Domain Authority: What It Is and How to Improve It

Link BuildingSEO
By Janet Lee | January 17, 2022 | 6 min read

Domain authority sounds well…pretty authoritative. And if that’s what got you clicking on this article, then you’re right on track. Domain authority plays a pivotal role in your online success, and we’ve got a few good pointers on how to nurture it to give your business the best shot at success this year. 

Let’s dive into what domain authority is and useful tips on how to improve it. 

What Is Domain Authority?

Domain authority (DA) is a ranking score developed by SEO SaaS company Moz. The score illustrates your site’s relevance to a specific site topic or industry. In other words, it gives you a snapshot of your site’s health and competitiveness. 

The DA score ranges from one to 100. The higher the number, the greater authority your site has. Check your site’s DA using Moz’s Link Explorer

What Is a Good Domain Authority?

Now, there isn’t a right answer to this, because what’s “good” really depends on your competitors—DA is a comparative metric, not an absolute metric. 

For example, if your DA score is 55, this might initially be perceived as a pretty bad score. But before you start pulling your hair out, you need to look at your competitors’ DA scores. If their scores are in the 40s, then you’re in pretty good shape. 

Similarly, if you’ve experienced a dip in your DA score, this is of little concern if your competitors saw a similar movement too. 

Overall, you should define a good DA in relation to your competitors. 

How Does Domain Authority Affect SEO?

DA does not directly affect your Google ranking. But, the components that entail DA do play a role. So DA serves as a vital SEO marketing metric and a valuable resource to quantify your site’s worth.

Keep in mind, a high DA will not immediately grant you a top spot on the first page of search results. Your DA simply indicates your site’s potential to garner healthy web traffic and SERP rankings. 

As Moz puts it, an increase in your DA is an indication your “site will perform better in search results.” 

How Can I Improve My Domain Authority?

Finding that your DA score isn’t so hot? No worries, there are proactive ways to tweak your site to give it (and your business) the authority it deserves. 

1. Earn Quality Backlinks

According to Moz, the best way to improve your score is by enhancing the quality and quantity of your backlinks

Backlinks also play a pivotal role in Google ranking factors. When credible sites link to you, Google sees this as votes of confidence. The more votes you have, the more credible and trustworthy your site and business are. 

Put these on your to-do list to give your team the best shot at garnering backlinks: 

  • Take a look at your outbound links. Reach out to authoritative sites to see if you can form a partnership. 
  • Ideate and produce quality content and share it with your network. People who find your content valuable will likely share it with their peers—people who might help you earn additional backlinks. We’ll go more into detail on producing high-quality content in a bit. 
  • Guest blog for another website. Drop a link to one of your site pages in your guest post. Just make sure the hosting site allows you to include a dofollow link, or it won’t be worth it.
  • Find unlinked mentions. There might be sites that mention you that you’re unaware of. Use tools like Ahrefs’ Content Explorer to identify those sites, and drop them a note kindly asking them to add in your site’s link. 

2. Look at Your Competitors

Conduct a competitor analysis to see who you’re up against and the types of keywords and content they are ranking for. What is it they have that you don’t and vice-versa? What are some ways you can make your content and user experience outshine theirs? 

Since DA is a comparative metric, it’s crucial to analyze your competitors carefully to find advantageous opportunities. 

3. Craft Quality Content

Content is a vital on-page SEO element that plays a large role in your Google rankings. Content is the mode of communication that encourages your audience to take the action you want them to take. 

So what exactly does quality content mean? It’s content that: 

  • Speaks to your target audience’s pain points and offers insightful tips 
  • Is backed by valid sources/research 
  • Is well-written and free of grammatical errors
  • Is concise and well-structured 
  • Weaves in relevant keywords and phrases that align with the needs of your ideal customer

4. Keep the User Experience in Mind

How easy is it to navigate through your site? Can users easily get to where they need to be? Google assesses the quality of your user experience by looking at metrics like your traffic, bounce, and click-through rates. 

As a business and marketing professional, your job is to: 

  • Conduct a site health audit using this 16-point checklist. The checklist includes Core Web Vitals—a recent 2021 algorithm update that incorporates page experience as a ranking signal. The checklist aims to promote and safeguard your relevancy online. 
  • Incorporate conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies to optimize your site pages and convert more. Here are 16 quick tips to help get you started. CRO focuses on identifying and eliminating possible roadblocks that are getting in the way of your user’s experience. 

So How Long Will Improving My DA Take?

Keep in mind, there is no definite timeline for how long all of this will take. Every site and business is different. And it really depends on your goals, industry, and expertise. 

What we will say is, good things take time. All things involved in SEO require long-term effort. You’ll likely go through a period of trial and error to see what works and doesn’t work. Keep at it and if you run into roadblocks, look into partnering with a digital marketing agency.  

Claim Your Free Site Audit Today

Making the right on-page and off-page adjustments all begins with a site audit. And guess what? You can claim yours for free today

By signing up, you’ll get connected to our SEO experts, who’ll assess your site and note areas for improvement. For more information, check out this case study in which Big Leap optimized a client’s site and helped them boost their DA by 18 points in one year. 

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