Domain Authority or ‘DA’ is a number which suggests how much authority your website has in the eyes of the search engines. DA’s importance with regards to SEO is quite simple in terms of ranking, in that the higher the DA, the higher you can expect to rank, although it must be considered along with other ranking factors.
It was the highly respected SEO software service, MOZ, which introduced Domain Authority and although DA is not the only way in which website authority is measured, it is widely used and recognised.
Generally, Domain Authority is scored on a scale from 0 to 100, so a brand-new website will have a DA of 0, whilst the highest DA currently is Facebook’s, which is the maximum of 100.
The DA figure considers around 40 different SEO elements of a website. If we compare this to Google’s algorithm, which factors in over around 200, it does not give you a complete picture of your website’s SEO. It does, however, give an indication of how it compares to other websites, and whether you can expect to rank higher or lower than them.
Two points about how Domain Authority changes need to be made. The first is that DA changes do not happen overnight, and it may take a bit of time for you to see any movement. The second is that the higher your DA, the harder it is going to be to make large movements upwards compared to lower DAs. For example, moving from a DA of 65 to 75 is more difficult than moving from 25 to 35.
Now that we know what DA is, we now come to ways and means of how you can improve the DA of your website. There are 5 distinct areas of SEO that you can work on that can impact DA positively as follows:
1] Off-Page: This obviously means looking at the profile of the backlinks that you have coming to your website from other websites. You want to go after quality links, which are those from high authority sites.
You also want to get rid of what is described as ‘bad’ links. Links coming to your site from low quality, low authority sites drag your DA down, so you want to stop them from doing so. Either contact the website where they are coming from to add a ‘nofollow‘ tag or use the disavow tool within your Google Search Console.
2] On-Page: This refers to all the SEO elements of the content pages in your website being optimised. Basics include using proper titles, descriptions, ‘H’ tags, and your content’s keyword density. There should also be an assessment of your internal linking structure, and where appropriate, the addition of links to your content.
3] Website Settings: Although these could be listed under on-page, they do not really come under the realm of content. They are technical elements which include having an XML sitemap, structured schema information and breadcrumb menus on every page.
4] Mobile: Not much to say about this other than to make sure that your website is fully mobile friendly, or responsive, to give it its official term. If your website is not mobile responsive, not only will your DA suffer, your overall ranking on Google will be negatively impacted too.
5] Page Load Speed: Not only is this important for metrics like DA and your Google ranking, it also gives your visitors a better experience, meaning they may return. If your pages are loading slowly check factors like plugins you are using on your website, image sizes, streaming videos, and that you have the latest updates for themes and plugins. Also, check with your hosting company in case there any server issues.