Domain Authority is one of the clearest indicators of your value as an online brand and predictor of how well you rank in search engines, as estimated by Moz. The higher your Domain Authority, theoretically, the higher you rank in search engines.
Before we learn how to increase Domain Authority, let me define it in more detail for anyone who is unclear.
What is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority (also referred to as “DA”) is a number from 1 to 100 that indicates the value, quality, relevance and trustworthiness of a domain. Domain Authority was invented by Moz in an attempt to mirror the way Google looks at domains based on many factors that Google uses to judge the millions of domains on the web.
Do You Know Your Domain Authority?
Head over to Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool and enter your domain. It will show you a Domain Authority score out of 100, and will show you other important SEO information like inbound links, spam analysis and the top ranking pages on your site.
Try it out by entering the domains of two to three top competitors. How do you stack up?
Another helpful tool is the MozBar, which you can add as a Chrome Extension. This toolbar will hang out at the top of your browser as you cruise the web and will show you the DA of any site you visit.
If you expand the toolbar, you can see other details like inbound links, spam score and more.
3 ways to increase Domain Authority
Get published on credible websites (with high DA). A single link back to your domain from a New York Times or Entrepreneur article has great value. You also build your personal brand and reach when you are published. HARO is a great tool for finding expert opinion opportunities, but at some point you’ll need to use a content strategy and some more traditional PR tactics to reach editors/writers and get your opinions published on highly credible sites. These are a few of the many link-building strategies that can increase your Domain Authority.
Create and publish high quality content on your website. Do this often, but do not give up quality for frequency. If you have a consistent flow of good content, your website will benefit from inbound links, social shares and organic search traffic (if you optimize your blog posts using SEO best practices). Instead of outsourcing your content development, start with your internal team to develop and promote content. Also, don’t forgot to invest time into promoting your content. There are plenty of ways to make sure your content finds an audience. Here are 11 strategies to try.
Clean up your website structure and links. This is often overlooked and undervalued compared to the more glamorous link-building and PR efforts. If your site is littered with broken links, bad redirects, spammy inbound links and many low value pages it will have a serious negative impact on your Domain Authority. Here’s a resource from Yoast to help you clean up your site structure.
A few things to remember when monitoring your Domain Authority
It’s very slow moving. Moz only updates its Mozscape index about once a month, and especially the higher you get, the harder it is to increase Domain Authority. We’ve gone through stretches of three to four months where our DA didn’t change a bit, even with all of our hard work with content creation, marketing and PR.
You might also see your Domain Authority rise or drop drastically out of nowhere based on changes in the Moz algorithm, or other factors. Compare these changes to those of your close competitors to see if they have the same fluctuations or if it’s something that is just affecting you. Also, keep in mind it’s a long game and it’s better to look at DA trends over 6 to 12 months and not get too fixated on momentary ups and downs.
I hope you learned a thing or two about Domain Authority that can be used in your daily marketing efforts. There’s a lot more to learn about Domain Authority and SEO in general, but understanding the basics is a great way to start.
Jason Brewer is founder and CEO of digital agency, Brolik. He is passionate about helping other business owners navigate the digital world, whether it be marketing strategies or new technologies to reach new customers and drive growth.