How do I increase my domain authority?
It’s a frustrating question that I get all the time.
Domain authority has become a “gold standard” metric to measure the overall strength and quality of any domain.
A lot of people (wrongly) consider it as one of the best SEO metrics to:
- Evaluate your site.
- Compare it directly to your competitor’s sites.
In one simple number, you know how you stack up against the rest. Which has led to SEOs obsessing over it for years (and will continue to wrongly do so).
So even though it has nothing to do with Google, I will show you how to increase your own domain authority step by step.
But first I want to tell you everything you need to actually know about domain authority.
What Will I Learn?
What is Domain Authority (DA)?
Domain authority is a metric created by Moz to measure how likely your website is to rank in the SERPs. Your site gets a score out of 100. The higher the number the more likely your website will rank.
Domain authority is purely based on the number and quality of backlinks your domain has.
Moz uses their small link index combined with machine learning to guess the ability of your site to rank. Then, provides an overall domain authority score.
Sounds like the number #1 SEO metric to focus on, right?
While domain authority can be a good indicator, at times it has become wildly overrated.
In fact, domain authority became such a popular metric that Google was forced to make a public comment about it.
So does that mean that domain authority is completely useless?
Short answer: No.
Domain authority is still an ok metric to measure your own performance against your competitor’s performance. Over time you can track it and see if your website is improving or not.
The thing to remember is…
That means that a higher domain authority does not inherently mean higher rankings or search traffic.
4x Tips To Increase Your Domain Authority (DA)
Even though we know that increasing your domain authority will not necessarily translate to higher search rankings, lots of people still want to increase it.
Domain authority is purely based on your website’s backlink profile so you need to focus your efforts here.
Each of these four tips will help you attract and build quality links that will increase your domain authority.
1. Create Great Content To Attract More Links
There is no way around it:
Ideally, it needs to be the best answer available to the keyword you are targeting.
The goal of any search engine is to connect users to content that helps them.
That means it is incredibly important to produce excellent website content that not only ranks in Google but adds a ton of value for the readers.
This gives you more visibility in the SERPs and ultimately make the content link-worthy and shareable.
People want to link to content that helps others:
- Find answers
- Solve problems
- Buy quality products
- Get accurate information
When you are doing research for a new piece of content, think about how you can make your piece completely unique.
Ask yourself – “What can I add that no one else has written about?”
This will help you produce highly unique content that provides lots of value to readers. Don’t forget to add:
…To break up the written text and make your content more engaging.
If you really want to know how to make your writing crisper, sharper and more readable, then check out my SEO copywriting hacks (that you can complete with my 45+ steps SEO checklist for a well-optimize content).
These have become the basis for my own content writing.
Or if you don’t like writing:
You could build some handy tooks like this backlink blacklist tool for example.
2. Build More High-Authority Links
Building high authority links is the ultimate way to increase your website’s domain authority.
Think about it:
If your site’s domain authority is 32 and you get a link from a site with a domain authority of 75, this will contribute to increasing yours.
Ultimately what’s happening is that the link from the 75 DA site is signalling that your site is trustworthy (in Moz’s eyes) which means your domain authority increases.
Don’t know how many links you should build? Follow my step by step process to determine how many backlink you need to rank and archive your goals.
But link building takes tons of time and effort right?
I get it. I have been building links since 2011 and I know how frustrating it is to manually build links. Unfortunately, links are also one of the most significant Google ranking factors.
If you want to skip the headache of building your own high-authority links – there is a solution…
You can focus on producing great content for your readers while the link building agency takes care of all the link building. Easy!
3. Get Rid Of Your Spammy Links
Just like good links will increase your domain authority…
Spammy links are going to bring it down.
Remember that Google sees links being built to your site as “mini endorsements” or “votes”. Because you don’t have direct control over who links to you, Google takes these endorsements really seriously.
Think about it like this:
You are running to be elected into office and are looking to get endorsements from various people.
You don’t want just anyone endorsing you. You want people who are well trusted in the community to support your campaign. These are the people who are going to convince voters to vote for you.
In the same way, if someone known to be dodgy and not trustworthy endorses you, that’s not going to do any good. In fact, it may even cause more harm as voters will think you hang out in “the wrong crowds“.
Now let’s put it all together…
- Your website is the candidate.
- Google is the voters.
- Spammy links are the person you don’t want to endorse you.
The bottom line is that you need to stop endorsements from spammy domains.
You need to actively nurture your backlink profile and remove spammy links as much as possible. Now you could pay someone to do this but it’s:
- Often not effective
It’s much better to do it yourself. How do you do it?
Just use my Backlink Blacklist Tool to help identify links that need to be removed.
Your domain authority will increase if you keep the spammy links at bay and consistently build high DA links.
4. Build More Traffic-Driven Links
The authority of a link is not the only thing that matters.
Traffic also plays an important part in the value of backlinks. If you have tons of high DA backlinks but none of those sites gets any organic traffic, they are not nearly as effective.
At the end of the day, people create content for others to read and get value from. If your content isn’t providing value to anyone – it’s basically just dead weight.
When a site with high domain authority and tons of organic traffic every month links to you, they are recommending your site to their own readers.
You can use any of my 15 link building strategies to get more quality traffic driven links built to your site.
Link building not your thing? I don’t blame you.
Building links that have traffic flowing from them is a great way to increase domain authority.
GROWTH HACK: Sign up for my FREE link building training.
How To Use Domain Authority Correctly
Before you jump in and start using each tactic to increase your domain authority…
…you must understand how to use DA properly!
How Is Domain Authority (DA) Calculated?
Domain authority is calculated by combining and evaluating a number of link factors.
The four most important link factors are:
- Linking root domains
- Total number of links
- Quality of link profile
- Trust of link profile
Moz then takes these factors and calculates a website’s DA score with their machine learning algorithm.
Basically, the algorithm predicts how often that domain appears in the search results relative to other domains.
If domain A is predicted to be shown by Google in the SERPs more than domain B, you could expect domain A to have a higher domain authority rating.
The important thing to understand about domain authority is that it’s relative to other websites. Moz doesn’t just look at a bunch of factors then give you a score out of 100.
They take the link factors and compare your site’s performance in the Google search results against other sites.
So, your domain authority is likely to change based on the overall performance of your competitors.
Check Your Own Domain Authority Score
Checking your own domain authority score is really easy.
Moz allows you to do it completely free on their website through their domain analysis tool. Head over to the Moz domain analysis page. Now type in your domain and click “Analyse Domain”.
Moz will quickly analyse your domain and give you your DA rating. You can even do this with your competitors to see how they stack up against you,
What Is Considered A “Good Domain Authority Score”?
Most people think the goal of a domain authority score is to reach 100/100…
This isn’t actually the case. Getting a DA 100 score is pretty much impossible to reach.
Let me give you some context. Here are some of the most popular websites and their DA scores:
- Facebook.com – DA 100
- Amazon.com – DA 96
- Wikipedia.com – DA 79
Unless you plan to run a hugely popular brand like Facebook, DA 100 shouldn’t be your goal. So, how do you know if you have a good domain authority score or not?
Well, it’s relative to your direct online competitors.
Indeed, if your DA score is higher, Moz is predicting that you will outrank them in most search results.
While you can take all of your competitors and analyse their domain authority scores, often just taking the top 3 is enough.
After all – your goal in terms of rankings should be to rank in the top 3 positions (if not number #1).
Analyse Your Competitors’ Sites To Understand Why They Get A Better Score
Noticed a few competitors have a higher DA score than you?
You can see why they have a higher score and even understand how to beat them by running a backlink analysis on your competitors.
Competitor backlink analysis’ is one of my favourite strategies in SEO. You basically get a road map into why your competitors are ranking ahead of you.
A backlink analysis will help you discover three important things:
- Uncover competitors link building strategies
- Find competitors most important backlinks
- Identify how you can replicate your competitors’ backlink strategy
To do my backlink analysis, I use Ahrefs.
Ready to get started with your competitor analysis? Then follow my backlink analysis guide.
Copy What They Do Best To Improve Your Domain Authority
Once you have done a backlink analysis on your competitors, it’s time to use that information to improve your own website’s domain authority.
Yes, you heard that right.
You simply want to copy what’s working for your competitors and apply it to your own site. This is the fastest and most sure way of improving your domain authority.
Basically, you will take your competitors’ top links and go and steal those exact links.
If they came from a:
Your competitors have done all of the hard work. Now you just need to go out and copy them. There is simply no need to reinvent the wheel in this case.
Follow this guide if you want to learn how I steal and copy my competitors’ link-building strategies.
A Few Things to Keep In Mind
Now you are ready to increase your own site’s domain authority. But before you do, there are a few things that you need to remember.
You Can’t Fake Real Authority
At the end of the day, there is no way to fake real authority. The only way to increase your domain authority is do the work and build quality links.
This is Moz’s premium metric and as I have said before, it is widely used in the SEO world to measure the overall rankability of sites.
If you don’t want to build your own links, then have a link building agency do it for you:
- It will save you a ton of time and effort.
- You’ll still get the results you’re looking for.
The only thing you need to ensure is:
You can confidently trust the link building agency. You don’t want them building spammy links that achieve nothing for your site or even worse…
End up decreasing your site’s domain authority.
Your Domain Authority Score Can Change At Any Time
Your own domain authority score accurately measures the ability of your site to rank in the SERPs. This means your site’s DA score can change at any time.
We all know that rankings go up and down on a day to day basis. That’s just part of the SEO game.
There are tons of factors that can change the ranking positions of your site including:
- Algorithm updates and changes
- Changes your make to your site
- Your competitor’s scores change
The last one is the most likely.
If your competitor builds a huge amount of quality links, their domain authority will increase. Because domain authority is relative to other sites this might impact the DA score of your site.
Domain Authority Is Not Used By Google And Will Have No Direct Impact On Your Rankings
This is a big one to keep in the back of your mind.
Domain authority is not a Google metric. It comes from Moz and they are predicting it based on their own algorithm and what factors THEY think are relevant.
If you increase your domain authority and don’t see any significant ranking changes, this is probably why.
Domain authority is still one of the best ways to compare your website against key competitors. There really aren’t any other metrics I have come across that universally does this as well.
Just remember that it’s a core indicator metric and not something that directly affects your rankings.
Wrapping It Up
So now you know how to increase your domain authority!
You are armed with my top four tactics that will directly increase your domain authority.
Do the necessary link building work (or outsource it) and build real authority that moves the needle forward on both the domain authority metric and more importantly – Google.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What affects domain authority?
Your domain authority score is directly affected by the quality of your backlink profile. Moz uses your websites linking root domains and the total number of links and puts that data into their algorithm. The algorithm then analyses other similar sites and brings back a score out of 100.
How long does it take to increase domain authority?
There are few factors that affect how long it takes to increase domain authority. In theory, you can build a couple of quality links one day and see an increase in domain authority the next day. In most cases, if you are producing quality content and actively link building you can expect to see a big increase in 1-3 months.
Why is my domain authority going down?
There are a number of reasons your domain authority could be going down. The biggest one is likely that your competitor’s domain authority scores are going up. Running a competitor analysis with a tool like Semrush will likely uncover it.
What’s the difference between Domain Authority and Domain Rating?
Domain authority is a metric created by Moz. Domain rating is a metric that was created by Ahrefs. They both effectively measure the same thing using their own different factors and algorithms to calculate each metric.
What’s the difference between Domain Authority with Page Authority?
The difference between domain authority and page authority is that one score measures the overall domain while the other measures individual pages. Both metrics are created by Moz. In the same way that Moz calculates the authority for any domain they can also calculate the authority of individual pages on your site.