Many businesses compete for the top rankings in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). It establishes them as the best authority on subject matters while driving more traffic to their websites. If you’ve been looking into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your site, the chances are that you’ve come across the term ‘Domain Authority.’
While several people use this term, not everyone understands what it means and how to improve it. In today’s modern world of advanced technology, you need every advantage you can find to beat your online rivals.
In this article, we’ll evaluate these essential questions:
- What is domain authority?
- Why is domain authority vital for online business success?
- How do you find your domain ranking?
- How are the domains scored?
- What’s the difference between page and domain authority?
- What are the benefits of domain authority?
- How long does it take to increase domain authority?
- What steps should you take to improve domain authority?
What is Domain Authority?
Domain authority refers to a website’s relevance to a subject matter and the quality of its content. Moz created the term and invented the algorithm technology for determining a site’s domain rating. While it predicts your potential ranking in search engines, it also aids you in comparing your content with those of your industry competitors.
Ratings range between zero and 100 – the higher your score, the greater your chance of an improved SERP ranking. You’ll also have the opportunity towards more website traffic. Businesses usually aim for domain ratings above 50, while anything above 60 is exceptional.
Does Domain Authority Matter?
When Moz first established the tools to determine the authority of a site, there were fewer factors involved in the evaluation. With the advancement of SEO and the growth of competition in multiple sectors, it’s become harder to establish a brand online. Search engines investigate more valuable elements to discover which sites hold the highest relevance to readers’ queries.
Ultimately, domain authority represents your website’s credibility in the industry. If you have a high ranking, more readers will rely on your information. You can also learn from companies with top domain ratings for the best strategies in your online articles.
Let’s make a practical example. You have an online business that sells bonsai trees. In an effort to increase your customers and improve your sales, you want to see what your rivals are doing on the internet. How do you know which sites to target? Which businesses have the best reach on search engines?
You can establish the top-ranking bonsai websites by looking at their domain authority. By using effective online DA rating tools, you can find which businesses to analyze to improve your marketing strategies. After performing your research, you’ll know which rivals to compete against in terms of SEO and search results.
Finding your Domain Rating
Now that you know what domain authority is, you must be wondering how to evaluate your site and your competition’s domain rating. There are several online tools available, some of which are free and others that are paid subscriptions. The free online DA tools limit the aspects you can analyze, but still provide you with the base ranking.
Here are a few authority checkers worth looking into for DA ratings.
What better way to evaluate your website’s authority than the original creator of domain authority? Moz provides a free Chrome extension for quick analyzes of a website. If you want more detailed information, there’s the Moz Pro Account subscription. You’ll receive access to advanced DA tools, such as SEO campaigns and suggestions on improving your site’s ratings.
The Ahrefs website offers a free authority checker service, as well as additional statistics on domain ratings. If you pay for the subscription services, you’ll see detailed information on the aspects of your score. The data includes the number of healthy and bad links as well as organic traffic. You can also see whether any changes you’ve made have affected the score.
Many online businesses consider SEMRush to be one of the leaders in SEO tools. Not only does it assist in SEO improvements, but it provides a detailed analysis of domain ratings between you and your rivals. It’s an effective method of ensuring that you stand above the crowd in your niche.
Page Authority versus Domain Authority
It’s crucial to understand the difference between page and domain authority. It’s a minor difference, but one that can have a negative impact on your site’s ranking. It’s easy to make the mistake of believing that they are the same thing.
Where domain authority looks at the entire website as a whole, page authority looks at the relevance of individual site pages. While the DA status is more significant, a bad PA rating can impact your overall score. You need to ensure that every page on your website has a healthy PA score.
Page authority shines when it comes to specific search engine results. You may have a site that deals with several topics in your industry. When readers search for particular queries relevant to your pages, a high PA rating helps reach the top of the results. Yet, it won’t help to have a high PA score if your domain authority is low.
Key Elements Used in Scoring Domain Authority
One essential aspect to note is that search engines like Google don’t apply DA metrics when it comes to SERP rankings. Yet, online DA tools do their best to align their metrics to SERP algorithms so that higher domain ratings reflect better search results. Moz alone uses forty various factors when determining your site’s score.
Of all the elements that it evaluates, here are the top ones:
- Unique backlinks: You won’t receive a high score merely from high-volume backlinks from one website. It’s better if there are a few websites that link to your pages.
- Quality external links: It helps to link to external sites that have high domain ratings. Linking to low-quality sites is detrimental to your DA score. Domain tools rank external links from zero to ten, with the average score being three.
- Trusted sites: There are specific sites that search engines and domain tools consider as trustworthy and authoritative websites. Their URLs usually end in .gov or .edu, to name a few. If these sites link to any of your pages, it will dramatically increase your ranking.
- Quality content: This category is closely related to search engine results and SEO. Traffic to your site increases where your content holds high relevance to search queries. The longer a reader spends on your page and consumes information, the better your chances of top ratings.
- Site structure: If you’ve read enough website reviews, you’ll notice how many discuss the layout and design. SEO loves site structure that makes it easy for readers to navigate menus and pages. Search engines also rank efficient structures highly, as they are easier to crawl for information.
- Social signals: A good indicator of a site’s authority is the number of times pages are shared on social media. You have a better chance of a higher ranking with a hundred social shares than with two.
We consider these the top factors in domain authority because they directly link to how you can improve your DA score.
The Benefits of Domain Authority
Before we get to the defined steps in improving your domain rating, we’d like to spend a moment discussing the benefits. You’ve seen why it’s essential for your business, but there are specific advantages to having a high ranking.
The most obvious benefit is that readers will see your website as an authority figure in your industry. They will visit your site more often for information, knowing that it’s more reliable than your rivals’ articles. There is no substitute for the feeling that others consider your work trustworthy.
Due to this rise in traffic, you’ll see more comments on your pages and attract more guest post writers. Many consider it a privilege to participate on a site that holds such high esteem. Therefore, you’ll find expert writers contacting you to write posts on your behalf, creating more quality content.
Advertisers and marketers will pay high rates to place their adverts on your site. They use authority checkers and website traffic analyzers to determine which sites are the best to market their products. In the same way, it leads to an increase in affiliate sales and sponsored links.
All of the above benefits leads to the most significant advantage of all. Your pages will rank higher in SERP positions. With such quality engagement with your website, your posts will start jumping to the front page of search results within moments of publishing.
Steps to Increase Domain Authority
Now that we’ve explained in detail why domain authority is so valuable, it’s time to get to your main reason for being on this page. Most of the information we’ve provided above ties into the steps for increasing your domain rating.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 steps to increase domain authority.
- Relevant Domain Name
- Optimized Page Content
- Content Worth Linking
- Structure of Internal Links
- Bad Link Elimination
- Mobile-friendly Site
- Engaging Niche Content
- Page Loading Speed
- Content Marketing
- Latest Technology
1. Relevant Domain Name
You should select a domain name relevant to your industry or the products you’re selling. It makes it easier for readers to remember your website’s name when looking for information. Changing your name may be difficult if you’ve already established your company online, but it’s always good to evaluate if the domain name is working well.
Another essential aspect is choosing a name that will stand the test of time. Once you’re ranking well with SEO, SERP, and domain authority, changing the domain name may have a negative effect on your online business. Therefore, you should pick a name that will be relevant for many years to come.
2. Optimized Page Content
SEO is essential for higher search engine rankings and increased website traffic. Your content should include all relevant keywords, but in a way that reads naturally. Optimization also includes content-coding, such as image alt tags, meta titles, and meta descriptions.
Another page aspect that businesses often overlook is the font style. Readers might find the information valuable, but close your page because they struggle to read the words. Font style considerations include size, type, and legibility.
3. Content Worth Linking
If your content is informative, intelligent, creative, and well-written, there is a better chance that authority sites will link to your posts. Influencers will also share them on social media. While it’s exciting to see a high level of engagement, remember to stick to your brand’s relevant industry.
You need to create a posting strategy to ensure frequent content. Readers quickly lose interest in a site that only posts once a quarter or month. If you publish content more regularly, there’s a greater chance of other sites backlinking to your posts.
4. Structure of Internal Links
While external links from authoritative domains provide a massive advantage over your competition, the structure of your internal links is equally essential. The reason for this is two-fold. The first is that it directs your readers to other relevant information on your site or products that they may be interested in purchasing.
Secondly, it assists search engines in crawling your site for relevant pages associated with search queries. If you have a healthy internal link structure, readers will have no problem finding details related to their questions on SERP outcomes. You’ll also find more of your pages appearing on search results.
5. Bad Link Elimination
In the same way that backlinks from good sites can improve your domain’s authority, links from bad sources can damage it. You should spend time working through your backlinks, making sure that only good sources link to your pages. Similarly, you should check that your external links are still relevant and not broken.
Some web hosts allow you to approve backlinks when external sources link to your content. This feature doesn’t always help, though, and you may spend hours daily working through long lists. To make your life easier, search for plug-ins or online tools that evaluate and remove bad links for you.
6. Mobile-friendly Site
In today’s world of comfort, convenience, and advanced technology, most readers access the web through their mobile devices. They also subscribed to alerts for specific news on their phones. If your site isn’t compatible with mobile browsers, you will lose many opportunities for mobile traffic.
Website platforms often provide this compatibility as part of the web hosting package. If not, there are online tools you can look into that will offer this feature. You can also use an online mobile analyzer that will give you a score for how well your pages work on mobile devices.
7. Engaging Niche Content
Your best shot at obtaining high domain authority is creating frequent content that’s relevant to your industry. Yet, you shouldn’t restrict this content to your own website. Feel free to write guest posts on other authority websites in exchange for backlinks to your pages.
Influencers are also vital to your success. Engage with readers in page comments, especially with those that are seen as leaders in their fields. The niche content should be interesting enough to encourage your followers to start a discussion on the topic.
8. Page Loading Speed
Have you ever visited a site that took over a minute to load? How long did you wait before you closed the page? Slow load speeds not only drive away impatient readers, but it also harms your website’s bounce rate.
While images are essential for SEO rankings, you should ensure that the image sizes are low while retaining image quality. You can use online tools to evaluate page loading speed, while also analyzing which elements slow it down. Pages that load quickly improves your reader’s experience.
9. Content Marketing
We mentioned earlier that authority checkers evaluate social signals that link to website pages. To create engagement for your content that drives traffic to your site, you should share your posts to social media. If your content is engaging enough, your followers will also share it for others to read.
You can also include social media buttons on your posts for your readers to share directly from your site. The more engagement you receive for your pages, the better your chances of a higher domain ranking.
10. Latest Technology
Technology is changing every year. There are also technological advances in device and app features. While mobile devices provide a wealth of opportunities at increase rankings, you should keep tabs on other tech improvements and new device launches.
Smartphones are a good example of why this aspect is essential. A few years ago, businesses were satisfied with their posts appearing on mobile browsers. Today, you can create apps for readers to download on Google’s Play Store, where they receive posts straight to their phones. Ensure that you remain on top of technological trends to maintain your domain authority.
The technical details of domain authority may intimidate you. There may be a vast difference between what you and your readers consider authoritative, valuable content. Fortunately, there are online tools and steps you can take to improve your articles’ authority in your industry.
It’s a process that can take months, even years, before you see any massive improvement. Yet, it’s undeniable that domain authority holds extensive benefits towards your site’s success. Start your content strategy as soon as possible based on our steps in this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to better rankings.