In SEO, when we refer to domain authority (DA), we’re talking about how a website ranks in relevance and importance in its niche.
There are a number of factors that contribute to your domain authority including the quality of your content, and other websites linking into yours. As a website owner, it’s a good idea that you keep an eye on your domain authority. Plus, you want to take steps to improve your domain authority where you can.
There are several free tools available that can help you gauge your domain authority. However, most SEO professionals rely on the online software company Moz to track their website’s DA. Moz offers a valuable tool, which they call Domain Authority, that ranks websites DA from a scale of 1-100.
By running your URL through their tool, you not only get your DA number, but you also get a wealth of other data as well.
Domain Authority will show you a list of the top websites linking into yours.
You can also see the DA of those websites, which can be very helpful in your link-building efforts.
When it comes to SEO, you’re probably already collecting a fair amount of data each month.
Website traffic, bounce rates, page load times, it’s a lot to keep track of!
So, you may be wondering if you REALLY have to add domain authority to your list.
Here’s why the answer is yes:
We know that Google ranks websites by importance in order to determine where they should go in search results.
And although we’re no longer able to track PageRank through Google, Domain Authority is the next best thing.
Your Domain Authority can directly affect your website’s position in search results. That means, a higher page rank can help you gain more organic (aka FREE!) traffic on a daily basis.
That’s more potential customers visiting your website.
If you’re skeptical, just look at the review site Yelp, for example.
Yelp constantly maintains a high Domain Authority grade, typically around 94.
Now, go ahead and try searching the name of a restaurant in your neighborhood.
Nearly every time, Yelp’s review page for a local restaurant is going to appear on the top of your search results.
That’s ABOVE the business’ own website.
The ability to rank above a company for their own name says a lot about how well Yelp does at SEO.
Now consider this.
What if your competitors have a much higher Domain Authority than you do?
If your potential customers are searching for a business like yours, who would win the top spot?
You can see why Domain Authority really does matter.
Ways You Can Improve Your Domain Authority
Remember, Google’s main goal is to show the most relevant information to a user’s search at the top of their results pages.
So, in this case, the old adage is true, content is king!
But what do we mean when we say “high-quality content”?
Our best advice is to approach your content with your audience in mind. Of course, your content should be relevant to your industry.
Further, your content should fill a need for your website visitors. What type of information are they looking for? Why would they find useful?
If you’re not sure what type of content resonates the most with your audience, take a look at the pages on your website that get the most traffic. Also, pay attention to which pages other websites are linking to the most.
Make sure that the content on your website is written clearly and in a voice that will resonate well with your audience.
Equally important is the way that content is laid out across your website.
Is it easy for a first-time visitor to quickly locate the information they’re looking for?
If not, you might need to do some work on your website layout.
When someone comes to your website and doesn’t find what they need right away, more often than not they will exit your site.
Google keeps tabs on how much time people spend on our website and how many pages they view. If too many visitors exit your site quickly, search engines assume that you didn’t have anything to offer them and may rank you lower in future searches.
You know backlinks are important. But how do you determine whether a link from a particular website would be deemed “valuable” by search engines?
This is where the Moz Page Rank tool can come in handy.
Earlier we mentioned that Moz will offer you a list of websites linking into yours. In this report, you can see the Domain Authority for each site you’ve earned a backlink from.
The higher their Domain Authority, the more that backlink is going to contribute to raising your own score.
This can also give you an idea of what types of websites you should be targeting in your backlinking strategy.
Moz will allow you to search the Domain Authority of a certain number of sites for free each month.
However, they also have unlimited plans if you want to pay extra.
Just like you want to increase the number of quality backlinks into your site, you want to avoid links with low-quality websites as well.
You can use the same method for searching for high-quality links for finding low-quality backlinks.
But once you’ve found low-quality backlinks what can you do?
The simplest solution is to ask the administrator of that website to remove the link. However, this isn’t always effective.
A more complex solution is to create a disavow file to be uploaded to Google. However, this typically requires the assistance of a professional with some coding experience.
Finally, the frequency with which you publish new content plays a part in your Domain Authority.
Publishing new content frequently is beneficial for SEO because it gives you more opportunities to capture the attention of potential website visitors.
However, it has a secondary benefit to your clout with search engines.
Google looks favorably on websites that publish regularly. The general belief is that websites that are constantly creating new content will always be the go-to source for the latest information in their niche.
That’s why if you haven’t already added an industry blog to your website, now is the time.
To learn more about blogging and other methods for improving your Domain Authority, contact us today and speak with one of our local SEO professionals.