What is a website’s Domain Authority (DA)? This is a number that conveys the authority of your website. The rank goes from 0-100, with the higher-authority websites ranking higher on the scale.
Why does this matter? The higher your website’s domain authority, the better chance you have of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPS). This, in turn, leads to more organic traffic.
Run by data compiled by Moz, the Domain Authority is different than Google’s PageRank. Domain Authority is primarily used to compare the authority of websites, as it doesn’t contain all the information Google has gathered on your website.
Because of this, it is possible to have a low Domain Authority but still rank high with Google and other search engines.
Here is some additional information to keep in mind when considering your Domain Authority:
Domain Authority can’t be changed quickly. It takes time and effort to see results.
DA can be high even if a website does not rank high because it doesn’t account for Google penalties.
Domain Authority is based on forty factors, while Google’s PageRank is based on hundreds of factors (many of which no one knows).
The higher your DA score, the more difficult it is to move up (based on the logarithmic scale).
Domain Authority numbers change often, so this metric is better for comparing your website with a competitor rather than determining your SEO performance over time.
How Does Moz Calculate Domain Authority?
As mentioned, there are forty signals used to calculate the domain authority of a website. These include:
- Number, relevancy, and quality of incoming links
- General website SEO performance
- The quality of your website content
- The popularity of your domain on social media sites (social signals)
You can find your website’s domain authority score on several different tools. On Moz Link Explorer, you can see the Domain Authority for YouTube.com.
Another tool you can use is Ahrefs. Here you will notice the Domain Rating (DR), which is Ahref’s equivalent to Domain Authority. Notice that YouTube.com has a similar number for both tools.
How Do I Increase My Domain Authority?
Now that you have checked your business website’s Domain Authority, you are probably wondering how you can get to a higher number. Here are some tips to help you boost your score. This won’t happen immediately, but by following the advice below, you will get to where you want to be.
Perform On-Page SEO
On-page SEO Optimization refers to the optimization techniques you use on your website to improve visibility in search engines. It is important to focus on the following:
- Using keyword-rich headings in your website content (including pages and blog posts)
- Writing/auditing your website content for quality and relevance
- Performing keyword research to determine the best keywords to use in your website content
- Optimizing titles and descriptions
- Adding optimized URLs and permalinks
- SEO optimizing media elements (images, videos, etc.)
- Adding internal links within content to other content on your site and to external websites
- Using featured snippets
Focus on Off-Page SEO Techniques
Your link profile, the number of incoming links you have, is an important metric. Having a strong link profile will help you rank higher. A website with a strong link profile has:
- Incoming links from websites related to your services/products
- Incoming links from high-authority websites
- Incoming links from several unique domains
- Lack of low-quality incoming links
To strengthen your link profile, you will want to get rid of bad incoming links. Basically, any incoming links from low quality or sketchy websites can be categorized as bad links (porn, online gambling, link directories, link farms, unrelated websites, etc.).
There are several tools you can use to find toxic links, like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Monitor Backlinks. While each tool uses different metrics, they will all evaluate your links and tell you which ones are harmful.
Once you have that information, export the links via .csv file. You can then contact the webmasters for these websites and ask them to remove links pointing to your website.
If you contact the webmasters for these websites and they don’t remove the links (which is likely), you can use Google’s Disavow Links tool to get the job done. Click here to see how it works.
Perform Link Building
Once you have removed bad links, it’s time to attract some high-quality incoming links. This is a large topic all its own, so we won’t get into the details in this post.
Here is a great resource from HubSpot with lots of ideas to help you accomplish your goal.
Complete Technical SEO Tasks
Technical search engine optimization tasks are typically one-and-done, but if no one has completed these tasks, they can negatively affect your rankings and Domain Authority. Here are some things to complete if they haven’t been done already:
- Make sure your website is set up on Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools (and delete old ones).
- Check robots.txt settings to make sure search engines are able to crawl your website.
- Be sure you are using https.
- Add schema information.
Check Page Speed
Google pays attention to page speed. Faster page speed will lead to better domain authority and rankings as faster loading websites provide a better overall user experience.
You can use a tool like GTmetrix to test the speed of your website pages. Depending on the results, you may need to enlist the help of a web developer to improve page speeds, as there could be several technical elements involved.
Exactly how important is page speed? Kissmetrics reports that 40% of those surveyed would abandon a website that took over three seconds to load.
Also, the same source showed that 47% of ecommerce customers expect a web page to load in two seconds (or less)!
Fast loading pages will not only improve your DA and rankings, but it will provide a better experience for your users, which will lead to more subscriptions, sales, and leads.
A Mobile-Friendly Website Is a Must
Google has made it clear that websites which aren’t mobile friendly will not rank well because they can be frustrating for searchers. If you want to get out in front of potential customers, a responsive website is a must.
Why is it important to have a mobile-friendly website? Here are some good reasons:
- Mobile friendliness is one of Google’s major ranking signals.
- The majority of searches (around 60%) are now done on mobile devices.
- Websites that aren’t responsive will negatively affect your Domain Authority.
- A website that isn’t mobile friendly won’t have the opportunity to appear on Google’s mobile first index. Mobile-first indexing is where Google indexes and ranks the mobile version of a webpage.
PRO TIP: Click here to use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see how your website fares. Google will provide a handy report with tips to make your website more mobile friendly.
To conclude, the higher your Domain Authority score, the better chance of ranking well with search engines.
Using the tips above, you can ensure that you are on the right path to improving your rankings.