You’ve probably heard the term before and you know that domain authority is important, but you’re not exactly sure what it is, let alone how to use it to drive traffic and rankings on Google for your business.
Do not worry! By the end of this article, you’ll learn the exact definition of domain authority, how to increase your website’s domain authority score, and more. We’re going to detail exactly what you need to know to help you understand its importance and how you can use it to your website’s advantage.
What Is Domain Authority?
Since MOZ created the domain authority metric, we’ll refer to them for a definition:
Domain Authority, or “DA,” is “A Search Engine Ranking Score that predicts how likely a website is to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). A domain authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to higher ranking ability.”
MOZ goes on to say that, “Domain authority is calculated by evaluating multiple factors, including root domain linking and a total number of links, into a single domain authority score.”
It is important to note that domain authority predicts success, it does not necessarily represent success. Google does not use the metric and increasing your DA will not make your website rank higher in Google search results.
In a nutshell, your website’s domain authority score will help you determine your competitiveness in your niche. This, in turn, will help you choose your keywords strategically.
For example, let’s say your website’s domain authority score is DA56. If you’re competing for a specific keyword against sites with domain authorities between DA39 and DA47, you’ll know that a well-written blog post or website page has good results. chances of positioning. But if you’re competing against sites with domain authorities in the ’80s, you probably want to target a different keyword.
Other Page Authority Measures
Until about 2022, Moz’s domain authority metric was the gold standard for evaluating the reputation of websites. MOZ allowed anyone to perform unlimited free domain authority checks anonymously. Through a small page on your website, users can type in a website URL and get domain and page authority results immediately.
As it happens, MOZ made the decision to remove this feature from the public, requiring users to create accounts and provide an email address before using the tool. If you want to access the MOZ tool to determine your domain authority metrics, you can sign up free of charge for a MOZ account.
Over the years, other companies have developed alternative SEO tools that provide a similar analysis to MOZ. These other tools do not use the expression “domain authority” and are called close variants such as “domain rating” or “site authority”, but their goal is to determine similar information: the specific authority score of a site.
It is important to note that most of these systems do not work well with each other. A MOZ DA of 51 might be equivalent to a 76 on another tool. Whatever page health metric you use, be sure to keep it consistent.
Domain Authority vs. Page Authority
Before we delve into domain authority, we should clarify: domain authority and page authority, another metric developed by MOZ, are different. In the company’s own words:
“While Page Authority measures the predictive ranking strength of a single page, Domain Authority measures the strength of entire domains or subdomains.”
In this article, we will focus on domain authority.
How To Check Domain Authority
Domain authority may seem complicated at first. Fortunately, checking the DA score of your own site is very easy. Just follow these four steps:
- Open MOZ’s free Link Explorer tool.
- Type your URL into the search bar near the top of the page.
- Sign up for a free MOZ account. Already a user? Sign in.
- Analyze the data provided by MOZ.
It is worth mentioning that although MOZ created the domain authority metric, many other SEO tools have also developed their own versions. For example, Majestic has Trust Flow and Ahrefs has Domain Rating. You can use one of these tools instead if you prefer.
What Is A Good Domain Authority Score?
You simply plugged your website URL into one of MOZ’s tools and took a look at your DA score. Now she’s probably wondering, “Is that good?” It’s a fair question. It is also the wrong question. You should be asking yourself, “Is it good for my site?”
As mentioned above, domain authority scores range from one to 100. Every website starts at one and starts moving up as it gains backlinks and popularity. A good domain score depends on the domain authority score of your direct competitors.
Let’s go back to our previous example and assume you have a DA of 56. This is much lower than Google, which is in the 90s. But since your hypothetical site isn’t competing with Google for customers, this comparison is irrelevant.
After researching the scores of his direct competitors, he finds that most of them are in their mid-40s, which means their DA of 56 is excellent.
To determine if your domain authority score is good or not, compare it to the scores of your competitors. If it’s higher, you’re doing it right. If it’s lower, you have work to do. Simple as that.
Increase Domain Authority In 3 Steps
We’ve covered a lot so far, but there’s still one important topic we need to address… How to increase domain authority! That is what we will discuss in this section. Follow the three-step process outlined below and you’ll be well on your way to a higher DA.
Get The Basics Right
First things first, make sure your website is set up correctly. That means optimizing your on-page content, making sure your site loads quickly, and creating a mobile-optimized site that’s easy to navigate on a phone or tablet. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Don’t neglect your internal links as they help search engines like Google to crawl and index content. Just make sure your anchor text matches the page you’re linking to.
- Test your website for mobile friendliness. Mobile-optimized sites offer better user experiences and increase the likelihood that your content will secure backlinks.
- Make sure your website loads fast with PageSpeed Insights. Slow sites have high bounce rates, which is a huge red flag for Google and the other search engines.
Create High-Quality Backlinks
When it comes to domain authority, high-quality backlinks are king. The more you have, the higher your score. We have written a detailed post on link building, which we definitely suggest reading. But for now, keep the following in mind:
- Create great content: Authoritative websites will only link to your content if it’s remarkable. So, take your time and create blogs, videos, etc. detailed ones that are better than those already on the Internet. It will be worth the effort, guaranteed.
- Promote your content: Great content alone is not enough. Give it a boost by promoting it to your email list and social media following. Doing so will help put eyes on your work, which will increase your backlink opportunities.
- Implement a link building strategy: Top-notch content and a consistent promotional strategy will get the ball rolling. But you’ll also want to take a more proactive approach to link building. To do this, contact authorized sites and ask them to link to you. Just know that there is a right way and a wrong way to do it, which we covered in the link building article mentioned above.
- Engage with guest blogging: Finally, guest blogging for reputable sites can be a great way to build backlinks. For one thing, you may be able to link to your own website in the content you write. And second, people who read your guest post might enjoy it, check your website for similar content, and then link to some of your posts.
Reduce Low-Quality Backlinks
Not all links are the same. To increase your domain authority score, you need to secure high-quality links and remove low-quality ones. But this begs the question: what is a high-quality link?
A quality link is one that comes from a trusted site. For example, a link from the New York Times would be considered high quality because the publisher is known and respected. Links from unknown websites that contain spam, on the other hand, would be considered low quality.
The easiest way to remove low-quality links is to use a tool like SEMrush, which will help you identify backlinks that are hurting your domain’s authority score. Once you have the full list, remove them manually if possible, or disavow via Google.
Domain authority is an important marketing metric because it can help you build a strong SEO strategy that drives your business forward. Just remember that domain authority predicts success, it doesn’t guarantee it. Because of this, increasing your score should never be the ultimate goal.
To increase the domain authority of your website, follow the three steps we talked about in this article. When you do, your DA will increase, as will your site’s ability to rank well in search engine results. Good luck!