What Is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority (DA) refers to a score given to your website on a scale from 1 – 100, 1 being the lowest and 100 being the highest. This score predicts the likelihood your website will rank for key terms over your competitors.
The term was capitalized on by MOZ who developed an algorithm that combined all the major keyword ranking factors into a score called Domain Authority.
There are many different versions of Domain Authority, developed by other SEO sites, that combine similar ranking factors, all of which output a score for your domain.
While most of them are similar, it’s best to use at least two different score types to get a more accurate overview on what may be positively or negatively affecting your marketing efforts as well as how to compete against your online competition.
We recommend using a combination of Ahrefs, and MOZ. Ahrefs determines your score more heavily on your backlink profile but also includes the other major ranking factors.
Why is Domain Authority important?
Domain Authority allows us to track the success of our SEO and marketing efforts on a grander, more obtuse scale.
We continuously track our backlink efforts, keyword rankings, website traffic, shares and mentions, etc. Tracking the fluctuations in our domain authority gives us a good understanding of how all of these combined ranking factors are affecting the success of your website.
If our content development, backlink campaigns, and continuous marketing efforts are successful, our domain authority score should reflect the positive changes.
Domain Authority Vs. Page Authority
Domain Authority is a prediction of your website’s likelihood to rank for given keywords and key terms in your industry on a root domain level. It removes the individual page level information and gives you an overall score for your domain.
Page Authority follows the same structure but for a specific URL on your site. If a page on your site has a significant number of high-quality backlinks and receives a lot of traffic, it’s likely to have a higher Page Authority than other pages.
Our top 5 ways to increase Domain Authority
#1 Website Optimization
Search Engines are looking for reliability. They want to show content that has the highest likelihood of satisfying the searchers intent.
To support this, we want to make it as easy as possible for search engines to understand the content on a website and, at the same time, be extremely definitive about the purpose that content serves to potential visitors.
A website optimization is a process of correcting all the inconsistencies that can negatively affect our continuous marketing efforts as well as your ability to rank in search engines.
This includes meta descriptions, URL structure, content heading structure, getting rid of low-quality backlinks, image alt txt and compression, increasing site loading speeds, adding structured data markup like schema and AMP, and any other on-site ranking factors we can control.
If you are interested in optimizing your site you can see our website optimization services here.
#2 Get New High-Quality Backlinks and Get Rid of Low-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are links pointing from one website to another. When you click a link in an article and it takes you to a page on a different website, that link is considered a backlink to the website you landed on.
To a search engine, a backlink is a symbol of trustworthy content. If many websites trust your content enough to link to it, it must be valuable content and search engines are going to take notice.
#3 Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly
Mobile friendliness refers to your website’s performance on mobile devices.
This is becoming increasingly important especially with Google’s rollout of Mobile First Indexing. Now, with Mobile First Indexing, Google uses your rankings on mobile devices to determine your rankings on desktop computers.
If your website is mobile friendly and ranks well on mobile search, it is much more likely to rank well on desktop.
If you are not sure whether your website is mobile friendly you can use Google’s Mobile Friendly Tester.
#4 Consistently Create New, High Quality Content
The development of new, high-quality content significantly increases the likelihood of earning quality backlinks.
This is much harder said than done as content creation takes a lot of time to develop. For this time to be as valuable as possible, it’s imperative that you have a strong content strategy in place.
Your content strategy should be a content roadmap that straightens your business objective and results in a high probability of ranking well on search engines.
A stagnate website is a depreciating asset. Meaning, a website that does not continuously generate new content is slowly declining in value and missing valuable opportunities to be found organically. At White Hattery we see so many business’ attempt to incorporate a blog into their routine and are unable to keep up with the workload it creates.
The best thing to do is either organize a realistic editorial calendar that aligns with your content strategy and won’t overwhelm your workload or, hire a content development expert to consistently generate content for you.
#5 Research Your Online Competitors
There are few things more valuable than researching and understanding your online competition.
If your competition has a DA score of 50/100, what is it that gives them a higher authority?
Here is a good way of thinking about it:
You’re about to create a new piece of content to rank for a key term related to your industry. You first search the term in Google and find out that the website ranking first has a Domain Authority of 51 and the page that’s ranking has a Page Authority of 32.
In theory, for your content to rank above this page, you would need to increase your PA and DA higher than the competing site.
You can look more into the competitor’s page to determine the factors that are giving them their high page authority and determine the amount of work it’s going to take for you to compete.
If you want a quick way to look into your competitor’s website you can follow our simple guide to studying your online competition using the MOZbar.
#6 (Bonus Step) Generate Reviews
Reviews have become an increasingly important ranking factor to products and service-based industries. If you have a local company, make sure to have a review request strategy in place that rotates your local directory profiles.
A good way to do this is through email outreach campaigns. You can set up multiple templated emails that have links to different local directories like Google My Business, Home Advisor, The Better Busines Bureau, etc. Focus on these directories one at a time sending the review request emails once the transaction with the client is complete.