Beginner’s Guide to Domain Authority

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Domain Authority

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO DOMAIN AUTHORITY nzYou may hear digital marketers, and even traditional marketers, urging your company to be an authority in your industry. This is a tried and true way to build trust and get your name out to potential customers. The difference between traditional and digital marketing is how your authority is measured. Even if each and every one of your team members is an authority in your field with valuable knowledge to share with customers, most of your audience will remain unaware until your website is an authority.

Did you know that you can measure the authority of your website? This metric can also help you determine how likely your website will show up in top Google search results. If you are not considering your website’s Domain Authority (DA) score in your overall SEO and digital marketing strategy, you may be handing traffic over to competitors.

What Is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is a metric developed by Moz to measure the likelihood of a website ranking on search engine result pages. Moz considers many different factors, including the number of links on your page and the quality of the websites that link back to your website, and compares it to other websites in their index. Domain Authority scores are on a logarithmic scale from 1 to 100.

Page Authority vs. Domain Authority

Domain Authority looks at your entire domain, but Moz also looks at each individual page on your website. Each page is given a single Page Authority (PA.) Page Authority is also ranked on a scale from 1 to 100. While your Domain Authority does not change throughout your website, your Page Authority will change from page to page. When you are looking to increase your overall DA score, look at the pages with the best and the worst PA scores. What can you learn from each page in order to increase your DA score?

How Do You Calculate Domain Authority?

Ready to figure out your DA score? Head to the experts. Businesses don’t have to pay to assess the DA score of their site, or even their competitors. All you have to do is enter your URL into Moz’s various tools to help you measure the DA and PA of a website. These tools include:

What is A Good Domain Authority?

So you’ve calculated your DA. But what does the result actually mean about your website? What is a “good” score?

The answer is different per industry. Some companies can be successful in their industry with a typically “low” score based on the other scores around their industry. Rather than shoot for a certain number, assess the average DA scores of your competition and develop strategies for coming out on top.

TrackMaven calculated the average DA score of over 700 websites across different industries. Here is a snippet of their results. The average DA for…

  • Media and publishing websites: 86.23.
  • Higher education websites: 78.67.
  • Business services websites: 67.04.
  • Retail websites: 64.62.
  • Real estate websites: 61.52.

As you can see, these numbers vary greatly across industries. When you are conducting SEO research and calculate your DA, be sure to look at your competitors and see how they are doing. Domain Authority scores will fluctuate across your industry, so the best way to regularly measure how you are doing is to compare your score to that of your competitors.

How Often Does Domain Authority Change?

Domain Authority may change due to the DA of the websites linked on your site or the websites that have linked back to you. The Moz index can take a bit to update all of the websites that are included on your site. Moz assesses websites every day, but plan for monthly changes. You can subscribe to Moz updates and learn more about the updating process on their website.

Quick note: Domain Authority will change less as your rankings increase. Moving up from 15 to 25 is more likely than moving up from 65 to 75. If your DA score is already “high” and you aren’t seeing much change, be patient.

How Do You Improve Domain Authority?

Once you’ve determined your DA and the DA of your competitors, you may realise it’s time to get to work. Follow these tips to work on your DA score and establish your business as an authority in your industry.

Understand the 40+ Factors That Contribute to Domain Authority

Look at the larger picture and understand how these factors as a whole influence your domain authority. Picking out one small task (like changing meta descriptions or alt tags) and calling it a day won’t give you the results you want. Be patient, be proactive, and create a DA strategy that addresses the many different factors that contribute to DA.

Optimise Your On-Page Content

SEO and DA go hand in hand. If you are making the effort to optimise your landing pages and your overall domain, you are making the right steps toward boosting your DA. This is another job that requires proactivity; as you create new landing pages and blog posts, you should consider SEO best practices. Communicate with your team about how to write for specific keywords, how to format images and headings, and editing the way your page appears in search results.

Other factors that influence SEO and DA include:

  • Page load speed
  • CTA buttons and how users can exit or navigate your website
  • Mobile and tablet compatibility
  • Site map usage and accuracy

Optimising for search engine results is no small task. Consult with a knowledgeable SEO agency for checklists, assessments, and advice relevant to optimising your web content.

Remember Link Building Best Practices

If you do want to prioritise one task over others, focus on best linking practices as a general priority. There are many tasks that come with link building, and your website’s relationship with links have the most influence on your DA score. The more you learn about DA, the more you will see link-related metrics again and again.

Link building provides the framework of a relationship between your website and other businesses or content creators. If other sites link back to your website, they view you as an authority in your industry or on the subject of your content. If readers see that you are getting your information from credible websites that also have high DA scores, they will also view you as an authority. When Moz sees all of this happening, in addition to other link-related factors, they will improve your overall DA.

So let’s start building links!

We have written about link building best practices in previous posts, but here is a general outline  of link building best practices:

  • Produce valuable and informative linkable content on your website that answers relevant user queries
  • Write guest posts
  • Contribute to blogs and forums
  • Reach out to influencers and blogs for reciprocal linking
  • Assess current links and eliminate bad links

Industry connections are also key to building links. If you are able to connect with influencers, businesses, and other content creators who are willing to swap or include your links, you will help your overall DA. Authority isn’t just created through anonymous web content. Crucial connections can be made on or offline, so remember DA throughout upcoming interactions and meetings.

Don’t Forget About Social

Domain Authority is highly influenced by social shares. Similar to link building, the more social media users view your website as an authority or worth sharing, the more they will engage with your content. How often is your website content liked or shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.?

Social media marketing is important for more than just link building and DA, but it should definitely be considered when you are creating your strategy. Regularly share new (and older) content that you post on your blog. Add social media share buttons to your pages and email newsletters. Be active on each of your social platforms and offer incentives for engagement. Create additional social media content alongside your overall content marketing strategy.

These tips only add more tasks to your digital marketing to-do list, but remember that you start to create and distribute more content, the jobs of link building and generating even more content will start to complete themselves.

Consider DA As Part Of Your Overall SEO Strategy

Domain Authority is measured against Google’s rankings, but should be considered alongside the rest of your SEO strategy.

At Digital Squad, we consider Domain Authority one piece of the puzzle. Our SEO experts assess Domain Authority and discuss strategies for making your website more relevant. We look at your competitors, industry, and your individual performance for DA and an overall site audit to conduct on-page optimisation. These metrics are kept for regular comparisons; as we optimise your site for specific keywords, we offer monthly reporting on site performance and the performance of other sites in your industry.

Ready to improve your DA and overall page optimisation? Reach out to our SEO team to learn more.

Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online. 

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