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How to Increase Your Website’s Domain Authority

You’ve heard the term “domain authority” before and you know it’s important, but you’re not exactly sure what it is—let alone how to use it to boost your business’s visibility and sales.

Never fear! By the end of this article, you’ll know what contributes to page authority, how to increase your website’s domain authority score, how they impact SEO performance, and more.

What is domain authority?

Domain authority is a measurement of how likely a website is to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). Moz first introduced the metric, but other tools have developed similar authority metrics. Moz’s domain authority score ranges from 0 to 100, with higher scores representing a greater likelihood of ranking.

A domain authority score generally considers several factors, including the number of total backlinks, the quality of those backlinks, and the number of linking root domains. The resulting score gives you an idea of how well your domain might rank in the SERPs in relation to your competitors.

Why is domain authority important?

Domain authority is one of the top-ranking factors for SERPs. In a nutshell, your website’s domain authority score will help you determine your competitiveness in your niche when it comes to ranking and increasing your organic traffic. This will help you strategically choose keywords to increase your search traffic and, hopefully, increase conversions, whether they’re trial signups, phone calls, or purchases.

For example, let’s pretend your website’s domain authority score is 56. If you’re competing for a specific keyword against sites with domain authorities between 39 and 47, you’ll know that a well-written blog post or web page has a good chance of ranking. But, if you’re competing against sites with domain authorities in the 80s, you’ll probably want to target a different keyword.

However, it’s important to note that while domain authority score predicts success, it doesn’t necessarily represent success. The metric is not used by Google, and boosting your domain authority won’t automatically make your website rank higher in Google search results.

Domain authority vs. page authority

Before we dig deeper into domain authority, we need to clarify: domain authority and page authority, another metric developed by Moz, are different. While domain authority ranks the strength of an entire domain, page authority focuses on a single page’s ability to rank in the SERPs.

By identifying pages with the greatest potential for improvement, page authority can help you plan an effective digital strategy.

Given that domain authority plays a significant role in determining page authority, it’s crucial to focus on improving your site as a whole rather than any one page.

How to increase domain authority in 3 steps

Now that you know what domain authority is and why it’s important, it’s time to learn how to improve your website’s domain authority score. Follow the three-step process outlined below, and you’ll be well on your way to a higher domain authority.

1. Get the basics right

First things first, make sure you set up your website properly. That means optimizing your on-page content, making sure your site loads quickly, and building a mobile-friendly site that’s easy to surf on a phone or tablet. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Don’t neglect your internal links, as they help search engines like Google crawl and index content. Just make sure that your anchor text matches the page you’re linking to.
  • Test your website for mobile-friendliness. Mobile-optimized sites offer better user experiences and increase the likelihood that your content will secure backlinks.
  • Ensure your website loads quickly. Slow sites have high bounce rates, which is a big red flag to Google and other search engines. There are several tools available for checking your website load speed.

A good SEO audit can help you find where you’re neglecting the basics to improve your domain authority.

When it comes to domain authority, high-quality backlinks are king. The more you have, the higher your score will be. We’ve written an in-depth post on link building, which we definitely suggest reading. But for now, keep these things in mind:

  • Create great content: Authoritative websites will only link to your content if it’s remarkable. So take your time and create in-depth blogs, videos, etc. that are better than what’s already on the internet. It will be worth the effort, guaranteed.
  • Promote your content: Great content alone isn’t enough. Give it a boost by promoting it to your email list and social media followers. Doing so will help you get eyes on your work, which will boost your backlink opportunities.
  • Implement a link-building strategy: Top-notch content and a consistent promotional strategy will get the ball rolling. But you’ll also want to take a more proactive approach to link building. To do this, contact authoritative sites and ask them to link to you. Just know there’s a right and wrong way to go about it, which we cover in the link-building article referenced above.
  • Commit to guest blogging: Finally, guest blogging for reputable sites can be a great way to build backlinks. For one thing, you may be able to link to your own website in the content you write. And second, the folks who read your guest post might enjoy it, check out your website for similar content, and then link to some of your posts.
Ahrefs Backlink factors vs. page factors relating to how to improve domain authority
Big thanks to Ahrefs for this awesome chart

Not all links are created equal. To improve domain authority score, you need to secure high-quality links and eliminate low-quality ones. But this begs the question: what’s a high-quality link?

A quality link is one that comes from a reputable site. For example, a link from the New York Times is a high-quality link because the publisher is known and respected. Links from unknown, spammy websites would be considered low quality.

The easiest way to eliminate low-quality links is to use a tool like SEMrush, which will help you identify backlinks that harm your domain authority score and backlink profile. Once you have the complete list, manually remove them, if possible, or disavow them through Google.

Related: How to disavow links to your website.

Domain authority FAQs

Want to know more about the domain authority metric? These FAQs might have the answers you’re looking for:

How do you check domain authority?

Domain authority may seem complicated at first. Fortunately, checking your site’s domain authority score is super easy. Just follow these four steps:

  • Pull up a domain authority tool, like Moz’s free Link Explorer tool, Majestic’s Site Explorer, or Domain Rating from Ahrefs
  • Type your URL into the search bar
  • Analyze the data that the tool gives you

What’s a good domain authority score?

You just plugged your website URL into a domain authority tool and took a look at your domain authority score. Now, you’re probably wondering, “Is that good?” 

It’s a fair question. It’s also the wrong question. You should be asking, “Is that good for my site?”

As mentioned previously, domain authority scores range from low numbers to higher numbers. Every website starts with a low ranking and begins to climb as it gains backlinks and popularity. A good domain score depends on the domain authority scores of your direct competitors.

Let’s return to our previous example and pretend you have a domain authority 56. This number is much lower than Google’s, which ranks in the 90s. But this comparison is irrelevant since your hypothetical site doesn’t compete with Google for customers.

After researching the scores of your direct competitors, you realize that most of them are in the mid-forties, which means your domain authority of 56 is excellent.

To determine if your domain authority score is good, compare it to your competitors’ scores. If it’s higher, you’re doing well. If it’s lower, you have work to do. It’s as simple as that.

How fast can you improve domain authority?

It could be months before your strategies for increasing domain authority start paying off. That’s because it takes time to optimize your website, get higher-quality backlinks, and build out good content on your site. Boosting your domain’s authority is a long-term strategy, not a quick solution to poor performance in the SERPs. 

How do you lose domain authority?

Your domain authority ranking can drop because of several factors, such as:

  • Getting involved in a link scheme: Your domain authority can decrease dramatically if you buy or sell links, use automated link-creating tools, or exchange links excessively.
  • Having lots of low-quality links: If spammy sites link to your domain, it could harm your score.
  • Experiencing domain technical issues: Slow site speed, broken links, or other issues can also lower domain authority.
  • Improved competitor performance: Finally, your domain authority could also decrease if your competitors start performing better in the SERPs.

Are there other measures of domain authority?

For the last several years, multiple companies have devised their own domain reputation ranking tools that aim to measure the same thing but are named things like “domain reputation” or “site authority.” It’s important to note that one tool’s domain authority ranking scores likely won’t align with those of another. Whichever metric of page health you use, be sure to keep it consistent.

How often should I check my domain authority?

Typically, the recommended frequency for checking your domain authority is about once a month. This frequency allows you to track changes over time without getting overwhelmed by constant monitoring.

Implement the right strategies to increase your website’s domain authority

Domain authority is an important marketing metric because it can help you build a strong SEO strategy that propels your company forward. Just remember that domain authority predicts success, it doesn’t guarantee it. Because of this, boosting your score should never be the end goal.

To increase domain authority for your website, follow the three steps we discuss in this article. When you do, your domain authority and your site’s ability to rank well in search engine results will improve.

Partnering with a digital marketing agency is another strategy for boosting your company’s exposure online. Whether you want to optimize your website, dive further into SEO, or get started with email marketing, WebFX can help. Here at Nutshell, we’ve partnered with WebFX to make digital marketing easier for your team. Learn more about their digital marketing services!

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