it is to improve your rank. . .
. . . but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your score. In fact, there are several proven tactics to help you do so.
How to Find Your DA
If you want to improve your site’s DA, it’s helpful to first know what your DA is. Moz has a free tool called Open Site Explorer that you can use to check your domain authority. Just follow these simple steps:
- Go to moz.com/researchtools/ose
- Enter your URL in the search bar
- Hit “search”
When the results page pops up, your DA will be listed under the “Authority” heading. If your site is brand new, it will likely have a fairly low rank. If you’ve been working on building links and authority for a while, it might be somewhere in the middle.
No matter what your score is, these are the steps you can take to improve it:
Perform a Link Audit
If you want a great DA ranking, you need a healthy link profile. What does that mean? Your link profile is all of the backlinks your site has earned, and a “healthy” link profile is one that adheres to Google’s guidelines.
There are some backlink strategies, which Google refers to as “schemes,” that will get your site penalized, including:
- Buying or selling links that pass PageRank, including exchanging money for links or posts that contain links
- Excessive link exchanges (“link to me and I’ll link to you”)
- Using automated programs to create links to your site
- Hidden links embedded in widgets
- And more (see the full list here)
If you find any links that qualify as a “scheme” (and it’s likely you will), it’s important to disavow them to help raise your ranking.
Make Sure Your SEO is Up To Par
According to Moz, in order to improve your DA, you have to improve your overall SEO. That means going back and making sure all your ducks are in a row before you do anything else. Important elements include overall site structure and navigability, meta tags, header tags, alt tags, keywords, and more. (For more general SEO tips, click here.)
Create Linkable Content
It should go without saying that if you want people to link back to your content, you have to first create content that people will want to link to. That means your work (whether it’s blogs, infographics, videos, or something else) needs to be high-quality and that you need to produce a lot of it.
Link to Your Own Content
Just as important when it comes to DA is quality internal links. What that means is linking back to your own content within one of your posts – for example, when we provided the link for our SEO blog above, that was a backlink. This not only helps the reader find other content they may find useful, but it helps the search engines crawl your site.
Social Media Counts
Having a strong social media presence can also help your DA. If your content is regularly being shared and clicked on, it helps to create more authority around your website and content. Consider using social media platforms that make the most sense for your business, and focusing on making a difference there instead of across all platforms.
Building Domain Authority Takes Time
Once you’ve followed the steps above, it’s time to sit back and wait. Building DA is a long-term game and you’re not going to see immediate results. In fact, you may notice that other websites who have been around longer than you have a higher authority- with age comes more authority. When you have a website over a long period of time, regularly updating it with new content, this can help!
In the meantime, your increased level of content and improved SEO will keep driving new and repeat visitors to your site. Enjoy the ride!