Are you trying to rank your website higher in Google search results? Are you working on improving your content and web pages’ SEO? If you are, then you’ve probably come across the term “Domain Authority” and wondered what domain authority is or how to increase your domain authority. These are the questions we will try to answer in this article.
Let’s start with a “social” example. If you have ten questions in your head, you’d most likely go to the internet to find answers to eight or nine of them. But for the remaining one or two questions, you would prefer asking someone whom you consider an authority on a subject.
We all have people like that in our lives.
If you plan on taking a date to a fancy dinner, you might ask a colleague because you know they have fantastic taste in food. If you are planning to binge a new series on the weekend, instead of scouring the internet and watching reviews, you may text a friend who is always talking about different TV series and has seen all of them.
These are people we consider “authority” on a subject. And while domain authority is slightly different and significantly more complicated than that, it follows the same thought process.
What Is Domain Authority And Why is Domain Authority Important?
Domain authority is a value attributed to different websites that denote how relevant your website is on the internet. When we say that Google considers website authority as one of the “metrics” it uses to see where a page would rank in the SERPs, we are talking about domain authority. Domain authority is a collection of such as links and your social media footprint.
One way to track your Domain authority is to leverage a tool developed by Moz – An industry expert on SEO. They provide a metric they developed that quantifies how likely a website is to rank high on SERPs. Two key things to understand about the Domain Authority metric are: It ranks websites, not pages, and it’s a comparative scale. This means that you can get the best results out of it when you compare your competitors’ scores. Ahref has a similar tool called Website “Authority” Checker.
Now the question is, why is domain authority necessary? It’s important because it can give you a relatively accurate idea about how you rank against your competitors regarding domain authority factors. And that directly impacts your SEO and ranking.
How Is Domain Authority Measured?
Since we’ve established that domain authority is important (it is important, even if we haven’t established that), and you want to know how to increase domain authority, the first step is to understand how it’s measured.
1: Links to your website
Multiple high-quality external links are a top factor in measuring domain authority. New websites start with no score, emerging websites are scored at the lower end of the scale, and websites like Amazon or Wikipedia that have an enormous number of websites linking to them, have very high scores. Good authority links empower your domain authority, as well as your page authority.
On the flip side, spammy links can bring your authoritative score down. So if your website is still linked to old directories or shady websites that Google has flagged down as spam, do something about it.
2: Authority of referring sources
The websites that are linking back to you have their own Domain Authority scores. You can see them on the SEMrush domain authority checker results for your website. If they are high authority and have a score higher than yours, they are likely to improve your score. So you want your website linked to websites with better Domain Authority scores.
That doesn’t mean you should scrap away or work towards removing external links that are from low score websites. They are different from spam websites. There is a big difference between a new content site that is making a great effort VS spam.
3: How big a footprint you have in the social media space
Your social media presence might not impact your Domain Authority score directly, but it governs a lot of factors that do. Social media does more for content distribution than most people realize. If you have a strong social media presence, especially a professional one that lets you connect to your readers and peers that can improve and enhance your website’s linking, it may do wonders for your score.
4: A good indicator: Referral traffic
A link is never truly valuable unless it provides traffic. You should always keep your eye on the referral report in Google Analytics to see what new websites provide you traffic. Those are the truly valuable links.
What is a good domain authority without considering the page authority? Page authority is another metric to consider, especially if you are already using the Domain Authority score to understand and improve your website’s ranking.
Like Domain Authority, Page Authority is another metric created by Moz. It helps predict how individual pages of your website would rank in the SERPs. It’s calculated based on many factors and is intended to be used as a “comparative” metric rather than a stand-alone one. Your Page Authority can rank anywhere between 1 and 100 on a logarithmic scale, which essentially means that going from 50 to 60 is extremely difficult and different from going from 1 to 10. To put it simply, the lower you are on the score, the easier it would be for you to improve. The higher your score is, the harder you’ll have to work to push it higher.
How To Increase Domain Authority
First of all, if your domain authority checker is showing a low score of 12 or 13, you still might not have reason to panic. Because a Domain Authority score of 12 might be great if your competitors are scoring in a single digit. That doesn’t mean you should call it a day.
If you are wondering how to increase Domain Authority, the following steps might helps you get started on the right track.
- Increase the volume of authoritative links to your website. This is the largest factor that impacts your domain authority score. The most organic way to do it is to create great content and promoting it so that more people know what you’ve created and then link back to it.
- Leverage PR to generate links. Creating great content might not be enough. You need to promote it. You can pitch some of your content to the press or create byline articles to generate a link back to your website. PR is a powerful tool when developing exposure.
- Though it may sound like it, guest blogging is a different arrangement than “you scratch my back, I scratch yours.” Guest blogging or Guest posting is when you write for another website/blog. It’s usually unique content (different from what you have on your website) but within the same niche. It allows you to create backlinks to your website and improve peer relations. Guest posting can also help endorse you as an authority on a subject or within your niche.
- Adding social sharing to your blog. Whether it’s the scrolling buttons, a highlighted “share” button, or a click-to-tweet button, an easy way for readers to share your blog post can drive more traffic towards your website.
- Dedicate a certain amount of content creation to links that people have to click.
- Increase your social media presence. It’s not just to increase your domain authority, but it also helps put more eyes on your business and boosts conversions.
- Expand marketing efforts. Go all out on more fronts. Whether it’s your personal contacts, your social media presence, digital marketing (even paid marketing), or influencer marketing, get the word out. The more you can ignite curiosity regarding your website and your content, the better your domain authority can be.
- Increase your email marketing efforts to increase traffic & sharing. You can also include content upgrades to grow your email list.
- Look to authoritative figures and influencers to gain more traction. But try to gain exposure on their “shoulder” as organically as possible. Contacting them, cultivating a relationship, and trying to build a good rapport can go a long-way than pursuing short-term arrangements.
- Be skeptical of link building services. The days of black hat SEO are gone, it wouldn’t be long before whatever tricks and loop-holes current link building services are offering are dealt with.
- Never buy links. It’s a shady practice that typically does more harm than good. You can actually lose Domain Authority on top of your link building “investment.”
- Increase your content authority. That’s the most organic way to look authoritative to Google. Suppose you can actually write authoritative content. In that case, you can increase your organic traffic, backlinks, and, consequently, your Domain Authority score all in one go. But it takes time to build authority in content, especially if you are not expanding enough with marketing efforts.
- Remove toxic links and get rid of the dead weight. You can use Semrush’s backlink audit tool to remove all the links that bring your authoritative “vibe” (and score) down.
- Focus on the usability of your website. If your website is easier to use and navigate, the chances are that users might recommend its use, and writers might link it, which will spread the word.
- Improve your on-page and technical SEO. Also, focus on your internal linking. If it’s concentrated too much on a few pages, others might be getting lost in its shadow.
- Most traffic nowadays comes from mobile users, so make sure your website is optimized for mobile phones.
- Gain insights from your higher Domain Authority competitors. Checking and comparing yours and your competitors’ top pages can help you with that.
- Don’t disregard no-follow links completely. They can at least get more traffic to your website.
- Leverage the graphics of visuals. If your written content is not getting as many backlinks as you want, a well-made Infographic might.
We hope you now have a good idea of what domain authority is and how you can increase it. Used wisely, it can be a powerful metric. Good quality content, authoritative backlinks, building and leveraging peer relationships, pruning your website, auditing your links, and, most importantly, using Domain Authority score as a comparative metric and not a stand-alone (IMDB-like) rating, is the core of what you need to improve your domain authority.