If you’re a website owner or someone interested in search engine optimization (SEO), you might have heard the term “domain authority” thrown around. But what exactly is domain authority, and how does it impact your website’s SEO performance?
In this post, we’ll dive into domain authority, explaining what it is, how it’s calculated, and why it matters in the SEO game. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced SEO pro, understanding domain authority is crucial for boosting your website’s visibility and ranking higher in search engine results pages. So let’s get started!
What Is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority (DA) is a metric created by Moz, a software company specializing in SEO tools. Other SEO tools have similar metrics, such as the Ahrefs Domain Rating score. These scores use a scale of 1 to 100 to predict how likely a website is to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). A website with a high DA score has a better chance of attracting organic traffic and is generally considered more authoritative and trustworthy in its niche.
What Impacts Domain Authority
Your website’s Domain Authority is calculated by a proprietary algorithm that analyzes various factors that are known to impact search engine rankings. These include:
- The number of backlinks (inbound links) pointing to your website
- The number of unique domains linking to your website
- The DA of the linking domains
- The age of your domain, i.e., how long ago it was registered and the length of time it has been online and receiving traffic
- Your website’s current search engine rankings and organic traffic
Domain authority is a comparative metric, which means that your site’s score is calculated relative to every other website on the Internet. Improving your SEO will generally increase your DA, but it’s not a linear process, and your DA can fluctuate based on factors out of your control.
Domain Authority vs. Page Authority
Page Authority (PA) is similar to Domain Authority, but it measures the strength of an individual page rather than your entire website. Page Authority aims to predict how well a specific page will rank in search on a scale of 1 to 100.
Having one or more pages on your site with higher Page Authority than your overall Domain Authority is common. For example, this can happen if a page ranks highly for a popular search keyword and gets a lot of traffic.
Monitoring Domain Authority
Now that we’ve gone over some Domain Authority basics, let’s talk about evaluating your website’s DA.
How to Perform a Domain Authority Check
It’s easy and free to check your Domain Authority and Page Authority. Enter your website’s URL to the Moz Domain Authority Checker page. You can also check the DA and PA of other websites up to three per day.
DA scores are updated approximately once a month, but changes can take a couple of updates to affect your score.
If you pay for SEO tools like SEMrush, you can also use this to check your website’s domain authority. At InSync Media, we regularly track our clients’ domain authority and other SEO metrics like keyword position tracking, website health, and organic traffic.
What’s an Ideal Domain Authority Score?
Domain authority is a comparative metric, so it’s best to look at it in relation to your competitors and your overall goals. To get an idea of the DA, you should look up similar businesses in your geographic area or that offer similar products and services if you have a national audience.
If you don’t have access to any SEO tools like AHREFS, do a Google search for keywords you’d like to rank for and then check the DA of other businesses that appear in the rankings. Keep in mind that unless you run a large corporation, you won’t be able to get a DA as high as a site like Amazon. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never outrank them or can’t get a first-page ranking despite a lower DA. You absolutely can.
Regarding search, relevance is almost always the most critical factor. For example, let’s say you own a restaurant in Chicago that sells organic hamburgers with a DA of 10. If you follow best practices for local SEO, you should still outrank McDonald’s with its DA of 75 if somebody Googles organic burgers in Chicago because your restaurant is a better fit for their search. But you may appear lower in the SERPs than a competing small Chicago restaurant with a DA of 25 and serves organic hamburgers.
How to Build Domain Authority
As we’ve discussed, having a high domain authority score is not strictly necessary to rank well in search. However, if you follow these SEO strategies, your DA will increase over time, along with your rankings.
Focus on Quality Content
Building domain authority starts with a website people want to visit, read, link to, and share. First and foremost, that means creating helpful and valuable content.
When designing your website, don’t simply list your products and services. Develop a blog section where you can share useful information for current and potential customers. For example, if you are a plumber, you could create a blog post about ways to unclog your drain and how to know when it’s time to seek professional help. Don’t be afraid to write about unique topics your competitors might overlook, such as the history of indoor plumbing.
Use attractive visuals to showcase your products and services. Include a photo gallery of the work you’ve done. If you own a restaurant, create an online menu with photos of all the dishes you serve, or at least the most popular ones.
If you offer a product that takes skill or practice to use, such as software or a piece of machinery, make how-to videos for people to watch before and after they buy. If you sell something fashionable or cute, short, fun videos can bring you traffic from social media.
Net Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are links from another page to yours. Backlinks are essential for increasing your DA and improving your search rankings. However, just getting random links won’t help much; you need a strategy.
The best backlinks for raising your DA come from other websites that are relevant to your website and have a higher DA than yours. These kinds of backlinks tell Google’s algorithm that a website it thinks is good thinks your website is good, which raises your reputation.
Since DA is just an estimate of what one SEO tool thinks Google likes, the impact of backlinks can vary. However, in general, getting backlinks from websites in your industry and location with a high DA will benefit your SEO.
For more information about backlinks and how to get them, check out our article on backlink building.
Remove Toxic Backlinks
Most backlinks are either helpful to your website or neutral. However, in some cases, you might have toxic backlinks from spammy domains that could negatively impact your domain authority. If this happens to you, you can use the Google Search Console disavow tool to tell Google that specific links are bad and they shouldn’t count against you.
How an SEO Agency Can Help Boost Domain Authority
An SEO agency can play a crucial role in helping boost domain authority by employing various strategies and techniques. Domain authority is a metric developed by Moz that measures a website’s overall strength and credibility on a scale of 1 to 100 based on factors like backlinks, content quality, and user experience.
Here are several ways an SEO agency like InSync Media can help improve domain authority:
- Technical Website Optimization: An agency can perform a comprehensive website audit to identify technical issues affecting your domain authority. They can optimize website speed, fix broken links, ensure proper indexing by search engines, and improve overall website performance.
- Content Strategy and Creation: High-quality and engaging content is vital for improving domain authority. An SEO agency can conduct keyword research to identify relevant topics and create valuable content that aligns with your target audience’s needs. This can include blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, and other types of content that attract organic traffic and generate backlinks.
- Link Building: Building high-quality backlinks from reputable websites is crucial for improving domain authority. An SEO agency can develop a link-building strategy to acquire authoritative and relevant links pointing to your website. This may involve outreach, guest posting, content promotion, and building relationships with influencers and industry leaders.
- On-page Optimization: Optimizing on-page elements like title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and URL structure can improve the overall search engine visibility of your website. An SEO agency can optimize these elements to make them more keyword-focused, descriptive, and user-friendly, thereby increasing the chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- User Experience Enhancement: A positive user experience is essential for visitors and search engines. An SEO agency can analyze user behavior on your website, identify any issues or bottlenecks, and recommend improving site navigation, mobile responsiveness, site architecture, and overall usability. A seamless user experience helps increase engagement, reduce bounce rates, and improve your domain authority.
- Social Media Integration: Social signals, such as likes, shares, and comments on social media platforms, can indirectly impact domain authority. An SEO agency can help integrate your website with social media channels, create shareable content, and develop strategies to increase social engagement, leading to improved visibility, traffic, and potential backlinks.
Building domain authority takes time and requires consistent effort. InSync Media can provide expertise, experience, and dedicated resources to implement and monitor these strategies effectively, helping you boost your website’s domain authority over time. As you grow your business through organic reach, we would love to be your strategic partner.