Why Domain Authority Matters for SEO, and How to Improve Yours
If you’re doing anything with SEO, you need to pay close attention to your domain authority score. It’s a major predictor of how you will rank in search engine results.
So what is it?
Domain authority is a score developed by a leading industry SEO software provider to predict a websites ranking on search engines. The higher the score, the more likely the website is to rank.
Is it important? Yes. If you can understand domain authority, you can start to improve yours. As sites with better domain authority will be more likely to get seen and get a larger share of business, it’s very important your score is as high — if not high as possible, then at least higher than your competitors. We’ll get to that in a second.
How is Domain Authority Calculated?
One often-used metaphor for SEO compares backlinks to votes. For example, it seems logical that a site with more backlinks will rank higher than a site with fewer backlinks. But it isn’t that simple… and not all votes are counted equally.
The higher quality the link, and the higher authority the referring domain, the more “weighty” the vote.
So domain authority is calculated by
- The number of backlinks
- The authority of the linking site
What Domain Authority Score Should You Have?
Clearly, you want a higher domain authority. However, a high total score shouldn’t be your concern. Instead of shooting for the highest possible score, it’s much more important to have a high domain authority in comparison to your competitors who are trying to rank for the same keywords. If yours is higher, you’ll rank higher than your competitors. That’s why, if you’re in a competitive niche, it’s important to have SEO experts to do this for you. Better competition means your domain authority has to be higher.
How to Improve Domain Authority
Good domain authority is determined not only by how many links you have pointing at your site from external sources, but also the quality of those links.
For example, if you’ve been farming links out from low-quality or untrustworthy sources, your domain authority will likely be very low, even if you have a lot of links.
Conversely, if you have been putting in the time and work to build your SEO, you’ll probably have several high-quality links pointing at your site from good, authoritative sources. Combining a high number of links with authoritative referring root domains will improve your domain authority.
Striking a good balance between quantity and quality is one of the reasons that people hire SEO experts. Not only that, but good SEO experts can halve the time it takes to build a link profile AND make sure your links are quality. Generally if you can outperform your competitors with good quality and good quantity, your domain score will be higher than theirs.
So how exactly can we do this?
Strategies to Build Better Domain Authority
First, as we’ve already said, the best way to go about this is to build a profile of relevant links to your website.
You can take the time to do this yourself, in which case you’ll be spending a lot of time building up a small flow of traffic, or you can hire a good team to do this for you. If you hire a good team, the results will be faster and better. Not only will they work on building higher domain authority, but they will actually improve the amount and quality of the traffic you get.
So how do they make this happen?
Content marketing is king. Not only will you need a good array of content on your own site, but you’ll also want other sites to host your content with guest blogging or something similar. You can also use press releases on accredited sites or even social media to keep a high number of backlinks to your site.
It isn’t enough just to have great content. Make sure to also do the technical work associated with getting it seen. This means include all including all the relevant tags and variations of your main keywords. Further, make the content sharable. It has to be something people want to share with their friends or acquaintances in the industry. For example, industry-relevant content that offers a new way of looking at things and makes you a standout in terms of thought leadership is inherently sharable. Shares will then earn you backlinks organically.
First things first, a great domain name will really help your SEO. Not only will it be easier for prospects to remember, but you might be able to get a keyword in the domain name itself. This will automatically give your site a boost in the rankings.
Link management is the third vital tool in your toolbox. Not only do you need to make sure you’re getting good, high quality links — and lots of them — but you also need to make sure you’re managing and removing spam links from low-quality sources. Also be sure to post your content on social media, because the algorithms consider social sites to be a ranking factor as well.
Also, your website should be fast-loading and responsive. It should be optimized for mobile and generally boast a good user experience. If people stick around and don’t “bounce,” this will decrease your SEO score as your site will be seen as low-authority
Prevent Domain Authority From Dropping
The best way to keep your domain authority from dropping is simple maintenance of your SEO. For example, this will decrease any lost links you might incur while building out your SEO. But there’s another reason you should maintain your SEO. Because, as we’ve mentioned, domain authority is calculated relative to your competitors. You must constantly maintain and upgrade your SEO to keep your domain authority above theirs.
DA is important, not because it will help you directly rank, but because it will help you outperform your competitors. By carefully cultivating a high amount of authoritative backlinks, you will improve your domain authority score.
The good news is that simple SEO best practices will also boost your domain authority, allowing you to outperform your competitors on relevant keywords. Keeping up a good content strategy, a good backlink profile, and good website management will all improve your domain authority and help you get a steady stream of organic traffic to your business.