How To Increase Domain Authority
Increasing your Domain Authority should come naturally if your content and SEO strategies are well developed and executed. However, as you develop your strategies, you will inevitably come across this metric, and your natural SEO instinct is going to wonder “how do I increase my Domain Authority”.
Looking to increase your domain authority? It’s not as difficult as you might think.
Follow the easy-to-action tips in this article to give your site the advantage through a higher Domain Authority.
What is Domain Authority (DA)
According to MOZ, inventors of the Domain Authority Metric:
“Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score that predicts how likely a website is to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). It ranges from one to 100, with higher authority scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.
Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating multiple factors, including linking root domains and the number of total links, into a single DA score. This score can then be used when comparing websites or tracking the “ranking strength” of a website over time. Domain Authority is not a metric used by Google in determining search rankings and has no effect on the SERPs.”
In other words, Domain Authority is a metric developed by MOZ to predict your site’s ranking ability.
Domain Authority is scored on a 100-point logarithmic scale. This means it’s a lot easier to boost lower scores (20 to 30, for example) than it is to raise higher scores (e.g. 70 to 80).
The best way to use Domain Authority is as a comparative metric to measure against your most direct competitors. Use it to compare your brand to competitors in the same industry, vertical, aiming for the same keywords, topics, etc. This way you’ll have a real business-driven way to use Domain Authority instead of just as a “vanity metric” where you just want to get to 100 for the sake of it.
How is Your Domain Authority calculated?
There is a complex algorithm that Moz uses to determine your DA on a daily basis. We will break it down for you and give you the essentials that you need to know.
Moz takes 40 different signals into account to calculate a website’s Domain Authority. These include factors such as:
The number of incoming links pointing to your website.
The quality and relevancy of incoming links.
The quality of your website’s content.
Social Signals (the popularity of your domain and content in social media).
Your website’s SEO performance in general
Why Increase Your Domain Authority
Sounds obvious to some but increasing your domain authority is something that’s always going to deliver benefits to you.
Before going on to the how. Let’s spend a couple of minutes answering the why. Should you focus on improving your Domain Authority? Why? Why not?
By now, it should be clear to you that DA is not a metric used by Google to rank your website. In fact, Google has more than 200 different ranking factors and Domain Authority does not directly impact the rankings on Google SERP.
However, Moz’s Domain Authority and Google’s algorithms do share some common factors. That’s why websites with higher Domain Authority are usually found on the top of the search results. This has given Domain Authority a level of trust as a metric and is also considered a good standard to measure a domain’s authority across the world.
The point is that a higher DA should not be your end goal. Of course, it’s better to have a high DA than to have a low DA. The goal, however, should be to use Domain Authority as an indicator to compare against your competition.
Read how an e-commerce provider increased their domain authority.
What Causes Domain Authority to Fluctuate
In order to understand fluctuations (positive and negative) in your domain authority, you must first understand that the metrics that affect your DA depend on numerous factors. So, even if you work to improve your site’s SEO, your Domain Authority score might not reflect that.
Here are some of the factors that can negatively affect your Domain Authority:
Your link profile growth hasn’t yet been captured in Moz’s web index.
More or fewer of your linking domains were crawled and indexed than done previously.
Your Domain Authority is on the lower end of the scoring spectrum and is thus more impacted by scaling fluctuation.
High-authority sites experienced significant link growth, skewing the scaling process.
You earned links from places that do not contribute to Google ranking.
The only remaining question at this point is how can you increase your domain authority? Let’s get right into it.
How to Increase Your Domain Authority
Building your Domain Authority should be a consequence of a well-executed tactical content and SEO strategy. Regardless, there are tactics you can use to try to give your Domain Rating a Boost.
The following tips have been divided into On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, and Technical SEO ways to boost your Domain Authority by following some basic and simple SEO principles.
Off-Page SEO – Build a Strong Link Profile
To make your link profile stronger, you need to:
Build incoming links from high-authority websites
Have incoming links should come from related websites
Avoid low-quality links
Have links from a number of unique domains
Constantly monitor your backlinks to know if they’ve been lost, broken, or if you need to take any action regarding them.
A comprehensive and personalized backlinking strategy is the best way to build a strong link profile. With a well-built strategy, you can gain more links naturally by offering great content, and get high-authority, high-quality, and high-relevancy links by reaching out to sites and bloggers that could agree to a backlink.
Your on-page SEO is all about optimizing your pages and their content. The most important factors to keep in mind and check to maintain a healthy on-page SEO include:
Optimized titles and Descriptions
Proper use of Headings (H1 and H2) within your content.
Optimized URL structure and SEO optimized permalinks.
Optimized images, videos, and other media elements.
Natural use of keywords in your content (no keyword stuffing).
Internal links to your own content (extremely important SEO technique)
Content formatted so as to have more chances to rank in Google’s featured snippets.
The most important factor, as stated by Google in one of its SEO guides, is to keep your content fresh and up to date.
Technical SEO & Other Technical Aspects
The key here is to get your technical SEO right from the start. The items to check at this level have more to do with web development details that need to be set up correctly. Once that’s done, all you need is regular maintenance as your sites grow and a system in place to add pages, links, images, etc. in an SEO-friendly way.
Remember that not having your technical SEO in order can have a huge impact on your Domain Authority and rankings.
Some of the most critical SEO settings you need to check to include:
Register your website with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools
Create and optimize your XML sitemap and submit it to Google
Check your robots.txt settings and use Fetch as Google to ensure that Google and other search engine spiders can crawl your website without problems.
Migrating your website to HTTPS, if you haven’t already.
Add structured data (schema) information to help search engines understand the context of your content.
Make sure that you have a properly defined breadcrumb menu on all pages.
Make proper use of hreflang (in case you have a multilingual website).
There are other very important technical aspects to consider if you want to continue to boost your Domain Authority. Let’s go over the most important ones.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Google ranks websites on a mobile-first index policy. This means mobile is now more important than desktop regarding rankings. This is due in part to the fact that mobile searches are now more than desktop (about 60%), and most users start their search on mobile and then continue on Desktop.
Adding AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) support to your website is a great idea. Plus, make sure you check Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and run the test for your domain. You will get a report with recommendations to help you make your site more mobile-friendly.
Improve Your Page Speed
Having a website that loads fast is a great way to boost your Domain Authority Score and Google rankings. On top of that, this will also improve your user experience better, which hopefully translates into more sales, leads, signups, etc.
It’s always best to work alongside your developer when fixing speed or other technical issues. Some of the aspects to consider include:
Remove unnecessary plugins
Upgrade WordPress and plugins to their latest versions
Check your server’s performance and upgrade if necessary.
Use a caching plugin
Optimize the file size of images
Use a streaming service (like YouTube) for videos
Use a CDN (content delivery network) in case you have big CSS files and many images
Increase Your Social Signals
Google has time and again stated that social signals are not part of their ranking algorithm. However, real-life experience shows a clear correlation between pages that rank high on Google and have abundant social signals such as likes, shares, and tweets.
Having a comprehensive Social Media strategy that focuses on giving value to your audience will help you increase your social signals, thus boosting your Domain Authority and Google rankings.
Increasing your Domain Authority Score takes time, it will not happen overnight. Once you perform an action on your website, such as an update or something, Moz, just like Google, takes time to crawl your site.
The best approach is to build an SEO and Content strategy that focuses on giving value to your target audience at every possible touchpoint, with relevance and intent. Make sure it has a solid technical foundation, and you will no only boost your Domain Authority and your Google rankings, but it will also boost your business.