As part of your overall digital strategy, one of your goals should be to improve how authoritative your website is in the eyes of search engines.
If your website has more authority, it will rank better for specific keywords in search engines, so it’s a pivotal part of your overall SEO strategy and online presence.
But how can you tell if your website is authoritative? You can start by finding out your Domain Authority (DA) score.
A DA score is a search engine ranking score developed by the people at Moz (a SAAS company that sells SEO products) that predicts how well a website will rank in search results, based on how authoritative it is.
The actual score is a value between 0-100, with the higher the score meaning the higher the website’s chances of ranking in search results (because it’s more authoritative). If your website is newer it will have less links, so your DA score is likely to be quite low, but if your website is older, has a longer running strategy, and you’ve been building your link strategy for awhile, your DA score will likely be higher. That’s because determining a DA score takes a number of factors into consideration, like total number of links, linking domains, outbound/inbound links, and more.
If you look at a website like Wikipedia, for example, that has a ton of high-quality internal and external links, their domain score is 100.
You can check your website’s DA score using Moz’s free tool right here.
One thing to keep in mind is that your website’s DA score is different depending on where you check it. The actual term ‘Domain Authority’ is proprietary to Moz, but there are several other tools that exist that offer it as well, each with their own proprietary system of ranking.
Here are some other reliable ones to check out:
There’s really no harm in checking your DA score on multiple platforms. You’ll probably get a slightly different DA score on each tool as they all calculate it differently as each of those tools are proprietary to those companies and they have their own ranking factors (although as mentioned, the biggest one is your link strategy).
So what’s a good DA score? As mentioned, the higher the score the better, but the real answer is much more subjective than that.
Basically, it depends. What a good DA score or for you will be much different than a high competition news website. A better approach to determine a good DA score goal for you is to check is the DA scores of some of your competitors, and set a benchmark that way. The closer the industry the more relatable the DA score as a goal.
So, now that you know what your DA score is, and you know that a higher DA score is better for your overall digital strategy, how do you improve your score?
Conduct a Link Audit of Your Website
Search engines prefer that the links you have to your website come from authoritative sources (basically, sites with a high DA score themselves).
Let’s say for example, you own a shoe store, and I owned a shoe store, and we linked to each others websites. That’d be great. But if you got a link from the Nike website instead of my shoe store, that would be much better because their website is much more authoritative.
So a good place to start is by figuring out where all of the links to your website come from and how authoritative they are.
To do that, you can use free tools on SEMRush or on Moz to get a backlink audit of your website done. If you discover that there are a lot of low quality links to your website, you can use Google’s disavow tool to let Google know so you don’t get penalized for them.
Build Your Content Strategy
One aspect of consideration to show up in search results (and improve your DA score) is your engagement metrics, like total traffic, direct traffic, organic traffic, time on page, etc; and one of the best ways to build your engagement metrics is by creating high-quality, compelling content that your audience loves.
By producing engaging content, you’ll attract more people to your website who will stay for a longer period of time, and you’ll improve your engagement metrics; and, you’re also likely to get more organic links to your high-quality content from other high-quality websites.
Build Your Off-Page Strategy
There are also a number of off-page SEO techniques that you can do that will help build your overall DA score.
- Social Media: When you have new content on your website, you should post it on your social media accounts to extend its reach. Not only can social media encourage more click-throughs, but it can also be a crucial source of valuable backlinks from a site with a high DA score.
- Guest Content: A lot of people have guest posting as part of their strategy, but you should always be strategic with the websites that you post on or get posts from is reaching out to websites that are trustworthy and relevant to your own target audience to help boost your DA score.
- Local SEO Listings through Google MyBusiness: Having a Google MyBusiness page is vital to helping with your online reputation and rankings, particularly in localized search results. Not only can your business benefit from an increased amount of exposure and traffic, but being listed in local directories presents the opportunity of building a valuable backlink from a website with a high DA score.
In the End…
You can’t really control your website’s domain authority, but by performing link audits, producing high-quality content that your audience loves, building your overall link strategy, and improving your engagement metrics, you’ll be building a solid strategy that improves your overall SEO search strategy and DA score long into the future.
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