If you work in marketing or software development, you may have heard of domain authority. But even if you understand the general concept, you might be unsure as to what domain authority really means, and how it impacts your business. 

Your domain authority can affect your search engine rankings, though there are hundreds of factors that search engines like Google take into account when they’re ranking your website. We don’t know every factor that makes up Google’s ranking algorithm, nor can we be certain of the weighting of each metric. However, Google has stated that domain authority is a fairly significant ranking factor, thus improving this should help boost your overall ranking.

To help you get a better understanding of domain authority, how to improve your site’s authority, as well as the difference between domain authority and page authority, we’ve looked at this topic in more detail below:

What is Domain Authority?

Domain authority, which can also be referred to as DA, is a contributing factor when it comes to where you rank in search engine results. There was even a common misconception that domain authority was the only thing Google looked at when calculating your website’s ranking. The concept of domain authority was developed by SEO (Search Engine Optimization) software company Moz, as they wanted a way to quantitatively measure the authority of your site.

Moz has a 100 point scale for domain authority, which takes into account numerous different metrics, such as:

  • The popularity of your website
  • The age of your site
  • How many links you have
  • Your trust score
  • Your spam score

These signals should be able to predict your search engine ranking, and can provide a point of reference for the strength of your website. You can work to improve your own score, as well as compare it to that of your competitors.

Domain Authority vs Page Authority

Similar to domain authority, you may also be interested in knowing about the page authority of your website. As the name suggests, page authority just looks at the individual pages of your site, rather than the website as a whole. You may have a higher page authority on some webpages than others, and the page authority on your homepage, for example, could outrank your overall domain authority.

Based on this information, you may assume that it’s better to focus on the page authority of high ranking pages, rather than your DA. But it is actually considered best practice to concentrate primarily on domain authority. This is because it’s a better long term strategy, and due to the fact that improving your DA should increase your page authority at the same time.

Improving Your Domain Authority

Once you’ve got to grips with what domain authority is, the next step is to improve it. This may not be quite as simple as some other digital marketing strategies, and it can take some time to see significant results, but the payoff will certainly be worth it! As a better DA generally means ranking higher in search results, this in turn should result in more traffic, and hopefully more sales.

There are two main ways in which you can boost your domain authority - looking at the technical aspects of your website, and using internal and external linking. Both of these methods are fairly straightforward, and when implemented in conjunction with other SEO techniques, can make a huge difference to the visibility of your business. 

Technical Improvements for Domain Authority

In order to start building your DA, it’s essential to look at the technical aspects of your site. Although this might not be a particularly fun task, if your website isn’t structured well, and doesn’t have clear navigation, you are unlikely to see any domain authority improvements.

Things you should consider include your URL structure, tags and breadcrumbs. Tags can refer to things like header tags, which separate headings from paragraph text, meta tags, which are snippets describing the page’s content, and alt tags, which are image descriptors. You should furthermore put a lot of resources into keyword research - these are words you hope to rank for, that should be included in your text.

Linking for Domain Authority

As well as technical changes, you should also start adding both internal and external links to your webpages. The former is definitely easier than the latter, but external links are arguably more important. Websites use link equity to pass authority to each other - essentially, when you link to another site you’re endorsing them and implying that the site is reliable.

Internal links, as the name implies, are links on your website that point to other pages on the site. So if you’re discussing a particular topic, you could link to a page that also refers to that subject matter. This type of linking helps build a strong internal network on your website, and allows Google to better understand the site.