Domain Authority (DA) basically means how highly your site will rank by search engines in comparison to other websites.
The higher your Domain Authority ranking, the more likely your site is to rank highly on search engine results. DA is now used by most website owners as a way to self-assess “importance” on the web.
A DA score can place anywhere between 0 to 100. With 100 being the highest possible score and 0 being the lowest. Completely new websites will always start with a DA of 1. You should therefore not get caught up in raising your DA if you are new to the Blogosphere.
BIG websites like Google, YouTube and Facebook have rankings of 100. So most websites will never hit anywhere near that high. According to Clickhub, the average DA score is between 40 and 50. In general, the higher your DA ranking, the more traffic you will see coming to your website.
It is very important to note that your Domain Authority score is NOT a static metric. It can go up and down depending on many factors. Such as your SEO, link stability, and website traffic (and much more).
What determines a websites DA score?
Moz (who initially developed this ranking metric) states that there are over FORTY factors taken into account when deciding the domain authority score of a website (or a page – PA). I won’t discuss them all here, as that should be an entirely separate post. However, I have included the FIVE most important factors here.
MozRank is Moz’s judgement of the popularity and quality of backlinks to your website. It basically represents the “link juice” of a website.
A MozRank is ranked from 0 to 10 – with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. To grow your MozRank, you need to get more high-quality backlinks.
Like MozRank, MozTrust also has a rating of between 0 and 10. MozTrust is about how trusted the backlinks are, rather than being about the “popularity” of a link. As we know it is with MozRank.
It determines whether the backlinks you have pointing to your site are from trusted websites such as government and educational websites.
Quantity of Backlinks
This is what it says on the tin – how many websites are linking back to your website.
We know that the quality of backlinks are of the utmost importance, but it is also extremely important to have a high number of high-quality backlinks. There is no point having 50 backlinks from websites that have a Domain Authority Score lower than yours. However, there IS a good point in having just a few very high-quality backlink from a site that has a much higher DA Score than you.
Age of Website
Rarely mentioned when discussing DA is a website domains age. The older a domain is, the more likely it is to have more content, better SEO practice overall and more traffic.
Therefore, a DA tends to grow as the domain ages. As previously mentioned though, your DA CAN still go up and down depending on the websites maintenance etc. Some older domains end up trailing and losing sight of the importance of things like SEO and high-quality linking.
Search Engine Optimization is all about how well your site uses SEO. It is related to how easy your site is is to be crawled by search engines and how strong the structure of your website is.
So, How Can I Improve My Domain Authority Score?
Get Rid of Bad Links
1. Spam comments
Every website gets hit with spam comments on blog posts. Unless of course, they have comments disabled. Which is not a very good idea if you want interaction from your readers.
You might receive comments that look legitimate. However, when you search a little closer, you may find that a small selection of those comments are SPAM! Get rid! Just delete them.
2. Links on illegal or hacked sites
It goes without saying that you should AVOID any websites that are posting illegal content.
What is a huge red flag? Linking to illegal sites or posting things that are completely porn or drugs related (unless you are in those industries)!
Backlinks from illegal or hacked websites will raise as a problem to Google and other search engines. Moreover though, it is more than likely going to badly affect your Domain Authority ranking.
3. Links from foreign language sites
Google won’t mind if they find links pointing to your site from websites in other countries.
However, if they find that the websites that are pointing to your site are in a completely different language to the one in which you are writing, you may get penalised.
If the website linking to your site is of a high quality, then it probably will not be a problem.
4. Links to and from pointless sites
I have previously completed a scan of this website which resulted in me finding a lovely selection of dodgy websites who had linked through to my posts!
I have had to email the owners of those websites to ask them to remove the bad quality links. They could really be harming my Domain Authority and Page Authority ratings and I am not about to let that happen to all my hard work!
5. Broken links
This is more related to your own site. 403 and 404 links are very harmful for your site as they create a “dead end” on your own website, thus damaging your rankings. And, lowering your Domain Authority score.
More so, if the broken links are ones which are linking directly to other pages on your own website (internal broken links) then this creates a “block” where you miss out on the prospective opportunity of creating a link to another page on your site.
The reader then loses out on the extra information you were going to give them and your bounce rate goes up!
6. You MUST regularly scan your site to check for bad links!
I think everyone knows how much I love Yoast SEO!
They have a fab page here all about how you can get rid of bad links!
If all else fails and you can’t get hold of the website owner – or you can’t find any contact details for them, you can disavow the bad links.
Disavowing links is an extreme measure that should only be used if you have a high number of detrimental links pointing towards your site. It is such an extreme measure because if done even slightly wrong, this action of disavowing bad links can deeply damage your domain authority.
My website (this one you are currently reading this post on) has one HORRIBLY terrible backlink linking to an image! However, I will not be bothering to disavow that link.
My decision for this is because just one bad backlink on it’s own is unlikely to cause any significant damage to my site. I am also very unlikely to get a Google penalty for just one bad backlink…I hope!
A more acceptable way of getting rid of bad links is by simply emailing or getting in touch with the owner of the site who has included a link to your site in one of their posts.
Want To Improve Your Domain Authority Score??
Get Good Links (Internal and Backlinks)
7. Internal links
Internal links help to keep your website strong and makes things easier for search engine crawlers to index your site pages. It also keeps people on your website for longer – reducing your bounce rate.
Internal links should always have the “do-follow” attribute – whereas, external links should almost always have the “no-follow” attribute connected to it. This is unless you feel that the site you have linked to really deserves some of your link juice.
Any links you create to external affiliate links should be “nofollow” (as they are of course, paid links).
To create nofollow links, you need to download an external plugin.
There are many available for WordPress. The one I use is called “Title and NoFollow for Links“.
Once you have downloaded the plugin and activated it, you will see an option to add the nofollow link to your link text or link object.
You can also see in this image that the “Open link in a new tab” option is also checked. This is what I add to every single one of my links.
Checking this option ensures that your readers stay on your website for longer and do not get distracted away to another website.
8. Share on social media
Most social platforms have a very high Domain Authority ranking. Therefore, linking back from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest etc. and getting likes, shares, retweets, comments and follows can create some very high quality backlinks to your site.
Include a link to your website on your profile pages of all your social media platforms. On most social platforms there is also an option to add links to your other social media sites.
Don’t forget video descriptions on YouTube and the description section on Twitter. You should already know that there is one place to input your website link in the sidebar.
Did you know that you can also include ANOTHER link in your description bio??
9. Guest posting
A HUGE factor contributing to your Domain Authority ranking is the quantity and (more importantly) quality of backlinks that link to your site. If you can get a website with a high DA score to link to your site, you are winning!
Although it might be tempting to get on as many websites as you can, try not to do it!
It is very important that ALL of your backlinks are of a high-quality. Get featured on good sites with good traffic and a decent Domain Authority score. Ideally a DA that is higher than your own.
Try to get one or more posts featured on external online newspapers. Many are open to accepting guest posts from bloggers with a fabulously informative post and are fairly easily found on Twitter.
If you can secure a place as a guest poster in an online magazine, website or publication, you should be able to grab some pretty high-quality backlinks. Again though, make sure the platforms you apply to are running a high-quality website that is regularly updated.
10-15. High level of SEO
There are so many important factors to include, so I have created the following infographic to give you the building blocks to start with!
Why not Pin It to your Pinterest profile to read again later?
If you like what you see on my Pinterest profile, why not check out this post on how to explode your Pinterest views?
16. Website Structure
In order for search engine crawlers to be able to move around your website, you need to ensure that everything is structured in a sensible – and simple way. You should also make it easy for your readers to move around your website.
Ensuring that the main menu is visible so users can easily move from one page to another is one way to make your site structure clean and accessible.
Creating a site map for your website can also help search engine crawlers index your pages, resulting in better SEO.
Having this site map readily available for your readers to access if they want to is just another way to make it easier for them to find their way around your site.
You can also add a recent posts widget to your sidebar – or add your recent or most popular posts somewhere on your homepage that is easy to see.
17. Monster Content
Of course, you cannot get any backlinks pointing to your site without having amazing killer content to start with.
“Evergreen” content like THIS POST or THIS POST is content which lasts forever and will always be in demand. Content which will be useful to people at anytime of the year. Most content pieces that do well with SEO and driving traffic to your website will be evergreen content.
Posting regularly develops your writing skills, increases your email list subscriptions and also increases your traffic / page rank. That does not mean that you need to post every day. But. Just one post each week with great content and of a good length is more likely to get you regular visitors and shares. Rather than if you post (sorry to be mean) rubbish content of only 500 words every day.
In fact, research has shown that posts with around 2500 words (like this one) do better than those with less words. It also keeps people on your page for longer. Check out this article from Snap Agency about the best post length for SEO.
As us humans tend to be partial to images, it can be beneficial for reader retention to break up the text. Create different viewpoints and avenues for learning.
How can you provide variety to your readers?
Written articles, images, gifs, videos, pins for Pinterest, checklists, infographics and guides (around 5,000 words work well). These are all good variations of ways to deliver content to your readers.
In fact, you could even offer guides, infographics, checklists and videos as Content Upgrades!
Why not download my content upgrade for this post? Click here to get your FREE checklist: “Improving My DA Score”.
Posts that show some form of authority and a high level of knowledge, understanding and expertise draw more of a chance of earning quality backlinks. People will want to include a link to your page to make their own post more informative and to give them more authority.
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18. Quora and other Q&A Forums
Answering questions in online Q&A forums gives you a platform to share your expert knowledge with others and raise the profile of your blog or business.
It also provides you with the opportunity to drop a link to a specific post on your website.
If you do decide to get involved in Q&A forums, it is important that you don’t just write a sentence, drop your link and run!
Do you want to actually be taken seriously?
Of course you do.
To be seen as someone of authenticity and expertise, you should write at least a few paragraphs. Or even, half of your post!
Then you can add your links to a few important parts of your comment. You can get a good few links in to one single comment reply if you do it properly.
Remember that the whole point is NOT just to leave backlinks in as many places as you can. The point is to leave worthwhile, high-quality backlinks that people actually want to click through.
Leaving good information in your comments in the forums is much more likely to intrigue the readers.
The thing of most importance in all of this IS NOT getting a higher score for the sake of “popularity”.
The thing of most importance IS making the reader more knowledgable, more aware and more at ease. This is just easier if you have a higher DA Score, as your website is more noticeable in search results.