One of the most important and influential SEO metrics many marketers, and specifically content marketers, pay attention to is Domain Authority (DA).
The Domain Authority metric was developed by Moz as a means of quantifying your website’s relative importance as a whole – its authority.
It provides an insight into the SEO “strength” of your website, and its likelihood of ranking for certain keywords. Essentially, the higher this number is, the higher you’ll rank in the SERPs, and the more traffic you’ll have.
Like most SEO metrics, this number fluctuates based on several factors, and to improve your authority, you first need to determine where your website stands among the others online.
Not sure where to start? Compiled below is a guide to help you determine your website’s authority and improve your score.
Understanding Domain Authority
Before you determine your website’s authority, you should first understand the key components of DA. Domain Authority is scored on a one to 100 scale with 100 being the highest score a website can attain.
Here are some of the ways Moz determines your Domain Authority:
- MozRank: In short, MozRank takes into account the number of links your website has, as well as the quality of those links. For example, if a website has 100 poor quality links, their MozRank score will be lower than that of a website that has 50 high-quality links within their website.
- Root domains: Moz also looks at the number of different links your website has. The more websites you have linking to you, the higher your score in this area.
- Search engine friendliness: We’ll look at technical SEO later on, but this factor takes into account how well your website interacts with search engines. Ultimately, Moz looks at how user-friendly your website is based on its overall structure.
- Quality content: Google and other search engines take into account the quality of your website’s content. This is also the case with your Moz Domain Authority score. The higher quality content, the better your website will perform in this area.
- Social media signals: When determining your Domain Authority score, Moz takes into account social media signals. The algorithm looks at how many times a piece of content has been shared, liked, or commented on via social media platforms.
How to determine your website’s authority
There are several places you can locate your website’s authority score: Open Site Explorer, MozBar, or the Keyword Explorer all show you your score.
Here’s an example of Search Engine Watch’s domain authority score in Open Site Explorer. You’ll notice the score is 86 out of 100, which is a relatively high-ranking score on the scale.
Next to the domain authority score you’ll find the page authority score, which ranks an individual page, as opposed to a whole website.
How to improve your website’s authority score
Improving your website’s domain authority isn’t as simple as changing your meta tags. It requires heavy research on your end.
However, there are ways of improving your domain authority. Before you take these steps, make sure you’re getting rid of bad links first. Removing any low-quality links first improves your website’s authority.
Work on your technical SEO
In order for your domain authority score to raise, ensure your technical SEO is up to par. This is the foundation of any SEO tactic when you’re trying to improve rankings in the SERPs. This includes doing a full audit on your meta tags, word count, keywords, alt tags, and site structure.
Here are some quick ways to work on your technical SEO:
- Keywords: Make sure you’re not stuffing keywords into your content. This not only helps your SEO, it makes your content easier for your audience to read and process.
- Meta description: Always make sure your meta description is filled out. Include your main keyword in your description.
- Image optimization: Optimized images make your website load faster, and boost SEO.
- Heading tags: This is basic, but it should be mentioned—use your H1, H2, and H3 heading tags for your main talking points.
Create content that’s linkable
Content marketing is another foundation that determines how high your DA score is. For this tactic to be successful, you need tons of content that’s shareable and linkable. If you’re not creating content that others want to link to, you won’t have any strong backlinks in your profile.
Start by creating long-form, quality content that’s informational and relevant to your industry or niche. But your content shouldn’t start and end with written content. Infographics and video content are also linkable and can help your website gain traction.
Creating lots of content requires manpower and budget, but it’s one of the most effective SEO tactics that also improves your DA score.
There’s a lot of push to get marketers to focus on backlinking. Backlinking does help your DA score, but so does linking to other pages within your website. This is another place where your large amount of content comes into play.
The more content you produce, the more you’ll be able to link to other places on your website. Interlinking builds a strong foundation that helps search engine crawl bots determine how authoritative your website actually is.
Share on social media
Because social media signals are a huge factor, it’s important to share your content on all your social media platforms. Not only does this help your domain authority score, it also brings more traffic to your website.
It helps to add social media link buttons to all of your content—this makes it even easier for your visitors to share your content on their own social media pages.
Your domain authority score is based on several factors. If you look at those factors, you’ll notice two trends—technical SEO and content marketing. These are two of the most important themes to follow when improving the quality of your website.
Make sure your website is optimized for both the user and search engines by focusing on good technical SEO. Create engaging, quality content that’s easily shareable by your audience. Follow these steps and your domain authority will increase over time.
Is there anything you would add to this list? Let us know in the comment section below.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer for No Risk SEO, an all-in-one reporting platform for agencies. You can connect with Amanda on Twitter and LinkedIn, or check out her content services at amandadisilvestro.com.