Search engine optimization is a complicated game with a lot of moving pieces. To improve your search engine ranking, you might combine activities like link building, focusing on keywords, and staying active on social. So how do you know what’s actually working?

When it comes to search engine optimization, many factors that affect where you show up in the search results. But there’s one solid way to measure how well your efforts are working: Domain Authority.

What Domain Authority Means for Your Search Engine Optimization

What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is a score developed by Moz, a marketing and SEO company, that predicts how well your website (as a whole) will rank.

Your DA is a score from 0 to 100 – the higher the number, the more probability that your site will rank well. When your domain is brand new, you’ll have a DA of zero because search engines don’t have a reason to trust your site yet. The score is based on a logarithmic scale, so the lower your number, the easier it is to improve. Once your score is higher, it will be harder to improve.

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Example from Moz’s Open Site Explorer

To get an idea of what Domain Authority you’ll need to rank highly, research your website and your competitors’ DA. By comparing your DA to others, you’ll better understand where your site is in comparison, and it will help you determine which sites are more powerful than others.

Use this research to get ahead of your competition!

Improve your Domain Authority

There are over 40 factors that influence your score. We’ve compiled the most important and easiest to influence to raise your DA.

Links

While all factors are important, link building has the most influence over your Domain Authority. Search engines give authority to sites that are trusted by already authoritative sites. For example, if a site that has a high DA links to your site that has a low DA, you’ll be given some authority and a higher DA.

Check your link profile and make sure your site doesn’t have any unnatural or spammy links. Search engines won’t trust sites that try to use unnatural links to make their link profile more robust, and your site could easily get penalized.

Basic Search Engine Optimization

Get all the SEO basics down to raise your DA. Make sure you’re checking your sitemaps; robots.txt file; meta tags, titles, and descriptions. Be sure that you’re producing high-quality, unique content that is relevant to your site, and that your site is mobile responsive.

Domain Age

The longer you own your domain, the more your website will be trusted, and the higher your DA will grow. Purchase your domain as far in advance as possible and keep it active to show search engines your site is here to stay!

Social Media

Make sure you’re on the major social media networks: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Participating on social will expand your visibility online and help you gain authority from search engines. (A solid social media strategy has many benefits beyond raising your Domain Authority!)

Now Focus on Page Authority after Domain Authority

Once you’ve established Domain Authority, focus on getting ahead of your competition’s pages. To do this, start improving your pages and Page Authority. Page Authority is very similar to Domain Authority, except it predicts how well a specific page will rank. It is influenced by the same factors, but on an individual page basis instead of the whole domain.

Use the same tips we mentioned above to improve your Page Authority. Compare your service/product page’s PA to your competitor’s service/product to give you an idea of how well you’ll rank comparatively.

Wondering where your SEO stands now? Let us take a look at your site. We’re happy to help you understand your site’s Domain Authority.

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