If you’re here, you hopefully already know that search engine optimization ( SEO ) is important. You may already be an InfluencerSEO client, or you’re already taking or are interested in taking some measures to boost your chances of hitting the top of those Google search results. Practicing SEO can help you gain more traffic, get more readers, and overall grow your audience. There are tons of things to consider when working on SEO. If you don’t know where to start, definitely check out this list of SEO best practices for bloggers & this SEO terms definition list. Today, we’re covering an important, and often misunderstood data point SEO’s use throughout their processes of practicing SEO: Domain Authority.
Domain authority is essentially a search engine ranking score created and used to determine SEO strength and competitiveness. It’s an intuitive algorithm that uses several factors to give your website a score to determine how rankable your website is. The score reflects how successful your page is from an SEO standpoint.
Your blog’s popularity thrives by its overall SEO health. So knowing a website’s domain authority score is important for planning the future of your site! Once you know your DA score, you can develop strategies to improve it.
In today’s post, we’ll be breaking down what domain authority is, why it’s important, and how you can improve your ranking.
What is Domain Authority?
As stated above, Domain Authority is your website’s SEO strength and wellness. It scores how well your blog rates against other sites on search engine results pages ( SERPS ). Domain authority, unlike page authority, measures and scores the entire domain as a whole. You can use your domain authority to help determine how likely a website is to rank for various search terms. The score ranges from 1 to 100 and is calculated using a complex algorithm.
This can be a really helpful tool in determining how well your website is performing against competitors. Though domain authority does measure your search visibility on Google, it is not directly affiliated to Google nor does it only take Google search rankings into account.
The term “domain authority” was originally coined by a DA analytics site called Moz, but now almost all SEO softwares have their own version of domain authority and their own name for it. Some call it domain score or authority score, but they all refer to a similar ranking system designed to determine the competitiveness of your website!
How is Domain Authority Calculated?
As stated above, domain authority is calculated using a proprietary algorithm. This algorithm considers a few factors, including:
When other trusted domains link to your website or pages, this boosts your domain authority score. These inbound links are an important tool to determine the credibility and relevance of your content and pages!
Just like incoming links develop credibility, so do outbound links! A variety of external links traveling to other trusted and well-ranking domains will contribute to a high domain authority score.
These algorithms take into account the quality of the material you put out. If your blogs look rushed, copied, or poorly researched, your content will not support a good domain authority score.
Site Structure and User Friendliness
In order to determine your DA score, your site’s user-friendliness will be taken into consideration. The structure must be easy to navigate and pleasant for consumers.
Your history and longevity will foster a positive DA score just like a credit score. The longer you’ve been around and contributing healthy links and stellar content, the more trusted you are by the algorithm. The more organic rankings you have earned in the past, especially page one rankings, the more likely you’ll have a higher domain authority.
How Do I Check My Domain Authority?
There are a number of places to check your domain authority. Each one calculates it slightly differently and has an original process. Here are a few to get you started!
Moz is the leading provider of domain authority scores. It has a slew of features that not only give your website’s overall search visibility ranking but also give you an individual page authority score and a spam score.
Moz provides you with all this information in real time with its link explorer, and also gives you important analysis to determine how to raise your DA score. It delivers information like top ranking keywords to add to your site and tells you how many competitors are striving for the same traffic on a keyword.
A simple DA score checker is Bulkdachecker. It allows you with a click of a button to search the domain rating of up to five sites at once. It can also provide you with the score of an individual page and your IP address!
One of the great features of Bulkdachecker is that it not only calculates important seo metric information about your own site, but it also checks each backlink within the site, alerting you of any potential external linking issues.
Prepostseo does what the other domain authority checkers do, but takes it up a notch! They keep you and your goals in mind. So after providing you with the domain authority, page authority, IP address, and spam score, it recommends tools to increase your search visibility.
This intuitive site populates your data into downloadable formats to print for analysis or to share with your team! It also gives you several tips to increase your score based on the areas you rated poorly in, like inbound links or domain history!
What is Considered a Good Domain Authority Score?
So, now that you know how it’s calculated and where to calculate it, what does it all mean? According to Rock Content, a score between 40-50 is average, 50-60 is good, and higher scores above 60 are excellent!
Context is important, though, when it comes to domain authority. If you’re a small business or blogger with less power and capital, a score above 30 is considered good. You hit the 40’s and you’re now amongst some of the most competitive blogs online. Rank Content is really referring to larger publications, think Goop, The Every Girl, or even longstanding publications like the The New York Times. These are large companies with tons of investments and resources.
For a blogger just starting out, hitting a domain authority of 20-30 early on is incredible. And reaching 40 is a really great goal! I am sure you have already jumped off this post for a moment to search your website’s DA, and maybe you didn’t score as high as you thought. Have no fear! We have some tips to help you improve your ranking and further build domain authority.
How Do I Boost My Domain Authority?
At InfluencerSEO, instead of having the goal of obtaining a high domain authority, we prefer to think of domain authority as more of a data resource used in content strategy to boost rankings and traffic. What this means is we can use domain authority throughout the content planning process. We use it to help our clients choose topics and then create content in spaces they can compete in. This is important because it’s much easier to rank for keywords when you’re competing against lower DA score sites. We do this for all InfluencerSEO Strategize clients while conducting keyword research for their content.
However if you do want to raise your domain authority, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you push to your authority score goals! At the end of the day, everything you can do to raise your site’s domain authority is essentially practicing quality SEO. Here are the most impactful ways to raise domain authority.
Prioritize Content Quality
One of the most important ranking factors is your site’s content quality. If you really want to improve your DA, think about how you could improve the quality of your posts. Don’t slap together blogs and pages; instead, be meticulous about the material you want to present.
If your blog posts are helpful and well-written, they will be shared by others and be endlessly linked to on other well-known sites, increasing your DA score.
Always Link Respectfully and Thoughtfully
Though link building is important for binding your website to other high authority sites, you must be mindful of how you do so. Both quality and quantity are important in linking.
All links should be added in a way that adds value for the reader. This will build trust in your users and rank positively on your DA score. So for bloggers, this means you really want to be mindful of over linking, especially when it comes to affiliate links.
Seek New, Reputable Sites
Finding reputable sites to reference in your posts is vital. After all, the DA score of sites you are linking to affects your domain authority score as well, but you don’t want to be linking to the same sites over and over.
Take time to search out new trusted sites to link into your blog. And remember, the links have to enhance the experience of the reader.
Work Your On- and Off-Page SEO
You already know what on-page SEO is referencing, your content, meta data, site structure, keywords, and your internal linking structure, but what is off-page SEO? Off-page SEO is defined by Moz, as the process of allowing other sites to link to you and vouch for your quality content. You will naturally obtain links as you’re creating quality content. Or you can engage in interviews, guest posts, press releases, etc. You want to be very careful here though, as inauthentically gaining external links to your website goes against Google terms and conditions. You don’t want to risk a site penalty. So avoid any services that offer paid links. Be natural, be authentic, and don’t try to game the system. It’s just not worth it.
Ensure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
According to Monster Insights, Google has become a “mobile-first” search engine. This means that when determining your DA score, the search engine will travel your website via its mobile version first and prioritize the experience there before considering the desktop optimization.
Because of this, it’s wise to invest in a quality mobile experience for your users as web browsing becomes more and more handheld.
Improve Your Page Speed
With Google’s ranking algorithm, page speed gives you an edge over slower websites according to Reliablesoft. It will increase your user experience and raise your DA score! Page speed is mostly impacted by how your website is designed, the theme you use, any plugins or widgets on your site, and of course image amount and sizes. You can quickly check your pagespeed and get a list of recommendations to fix your site speed using pagespeed insights.
Conduct Link Audits
Links are vital for your DA score. Ahrefs, another authority checker, did a study and found that 91% of websites have no organic Google traffic because over 55% of them have no backlinks. These links are vital to your search visibility, but low-quality backlinks that lead to bad websites can hinder your ranking.
Periodically, go back and check both sites linking to your site and sites you’re linking to in your posts for links that may lead to spammy or untrustworthy websites that could be bringing your DA score down. Both Ahrefs and Bulkdachecker have an SEO tool that allows you to get a full link profile, so they are great tools to utilize!
Another factor that is considered in your domain authority is your website’s longevity. As your site ages and develops a consistent reputation for high-quality content, your domain score will grow with the knowledge of that established credibility. So be consistent, and buckle up for the long haul! Creating a strong presence and community online doesn’t happen overnight. Those that put in the time and effort are rewarded.
What’s your domain authority?
Now that you know the basics of domain authority, what it is, how you get a score, what it means, and how to develop it, what is your plan to increase your site’s search engine presence? Driving more traffic to your blog is a high priority, and following these simple tips can get you to your blogging goals! And don’t forget, while having a high domain authority is exciting, we really recommend using domain authority more as a data point to create efficient strategies vs simply having your goal be a high score. It can be useful rather than something to stress about. And once you do achieve a high domain authority, the work never ends. You should always continue to focus on creating high quality content, to keep your domain authority high.