What is the Domain Authority of a Website?
Domain Authority abbreviated as DA is a score between 0 and 100 as calculated by Moz. A brand new website will start with a DA score of 0 or 1. Well established sites like Google, Facebook and Wikipedia command DA scores close to 100. It is not easy to get a DA score that high. Most sites don't even cross 50 - 60 range.
Infographic source: Digital Next
Why is the Domain Authority of a Website Important?
Google uses many ranking factors to determine which websites to show in the results for any given search. Since there are close to 200 ranking factors, it's hard for SEOs and website administrators to track how good their site is and what their chances are of ranking high. This is where the Domain Authority comes in handy, it takes many of the Google's ranking factors into consideration and provides a single score for comparability and indicative strength of a website.
Factors Affecting the Domain Authority of a Website
- Number of links pointing to a site
- Quality of the incoming links
- Authority of the sites linking in
- Age of the domain
- Many other factors like MozRank and MozTrust
How to Increase Domain Authority
You can't increase the Domain Authority of a site like changing a setting on it, you have to work hard to build backlinks.
There are several practical steps you can take in order to increase your domain authority.
Build More Quality Links
Use link building strategies to increase links to your site. If you're an awesome content creator and you have a brand name, then you can expect links to come in on autopilot. If not, the best bet is to proactively seek out link building opportunities.
Link building's not about picking all the link building tactics known to mankind, rather it's about selecting a few tactics that you're comfortable with and implementing those. Some use infographic link building, some use broken link building tactics and some use resource page link building. Here are 30 of the most popular link building tactics for you to choose from.
Remove Bad/Toxic Links
If your site's been in operation for some time, you might want to check your link profile to see if there are toxic links that are adversely affecting your DA. Check Google Webmaster Tools to see there are any warnings regarding bad links.
Guest Post on Industry Websites for Links and Exposure
Rule number one when selecting a website for guest posting is to check if the website is relevant to your site or industry. The 2nd rule is to ensure a quality guest posting site. You can check the DA score of the site in question as an indication of its quality. Guest posting's not only about links but also an opportunity to build relationships, gain additional social media exposure and brand recognition.
Create Stellar Content
If the content you produce is weak - like short list posts that don't tell the readers what to do - then you might struggle. It's hard to build links to weak content, period.
Planning out your content and producing something different to every other content creator is equally important.
Promote Your Content to the Max
Creating awesome content alone is not good enough in this increasingly noisy world. To get the best out of your awesome content you need to promote it. Apart from using social media, you could also use influencer marketing and/or retargeting ads. Here are some useful resources that can help:
- Use Influencer Marketing to Promote Your Content
- Consider Using Retargeting Ads
- A 40 Point Content Marketing Checklist
Optimize On Site Elements
You might not be able to get top search engine rankings if your on-site SEO elements are not optimized, even if your DA is high. In order to avoid disappointment, it's better to get your house in order and start with on-site elements for every new page or post on your site. Use a plugin like Yoast SEO to better manage on-page SEO elements like keywords, URL, title and Meta description.
The other on-site elements that require attention are:
- Site speed
- Internal linking
- URL Structure that is short and relevant
- User experience of your website
How Can I Find a Site's DA?
- MozBar a free browser-based extension for Chrome. It displays the DA of any website within the browser so you don't have to leave the site to find its DA.
- Moz Open Site Explorer - a free tool available on the web where you can get more information about a site's links and their profile and not just the DA.
- SEO Tools like MozPro and MonitorBacklinks (Paid tools with limited time free trials to monitor, analyse backlinks and DA)
How Often Does Moz Update a Site's DA?
On average, Moz updates its index every 4 to 6 weeks. The last update was on 31st March 2016 and the next update is slated for 10th of May 2016.
Word of Caution
Be warned - domain authority is a comparative score. This means it's not a stand-alone metric to evaluate a website's quality or its performance. You can use the DA to get a quick idea of a website's potential and that's it. Don't get fixated by the DA as it's just another number - the real goals of your website might be getting more clients. While DA can help, it's certainly not the only way to achieve your goals.
When you start out, your site's DA will be low and you can only improve it over time, not overnight. Produce quality content assets and combine them with clever digital marketing tactics that don't break the bank, proactively work on building links from authority sites to increase your DA.