Domain authority is an important factor when creating an SEO strategy. By increasing the authority of a website, Google feels more confident about displaying that website in the search engine results, making it a crucial part of smart business digital marketing.
What Is Domain Authority and Why Is It Important?
It can first be helpful to evaluate what domain authority is, and why it’s so important. Domain authority (DA) refers to a search engine ranking score that Google uses to determine the authority, or reputation, of a website. DA indirectly affects the probability of where a website lands in the search results.
How Is Domain Authority Calculated?
While there are many tools available that allow websites to learn their DA score, understanding how it’s calculated can also be helpful. DA is calculated using a combination of things like:
- The number of external links on a webpage.
- The authority of webpages linking to a specific page.
- The number of backlinks.
- The number and quality of inbound links.
In total, there are 40 factors that go into calculating DA. DA is calculated using a score between zero and 100. The higher the score, the higher the DA. Brand-new websites without links or content have a score of zero. It’s important to note that DA itself isn’t technically a ranking factor. Instead, many of the factors that go into calculating DA also affect search rankings, like the quality of content or keyword usage.
6 Tips To Increase Domain Authority
Before beginning, it’s important to keep in mind that increasing a DA score is a long-term strategy. It can take many months to build out a linking strategy and for Google to index the website changes. Every small business digital marketing strategy should include the following tips to increase domain authority:
1. Focus on Quality Rather Than Quantity of Links
When creating a backlinks strategy, it’s best to focus on quality rather than the number of links. The quality of links that bring traffic to a website is more important than the number of links on a website. Backlinks are given their own DA scores, and having fewer with a higher score leads to better results than a lot of links with a lower score.
2. Establish a Goal
Establishing a goal ahead of time can help brands set realistic expectations when it comes to improving a DA score. Smaller, service-based businesses may find it more difficult to achieve a high DA than when compared to a national or international brand. By comparing the DA of direct competitors in an industry, brands can establish DA score goals that make sense for their needs.
3. Increase Page Authority
Page authority is similar to DA, except that it calculates a single page’s authority score. By focusing on improving specific website pages, brands can make necessary changes that improve the score of the whole website. Increasing page authority includes many of the same techniques as increasing DA, including internal and external links, except with the focus on specific pages.
4. Create High-Quality Content
While the quality of content on a website doesn’t directly affect DA, it does have indirect effects. For one, the better the content on a website, the more likely other pages will link out to it, which can increase DA. Relevant keywords can also play into an overall SEM strategy. This includes not only the focus keyword but also secondary keywords that relate to the primary keyword.
Writing high-quality content for other websites can also be a great way to increase DA. Guest posting, which is creating a blog or other type of content for another website that links back to the original website, is a great way to benefit two small businesses at the same time.
5. Review the Quality of Backlinks
Low-quality backlinks not only do little for a website but also can reduce DA. Backlinks that are considered by Google to be spammy or not authoritative can actually bring down the DA of a website. For this reason, it’s important to regularly assess the quality of any links leading to a webpage. Removing unhelpful links can actually help to increase the DA of a website and help to avoid penalties.
6. Know the Difference Between Follow and No Follow
There are two types of backlinks, follow and no-follow. It’s important to know the difference, especially when creating a backlink strategy that trades guest posts in return for links. Blogs that only offer no-follow links offer little to no value for SEO, whereas follow links can help to transfer authority from one website to another. Because backlinks are important to an overall SEO strategy, it’s best to focus on follow links.
Every small business digital marketing strategy should include a plan to increase domain authority. By increasing DA, small businesses can increase the probability of ranking higher for desired keywords.