what is domain authority and why is it important?

Oct 30, 2020 | Business Website, Strategy

We talk a lot about domain authority (DA) or website authority here at Engaging Content. However, if you’re not familiar with marketing lingo, you might not know what this means! If you own a business website, it’s definitely something you need to know about.

So, in this plain-English blog, we’ll answer the question, ‘what is domain authority and why is it important?’ Then, we’ll talk about how to increase the domain authority of your website!

autumnal flowers and hands typing on Google search engine

what is domain authority?

What is domain authority? This is a question we get asked a lot by our clients.

So, what is domain authority? Well, domain authority, or website authority is essentially how ‘strong’ or ‘trustworthy’ Google deems your site to be.

The exact term was coined by marketing giants, Moz. However, every SEO provider has some version of domain authority. Usually, it’s a score from 1-100 that predicts how likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages (like Google results). The higher the domain authority, the more likely the website is to rank highly.

 

How is domain authority calculated? 

A website authority score is calculated slightly differently depending on the SEO tool or provider you’re using. However, as standard, it takes into account:

  • The number and quality of other websites that link to your site. This is called a backlink. (You can read more about backlinks and why they are absolutely essential, in our recent blog)
  • Number of social signals your website content has received (Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn likes, shares, Google+1s)
  • Whether or not your site is SEO-friendly, uses good SEO keywords, and can be understood by search engines. (You can read more about SEO keywords and why they are important here.)
  • Site security 

 

What is a good website authority score? 

There’s no such thing as a correct score when it comes to website authority. However, for a website page to start to rank on the first few pages of search results, it will need to be hitting the 40-50+ out of 100 mark. 

For reference, Wikipedia has a score of 100. This is why Wikipedia pages consistently dominate search engine results. Almost always appearing in position 1 or 2 for any given search.

If you have a brand new website, your domain authority score will be 0. Most of our clients here at Engaging Content tend to sit in the 0-20 score category. 

So, now we’ve answered ‘What is domain authority’, let’s look at it in more detail…

 

 

how do I check my website’s domain authority?

If you’re wondering what your domain authority score for your website is, you can use the free, online DA checker from Ahrefs.

Below, you’ll see our website authority score here at Engaging Content.

Engaging Content Domain Authroity Score of 43

This site will also tell you how many backlinks you have. (Other websites that have linked to your site. A crucial factor when it comes to your score.)

Backlinks used for Engaging Content

 

 

how to increase your domain authority/website authority

If you’ve checked your website authority score and it’s looking on the low side, don’t worry! There are some things you can do to increase your domain authority and boost those website rankings!

 

Build up some backlinks

Backlinks happen when another website links to you. See that link in the last sentence? That’s us giving another website a backlink. In this case, SEO giants, Moz. This shows you, the reader, that you can trust the point we’ve made because we’ve backed it up. It also shows Google that Moz are a reputable source that other websites trust enough to link to. So, now Moz will get a nice little increase in domain authority due to our link.

So, you’ll need to work on getting other websites to link to you. These websites should be relevant, trustworthy and ideally also have high authority scores to get a bigger boost for your domain authority score.

There’s lots of useful information on how to get other websites to link to you in our recent blog: ‘How to drive traffic to your website: 10 key tips!’

check-in on your existing backlinks

You need to check in on your backlinks regularly to make sure your site has a healthy backlink profile.

Remember, your site could be targeted by a spam website linking to you, which could harm your credibility with Google. You can reach out to unwanted linking sites and request they don’t link to you. Alternatively, you can do this via a process called ‘backlink disavow’. All you need to do is submit any unwanted backlinks to Google. This will tell Google you don’t want to be associated with these links but it can be a complicated process. An expert will be able to help you with this so you can avoid getting a website penalty from Google!

 

Make sure your website and content can be understood by search engines

Ensuring your website and content is understood by search engines, such as Google, is essential. This process is called on-page SEO. You’ll need to make sure that your website text includes lots of good SEO keywords. So Google knows which searches to match your content with and where to rank your site/page. You can read more about this in our recent SEO blog: SEO keyword research- an introduction.

 

Make sure your website is secure

Google will ALWAYS give more authority to secure sites, meaning they’ll rank higher than non-secure sites. Make sure you have an SSL or a TLS certificate installed. This is essentially a piece of technology that keeps internet connections secure and protects your website users.

You can tell if your site is secure by looking at your URL bar. It should start with https rather than http. If you have a WordPress site, you could use anti-malware plugins to add an extra layer of protection.

Another thing to remember is to change your passwords regularly, use difficult to crack passwords. Google now suggests passwords to you that are near impossible to guess! If you’d rather use your own password though, consider the following:

  • It is much safer to use a random string of lowercase and uppercase letters than real words
  • Use numbers and special characters
  • Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords safely
  • NEVER write them down on your computer or a piece of paper!

 

 

so, what is domain authority and how can I increase it?

You now know that domain authority is a search engine ranking score. It predicts how likely your website is to rank on search engines, such as Google. You also know that domain authority is calculated based on a number of different factors. And it is easy to ignore your website authority rather than doing all you can to increase it.

Here at Engaging Content we appreciate increasing domain authority can be a difficult process for many business owners. This is why it’s important to consider hiring a professional to design and write copy for your website, so you don’t have to worry.

If you’d like to discuss your website authority further. Or have any questions relating to increasing your domain authority, be in touch. We’ll be more than happy to help. Afterall, it’s what we do!