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9 min read 9 Strategies to Increase Website Domain Authority

9 Strategies to Increase Website Domain Authority

Key Takeaways

  • Actions that increase domain authority are, more or less, SEO best practices.
  • Businesses must use tools like Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to gain access to an actual domain authority score.
  • Since domain authority is a comparative metric, businesses needn’t work towards a score of 100. They just need to score higher than their competitors.

What is domain authority?

For web­site own­ers and dig­i­tal mar­keters, domain author­i­ty is a help­ful indi­ca­tor of where their web­site sits against their com­peti­tors’ sites.

The met­ric of domain author­i­ty was orig­i­nal­ly devel­oped by Moz as a score on a 100-point scale that pre­dicts how well a web­site will rank in the SERPs. Sub­se­quent­ly, tools such as Ahrefs and SEM­rush cre­at­ed their own ver­sions of the met­ric, called Domain Rat­ing and Author­i­ty Score respectively.

Though domain author­i­ty is not used by Google in deter­min­ing search engine rank­ings, it is a use­ful way of plac­ing SEO best prac­tices at the cen­tre of strate­gies. This is because of the known fac­tors that influ­ence these scores on the tools men­tioned above – we can use these to inspire SEO strategies.

In the SEO com­mu­ni­ty, the term ‘domain author­i­ty’ has become inde­pen­dent of tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and SEM­rush. How­ev­er, you do need to be using one of these tools if you want a quan­tifi­able score. Plus, these tools can tell you the domain author­i­ty of your competitors.

If you want to improve your domain author­i­ty with­out using one of these tools, your pur­suit will be slip­pery. With­out a quan­tifi­able fig­ure, you won’t be able to prove your efforts have led to an increased domain author­i­ty score. How­ev­er, fol­low­ing the tips men­tioned in this arti­cle will improve your site’s SEO – so it’s not essen­tial that you sub­scribe to one of these tools.

Let’s dive in and learn more about domain authority:

Why is domain authority so important?

In the dig­i­tal mar­ket­place, vis­i­bil­i­ty is key. A high­er domain author­i­ty indi­cates a greater like­li­hood of appear­ing at the top of search results, lead­ing to more organ­ic traf­fic. This traf­fic isn’t just a num­ber – it rep­re­sents real poten­tial cus­tomers. Hav­ing a high domain author­i­ty is akin to hav­ing a prime loca­tion in the phys­i­cal world – it’s where the most foot traf­fic is.

To keep things sim­ple, domain author­i­ty is impor­tant because of the fol­low­ing factors:

  • High­er domain author­i­ty gives sites a bet­ter chance of rank­ing well in the SERPs.
  • Domain author­i­ty is a use­ful met­ric for com­pet­i­tive analy­sis.
  • Domain author­i­ty is a mea­sur­able indi­ca­tor of your SEO strat­e­gy’s effi­ca­cy.
  • High domain author­i­ty can increase your site’s per­ceived cred­i­bil­i­ty and trust­wor­thi­ness.
  • Sites with high domain author­i­ty attract back­links from rep­utable web­sites.
  • Domain author­i­ty can guide your con­tent strat­e­gy.
  • High domain author­i­ty cor­re­lates with increased organ­ic traf­fic.
  • Sites with high domain author­i­ty will attract adver­tis­ers.
  • High domain author­i­ty over time will con­tribute to your site’s over­all long-term suc­cess.

Domain author­i­ty can become an indis­pens­able met­ric in your dig­i­tal tool­box, guid­ing you through all your opti­mi­sa­tion efforts. Under­stand­ing and improv­ing it unlocks your web­site’s poten­tial for increased vis­i­bil­i­ty, high­er traf­fic, and ulti­mate­ly, more suc­cess­ful busi­ness outcomes.

So, what else is there to under­stand about domain authority?

What factors influence your website’s domain authority?

Under­stand­ing the fac­tors that shape your web­site’s domain author­i­ty is the first cru­cial step in mas­ter­ing it. The fol­low­ing aspects should be con­sid­ered if your strat­e­gy is to succeed:

  • Quan­ti­ty and qual­i­ty of exter­nal links point­ing to your web­site (its back­link pro­file).
  • The num­ber of unique domains link­ing to your site.
  • Qual­i­ty (rel­e­vance, unique­ness, and engage­ment) of site content.
  • Use of key­words and meta tags (SEO).
  • Web­site struc­ture (hier­ar­chy and nav­i­ga­tion).
  • Social sig­nals.
  • Mobile per­for­mance.
  • Load­ing speed.
  • Domain age.
  • User expe­ri­ence.

To give you a clear­er idea of how these influ­en­tial fac­tors can be mas­tered for your strat­e­gy, we’ve cre­at­ed a list of 9 ways you can improve your domain authority:

9 strategies to increase website domain authority

1) Publish high-quality content and update it regularly

A cor­ner­stone of strength­en­ing your domain author­i­ty is to con­sis­tent­ly pub­lish high-qual­i­ty con­tent. Your site con­tent needs to be rel­e­vant, pro­vid­ing sub­stan­tial val­ue that meets the needs and inter­ests of your audience.

It should be engag­ing enough to hold vis­i­tors’ atten­tion and encour­age them to inter­act with your site, whether through com­ments, shares, or link­ing back to your content.

But cre­at­ing great con­tent is only part of the equa­tion – reg­u­lar updates are cru­cial. Search engines favour web­sites that are dynam­ic, with fresh con­tent indi­cat­ing that the site is active and offer­ing the lat­est infor­ma­tion. Reg­u­lar updates sig­nal to search engines that your web­site is a cur­rent source of knowl­edge or news in your indus­try, which can pos­i­tive­ly impact your domain authority.

Focus­ing on the qual­i­ty, rel­e­vance, and fresh­ness of your con­tent, will increase the like­li­hood that you’ll earn nat­ur­al back­links, which are essen­tial for boost­ing your domain authority.

There are cer­tain types of con­tent that are more like­ly to attract back­links, but we’ll dis­cuss those lat­er. Remem­ber that, in this case, qual­i­ty is more impor­tant than quantity.

2) Improve on-page SEO

On-page SEO is fun­da­men­tal in the quest to enhance domain author­i­ty. This part of your strat­e­gy needs to encom­pass sev­er­al key components:

  • Your site’s load­ing speed should be as quick as possible.
  • Your head­ings and meta tags should be used appro­pri­ate­ly and optimised.
  • Key­word research should sup­port your strategy.
  • Your site’s archi­tec­ture should be log­i­cal and easy to nav­i­gate (for both bots and human visitors).

Oth­er on-page ele­ments, such as inter­nal link­ing, will be explored fur­ther in a lat­er section.

3) Mobile optimisation

Mobile opti­mi­sa­tion is no longer just an option – it’s imper­a­tive for improv­ing domain authority.

Opti­mis­ing your site for mobile means hav­ing a respon­sive design that dis­plays well on small­er screens. Text should be read­able with­out the need for zoom­ing and nav­i­ga­tion should be thumb-centred.

Don’t for­get mobile page load­ing speed, as this can dif­fer from your site’s desk­top score. In addi­tion, mobile opti­mi­sa­tion is per­haps more cru­cial for local busi­ness­es as on-the-go users pre­dom­i­nant­ly search for infor­ma­tion on their mobiles.

4) Enhance user experience

User expe­ri­ence (UX) is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of web­site suc­cess inde­pen­dent­ly of domain author­i­ty. So, it should be cen­tral to your strategy.

UX puts a big empha­sis on nav­i­ga­tion – this means hav­ing a log­i­cal flow so that users find infor­ma­tion intu­itive­ly and eas­i­ly. Menus and search func­tions should be clear, or users can quick­ly tire.

Con­tent is anoth­er sig­nif­i­cant part of the user’s expe­ri­ence, demand­ing that it be infor­ma­tive and engag­ing. Ele­ments such as images, videos, and info­graph­ics can keep users inter­est­ed and result in longer times being spent on your site.

User expe­ri­ence also con­sid­ers acces­si­bil­i­ty, which you can learn how to opti­mise here.

5) Secure your website

Per­haps sur­pris­ing­ly, your web­site’s safe­ty is an influ­en­tial fac­tor in the fate of its domain author­i­ty. Not only does it pro­tect your users’ data, but it also indi­cates to search engines that your site can be trusted.

HTTPS is now a fun­da­men­tal require­ment for the pro­tec­tion of user data and a con­firmed rank­ing sig­nal. If you do not meet this require­ment, browsers will flag your pages as ‘not secure,’ result­ing in increased bounce rates and a weak­ened domain author­i­ty score.

Secur­ing your site with HTTPS also means your site will per­form bet­ter – a no-brain­er in the eyes of user experience.

6) Build a strong backlink profile

A robust back­link pro­file is a high­ly cov­et­ed asset in the SEO world – and for good rea­son. Back­links are one of the most piv­otal fac­tors in boost­ing domain author­i­ty. You can build a strong back­link pro­file by doing the following:

  • Seek qual­i­ty over quan­ti­ty: high-qual­i­ty back­links from rep­utable and author­i­ta­tive sites are far more ben­e­fi­cial than a large num­ber of low-qual­i­ty links.
  • Aim for diverse links: back­links from a vari­ety of domains are bet­ter than mul­ti­ple links from a sin­gle domain because they indi­cate wide­spread endorse­ment of your content.
  • Attract links with con­tent: link-wor­thy con­tent includes orig­i­nal research, com­pre­hen­sive guides, info­graph­ics, and insight­ful articles.
  • Use guest blog­ging: con­tribut­ing high-qual­i­ty con­tent to rep­utable sites in your indus­try can pro­vide valu­able back­links and expose your brand to a larg­er audience.
  • Reclaim lost links: mon­i­tor your back­links and reach out to web­mas­ters if links are removed or broken.
  • Avoid link schemes: steer clear of dubi­ous link farms and paid link schemes. This can lead to penal­ties from search engines and dam­age your domain authority.
  • Reg­u­lar­ly audit your back­links: audits that assess the health of your back­link pro­file can help iden­ti­fy and reject tox­ic or spam­my links.
  • Net­work with indus­try lead­ers: build­ing rela­tion­ships with indus­try influ­encers can attract back­link opportunities.

Incor­po­rat­ing these con­sid­er­a­tions into your strat­e­gy can sig­nif­i­cant­ly strength­en your back­link pro­file and get you well on your way to an increase in domain authority.

7) Promote your content via social media

Social media pro­mo­tion is a potent tac­tic for ampli­fy­ing your con­tent’s reach and increas­ing domain author­i­ty. This is because shares and vis­i­bil­i­ty cre­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties for backlinks.

Rather than just post­ing con­tent, be sure to engage with your fol­low­ers. Respond­ing to com­ments and hav­ing a dia­logue with sub­scribers can build a com­mu­ni­ty around your brand. While hash­tags increase dis­cov­er­abil­i­ty, a reg­u­lar post­ing sched­ule will keep your audi­ence engaged.

Part­ner­ing up with influ­encers can fur­ther increase vis­i­bil­i­ty and oppor­tu­ni­ties for back­links, but col­lab­o­ra­tions should always be rel­e­vant. Don’t for­get to mon­i­tor your social media strat­e­gy and adjust it accordingly.

8) Use internal linking wisely

Inter­nal link­ing is often over­looked and mis­un­der­stood. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, that means many web­site own­ers miss out on its poten­tial for boost­ing domain author­i­ty. Inter­nal link­ing does­n’t have to be com­pli­cat­ed or mystical:

Your inter­nal link­ing struc­ture should fol­low a log­i­cal hier­ar­chy. There are sev­er­al ways you can do it, but make sure it’s under­stand­able by bots and human vis­i­tors alike. Bal­ance is key because too many inter­nal links can be harm­ful – this is known as ‘over­link­ing.’

What­ev­er inter­nal link­ing struc­ture you fol­low, it should con­nect your dif­fer­ent pieces of con­tent in a rel­e­vant way – help­ing vis­i­tors read and learn more. Think of inter­nal link­ing as nav­i­ga­tion – it should be intuitive.

The anchor text which con­tains the link should be rel­e­vant to the page it’s link­ing to. Plus, the pages you deem as ‘impor­tant’ should be linked to more often than less impor­tant pages.

Don’t for­get to keep the whole site inter­con­nect­ed when you pub­lish new content.

9) Remove bad links

Main­tain­ing a clean back­link pro­file is as impor­tant as build­ing one. You can man­age it by doing the following:

  • Con­duct reg­u­lar audits: use tools like Moz’s Link Explor­er, Ahrefs, or Google Search Con­sole to reg­u­lar­ly audit your back­link profile.
  • Iden­ti­fy bad links: look for links from spam­my or irrel­e­vant sites, as well as any links that vio­late Google’s Web­mas­ter Guidelines.
  • Reach out to web­mas­ters: con­tact the web­mas­ters of the sites with tox­ic links and request their removal.
  • Use the dis­avow tool as a last resort: if you can’t get a harm­ful link removed, use Google’s Dis­avow Tool to ask Google not to con­sid­er those links when assess­ing your site.

The reg­u­lar removal of bad links helps to pre­serve the integri­ty of your site, ensur­ing that your back­link pro­file remains strong and that it’s con­tribut­ing pos­i­tive­ly to your domain authority.

Before starting your domain authority strategy

The above tips can have a pow­er­ful impact on your domain author­i­ty. How­ev­er, there are sev­er­al con­sid­er­a­tions to be made before embark­ing on such a strat­e­gy. You should know the fol­low­ing about domain authority:

  • Domain author­i­ty improve­ments are not quick: a con­sis­tent effort must be sus­tained and financed over time.
  • Domain author­i­ty should be viewed as a com­par­a­tive tool: domain author­i­ty is about com­pet­i­tive analy­sis – not aim­ing for 100%. As a result, a mod­er­ate score might be enough. Some indus­tries may not require a superbly high domain author­i­ty score and, there­fore, some com­pa­nies need­n’t exhaust their resources.
  • Domain author­i­ty is not a rank­ing fac­tor: though the con­sid­er­a­tions that go into cal­cu­lat­ing domain author­i­ty resem­ble SEO best prac­tices, it does not direct­ly guar­an­tee a rank­ing position.
  • Domain author­i­ty is a by-prod­uct: instead of chas­ing a score on a cost­ly tool, busi­ness­es should always focus on SEO as a whole.
  • Strate­gies can be adapt­ed: since small­er busi­ness­es may have lim­it­ed resources, they should only attempt what they can afford to main­tain. Over time, this will result in a sus­tain­able strat­e­gy rather than a flash-in-the-pan success.

Though domain author­i­ty can be a use­ful indi­ca­tor of a site’s poten­tial, it should not be the sole focus of a web­site own­er. In addi­tion, busi­ness­es should con­sid­er their resources and capa­bil­i­ties before start­ing a new strat­e­gy. Ulti­mate­ly, suc­cess in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is unique to each busi­ness. No one can cre­ate a tem­plate that works for everyone.

So, ensure your domain author­i­ty jour­ney is rel­e­vant and achiev­able for your business.

Domain authority FAQs

There’s a lot more to say about domain author­i­ty. Here are our answers to the most com­mon­ly asked domain author­i­ty questions:

Is domain authority the same as page authority?

No. While domain author­i­ty gives a holis­tic view of an entire web­site’s poten­tial to rank, page author­i­ty zooms in on the rank­ing strength of a sin­gle web page.

Its focus is more gran­u­lar, eval­u­at­ing the strength of indi­vid­ual pages based on fac­tors like con­tent qual­i­ty, back­links, and keywords.

Pay­ing atten­tion to the page author­i­ty of key pages can help with more tar­get­ed improve­ments, impact­ing your site’s per­for­mance in search results on a page-by-page basis.

How often does domain authority get updated?

Moz typ­i­cal­ly updates domain author­i­ty scores month­ly, but it can vary.

Can a new website achieve a high domain authority quickly?

It’s chal­leng­ing for new web­sites to quick­ly achieve high domain author­i­ty because fac­tors like back­link accu­mu­la­tion and domain age take time to develop.

Does changing my website’s domain impact its domain authority?

Yes, chang­ing a domain can impact domain author­i­ty, as it resets many of the met­rics it’s based on, such as back­links to the spe­cif­ic domain. In addi­tion, search engines will need to re-index your site, which can reduce traf­fic for up to three months.

Can purchasing backlinks help increase my domain authority?

While pur­chas­ing back­links might tem­porar­i­ly increase domain author­i­ty, it’s not rec­om­mend­ed as it vio­lates search engine guide­lines and can lead to penalties.

How long does it take to see an improvement in domain authority?

Improve­ments in domain author­i­ty can take three to six months to become appar­ent, as build­ing a qual­i­ty back­link pro­file and oth­er SEO improve­ments take time to influ­ence the domain author­i­ty score.

Patience and con­sis­ten­cy are key to domain author­i­ty strate­gies. Keep going, and it will pay off in the end.

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