Your website’s been up and running, producing relevant and valuable content that’s been resonating with your audience. This is a good sign that your site is doing great in terms of putting the right message out there. However, you notice that your site still isn’t performing as expected. There seems to be something amiss in your content marketing strategy and you’re not getting the results that you were working for.
You think you have all the bases covered in terms of optimizing content for your website, but one crucial thing that often gets overlooked and even taken for granted is your site’s domain or website authority. This is another crucial factor in boosting your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
What is domain or website authority?
Developed by marketing software company Moz, domain or website authority (DA) is a search engine score that predicts how a website will rank on SERPs. The score ranges from one to 100, with a higher number indicating a greater ability to rank. DA is calculated by evaluating various factors, which include linking root domains and the total number of links. These are all combined to determine a single DA score.
It should be noted that domain authority is not a metric used by Google as a determining factor in search rankings, so it has no direct effect on SERPs. However, the score can be used when comparing websites or tracking its “ranking strength” over time.
Domain authority is scored using a 100-point logarithmic scale, making it considerably easier to grow your score from 20 to 30 compared to climbing up from 70 to 80.
To give you a basic rundown, brand new websites will always start with a domain authority of one. Generally, sites with a large number of high-quality external links are at the top of the DA scale, while small businesses and websites with less inbound links may have a much lower DA score.
Since DA is meant to be a predictor of a website’s ranking ability, getting a high DA score shouldn’t be your only goal. You’ll need to take a look at those sites you’re directly in competition with on SERPs and aim to get a higher score.
Domain authority works best when used as a comparative metric instead of an absolute, concrete score when doing your research in SERPs and when finding out which sites have more powerful or relevant link profiles than others. Essentially, it’s a comparative tool, so there isn’t necessarily what one would describe as a “good” or “bad” DA score.
The metrics involved in knowing your website’s domain authority are integrated into dozens of SEO and online marketing platforms across the web. Using Moz, you can measure your DA through Link Explorer and MozBar, which is the marketing software’s free SEO toolbar. You can also do it through the SERP Analysis section of Keyword Explorer. Authority metrics are also incorporated into all of Moz’s pro campaign products, including its API.
Outside the Moz ecosystem, SEO Review Tools works perfectly fine, too. You can also use Ahrefs to find out your website’s score. However, it should be noted that this tool has a way of calculating domain authority differently, so the same site may have different ratings depending on the measuring tool you use.
Another thing to remember is that domain authority shouldn’t be confused with page authority since they’re entirely different things. While DA measures the predictive ranking strength of an entire domain or subdomain, page authority is used to measure the strength of a single page of a website.
Factors Affecting Website Authority
Several essential factors help determine your domain or website authority score. There may be up to 40 different elements that can influence a DA score, but here are the most important:
Linking Root Domains
This pertains to the number of unique backlinks earned by your website. If it has acquired 20 external links from two different sites, then this equates to only having two linking root domains. It’s better to earn a few links from an assortment of websites than getting many links from one. This will primarily help boost your rankings in SERPs.
This metric is used to score the strength of your website’s links, taking into account not just the links pointing back to your site, but also their quality. In this case, quality trumps quantity, which means one good external link is far better than having ten with low quality. MozRank utilizes a scale from zero to 10, with three as the average website score.
Similar to MozRank, this metric is used to help understand the quality of your external links. The difference is, it’s a little more specific in a sense that it measures how closely your website is connected to trusted sites such as .edu or .gov websites. This works even if a trusted site links to another site that links to you (tier 2 links), which is also considered a sign of trust and helps boost your MozTrust rating.
There’s no question that content is one of the main factors in ranking a website, so it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that that quality of your website’s content is a determining factor for its domain authority. While your DA may help improve your ranking in SERPs, quality content also correlates closely with it.
Google makes use of social signals as one of the main factors in recognizing good quality content. In the case of sending out social signals, it’s safe to assume that a piece of content that’s liked, shared, and commented on many times must be of good quality. Moz uses these signals in scoring domain or website authority.
Search Engine Friendliness
This pertains to the use of SEO in conjunction with the site structure and your site’s user-friendliness. Site structure can influence usability in the sense that poor site structure can make your site difficult to navigate. It also makes it burdensome for search engines to crawl and index your website, which would eventually hurt your rankings. Overall, this is essential for maximizing domain authority score as well.
How to Build Your Website Authority
Having a low DA score right now doesn’t mean that you should throw in the towel and give up your efforts in improving your website. Conversely, if you already have a high DA score, it doesn’t mean that you can cease all efforts. You must always keep in mind that building website authority is a continuous process.
To start climbing that DA score ladder, there are different strategies that you can use. When executed effectively, your site will be on its way to getting that high DA score, turning it into an authoritative website that other sites would purposely link to.
1. Choose an SEO friendly domain name
If you’re just starting out, you should pick a domain name that’s relevant to your website. It should be relatively easy to remember, so your visitors won’t have a hard time returning to your site trying to recall what it is.
Your domain name can have a significant impact on your SEO efforts. An optimized domain name is one that tells people what your website is all about, and the products or services it offers, among other things. It allows them to recognize your brand, business, or what your site is all about, possibly making it stand out in a sea of search results and more likely to be clicked.
You can focus on branding with a good integration of keywords when coming up with a domain name. If you’re running a website that’s all about the ins and outs of carburetors in car engines, your domain name, for instance, can be “carburetorjunkie”—it’s easy to remember, and it contains the keyword of what your site is all about.
2. Optimize your website speed
Since July 2018, when Google had a pagespeed update, the search engine started rewarding sites that load fast—like less than one second fast. This is one other way to boost your website authority because page loading time also affects user experience. If your page loads slowly, your visitor clicks back to search results, reducing your average time on site and bounce rate.
Remember, better user experience generally results in higher website authority.
3. Consistently publish quality content
It goes without saying that you can never go wrong with publishing quality content, and you should do this on a regular and consistent basis to increase both your DA score and search rankings. Without quality content, that’s one less reason other sites will link to yours, quelling any hope of boosting your rankings.
4. Promote your content
Promotion is one great way of putting your content out there. You can use both paid and organic channels, which include pay-per-click advertising, influencer outreach, social media, email marketing, and syndication, among others. This method can help reach your target audience, and when users start to realize your site contains valuable content that could address their needs, your DA score will likely get a boost.
5. Include internal links in your content
Internal linking is often overlooked when creating content. But little do they know that it helps direct visitors to what they are trying to find, which in turn improves their user experience. This means that if they’ve delved deep into your older blog posts, they can still find their way around through one of your internal links.
It’s common practice to link internally by suggesting related blog posts to readers just in case they would like to know more about a particular topic. It also keeps them engaged while helping to prevent them from leaving, not to mention making it easier for search engines to understand your website architecture.
6. But never skip on including external links either
External links may seem counterintuitive since they direct your readers to a different website. But linking to trustworthy material from authority sites also helps you appear to be an authority yourself while helping search engines determine what your content is about for SEO purposes.
7. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and responsive
A huge number of users access the web through their mobile devices, particularly smartphones. So, if your website isn’t optimized for mobile yet, then you’re lagging far behind. This will not only hurt your mobile search engine rankings, but you’ll likely lose a lot of visitors who’ll just leave your site once they realize it’s not working properly on their mobile device.
Check whether your site is mobile friendly through this Mobile-Friendly Test by Google. The tool will analyze your web page and let you know how responsive it is to various devices.
8. Remove bad links
Every so often, you should go through your link profile and search for any backlinks that are bad or toxic. Try to remove links from sources that could end up having a negative effect on your DA instead of helping it gain points. Such links include ones from spammy websites, unrelated content, or questionable material that you don’t want to associate your brand with.
Links posted throughout your website leading to bad sites or those that are simply broken should also be removed to make sure they don’t deliver a negative impact to your site.
It can be inconvenient to check on each and every link throughout your site, so to make it easier, you can use tools such as SEOPressor’s Link Manager to help put them in one place. You no longer have to go through them one by one, and instead you can check the status of your link, whether broken or not, on the tool itself.
9. Get high-quality links from third-party sites
High-quality links will always be a plus, and regardless of where they come from, the key to acquiring them is through the creation of amazing content that draws in people. This will get you not only direct links but also those from third-party sites that know that the content of your website is worth linking to.
10. Improve your site structure
A website’s structure refers to how your site is set up, such as how your individual pages are linked to each other and how organized it is, delivering a great user experience. This, in turn, boosts your DA score.
To improve your site structure, you should aim to have a clean, user-friendly site structure. Use text links extensively throughout your site and offer an easy-to-browse, user accessible sitemap. Finally, keep the average number of links on a page within a limit for a cleaner look and functionality.
There’s No Other Way But Up
Website authority is crucial in the overall performance of your business. However, having a low DA score shouldn’t be a cause for concern since you can always make it go up. The process may be complicated and time-consuming, but if you have the right tools and expertise, getting a higher score will be easier to achieve.
If you lack the resources, you can always count on SEO Company’s team of experts to help your website gain a higher website authority. We can help you reach the DA score that will make your website stand out from obscurity and eventually establish an outstanding reputation within your industry.
Need help building your website’s authority and improving rankings? Contact us today!