In the online world, authority is king. It’s the necessary ingredient for building a brand, connecting with customers, and making more sales.
But how, exactly, do you know if you’re an authority?
Authority used to be hard to measure. But thanks to the Moz Domain Authority system, brands can quantify their site’s authority.
Domain Authority, or DA, is like a report card for your website’s SEO, or search engine optimization. DA is indicative of what you’re doing well and where you could improve your SEO efforts.
However, many people want a quick fix for DA. They see a low grade and assume they can earn extra credit to boost their score.
But DA doesn’t work that way. Unfortunately, DA boosts require a long-term strategy.
The good news is that brands that organically improve their DA stand to outshine their competition online.
The Importance of Domain Authority (DA)
SEO powerhouse Moz created DA as a way to help brands measure the effectiveness of their website. According to Moz, DA is intended to be “an indicator of your aggregate link equity.”
In other words, think of DA as a litmus test to measure your website’s health.
DA measures the authority of your entire domain on a scale from 1 to 100, with 100 being the best. The higher your DA, the more likely your website is to rank high in search engine results. An average score is in the 40 – 50 range and anything over 60 is considered excellent.
Moz says it uses over 40 factors to determine your DA. While it won’t reveal all 40 factors, Moz says they evaluate your site’s backlinks, MozRank, the quality of your content, social signals, and SEO.
You can check your DA at the Moz tool, Link Explorer.
DA helps you see how competitive your site is compared to others in your industry. Measure your competition’s DA to quickly see how you stack up against their authority online. This knowledge alone can light a fire under your feet to boost SEO efforts.
Remember that DA is an indicator of success; it doesn’t cause success itself. Know your DA score and use it as a yardstick to see where you can improve.
3 Ways to Boost Your Domain Authority
DA is important. In fact, so many brands recognize its importance that they want a quick fix to boost their DA. But this line of thinking will only harm your SEO efforts.
Instead of focusing on DA itself, look at the factors that contribute to your DA, like website quality. It isn’t about the number, but the things that the number represents.
Use these strategies to overhaul your domain authority for long term improvements.
1. Optimize on-site SEO
DA is an indicator of how easy your website is to use and navigate. That’s why it’s so important to optimize your website experience first.
While things like user experience, design, and calls to action are important, so is on-page SEO. This includes elements like meta titles, descriptions, site speed, and link structure (navigation).
Speed matters, too. In fact, it only takes users a few seconds to bounce from a slow website.
Ensure that your site loads as quickly as possible. Choose a simple design with images that load with lightning speed. You can check your site speed for free with Google PageSpeed Insights.
On-page SEO is often a one-time fix that improves both your SEO and DA over time. Make sure all of your pages are indexed by search engines, that you use meta title and descriptions, and that your image file names and descriptions are filled out.
This improves the user experience and encourages search engine bots to index more of your website.
2. Look at your links
Links are the foundation of SEO. They’re an important factor for your DA, and can often make or break your ranking.
Remember that you can only boost your DA organically. Never buy links or trade links with other people. While some people purchase links to build their DA quickly, this strategy often leads to SEO penalties and bad customer experience—neither of which you want.
You can’t fake authority. Earn links the old-fashioned way and avoid the headaches that come with Black Hat techniques. If you’re ever in doubt about a link, follow Google linking best practices.
The key to building your DA over time is to earn more quality links to your site. For example, if the New York Times links to your website, that would count as a quality link to your website.
When it comes to SEO, you get a boost because a renowned website linked to you. This is one way search engines determine quality content—by seeing that other reputable sites are linking to your content.
On the flipside, you also need to prevent low-quality or spammy sites linking to your website. If a website with a low DA links to you, it can harm your own DA. Learn how to check your Search Console report to find and address bad backlinks.
3. Write amazing content
But how do you get other websites to link to you? The answer is content marketing.
While content marketing is about building brand awareness, its main purpose should be to deliver value to your site visitors. The content should be so good that visitors feel compelled to share and link to your content. This not only increases customer loyalty and brand awareness but boosts your DA in the process.
Follow content marketing best practices to create content that sings. Give away free information or advice in blogs, podcasts, videos, courses, white papers, and more. Format this content with headers, formatting, and images to maintain your audience’s interest.
If you don’t already, create a content marketing calendar. This will help you create actionable content tied to your business goals that will also earn you a boost in DA.
The Bottom Line
Domain authority is about attracting genuine interest and traffic to your website. Put in the work to improve your DA over the long haul. Invest in SEO best practices, watch your link structure, and create amazing content. The authority will come.
If you need a helping hand to overhaul your domain authority, give Logical Media Group a ring. Our SEO experts will create and implement a strategy to boost your DA.