A lot of websites compete for a higher ranking on Google. Creators are continuously coming up with new ways to improve their marketing plan and their website ranking. While these efforts do contribute to your ranking, these alone aren’t enough. Google has to account for over 200 factors when determining your ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).
But how do you measure or even predict a website’s authority?
While there are a number of tools that can be used to predict a website’s rankings on SERPs, like ahrefs’s Domain Rating, one of the most popular metrics is the one devised by Moz, known as Domain Authority.
What is Domain Authority and Why is it Important?
Simply put, Domain Authority is a score used to predicts a website’s ability to rank on SERPs on a scale of one to 100. The higher the score, the better that website’s ability to rank.
Domain Authority is calculated using over 40 factors, including how many backlinks you have, the quality and relevance of your backlinks, your content’s quality, social signals, SEO performance, and root domains. Websites with numerous high-quality backlinks, like Wikipedia, tend to have higher domain authority. A website with little to no relevant inbound links may have a lower score.
Given the logarithmic nature of domain authority, it’s more difficult to increase your score once you’re higher in the rankings. It’s easier to jump to a higher score if you start out with a lower score, say 10 to 20 compared to increasing it from 70 to 80.
Your domain authority can also decrease when high-authority websites get a lot of backlinks.
Domain Authority isn’t a metric used by Google (PageRank) and doesn’t affect SERPs. But even if it’s not used by Google as a ranking factor, domain authority still matters because it still has a correlation with your SERP ranking. Even if it’s not the metric used by Google, Domain Authority is still a very useful tool to use to predict your website’s ability to gain organic traffic from the search engine giant.
Checking Your Website’s Domain Authority
There are several ways to check your Domain Authority. You can use Moz’s Link Explorer, MozBar, or the SERP Analysis section of Keyword Explorer.
How to Improve Your Domain Authority Score
Websites with more high-quality external links tend to rank higher on the Domain Authority scale, while smaller websites with fewer inbound links tend to begin with a score of one.
To improve your domain authority score, here are some things you can do:
- Build a stronger link profile
One of the most important metrics is your link profile. To build a stronger profile, or your off-page SEO, you need to have incoming links from both high-authority and related websites. Also avoid getting bad links or remove any low-quality links from your page.
- Optimize your on-page SEO
On-page SEO is just as important as off-page SEO when it comes to improving your DA score, so prioritize optimizing all of your on-page code, from title tags to the content itself.
- Create content that’s consistent and high-quality
Having linkable content is crucial if you want authoritative sites to link to it. Make sure that you create content that’s regularly published and is relevant to your target audience. Aside from that, your content needs to be well-written and informative.
- Get high-authority and traffic-driving links
Even if you ignore domain authority scores overall, having links from high-authority sites will make your website more relevant. Having traffic-driving links will also further bolster your site’s relevance when it comes to searches and that is one of the factors that can affect your ranking results. Remember that not all links are created equal. Some are spammy and can end up being discounted.
While it may be tempting to focus solely on having a higher domain authority score, keep in mind that DA only serves as a prediction of your site’s ranking ability, and should therefore be used as a comparative metric. It shouldn’t be viewed as the final say when it comes to rankings.
Rather, you should use this information to focus on getting high-quality and relevant links that can contribute to your domain authority score and rankings. Creating compelling content and regularly monitoring your link profile are also helpful methods you can follow to organically boost your Google ranking and website traffic.