What is domain authority?
Domain authority is a metric used to gauge the strength of a website’s domain. In particular it aims to assess the relevance and expertise of the content on a website to a certain subject matter in relating to searchers’ intent. It is indirectly one of many factors that search engines use to determine a website’s ranking in search results.
How do we measure domain authority?
It remains a secret how Google measures domain authority, and is impossible to see your own score. However, some approximate measures exist. For example, Moz measures domain authority on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher your domain authority, the more likely you are to rank for competitive keywords and drive quality traffic to your site.
What contributes to domain authority?
Whilst domain authority exists as a single metric, a number of factors contribute towards it. It is thought these number more than 40 in total but no search engine has ever confirmed these in full. However, we can say with a fair degree of certainty that the most significant factors include the following:
- Volume of backlinks – The quantity of backlinks to your content enhances the perceived authority your content has in the eyes of search engines. The more people that cite your content, the more likely it is of good quality and relevant.
- Quality of backlinks – Gaining backlinks from other high-authority domains confers a degree of authority to your own website. Not all backlinks are equal and certainly some are more valuable than others.
- Social signals – One of the more controversial aspects is the impact of social signals. Whilst this does not have a direct impact on your domain authority, the additional traffic driven from social media platforms improves click through rate that in-turn improves domain authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.
How do I improve domain authority?
In essence, content is key. A domain’s authority can be increased by improving the quality of the site’s content, building links from other high-quality websites, and making sure the site is well-structured and easy to navigate.
There are a number of ways to improve domain authority, but some of the most effective include:
- Creating high-quality content. When creating content, it is crucial you consider the quality in comparison to those around you in your field. Leading with your own expertise and maintaining it with up-to-date information is pivotal.
- Building links from other reputable websites. By creating high-quality content, you should be aiming to be citable amongst others in your industry in order to elicit backlinks from reputable sites.
- Optimizing your website for better search engine visibility. Maintaining general good SEO practice to enhance search visibility will improve the volume of traffic that is landing on your site. Similar to backlinks, search engines see this as an indication that your content is authoritative and reliable within your industry.
- Increasing social engagement and activity around your content. Maximise social channels for added traffic. Using search engines may form the backbone of the volume of traffic landing on your site, but firing up those social media engines as well will add another source of traffic flowing to your site.
- Creating a strong internal linking structure. Search engines navigate websites in the same way humans do, and demonstrating how your content relates to each other furthers the impression of expertise in your field and exhibits your website as a comprehensive resource hub.
Domain authority is an important metric for any website looking to rank higher in search engine results pages. By taking steps to increase domain authority, you can improve your chances of ranking for competitive keywords and driving traffic to your site.
One effective tactic when assessing how to improve your own domain authority is by conducting some industry and competitor research. Look at what competitors have and you don’t, and what additional knowledge you can add to your content to make it stand out from the crowd.
It is important to note that domain authority is a website-wide measure. Importantly differentiating it from page authority which is attributed on a page-by-page basis. Enhancing domain authority contributes to whole site health.