How to Easily Increase Your Domain Authority
Domain Authority, or DA for short, is a third party measurement of the strength of a website against Google’s backlink algorithm. It was created by MOZ, an SEO software supplier, as a way to get a more detailed alternative to Google’s now defunct PageRank.
Domain Authority tries to emulate the hundreds of link factors Google looks at – and while we roughly know what these are, the exact calculation is under lock and key. Therefore, DA is intended to give a rough idea of how well strong the links to a website are/. It does not take into consideration any onsite SEO factors such as page optimisation, so it’s entirely possible to have a high DA and poor rankings if other areas of SEO are poor.
What is a Good Domain Authority?
DA is measured out of 100, and all sites will start with a score of 1 when they launch with no backlinks. The distance between 1 and 100 may seem vast, but it’s best to not get overwhelmed by the idea of reaching 100 – after all this is reserved for only the most authoritative sites such as Google itself, Facebook and the BBC.
If you are a website owner, you should be looking at your competitors to get a fair idea of what score you can aim for to help increase your SEO performance. I’ve included the following industries and types of site below to give you an initial idea:
As a rule of thumb, in order to expect your website to rank for both your brand name and start to pick up non-branded traffic for generic queries, it’s best to aim for a Domain Authority of 20 or more regardless of the industry.
How to Check Your Domain Authority?
While lots of SEO and digital marketing tools may integrate Moz’s Domain Authority into their metrics, if you don’t have access to it through these tools you can go straight to the source on the Moz Open Site Explorer. Non-users should be able to check a handful of websites each day.
You can also sign up to Moz for a free or paid account and install their MozBar, which will show you the stats on every page you visit. I think this is most useful if you are actively doing SEO work, otherwise I’m all for uncluttered workspaces so would suggest deactivating it for normal browsing.\
How Do I Increase My Domain Authority?
So you may be at a DA 1 or perhaps DA 18 – but it’s not quite where you want it to be. So how do you get the Domain Authority to increase? Well, it’s by getting more websites to link to yours. If you’re new to SEO this might sound easy, if you’re not, this might fill you with terror, because link building has the reputation within the digital marketing community as being difficult and time-consuming.
The good news is that initial link building can be easier than the sustained approach undertaken by some agencies and dedicated teams that are often discussed. In reality, some of the most effective link building can be done by simply utilising existing opportunities and the industry you work within.
Opportunity 1 – Social Media
Interlinking between your owned spaces is a quick win from a backlink perspective and makes a lot of sense for your audience too. You would be surprised at the number of bloggers and businesses I see who don’t use the website field on Twitter to link to their site!
You may believe that all your social media profiles are up to scratch already – but answer this – are you utilising all the social media sites that exist of just the big names that are most relevant to your website? Even if it’s not going to be an active channel for you, it’s worth setting up an profile one every social media site you can find for the link opportunity alone. When it comes to increasing your link profile, even myspace may be worth it.
The opportunity social media presents for link building runs deeper when you consider the secondary websites that are connected to the topic. For example:
- Social media directories, specifically twitter ones, will link to profiles and sometimes the corresponding websites
- Topical social media posts can achieve press coverage
- Social media marketing resources are always looking for content, why not write a guest article about the power of social media for your kind of business?
Opportunity 2 – Local
Even is a local somewhere, and whether you’re a brick and mortar or a digital nomad enterprise, there are plenty of opportunities get to back to your roots with some local link building.
- If you have a physical address, local directories and business organisations are likely to want to include you in their database
- Reach out to your alma mater (schools and colleges) to be included with a link to your business on the alumni section or blog
- Your local newspaper will always be on the lookout for content, why not get in touch with your latest business news from a new product to trying to name the office cat
Opportunity 3 – Your Niche
Whether you’re a second-hand car salesman or an app founder, every industry has a plethora of special interest sites looking for content. Search Google for your industry +directory, +news and +case study to see identify easy opportunities to be added to existing resources or to reach out to for interviews, guests resources or with exciting business news.
When Can I Expect an Increase in Domain Authority
Moving the needle on your Domain Authority is based on scale – the lower it is, the easier it is to increase. Regardless of your metrics, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by the task as even a few new links can have a good impact on your score. What usually happens is that a DA will increase from 1 to 8 or 9 with one or two links, then up to 11 or 13, followed by 18, 21, and 24, with each stage through the accumulation of a few more links.
While the Google will start taking into account these links almost immediately, it may be some time before they impact your Domain Authority. The reason for this is twofold – Moz does not have the same level of technology as Google, and therefore can not pick up new links as quickly, and the Domain Authority score is updated on set dates. You can see the list of historical updates here, and the next scheduled update is listed on the main OSE page.
Typically, updates are every 4-6 weeks, are usually on schedule but may be a day or two late, and are fairly standard. If the methods of calculation change, the team at Moz are transparent about the reasons – it may be that quantity of sites they can crawl have increased, certain types of sites or networks have been re-evaluated, or they believe a slightly adjust in their algorithm needs to be made in line with corresponding updates from search engines.
When Should I Stop Increasing My Domain Authority?
An increasing Domain Authority is a valuable asset to any business, but this doesn’t always have to be your biggest priority. In any digital marketing strategy, SEO should be one of many channels you invest in, and in any SEO strategy, Domain Authority should be one of many elements you grow.
Keep in mind those competitor checks you did at the beginning of this exercise and monitor your ranking performance, either through a dedicated tool or through Search Console. If your DA is higher than competitors and you’re still not getting the traffic or rankings your were expecting, it’s time to focus on other factors such as crawl errors, content quality, and optimisation.
Also understand that there is only so much potential in your main product or keywords, and for consistent growth additional content via a blog or news resource may be needed. The good news is that all the investment in increasing your Domain Authority will enable new content on your site to be indexed and rank faster.