Why Domain Authority is Important to Get Your Site Ranking Against Your Competitors

Matt Adams SEO

Domain Authority Defined

There are a variety of approaches to grading the quality of a website. One of the more black and white tactics is Domain Authority (DA). Once you know the DA of your site, you can use it in several ways, including to increase the quality of your SEO.

Domain Authority was developed by Moz and is described below:

Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point-scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. Use Domain Authority when comparing one site to another or tracking the “strength” of your website over time. We calculate this metric by combining all of our other link metrics –linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank, MozTrust, etc. –into a single score.

Domain Authority scores are from 1 to 100 and is an indicator of how high on a search engine results page (SERP) a given site will show. Higher numbers mean that a site will show up higher on a SERP. It is also a sign of the credibility of your business.  One way to increase your DA is to have many quality links to your site and from your site to other sites.

How Do I Find My Current Domain Authority?

Dot The i Creative can provide a full site audit on your website that includes your Domain Authority, along with other valuable information to help you make strategic decisions about your website. Click Here for your free audit.

How Does Moz Compute DA?

Domain authority is computed using a logarithm that increases exponentially on a scale from 0 to 100.  What does that mean? It means a few small changes might increase your DA from 10 to 20. But it will be considerably harder to move the marker from 90 to 95.

One of the main factors that goes into the Domain Authority is links.  Links from a given website give it authority. It’s like getting points, and the total number of points, gives the final score, your Domain Authority.  But not all links are worth the same number of points. Some are worth more points than others. High DA sites are worth more points than lower DA sites.

What is Considered a High Domain Authority Score?

Businesses that have a large following and are often seen as experts in their field are linked to often and therefore have higher Domain Authority scores.  For example, websites like WebMD and Apple have high Domain Authorities, with scores over 90.

Smaller, start ups will have lower Domain Authorities, sometimes ranging between 20 and 30.

All sites will start at 1, until they can build up a following to start having other sites link to their site.

Why Worry About DA?

Domain authority is important when trying to get your site to rank against your competitors.  The key phrase here is “against your competitors.” This means that if your competitors all have scores in the 20s, then you don’t need to shoot for a score in the 80s, but rather just one higher than your competitors.

You can always pay to be at the top, using PPC, but in the long run, you will want to organically get your site to rank higher.  To do this you can use the DA to analyze the backlinks of your competitors and aim to make yours better. You should be trying to attract higher quality sites to link to yours.

Raising Your DA Score

That brings us to tactics to increase your Domain Authority.  As mentioned, the best way is to get higher scoring businesses to link to yours.  Remember, getting more quality external links tells Google that you should be ranked higher on SERPS.  When a site generates conversation and shared around social media, it tends to earn backlinks from other sites, as it become an “authority” on a topic according to Google.

There are a number of tactics to earn more backlinks and build a healthy backlink profile.  A few are listed below.

  • Content Marketing
  • Blog Articles
  • Social Media
  • Press Releases

In addition to these tactics, there are some industry best practices to generate a healthy backlink profile:

  • Choose a relevant domain name, something that’s easy to remember.  This will increase your brand too.
  • Optimize your web content (link to DTi SEO site.): Title tags, image alt tags, content, and make sure you are using variations of your main keywords
  • Create Linkable Content: Develop high quality content, with links to research sites, good grammar, and headers
  • Improve Your Internal Linking Structure: Link to other relevant content within your site. This will improve the user experience of your site.
  • Get Rid of Bad Links: Bad links are as harmful for a site as good links are beneficial for a site.  Therefore remove any spam or low links on your site.
  • Ensure a Fast Loading and Mobile Friendly Website: User experience is an important factor, and that means you should have a fast load speed and well functioning mobile site.
  • Increase Your Brand: Becoming a reputable brand and having an engaged customer base will attract backlinks and increase your DA
  • Participate in Social Media Marketing: Social media posts of content to your site are important for attracting backlinks and are a factor for ranking.

Is Domain Authority An Official Ranking Factor?

Well technically, no.  There is no direct evidence that search engines use DA as a factor for ranking.  In fact some companies in the industry, such as Ahrefs ( link to them), have conducted tests and have concluded that the authority of individual pages has a much higher impact on ranking than the DA of the entire site.

Google has stated as much here. https://www.seroundtable.com/google-no-website-authority-score-22874.html But there is circumstantial evidence that points to higher rankings for sites with higher DA scores.

Domain authority is computed by measuring the number and quality of backlinks from a given website.  So when a page has been linked to by a higher DA scoring site, the power of that backlink can be shared by utilizing internal linking.  So for example, one page of your site gets linked to often by other high ranking sites. You can increase the ranking of a page with no backlinks on your site by linking to it from the high ranking page of your site.  This is often referred to as spreading or sharing the “link juice.” The links should be natural and relevant though. You want the user experience to be high.

Can Domain Authority Ever Lower?

Absolutely a site’s Domain Authority can go down.  Remember, that the Domain Authority is relative to your competitors.  So as competitors gain links, their score will go up, and yours may go down.  Other ways a score could down include that Moz may change their scoring formula, and lost links.

What’s the Difference Between Domain Authority and Page Authority

The Page Authority refers to the score given to an individual page on website.  The scores of each page contribute to the Domain Authority score of the entire domain.  Page authority was also created by Moz. Remember that increasing the DA score or links from one page on your site will increase the score of your whole site.  Also you can use internal linking from the “good page” and share the link juice to increase your DA score.

What’s the Difference Between Domain Authority and PageRank?

PageRank (PR) was developed by Google, and it assigns a score from 0-10 to a given page to measure its importance.  Like DA, PR uses the number and quality of links to calculate its score. So the more quality backlinks a site get, the higher its PR will be.  However, Moz uses a wider array of metrics in its logarithm to generate a site’s score. It uses a ranking similar to PR as one of its factors in calculating the DA score.

Is Domain Authority and Domain Rating the Same?

Yes and No.  Domain Authority is a score developed by Moz, and Domain Rating is a score developed by Ahrefs.  Ahrefs’ calculation also considers the quality and quantity of backlinks. However Ahref’s and Moz’s calculations are not the same.  Therefore the scores generated by both companies will not be the same. You can use both of them to measure the credibility of the sites you are browsing.  And both can be used to improve your SEO efforts.

Conclusion

I hope you found this article helpful and informative.  Please contact us here to get your site audit and learn how you can use DA to improve your SEO and drive leads to your site.