What is Domain Authority, Why It Matters and How To Improve It?

domain authority for seo

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In the world of digital marketing, you often hear the word domain authority (DA). But what exactly is it, and why does it matter for your search engine optimization (SEO)?

DA is a key performance indicator (KPI) used to check your website authority and forecast your search engine rankings. While it isn’t necessarily one of the Google ranking factors, it helps you examine your web pages and further improve your SEO strategies.

Thus, this page covers what you need to know about DA and its importance in SEO. Read on to learn how to improve your domain authority.

What Is Domain Authority (DA)?

Domain authority is an SEO metric to forecast your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). It allows you to measure your website authority in comparison with other competing sites. The higher your DA score is, the higher your web page will likely rank on SERP compared to your competitors.

Keep in mind that domain authority isn’t a Google ranking factor. However, your DA score can help you examine your SEO performance. This automated score shows your domain strength as determined by Moz algorithms based on several factors. 

Now, you can compare your DA score with that of your site competitors to forecast your SERP ranking. With a glimpse of your SEO health, you can further improve your campaign strategies, whether producing high-quality content, establishing link equity, or earning more backlinks.

Learn more about DA scores, calculations, and tools to use in the next section.

DA Scores and Calculations

Moz was the first to introduce domain authority as a ranking signal. It assigns a DA score between one to 100, with the latter being the highest. Below are the ranges of DA scores and what they mean:

  • Below 30 = Poor
  • 30 to 40 = Below average
  • 40 to 50 = Average
  • 50 to 60 = Good
  • 60 to 70 = Very good
  • Above 80 = Excellent

Domain authority employs data from Moz’s Link Explorer web index. The DA score comes from the algorithm’s forecast of how often Google uses a domain in SERP. It is calculated based on several factors, such as the following:

  • Root domains
  • Referring links
  • Authoritative backlinks
  • Authoritativeness of links

Of course, you don’t perform the manual calculation. You can find out your DA’s website by using Moz tools. Learn more about these in the next section.

SEO Tools for Measuring Website Authority

You can check your DA score using Moz tools, such as Link Explorer, MozBar, and Keyword Explorer. You can then use this DA score to check your website’s strength and compare it with other sites. The DA metrics are also incorporated into various SEO tools and online marketing platforms.

Aside from Moz, SEMrush, and Ahrefs offer tools for checking website authority but with different SEO metrics:

  • SEMrush uses an authority score (AS). AS measures the overall SEO performance and quality of a web page.
  • Ahrefs employs domain rating (DR). DR shows the strength of a website’s backlink profile compared to others. 

Both aim to measure website authority. They also employ scores ranging from 1 to 100, with 100 being the highest.

Why Domain Authority Matters for SEO

Domain authority is a key performance indicator (KPI) for your SEO campaign. Specifically, DA is a metric that allows you to examine your website’s SEO health and make the necessary optimization. 

Jasmin Diaz, CMO of Smoky Mountains, believes domain authority matters in SEO. “What search engines rank your website as determines whether you rank higher in the search engine or not. This also affects the trust and authority of your site. This also goes hand in hand with link building.” 

Diaz continued, “A common SEO strategy is link building which helps you build a stronger domain authority by building links from other sites that already have higher domain authority. Overall, SEO efforts will help your domain authority in a good way and will help you be seen on the first page of search results.”

Here’s why DA matters for your SEO:

  • Domain authority helps improve your SEO strategies for higher SERP ranking. DA is a KPI indicating your website’s SEO performance and how your site fares compared to your competitors. 

By looking at your DA score and comparing it with other sites, you’ll strive to boost it further. As such, you’ll produce quality content, build internal links, and acquire more backlinks. All these steps will help boost your off-page SEO campaigns for better search engine ranking.

  • Domain authority establishes your website’s authority and credibility. A high DA score gives your website a good reputation in the eyes of search engines and their users. It makes you a thought leader in your industry.

The DA score also attracts B2B clients who might want to partner with your business. You can use it as a signal to justify how your SEO efforts are affecting your website, which can be an indicator of your SEO ranking.

Luat Duoing, Head of Search from Scandinavian Biolabs, stressed the importance of DA. “Domain Authority is a metric developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will perform in search engine rankings. DA is scored on a scale of 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater likelihood of ranking well. It’s like the “street cred” of your website in the neighborhood of search engines. DA is not a metric used by Google, but it is widely accepted as a reputable barometer of a site’s potential search engine performance.”

Duoing also recommends some practical SEO tips for improving DA, such as quality content, link building, internal linking, technical SEO, social media promotion, SEO best practices, and practicing patience.

Learn more about how to improve your domain authority in the next few sections.

How To Improve Domain Authority for SEO

There are several effective ways to increase your DA. But first, knowing how to conduct a domain authority audit for your website is crucial. 

To do this, you can use Moz’s Link Explorer, the MozBar (Moz’s free SEO toolbar), or in the SERP Analysis section of Keyword Explorer.

Below are practical ways to improve your domain authority for your SEO campaign.

June Jia, the website owner of Canny Trading, highlights the importance of DA. “Domain Authority (DA) functions as an indicator of a website’s credibility and influence. Websites possessing higher Domain Authority are more likely to secure superior rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Nevertheless, search engines like Google do not disclose their algorithms for assessing Domain Authority.”

Jia continued saying, “This has led SEO platforms like MOZ, Semrush, and Ahrefs to create and release their proprietary tools, akin to Domain Authority checkers, to assist SEO practitioners in evaluating their website’s authority.”

Jia said, “Although we do not have direct insights into Google’s specific algorithm, we can extract potential strategies for augmenting Domain Authority from these leading SEO tools. Notably, all three platforms—MOZ, Semrush, and Ahrefs—consider backlinks as a crucial factor in computing Domain Authority. In fact, Ahrefs places predominant reliance on backlinks as the primary benchmark for determining Domain Authority. Consequently, to enhance Domain Authority, acquiring a greater number of high-quality backlinks is essential.”

White hat link building is indeed vital in creating a solid backlink profile and improving your domain authority. Here are link-building strategies to implement:

  • Perform Journalist Outreach: Journalist outreach entails contacting journalists to pitch stories and gain media coverage. Chris Zacher, Growth Strategist at Intergrowth, recommended some strategies on how to increase DA. “The best way to increase your site authority is to build links, especially ones from high-quality sites. 

Zacher recommended some digital platforms for journalist outreach. “Use platforms like HARO and Help a B2B Writer, and work on publishing high-quality content to your site that drives links from other experts. It takes time, but you’ll start to see that authority score increase as the links start to roll in.”

help a b2b writer
  • Employ Guest Blogging: Guest posting entails writing articles for other websites to gain brand exposure, reach new audiences, and earn quality backlinks. But when implementing this strategy, ensure two key factors: choose credible industry websites and create quality content pieces.
  • Create Linkable Assets: Linkable assets are valuable resources on a website that others can share on their platforms.
  • Audit Your Website: It’s best to learn how to conduct a domain authority audit for your website. The goal is to remove bad links, including backlinks from low-authority, untrustworthy sites. To make informed link-building decisions, use Linktegrity to see which websites buy or sell links.    
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Streamlining On-page Elements for Boosting DA

On-page SEO involves content creation with keyword integration. A content piece consists of several elements you must optimize when publishing for Google to crawl and index for SERP ranking. 

Below are ways to scale your on-page elements:

  • Optimize On-page Elements: These include meta tags (such as meta titles and meta descriptions), headers (H1, H2, etc.), and URLs. Ensure they are well-crafted, relevant to the page’s content, and contain targeted keywords to enhance the relevance and visibility of your web pages.
  • Conduct Keyword Research: Keyword research is crucial in optimizing your website’s on-page elements. The goal is to find relevant terms or phrases your target users will likely use when searching online. Then, incorporate them into your content, including meta tags, headers, and URLs.
  • Improve Internal Linking: Internal links play a crucial role in technical SEO. Creating a link juice (equity) in your web pages is best. Doing so makes it easier for search engine algorithms to crawl your website and index your pages.

Employing Content Marketing for Increasing DA

Shane McEvoy, the managing director of Flycast Media, believes that “Improving your Domain Authority isn’t an overnight task—it requires patience and a strategic approach. Primarily, it would help if you focused on creating high-quality, relevant content which attracts backlinks from reputable sites. A strong, clean link profile is also crucial; this means getting rid of any toxic backlinks and ensuring your site is linked to trustworthy and authoritative sites.”

McEvoy continued, “The benefit of high DA is twofold. First, it helps you gauge your SEO efforts: an improving DA score is a positive sign. Second, it can indirectly influence your ranking on SERPs. In comparison, it’s not a direct ranking factor, a higher DA often correlates with improved search visibility, as the factors that increase your DA—like quality backlinks—are viewed favorably by search engines.”

It’s no secret that content is king in the digital realm. Here’s what you can do to boost your content marketing strategies:

  • Start Blogging: Create high-quality content, which means pieces are original, relevant, and valuable. Publish well-formatted, error-free, and thoroughly-cited content pieces regularly.
  • Incorporate Keywords: As mentioned, keyword research is imperative in content creation. After finding relevant terms or phrases, include them in your content pieces. Remember, however, that keyword stuffing is a big no-no.
  • Establish Topical Authority: This refers to your website’s level of expertise on a specific subject. As such, create authoritative content that showcases your experience, expertise, authority, and trust (EEAT). That will help establish your site as a thought leader in your industry.

Optimizing Technical SEO

Generally, search engine optimization has three key aspects. Aside from on-page and off-page SEO, technical SEO covers the technical components of your website. You must optimize them for high domain authority and SEO performance. 

For technical SEO optimization, here’s what to prioritize:

  • Create a Structured User Interface (UI). Website structure can impact your DA score & overall ranking. A good UI employs a minimalist design, ample white space, a color scheme, and a visual hierarchy. They make your website easy to crawl and index by search engines.
  • Enhance User Experience (UX). UX can also affect your domain authority. The goal is to provide your target users with the best experience when visiting your website. You can achieve this objective by ensuring easy navigation, a faster loading page, and high-quality content.
  • Optimize for Mobile Devices. There’s a need to optimize your content pieces and web pages for mobile devices. Why? More and more people access the internet using their mobile phones or laptops. Employ responsive web design to ensure your website adapts and displays optimally across different devices and screen sizes.

Final Words

Now, you understand how to improve your domain authority and why it matters in SEO. While it isn’t a Google ranking factor, it helps you predict, optimize your strategies, and boost your SERP ranking.

As such, check your DA score regularly and consider our practical tips for improving your DA. Follow our recommended steps for optimizing on-page elements, employing content marketing, implementing link-building strategies, and optimizing technical SEO. 

With all these tips and steps, you’ll significantly increase your website’s DA score. That can ultimately lead to top SERP ranking and overall SEO success!

Looking to kick your DA score up a notch? Jolly SEO can do the job through its journalist outreach and white hat link-building services. Contact us today, and we’re more than Jolly to help you with SEO!

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