A strong domain authority score improves search engine visibility, amplifies brand awareness, and signals credibility.
Whether you're a new marketer or a seasoned ecommerce veteran, building a strong online presence begins by establishing a positive reputation. At the heart of this endeavor lies a critical metric — domain authority.
This indicator reflects your site’s reputation and influence. As your domain authority increases, search engines recognize your site as a valuable, reliable source of information, driving increased organic traffic. But achieving a higher score isn’t automatic — it relies on building high-quality backlinks from other reputable websites.
Achieving a high domain authority score establishes a strong foundation for your brand’s growth. Read on to learn how to increase yours for sustained digital success.
What is domain authority, and why is it important?
Domain authority (DA) is a ranking score developed by Moz, a leading search engine optimization (SEO) company. It's a numerical indicator determining a website's potential to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Beyond influencing search engine rankings, domain authority actively contributes to several digital marketing and brand-building efforts, including:
- Facilitating competitive analysis — Domain authority allows you to compare your website's standing against competitors in the same field. By understanding where you stand in the pecking order, you can identify opportunities for improvement and create strategies to outperform the competition.
- Enhancing credibility and trust — A high DA score improves your website's credibility and reliability in the eyes of search engines, elevating its rankings. Users also often perceive websites with higher positions in search results pages (SERPs) as more trustworthy and reliable.
- Opening link-building opportunities — Sites with multiple quality backlinks have better DA scores. High scores appeal more to companies seeking link-building and partnership opportunities, allowing you to collaborate with credible platforms to boost your site's authority and online presence.
- Optimizing marketing and content strategies — You can enhance your marketing and content strategy by leveraging your industry's targeted, relevant, and trending keywords. As your score improves, you can take on more competitive topics to position your site as a credible authority.
How do you calculate domain authority, and what’s a good DA score?
SEO tools, like Moz, calculate your domain authority score by analyzing several factors, including the number of high-quality inbound links your site has, your domain’s age, and on-page SEO techniques such as keyword optimization and content quality. This score, ranging from 1 to 100, illustrates your content’s relevance within your niche, with higher scores indicating stronger chances of ranking higher on SERPs.
Here's a quick guide to understanding DA scores:
- 81 and above = Very high
- 60 to 80 = High
- 50 to 60 = Good
- 40 to 50 = Average
- 30 to 40 = Below average
- 29 and below = Poor
If your website is new, you'll likely have a lower DA score of 10 to 20. The most popular websites — YouTube, Google, Apple, LinkedIn, and Amazon — have older domain ages, consistently deliver valuable content generating substantial organic traffic, and possess many high-quality backlinks, leading to high scores in the 95 to 100 bracket.
Misconceptions about domain authority
Despite being a widely recognized and adopted metric, some common misconceptions surround domain authority’s role and impact. Let's explore some myths and break them to understand DA better.
Myth: Domain authority is the only way to determine search engine rankings.
Truth: Domain authority plays an important role in SEO but isn't the only consideration for ranking. Google and similar search engines look at several factors, including relevance, quality, usability, and context. If you ignore these other factors, your website might not see high SERP rankings, even with a high DA score.
Myth: Domain authority is an official metric used by Google and other search engines.
Truth: Domain authority is Moz's proprietary ranking metric. Google and other search engines, like Bing, use their algorithms to evaluate and rank websites. Google's PageRank was the original metric that displayed a web page's score in its toolbar, but it’s now hidden from public view.
Myth: Domain authority is the only site authority ranking metric.
Truth: Like PageRank, other authority benchmarks exist outside domain authority, such as Ahrefs’ Domain Rating (DR), Semrush's Authority Score, and Majestic's Citation Flow. These metrics can provide additional insights into your website's strengths and weaknesses beyond what Moz offers.
Myth: Domain authority is an absolute measure for comparing websites.
Truth: DA scores are relative, meaning you should use them to compare your site's authority against others in similar industries. A score of 45 may seem average in one field but may be strong in another. That's why it's crucial to consider your competitors and niche when assessing your website's authority.
Understanding the nuances behind domain authority helps you maximize its benefits. Misinterpreting its value can divert focus away from equally significant SEO factors, such as content relevance, user experience, and site speed. As you aim to improve your domain authority, remember to approach it as part of a holistic SEO strategy, ensuring it complements other search optimization elements and strategies to drive sustainable results.
5 ways to improve your site’s domain authority
Boosting a low DA is often easier than improving a high score. Optimizing content, securing quality backlinks, and enhancing your SEO strategies yield substantial increases in your score, setting the foundation for further growth.
As your score increases, fine-tuning these elements becomes more nuanced and competitive; however, every website can grow and maintain a consistently high rank. Here are a few practical ways to increase domain authority.
1. Focus on quality content creation
Your website's content is the backbone of its credibility, fostering trust and authority. Offering high-quality, relevant, and valuable content attracts users and establishes your site as a resource worth citing and sharing, encouraging other websites to link to your pages. This reciprocal relationship enhances your website’s potential to rank higher, amplifying its reputation and influence.
How to implement it
Focus on topics that resonate with your audience and provide credible and valuable information. Start by identifying trending topics and relevant keywords and use them as springboards to craft well-researched articles, blog posts, infographics, and videos. For example, if you have a food blog, consistently post recipes, how-to guides, and food-related articles to slowly build your brand and improve your DA score.
2. Consider guest posting
Guest posting involves writing and creating content for other reputable websites in your industry. Exposing your content and website to larger audiences amplifies your brand visibility and creates opportunities for valuable backlinks.
How to implement it
Find similar websites that welcome guest blogs and contact them for collaboration. Familiarize yourself with their content beforehand and propose ideas that align with their brand and platform. When crafting content for your guest post, prioritize delivering genuine value and include links redirecting to your website, profile, or social media platforms to advertise your brand.
3. Add high-quality links from authority websites
Backlinks from authoritative websites heavily influence DA scores. Think of backlinks as endorsements attesting to your site’s content and reliability; they demonstrate your trust in other websites and platforms, paving the way for collaboration.
How to implement it
Strategically integrate backlinks into your articles and site content through research on reputable websites within your sector, partnering with industry thought leaders and influencers, and participating in relevant forums. Always prioritize the quality of backlinks over quantity to cultivate genuine and beneficial connections.
4. Audit your website
Slow site speeds, security vulnerabilities such as invalid SSL certificates, and broken or invalid links all negatively impact your DA score.
How to implement it
Prevent these issues by conducting regular SEO audits to ensure your site loads fast, has functional links, and has updated security measures. Tools like Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) can locate and remove broken links. Remember to assess active links for their relevance and quality, replacing low-quality sources with references from industry-leading websites to maintain and enhance your DA.
5. Optimize your website structure
A seamless, user-friendly website structure fosters longer visitor sessions and decreases bounce rates, indicating to search engines that your site offers quality content.
How to implement it
Focus on creating responsive designs that load quickly and feature intuitive navigation, all while adhering to accessibility standards. Fine-tuning multimedia elements such as images, videos, and animations and removing unnecessary pop-ups shortens page load times and reduces user frustration and distractions. Faster loading pages can encourage your visitors to engage more deeply with your content and spend more time on your site — factors that positively influence your DA score.
Optimize your website for success
From quality backlinks to user-friendly designs, optimizing your website’s layout and content is paramount for online success. In addition to improving your site’s domain authority, you can also leverage SEO tools — including Moz, Ahrefs, and Google Search Console — to analyze traffic patterns, refine keyword strategies, and fix crawl issues to take your SEO game to the next level.
To further optimize your site, you can also consider troubleshooting performance issues and using SVG files to compress image file sizes to speed up page load times. Webflow offers several resources to help you learn how to unlock SEO success and deliver better site experiences.