Seven ways to Influence your Domain Authority

Want to know how well your website might rank or whether Google views it as a site it can trust? Check out your Domain Authority as a helpful predictor of whether your website will rank highly on search engine results pages (SERPs).

What is Domain Authority?

To quote from moz.com:

“Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs). Domain Authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to greater likelihood of ranking.”

Essentially, Moz – one of the world’s leading authorities in search engine optimisation – uses information about backlinks, internal links, spam score, and other ranking signals to give each web domain an authority scored out of 100.

Domain Authority is NOT a Google ranking factor and does not have a direct impact on search results, but it is still a handy indication of how positively (or not) search engines might view your site.

Nowadays, SEO tools such as SEMrush have their own Authority metric, meaning that Moz isn’t the only place to find your website’s domain authority.

Domain Authority

What is Page Authority?

Page Authority is different to Domain Authority. As the name suggests, it’s a way of measuring the authority of a single page on your website.

For example, you may have a particularly popular blog post that has been shared on social media and been linked to from other high reputation sites. This page may have more Page Authority than other, less popular pages on your website.

You can have a low Domain Authority but sections of your website with high Page Authority, and vice versa.

What is a good Domain Authority score?

There isn’t a magic number when it comes to the perfect Domain Authority score.

Sites with a very large number of high-quality external backlinks are likely to sit at the top-end of the scale. For example, Wikipedia has a Domain Authority of 94, Facebook has a Domain Authority of 96, and Moz scores itself at 91.

A brand new website starts with a score of one, which will increase as the site becomes more established. For this reason, newer and smaller domains often have a Domain Authority somewhere between 10 and 20. More established websites might sit in the 20 to 50 region.

If you want to aim for a specific score, a good starting point is to check your competitors’ scores to see what might be realistic for your industry.

How do you find a website’s Domain Authority?

There are a number of different tools you can use to check the Domain Authority of a website. These include:

(Some of these tools only allow a limited number of free domain checks per day, but also offer paid plans).

Why does Domain Authority matter?

Google uses over 200 ranking signals to determine where a website appears in search engine results pages (SERPs). Moz’s algorithms aim to harness some of the same signals to build a picture of how Google views your website and how well it’s likely to rank.

It’s a useful comparative measure to track, especially if you want to your Domain Authority compared to that of your competitors, or to compare your website’s reputation from one time period to another.

If your Domain Authority drops suddenly, it’s worth exploring why. Equally, if it suddenly goes up, you’ll want to review what you did right!

You might also look at which pages have the highest Page Authority and therefore are likely to have more important link profiles than other pages on your site.

Are there specific topics for which you have a higher reputation than your competitors? You can then think about how you can continue to raise your profile in this area.

Influencing your website’s Domain Authority

There are a lot of variables that determine Domain Authority, which means a lot of variables to influence! Time and consistent action are needed, but there’s no way of guaranteeing a specific Domain Authority score.

Experts do agree though that it’s easier to move your Domain Authority from 20 to 30, for example, than from 70 to 80, purely because of how the algorithms work.

The seven quick tips below are those most likely to boost your Domain Authority in the medium- to long-term:

1. Feature high-quality content

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – high-quality content is everything. It makes good sense for your business, for your customers, and for your SEO efforts to provide well written, informative and unique content that your customers will want to read.

If your content is genuinely helpful to your customers, they’ll stay on your site to read it, signaling to Google that your website is relevant to their search. Great content is also far more likely to get shared on social media.

2. Build your social media presence

Talking of social media shares, being active on social media is likely to have a positive effect on your Domain Authority. If people are sharing your articles and talking about them, Google will view that as a vote of confidence.

You can help build your social media presence by making your articles easy to share by using a social sharing plugin if you have a WordPress site (here’s a link to some of the most popular options currently available).

Google looks favourably on websites that pay attention to their internal links as well as their external ones.

If you write a blog article related to a topic you’ve covered in the past or have other content on your site that could add a further layer of knowledge or insight, then it’s good practice to link the two articles. This helps your website visitors delve deeper into a topic.

4. Regularly update your website

Google loves fresh content, and it would appear that sites that are regularly updated with blog articles, new information or products are likely to improve their Domain Authority because they’re seen as well maintained, active and constantly striving to provide visitors with up-to-date information.

If you’ve paid for backlinks or link exchanges, then spammy backlinks could be harming your Domain Authority.

One way to check your backlink profile is to use Google Search Console – click on Links>Top linking sites. This will show you what sites are linking to yours, what pages they’re linking to, and how many backlinks there are.

Alternatively, you could use a tool like the Website CEO Toxic Backlink Checker Tool (for which there is currently a 14-day free trial).

If you have the Moz Toolbar installed, when you visit each linking site, you will be able to see its Domain Authority. Do any of these backlinks come from a website with a less than stellar record or low Domain Authority?

Google likes link diversity, so it’s better to have backlinks coming from a number of reputable websites than rely on many links coming from a single domain. This is the equivalent to having job references from multiple people rather than the support of one person.

Knowing this, look at steps you can take to attract backlinks from a variety of sources. This could include writing guest blogs, appearing on podcasts, getting lots of social media shares, having your blog articles shared on forums, and more.

7. Take the long view

As with all good SEO practice, improving your Domain Authority won’t happen overnight. Keep exploring what your customers need and how you can deliver this. If you keep your audience centre stage and take a consistent approach instead of expecting overnight changes to your Domain Authority you can’t go far wrong.

7 ways to influence your Domain Authority infographic

Is Domain Authority something you look at? What is your site’s Domain Authority? Do you have any pages with particularly high Page Authority? What do you think it might be that sets them apart?

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Need help to boost your website’s Domain Authority?

If you want your website to rank highly in Google so you naturally attract far more of your target audience take a look at our ethical SEO service or book a call with me here.

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