Domain authority is one of those phrases you will likely have heard on Facebook blogging groups or if you are looking into sponsored posts on your blog. Often shortened to ‘DA’ it is a metric that was originally created by MOZ to grade a website on its trustworthiness – something Google now uses as part of SEO. But what is it and how can you increase yours?
Why you need to build trust
One of the ways that Google rates a website is with something called PageRank – this looks at the content of a page and rates it according to this. But as search engines started to realise there was a lot of junk or spam out there, they started to look at how trustworthy a website was and this led to TrustRank. There are four parts to TrustRank:
- Domain authority/page authority – the first of these looks at how well known your website is while the second looks at the authority of the individual page. Both are given as a figure from 1 to 100.
- Bounce rate (engagement) – this looks at people arriving at a page or posts then leaving (bouncing) straight off again. It can be a complex metric but the lower your bounce rate, the better
- Domain age – how long your website has been around with longer being better
- Identity – another one that builds over time and involves your website’s identity
What is domain authority?
The last two on the list are something that happens over time and there’s not a lot you can do about them. But with domain authority, there are steps you can take to help this increase – although there are no guarantees they will work in any specific time frame! You may also hear talk about improve your MOZ ranking and this is essentially the same thing.
According to MOZ, there are several factors that go into how they work out their domain authority. Most of these come from their own dedicated software which you can see on their website – MozRank, MozTrust and the popularity of the website. You can also find out about these through their free MozBar extension which allows you to see your DA at a glance.
Good DA score
People often ask what is a ‘good’ DA score but according to MOZ, there’s no such thing. Everyone starts at 1 when the website is new, and the score builds up with the right measures in place over time. Big websites like Facebook and Amazon have a DA of 100 but few reach these heights. Many brands working with bloggers often seem to ask for a DA between 20-30 to consider.
Improving your DA is all about improving your SEO. This means if you follow tips around on page SEO, linking internally and externally and stuff like website speed, you will gradually increase both your SEO ranking and your domain authority.
The other two metrics mentioned in the list is page authority and bounce rate or engagement. Page Authority is another from MOZ and looks at an individual page on the website so when you use the MozBar, you will see a PA beside the DA and this can change between different pages or posts on your website. It also works on a score of 1-100 and looks at the SEO of the individual page.
Bounce rate or engagement is an SEO factor as well as one that goes into trust on a website. It examines how long people stay on your website and go between different pages. It also looks at what they do on your site such as sharing or saving the article.
Building your domain authority
Every expert says the same – there’s no ‘hack’ or quick fix to increase your domain authority. But there are some best practices to put into place to help get your figure moving in a positive direction and improve your DA.
Improve technical SEO
As the name suggests, technical SEO involves the technical elements of your website. This can include:
- Meta tags
- Header tags
- Structure of website
- Navigation around website
By using best practice for these you will improve both your SEO and your domain authority – you will also make for a better user experience and that’s the overall aim of everything we do.
Good quality external links
To improve DA, it helps to have authority sites linking to your content – but how do you do this? You do it by creating great content that is useful, helpful and informative. It then encourages sharing and quoting in other articles and this, in turn, increases the DA of your website.
With link building though you need to watch out for the quality of links to your website – the days of lots of poor quality links that are paid for rather than natural helping your SEO are long gone. Therefore, doing a link audit periodically can make sure your links are good quality.
Solid internal linking
Internal linking is a crucial part of SEO and also helps with bounce rate by encouraging people to travel around your website, staying longer and reading more. By using good linking strategies, you can help your users find more of your great content and boost your DA as well.
Domain authority isn’t something to stress about but if you put measures in place that will make for a great website that users will find easy to navigate and useful, you can build everything at once – SEO and DA. Don’t forget to install that MozBar to see how your efforts are doing and use the other free tools that MOZ and other companies offer to check all that technical stuff. Then over time, you will see your DA increase – who knows how high you can go!
Angela is a freelance content writer and Pinterest manager who loves to blog. The Blogging Blog is about getting serious about blogging and turning a hobby into a source of income. That means learning all the fun things like social media, SEO as well as productivity to get the most from your time. Check out the free resource library to help you build your traffic and start making money from your blog!