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Domain Authority: Definition, Importance In SEO & Best Practices For 2022

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When companies build their digital footprint, their goals are typically to rank as high in SERPs as possible.

However, when you want to know exactly how your website is doing, you’ll want to check your domain authority.

Your domain authority score is the best way to ensure your content ranks as it should with a high score.

So, if you’re ready to learn everything there is to know about domain authority, you’re in the right place.

What Is Domain Authority?

Your site’s domain authority (DA) is a ranking score used to predict how well a site will rank on SERPs.

Your DA score will give you insight into changes you can make to increase your brand’s online presence and site traffic.

DA scores were established by Moz and range from 1 to 100.

Difference Between Domain Authority and Domain Rating

Another common term you’ll hear when researching domain authority is domain rating.

Your domain’s authority refers to its SERP ranking.

Your domain’s rating is a metric developed by Ahrefs that measures your website’s backlink profile or authority.

How Does Domain Authority Work?

Moz bases domain authority on Link Explorer data, a web index that uses multiple calculations to calculate your score.

The purpose is to gain insight into how your site ranks against other sites.

It uses machine learning algorithms to predict how and where your site will appear in search results.

What Is the Purpose of Domain Authority?

Google and other search engines look to highly-ranked sites as authoritative sources online.

Domain authority scores give site owners an idea of what improvements they should make to move higher in SERPs.

It’s an excellent tool for increasing your brand’s online presence.

Different Types of Domain Authority

Moz’s algorithm examines links, site functionality, and your domain’s age to determine your domain’s authority.

1. Site Functionality

Your site needs to function properly to achieve a high domain authority score.

This functionality includes load time, information quality, accessibility, and responsiveness.

A site that works as intended will have a higher domain authority score than one that has glitches.

2. Links

As mentioned above, your domain’s rating is directly related to your backlink profile.

When calculating your domain authority, Moz looks at the prestige of your site’s links.

Therefore, your goal should be to have a high backlink score while avoiding “bad” backlinks.

3. Age

Older domains are more likely to rank higher.

This fact is because old age typically means more users have interacted with your site, which increases its authority over time.

Younger domains haven’t been around long enough to amass the same reach.

Unfortunately, the only way to change this aspect is with time.

Example of Domain Authority

If you’d like to explore the complexities of domain authority more, Moz conducted an excellent case study in 2019.

It’s an in-depth resource that outlines the machine-learning and data side of domain authority.

Does Domain Authority Affect SEO?

You might be wondering if or how domain authority relates to SEO or search engine optimization.

imply put, your domain’s authority doesn’t directly impact your site’s SEO score.

However, that’s not to say domain authority isn’t essential for your SEO.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Why Is Domain Authority Important for SEO?

Domain authority and SEO typically work hand-in-hand to improve your site’s online ranking.

When you look at your domain’s authority score compared to competitors, you’ll get a clearer picture of what your site needs to rise in SERPs, such as more backlinks, increased optimization, or better functionality.

Changes you make to improve your domain authority will often boost your site’s SEO.

Is Domain Authority Necessary?

Saying domain authority is necessary is a bit of a misnomer.

Domain authority exists; it’s just a matter of whether your site is high or low authority.

For example, a site could have a domain authority score of 10.

That simply means it has low authority.

However, a high domain authority score is necessary to place higher on SERPs.

How Long Does It Take for Domain Authority To Work?

One of the more unfortunate aspects of increasing your domain’s authority is that it takes time.

As with most ranking metrics, you should expect to wait several months before your domain authority score rises significantly.

This fact is especially true if your site is relatively new or small. More significant sites will get a boost more quickly.

Process of Increasing Domain Authority

Although increasing your domain authority might sound like an arduous task, it’s not as challenging as you might think.

Below, we’ve outlined the steps you can take to increase your DA score while also improving your site’s content.

  • Audit Your Website
  • Competitor Research
  • Optimize Your Site
  • Improve and Expand Your Content
  • Acquire Backlinks

How To Increase Domain Authority

Let’s take a look at the specifics for increasing your domain authority.

The list above might seem straightforward, but each step has its own intricacies.

Step 1: Audit Your Site

First thing’s first–you need to audit your website.

Go through each page and check that all external and internal links are live and point to the original source.

Websites come and go, so you want to ensure you only link to live, reputable sites.

Then, add a few more internal links wherever possible to give those pages a boost.

Step 2: Competitor Research

After you audit your site, it’s time to do some competitor research.

Competitor research will help you find new keywords, inspire new content, and give you ideas for site structure.

It’s also an excellent way to increase SEO for WordPress sites since WordPress is so ubiquitous.

Then, see which features you can apply to your site.

Step 3: Optimize Your Site

Site optimization is crucial for increasing your domain authority.

You should offer visitors a site structured around a solid user experience.

Look over your site map and create a flow that’s intuitive and user-friendly.

You can look at methods for increasing WordPress SEO if you have a WordPress site.

Step 4: Improve and Expand Your Content

Your competitor research should’ve given you some fresh ideas for content.

But look at your notes and see what holes you can fill in existing content.

Try to bring topics to your users that are relevant yet lack an online presence.

Step 5: Acquire Backlinks

Finally, a true sign of domain authority is a high number of backlinks.

Backlinks are links from other sites that point to yours.

These show search engines that your content is trustworthy and authoritative.

In other words, it’s valuable, and users will want to see it.

Domain Authority Best Practices

When it comes to increasing domain authority, you’ll find plenty of options.

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind.

1. Get Backlinks the Right Way

One of the best ways to increase your domain authority is with increased backlinks.

However, there are some strategies for link building that are better than others.

The main thing to avoid is black hat SEO, which can frustrate users and go against search engine guidelines.

Black hat SEO is a method of increasing domain authority by doing an end run around algorithms.

It typically involves keyword stuffing, deceptive content, or link networks that do little to nothing to help a user.

2. Provide Quality Content

The main reason people perform internet searches is to find an answer to a question.

If you have that answer, you must say it plainly and with solid supporting evidence.

In other words, don’t stuff your site full of keywords just to get users there.

Instead, create thoughtful, informative, and, most importantly, relevant content.

Users should leave your site with the knowledge they sought, not frustrated that they must continue searching.

3. Increase Your Presence

The best way to boost your brand is by spreading your name far and wide.

Fortunately, if you’re unsure how to improve SEO and domain authority, the internet is full of places to promote your content.

First, research which avenues work best for your industry, then look to your competitors to see what they’re doing.

The more your content is linked on the web, the higher your DA score will become.

So, wield the power of social media, swap mentions with other bloggers, and run advertisements on your site.

Domain Authority Tools To Save Time and Money

Using domain authority tools is an easy way to start building your site’s authoritative presence.

What Is a Domain Authority Tool?

Domain authority tools are tools that help increase your domain’s authority.

These tools are different from your basic SERP checkers.

That said, you might be surprised to find just how similar some domain authority tools are to the standard ones you’d use for SEO.

Our Favorite Domain Authority Tools

When you search for domain authority tools, your search engine will return a lengthy list.

To simplify things, we’ve compiled a quick breakdown of our favorite domain authority tools.

1. Link Building Services

External links and backlinks are invaluable for increasing your site’s SEO and domain authority.

However, finding those links can be tricky.

Fortunately, link-building services exist to help you acquire backlinks.

Each backlink to your site increases your site’s trustworthiness.

If you’re new on the scene, a link-building service can help improve your backlinks, leading more users to your site and increasing your DA score.

2. URL Shorteners

URL shorteners are a valuable tool for content creators, bloggers, and site owners for a few reasons.

First, they make links easier to remember.

Second, they fit nicely into social media posts.

Most importantly, they take long links and turn them into something more palatable for search engines.

A high-quality URL shortener will let you customize the back end of your shortened link.

This ability can take a link from fifty characters of nonsense and turn it into something short and sweet.

These shorter links increase your DA score because they increase your site’s trustworthiness.

3. Free Keyword Research Tools

As mentioned earlier, keyword research is crucial for better content.

Since quality content is key to increasing your domain authority, you should consider using free keyword research tools.

These tools can help you find and use the best keywords for your topic.

Also, don’t forget that keyword research is fundamental to SEO.

So, when you use a keyword research tool, keep your site’s optimization and domain authority in mind.

Other Related SEO Terms To Know

Here are a few more SEO terms you should know while researching.

  • Hotlinking: Hotlinking is the process of linking an image on your site to an image hosted on another site. This process can cause the host site to use more bandwidth and have slower load times.
  • Affiliate Link Cloaking: Affiliate link cloaking helps protect your affiliate links from other site owners while making your content more appealing to users.
  • 301 Redirect: If you’re changing site URLs, 301 redirects will redirect users to your site when they click on the link to your old URL.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you still confused about domain authority?

Here’s more information to help you better understand the concept.

What is good domain authority?

A good domain authority score is between 50 and 60.

Anything below that range is average, and anything above that is excellent.

Of course, you should aim for the highest domain authority score possible.

Does Google use domain authority?

Google doesn’t use domain authority when ranking websites.

Your domain authority can predict where your site will land on Google SERP pages, but Google uses other metrics to determine your site’s relevance.

Wrapping Up

When creating or updating your website, keep domain authority in mind.

As with SEO, a high domain authority score will allow users to feel more confident with your content.

Even better, it’ll be easier to find backlinks to your site, further increasing your domain authority.

Although it might seem time-consuming, focusing on your site’s domain authority will help ensure success.

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