How to Increase Domain Authority
Online creators want people to see their work. Whether it’s a blog post or a local news article, anything published on the internet has a domain; an identifying detail that people can enter to find particular content. Since search engines, such as Google, are the primary way that users find more content, you’re going to want to make sure that the stuff you make is at the top of the search engine result pages. In order to do this, you’re going to have to understand how search engines choose which links to sort and display, and in what order they’ll be ranked. So let’s get started by defining some basic terms you’ll need to know in order to increase your domain authority.
Table of contents
- Defining Domain Authority (DA)
- Understanding Search Engines
- Finding your Domain Authority Score
- Increase Your Domain Authority
- What User Interaction Tells You About DA
- Domain Authority vs Page Authority
Defining Domain Authority (DA)
While Domain Authority may sound complicated, it’s much more simple than you think. Domain Authority is a search engine ranking that determines how likely a website is going to rank in terms of results. Created by Moz, sites are given an assigned number, or a score, from 1-100; the higher the score, the higher the authority. Certain websites will have better scores than others, simply by the fact that they have been modified specifically to succeed on google.
Understanding Search Engines
Before uprooting your entire site simply to improve your position on search engine result pages, you should know what users see when they enter anything into the search bar. Results are sorted into a few categories based on what type of query was made. Location name or service-based searches will come up with physical places that are often local to the searcher’s location. This is then followed by relevant pages or reviews. If users are searching for answers or definitions, google will provide a “featured snippet.” This box contains a short summary of what google thinks is the most helpful response. The website with the highest domain authority will go directly under the snippet. Your goal as a creator is to get your sites as close to that position as possible. One of the ways you can do that is to prioritize SEO on your site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of increasing how many people visit your website. Search engines have gathered information about the content of each and every site and sort that data into an index. The indexed content is then fed through a special algorithm, which then attempts to match the data with a user’s particular search term. By making your page the best option for SEO, you can move up your link on the search results page. If you look at a typical Google search result, the websites that appear first are the ones that Google believes have answered the query in the best way or the most authoritative way. There is such thing as too much SEO, which will be addressed later.
There are quite a few ways to raise the SEO of your web page. In the past, sites would often fill their pages with meaningless, low-quality blocks of white text in order to rank higher in search engines. Google, however, has learned that trick and often puts those sites much lower than pages that actually have well-written content. You can fill your page with lots of internal site links, which will give google a more clear idea about how your site is structured. Or, you can rely on backlinks, also known as the total number of other websites that link back to your content. By using a link explorer, you can collect the data on how many times your link appears on other pages, known as a link profile. The more websites that acknowledge your website, the higher your page will rank. This process is known as link building. Link building works the best when the authority of the other page is equal to, or higher than yours.
The numerical rating of how many other pages link back to your site is known as your domain ranking (dr). Pages can loop in your site in a few ways, including using anchor text, which is a short phrase relevant to your particular content. If you’re guest posting on another website or get tagged on social media, that connection back to your page will increase your overall dr.
If you don’t quite know where to start, there are lots of places to get SEO advice from experts. The web is full of SEO suggestions that can boost your traffic and increase your Domain Authority. There are even premade SEO tools available to use if you want specific results tailored to your page. The best thing to keep in mind when thinking of SEO is that high-quality content leads to a better user experience, which leads to more organic traffic.
A Quick Note About Ads
Another thing you may notice when looking something up online is a tiny green box with the letters “AD” in it. This is how google indicates that those particular links are advertisements. As a website creator, you can purchase that space as an advertising opportunity for your company or page, however, according to the Google Ads team, this practice doesn’t inherently help with SEO, which means it won’t help your domain authority. You’re better off investing your time and money into making great content, rather than prioritizing Google ad space.
Making Good Domains
Let’s say you’re starting a blog. It’s going to be filled with great content, interesting images, and even might have an occasional intriguing post from someone who’s guest blogging. You want to make sure before you hit publish that your page has a good domain. Good domains have the most important part of their content plainly displayed in their links, and often contain the name of the overall website as well, so users don’t lose track of where they found their information. Your domain should be easy to remember and should stand out in the crowd. The names of web pages that encompass all of the content created under that provider are known as the root domains.
Finding your Domain Authority Score
Before you can even go about increasing your DA, it’s in your best interest to get an initial domain authority score. Your link is compared to dozens of other pages based on many different standards, so it’s important to know that there isn’t one particular ranking factor you should dump all of your efforts into, because websites that only do one thing often have very low DAs. By getting an initial DA score, your number reveals your page authority and gives you a quantifiable data point to start from. There are a few things that contribute to your overall score, and these factors are known as an authority metric.
Moz has a free tool available to find your domain score, and even offer options for how to increase your rating. It’s really difficult to directly influence your domain authority directly because the authority metric used to calculate your DA has to consider a multitude of factors, so it’s better to consider it as a comparison point rather than a finite standard.
Increase Your Domain Authority
Once you’ve got your domain authority scores, it’s time to dive into what will make your page rank well. It’s important to know that domain authority is a logarithmic scale, which means it’s much easier for websites with a low domain to jump to a higher one, for example, 10-20, rather than a high-quality website to jump to an even higher number, 90-100. If your page already has a high da, you may have to focus more on inbound links or adjusting your page to make it more mobile-friendly rather than overhauling your overall domain authority.
Domain authority comes from having high-quality links that answer common search queries. Web pages that are well known on and offline, like Google or People Magazines, already have high domain authority scores because they already have a basic authority. Users know who they are, so they can set the standard for domain authorities. Big brands have the advantage of inherent website authority.
If your website doesn’t have the notoriety of places like McDonald’s, you need to focus on what can improve your domain authority. On the most basic level, it’s about making sure your site has well researched and well-organized content. Doing things like citing your sources or mentioning who has the rights reserved for any pages you link to that aren’t part of your internal linking. Acknowledging your content’s origin authority is important because it means you’re reliable and other websites will be more likely to see your content as high quality.
One thing you do want to avoid, however, is link stuffing. If you fill your website with other people’s links and don’t give any context to why they’re on your site, it’s going to decrease your page authority. You see it all the time on social media where comments are just filled with low-quality links that take users to spam websites or promise fake sweepstakes. Page authority doesn’t just come from other people’s words, it comes from high-quality content on your site, and earning that backlink may require a little effort. That effort is known as link building.
Types of Links That Increase Domain Authority
To start, any and all links to your site should be working. The last thing people want when they click on something they saw on a website is to arrive at an error message or an entirely blank site. This means you may want to check on your links occasionally, or even create a consistent backlink profile, so you don’t lose traffic to basic domain errors.
Direct links to your domain aren’t the only way to increase your domain authority. Any link that connects to your subdomain or URL will also boost your authority, so it’s important to have helpful and mobile-friendly root domains as well. If people can quickly and easily remember the name of your blog, they can use an internal link to get to a particular blog post that they want to share with someone. Also, don’t be afraid to just ask. Networking is part of any business, and if people like your content, letting them know that you’re available and excited to work with them can really go a long way.
This doesn’t mean that any blue highlighted text will count as a backlink. Email addresses, unfortunately, don’t add to your link profile. You also want to make sure that the links your page connects to are relevant. Google will lower your domain authority if the links have nothing to do with your original page. It should be known that the sites that link back to your page likely use domain authority as well, so you can see what their score is and use them as inspiration.
Types of Content That Increases Domain Authority
Domain Authority doesn’t include specific categories of content in its ranking factor, so well written websites about puppies will do just as well as sites about how to purchase handmade sweaters. The only exception to this would be pages that are simply made to increase domain. Google won’t count sites that are just lists of links as one with authority because it doesn’t fulfill a particular query. So, SEO has its limits. There is such thing as a website that is too focused on a domain authority score. Domain authority comes from great content that provides a good user experience, not from websites that sacrifice everything for the best domain rating. Other pages are also likely to add your links to their page if they like your content. Pages that rank well know what the requirements are, and often won’t allow guest blogging from sites that aren’t very competent. So put your best content forward, and you’re more likely to get a high da.
Places to Improve Domain Authority
A common mistake that online creators make is assuming that domain authority only comes from the content on the website itself. This isn’t the case, as most of the time, users make decisions about whether to use that particular site before even clicking on any links. These decision making factors can be found in what they first see when they search something into google; the meta content.
When a query is submitted, users see a short description of a website as well as a modified version of the title of the page. This is known as Meta Content. This gives creators a chance to give an elevator pitch of their content. While Google doesn’t specifically designate authority to websites with strong meta content, a strong initial impression of your website will increase your click-through-rate which will, in turn, increase your chance of positively affecting your rank. You want your website and its content to shine, so there’s no better place to start advocating for clicks than in the first thing that people see when they enter a search result.
Breaking Down Meta
Meta Content, according to experts like Moz, can be broken down into a few parts, all of which can be optimized as part of your plan to increase domain authority. There’s your title with title tags and the meta description. It should be noted that some schools of thought do not place title tags as part of meta content, but for consistency in this article, we will be putting it under the aforementioned category. The terms are often also used interchangeably. Each part conveys different things to viewers.
Title & Title Tags
Titles and Title tags are your first chance to tell a search engine what the page is about and are often considered the first impression viewers have of your page*. You’re going to want to make sure that the reader knows exactly what they’re going to get when they click your link. The title tag is the slogan for your title, so it should be kept short and to the point. In general, search engines like titles under 60 characters, including spaces*. If you’re thinking in pixels, the title should be able to fit in a 600-pixel container. Anything longer than that and you risk getting an ‘…’ added to your title, which will reduce the amount of information users can get from your title and its tags.
The meta description is a short blurb underneath your title and tag, which should serve as an active invitation for users to click on your website. It should be descriptive but to the point, as Google tends to favor descriptions that float between 50 and 160 characters*. The best meta descriptions are written like ad copy, so you should inspire users to take action (i.e. click on your link). They may not always use your description, especially if it thinks it doesn’t answer a search query.
Domain Authority: Fill a Query Niche
As with any created content, the most successful ones fill a particular niche. When it comes to websites, it’s all about being the best option available. You want your website to solve as many queries as possible, while also avoiding being too general. Low-quality websites often attempt to do too many things at once, so it’s better to do a few things very well and be the authority on a lesser amount of things rather than be a mediocre option for many things.
Keywords are Your Friends
Searches aren’t always fully written out questions. More often than not, searches are short phrases, made up of several key words. (See what we did there?) Your website will have a higher domain authority if it has relevant keywords in it. Keywords that match queries are often bolded by a search engine, so users’ eyes are drawn right towards the relevant content.
As with any aspect of SEO, there is such thing as too many keywords. This practice is known as keyword stuffing, where websites will just repeat the same phrases over and over, sometimes with only slight modifications, in their meta content and in the actual content of the website itself. Not only does this look unprofessional, but it will lower your overall domain authority because google’s algorithm puts keyword stuffers towards the bottom of the results page. Remember; your domain will suffer if you focus too much on SEO. Domain Authority comes from good content, not from overflowing keywords.
Examples of Pages with High DA
Sites whose domain comes to mind before you’ve even opened a search engine often have a decent da score. Besides the ones mentioned beforehand, a page with authority can often be found with a simple google search. Links that have good authority, like any federal website, will rank higher because real-world authority is important to search engine authority.
Domain Score and Domain Authority
Let’s firmly clarify the connection between domain authority and score. Your domain score, as mentioned previously, is the number assigned to your site’s authority. Websites like Moz have a very high authority score because they succeed in satisfying a search engine’s authority metric.
What User Interaction Tells You About DA
Users don’t personally care about the score, because they don’t see that. They see where your blog post shows up on google, or more importantly when it doesn’t. A website on the second page of Google, regardless of how great the content is, is going to have a low domain authority score specifically because most people don’t click the next page button on google, they’d rather just modify their search terms. This is another reason why having a good domain is important.
Improve Your Domain Authority by Keeping Users in Mind.
Think about what you use every day, whether it’s a specific website, or you’re just looking around on social media, you are interacting with domains and content more often than you realize. The websites you visit often have a good domain authority score because the domain gets entered repeatedly. There are some links people will click on multiple times a day, which brings up their da score. Take time to consider your own personal internet habits and loop those into your da improvement process.
Make Your Website User Friendly
This may seem like a no-brainer for site builders, but if people who find your page organically can’t navigate it, no amount of SEO is going to fix it. Avoid overloading your website with unnecessary things, and make sure it’s mobile-friendly. With 2.71 billion people using smartphones every day, you’ll lose a lot of traffic to your site if you don’t adapt it for places other than a desktop.
Your page should also be free from basic composition errors like grammar mistakes, poor spelling, and even flow issues. Domain Authority isn’t just about the content on the page, but how the content is presented. Clean and easy to use sites do better in the world of DA.
Domain Authority vs Page Authority
At first, these two terms may seem similar, however, they’re actually a part of one another. Page authority refers to where one page of a site appears on google, as compared to domain authority which is for the domain itself. The two are intertwined, and sites with great da can suffer from low page authority.
Moz calculates the two authorities in the same manner, so it should also be treated as a comparison statistic, not as an end all be all number. The distinguishing difference is that page authority doesn’t take keywords or content optimization into account. You can improve a page’s authority score in a similar manner to how you increase a domain authority score. When another high authority site provides a quality link specifically to one page of your domain, such as sharing it on social media, your page’s score goes up.
Internal links are also a great way to raise page authority. When you provide quality links to other pages on your own domain, your overall number of backlinks increases. Use it sparingly, as this can also contribute to the practice of link stuffing.
Domain Authority; Why it Matters
We can toss the terms around all over the blog post, but who really cares about domain authority? Why does it matter what google thinks of my particular website? Well, as more aspects of our world go digital, you should. Our attention spans are getting shorter, so it’s in your best interest for your website to have authority on your particular topic.
Having domain authority will make your website more popular. Billions of people make google searches every day, which could potentially bring in not only a massive audience but a large amount of revenue to your site. You know the content you put out there is good, but there are lots of things you can do to make sure that everyone else knows it too.
Throughout this post, we’ve gathered tips and tricks on how to increase domain authority. First off, we identified the relevant terms and what they all mean. Domain Authority (da) refers to the prediction of how highly a result is to rank on search engine result pages. Companies like Moz assign a numerical value to the prediction, which is known as your domain rating. This is based on a multitude of ranking factors, and should only be used as a comparison rather than a standard. The value is determined by a logarithmic scale, which means it’s easier for initially low ranked sites to go up than it is for highly ranked sites to reach 100.
But what exactly factors into this number? Primarily, your da is determined by how many unique links come from other sites to yours. You likely don’t know that number off the top of your head, so Moz provides a free tool known as a link profile that you can use to track where links are and the overall amount. This practice is known as link building and should be used with moderation in mind. Google doesn’t like sites that are all links, and your da will plummet if your site is just a wall of blue text.
Outside of links, domain authority comes from several other details, like having an easy to remember domain, or using keywords to your advantage. The best thing you can do to improve your domain authority is to have high-quality content. Google wants to help their users to the best of their ability and give them the most information as quickly as possible. By your site providing the most relevant and helpful response, your links are sure to rise to the top of the results.
Authority extends deeper than the domain. Page authority also can make or break a site, no matter how easy to remember your domain is. If the website is too full of non-essential fluff or isn’t very mobile-friendly, your links are going to slip in the rankings. Purchasing ad space will get the word out about your website, but won’t directly affect your da.
You can, however, make your website more search engine friendly by using SEO on your website. This, like prioritizing links or filling meta content with keywords, should only be used as part of your overall da plan, rather than as your sole tool. A website that sacrifices great content for optimization will lose out overall.
If all of this seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. With over 500,000 pages created every day, it can be easy to get lost in the mix. However, there are people out there who want to help you. Moz coined the term domain authority and has many free tools available to make your links stand out and more search engine friendly. Domain authority doesn’t have to be frustrating, and if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be at the top of the results before you know it.