Did you know that there are more than 200 ranking factors that Google uses to determine if and where your website should rank in their famous search engine? But, just like with everything they do, Google keep these cards close to their chest and don’t reveal all their secrets. A great deal of them are shrouded in mystery, but one thing we do happen to know a great deal about is how to increase domain authority.
1. First Things First, What is Domain Authority?
Developed by software company – and, let’s face it, all-round SEO superheroes – Moz, Domain authority (known as DA) is a quantitative measurement of your site’s authority. One of the biggest myths about DA is that Google takes it as a single factor that will affect your ranking.
The truth is that DA is made up of a whole bunch of different factors that let the guys at Moz calculate the strength of your site. DA is basically a 100-point scale that takes into account more than 40 different signals like spam scores, trust scores, age, popularity and the number of links you have. All combined together, it predicts how well you will rank in search engines.
2. So, What’s Page Authority?
Ok, so you’ve met domain authority, now meet its sibling – page authority.
If you’ve worked in SEO for a while, you may remember the days of PageRank. Run by Google, this was an incredibly popular tool for measuring the authority and quality of a particular page. But it disappeared and the public were no longer able to use it after it had admittedly been dying for a while. Enter Moz’s page authority (PA).
Did you know it’s possible to have a higher page authority than domain authority? Yep, it sure is. But, as people in the know, we recommend that you focus primarily on your DA as not only is it a better long-term investment, but it’ll also help to boost your PA too.
3. DA Loves Links
Like we’ve said before, there are a number of different things that contribute to your site’s domain authority, but if there’s one thing that makes a difference it’s links. There’s a lovely little thing on the internet called ‘link equity’, and it’s through links that websites pass this equity onto one another.
By creating interesting content that has power, authority and value, you’ll give other sites in your industry more reason to provide a link to you. If you have something to offer their audience, people are more inclined to pop in a link. Of course, links also drive traffic and paying customers to your website.
But it’s not just external links (links from other websites) that you should be focusing on. The important of internal linking (links from your website to other pages of your site) cannot be emphasised enough. It creates a strong and connected network within your own site and gives more places for Google’s infamous crawl bots more places to enter and get around.
And last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to clean up the bad backlinks that can sometimes be floating around out there. We’re not saying it’s easy, but taking a look at your backlink profile and cleaning up the spammy and toxic ones can make a world of difference. Don’t wait for a dread Google penalty to slap you in the face – stay ahead of the game.
4. How to Increase Domain Authority By Getting Technical
There’s little point in sending relevant traffic (and people) to your website through your linkable content if all the technical parts aren’t on top form. Granted, we understand it’s not completely sexy to work on your robots.txt or create a URL structure, but without all these technical aspects in place, your DA is unlikely to see any improvement.
Here’s a quick, but not complete, checklist…
- Site structure
- URL structure
- Meta tag
- Header tags
- Alt tags
5. You’ll Need Some Patience
You can work as hard as possible on your site’s technical SEO, your content and backlinks, but we’re here to tell you that your DA won’t skyrocket overnight. If you follow the steps we’ve mentioned, it will start to creep higher, but one of the factors for higher DA is the age of your domain.
Be a little patient and continue to put effort into your content marketing and gradually your DA will start to rise. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your SEO won’t improve overnight either.
6. So, How Do You Check Your DA?
You’ll be delighted to know that this is the easiest step of all and, most importantly, it’s completely free. All you have to do is head to Moz’s Open Site Explorer, pop in your URL and that’s it. The free version will give you all the basic metrics and the paid version gives you more of an insight into how your score has been calculated.
Want to see some improvement in your DA and the rankings of your site? Get in touch with our SEO-loving experts today.