What is domain authority and why is it important?

Domain authority, often referred to as DA, is hugely important in studying and evaluating the results of your online digital strategy. First developed by Moz, the score predicts how likely it is your website will rank at the top of search engines. By scoring websites from 1 up to 100, with 1 being a low domain authority and 100 being the best possible score, it’s a useful tool to better understand the status of your website in relation to your competitors and predict where you’ll appear in search results.

Is domain authority a ranking factor?

When discussing domain authority, it’s important to remember that it isn’t a ‘ranking factor’. Search engines won’t factor in your domain authority, and it won’t contribute to the data analysed by online algorithms or if you end up ranking.

In saying that, domain authority is still a hugely important factor for digital marketers and business owners alike. A website with a high domain authority is more likely to appear higher in search results than a website with a lower domain authority. So, while your domain authority isn’t a measurement you can use to improve your rank, it does allow you to assess your website’s current performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.

How is my domain scored and how can I check it?

While some sites will naturally rank due to the nature of their site and use of keywords, most websites must fight their way to the top of search engines.

In order to calculate your domain authority, SEO tools will evaluate a number of different factors before consolidating the information into a single figure. Your score is essentially calculated from how many high quality links are directing traffic to your site. It’s important to remember one high quality link will garner a higher score than twenty low quality links.

There are a number of online tools you can use to check your domain authority. For example, platforms such as SEMRush, Moz and Ahrefs, will analyse the data and present it to you in an easily read formats.

How do I increase my domain authority?

Increasing your domain authority starts with a well thought out digital strategy. High-authority backlinks can be bought (although Google advises against that) or be gathered organically by producing quality content that is relevant to your target audience. Set up an email newsletter or start building a following on social media to get your content out there across the internet.

It’s also important to go back and refresh your old content.

What is a backlink?

A backlink is a link on another website that drives traffic to your site. The quality of your backlinks can help you rank higher in search engines, because algorithms recognise your site as having ‘authority’ in a certain keyword or topic. If other websites with authority are linking backing to your site, you will rank higher in search results for that keyword or phrase. Make sense?

For example, the BBC has a domain authority of 95 as does Forbes. Apple, the technology industry giant not the fruit, has an authority of 100 – the highest possible domain authority. These sites have a high domain authority because they have authority in their topic and are also linked by multiple other websites. If you were to receive a link to your site on a site with a 100 DA, it would automatically give your own DA a boost.

Backlinks are also known as inbound links because they essentially represent another website’s traffic being driven to your own site. Considered a cornerstone of search engine optimisation, high quality backlinks can increase your domain authority and get you to that coveted spot at the top of Google.

How do I create a content strategy?

The content you produce should be centered about your target audience, including what they’re searching for and the unique keywords and phrases they’re using to find content online. Think carefully about the content you’re producing and how you could orientate it towards what your audience wants to see.

It’s also important to remember keyword stuffing can get your site flagged by search engines. Focus on producing well thought out, structured content that is optimised for search engines with punchy headings to draw your audience in.

Identify your competitors

When building your digital strategy, make sure you factor research in that evaluates your competitors. Where are they getting their backlinks? Are they ranking or have a higher domain authority? Looking into your competitors habits can also help you find your niche in the market.

Why did my domain authority drop?

There are a number of reasons why your domain authority might change. You may have slacked off and not produced any content for a while, or maybe you stuffed too many keywords into your site. Duplicate content and buying dodgy backlinks can also contribute to a drop, however it’s normal for your domain authority to fluctuate. If you’ve recently produced content or received a banklink but haven’t noticed a change in your DA, don’t panic – chances are search engines haven’t crawled your site recently, and it’s only a matter of time before you see that jump.

Can a digital marketing agency help me?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by SEO and domain authorities, you could always employ the assistance of a professional digital marketing agency. A professional agency may seem like overkill, but if you’re struggling to get your website ranked then it may be worth looking into.

Employing the assistance of a digital marketing agency gives you access to an entire team of web experts, SEO specialists and digital creatives with the experience and knowledge to get your website ranking.

Building your domain authority

Before implementing your strategy, it’s always important to consider what you hope to achieve with your website. Are you selling a product or a service? Are you a freelance writer hoping to work remotely, or are you the owner of a small vegan bakery hoping to get customers in the door? By setting measurable, practical targets you will be more likely to achieve your goals as well as measure the success of your campaign.

If you put the work in and follow a strict strategy, you will eventually rank and see an increase in traffic to your site. However, when creating your very own bespoke digital marketing strategy, bear in mind that increasing your domain authority won’t happen overnight. It’s a long-term strategy that takes time – and if you don’t see immediate results, it’s not the end of the world.

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