9 Simple Ways to Increase Your Website’s Domain Authority (2021)
In today’s blog post, I’m going to show exactly how to increase your domain authority easily.
Not only that, we will also discuss:
- what is domain authority or DA
- what is page authority or PA
- difference between DA and PA
- how to boost your domain and page authority significantly
- how domain authority can help your blog and business in real life
Let’s dive right in…
Domain authority: An introduction
What is domain authority?
Domain authority is a website ranking score (developed by Moz, a leading SEO software company) that predicts how well your website can rank on the search engine ranking pages (SERPs or Google search).
Domain authority or DA indicates the authority of your website and ranges from 0-100 (the higher, the better chances of your authority).
How is domain authority calculated?
The calculations are based on complex machine learning algorithms that take into account many factors that “probably” comes to use by Google to determine the rankings of site.
Out of these ranking factors the major is the number of root domains linking to you and the total number of backlinks your website has acquired over time.
What is page authority?
Page authority is also a website ranking score (by Moz) that predicts the ranking ability of any specific page of your website on Google. It is also based on a scale of 1-100 (the higher, the better).
In case you’re wondering, page authority also is the result of many factors involved and one of the factors is domain authority of the website itself.
What is difference between DA and PA?
The basic difference between domain authority and page authority is that domain authority is the authority score of the whole website or sub-domain whereas page authority is the authority score of any single page of a website.
You will have the same DA across all pages of your domain while PA will change based on performance of any single page.
A page with more backlinks, social shares etc will have same domain authority but a higher page authority than a page that has fewer links and social shares.
Why is domain authority important?
Domain Authority, though isn’t a factor that that Google considers when ranking websites, has been massively popular because it provides an easy way to gauge the potential of a website in the SERPs.
Below are some other reasons to explain why domain authority is important for website owners:
- Easy way to rank websites or check their ranking potential in an post-pagerank era (if you don’t know what page rank is, it is Google’s way of rating websites based on quality but has been discontinued (or isn’t made available publicly) anymore.
- Domain authority serves as an easier way to explain clients and non-technical website owners who want to know how their site is performing.
- DA PA score is still widely used by advertisers and clients looking for sponsored posts and paid campaigns to quickly judge the quality of website and the potential price of the deal. (Please note: This is not the accurate way to know a site’s performance which can be done better with a tool like SEMrush.) Hence, if you’re looking for sponsored posts or want to monetize your site you might as well want to boost your domain authority score a bit.
- Domain Authority is not an accurate means of rating a website’s performance but it is a very good means to get a quick idea of how your site is performing (or when you compare similar sites).
How to explain domain authority to your Boss or clients?
If you’re having a hard time explaining your boss (who wants you to boost their domain authority) or clients (who won’t have that sponsored deal signed unless you match their DA requirements), here’s how you can explain them about domain authority.
You should know that lower domain authority scores doesn’t mean your site is incompetent or can’t rank well.
There are millions of sites (I have a couple of such niche sites) that don’t have a domain authority greater than 10 or say 20 but rake in millions of page views every month.
Website performance isn’t affected by factors like domain authority, it is affected by the quality of content you have, the competition (number of sites competing) for the phrase or topic that you’re targeting and Google’s ranking factors.
Similarly, a site with high domain authority and no traffic or rankings is definitely a thing but isn’t of any value because you don’t have traffic or leads from it.
So, as long as you have traffic (and has a upward trend of the same, which you can check using tools like SEMrush) and you are converting them well, you don’t need to worry much about domain authority.
Best domain authority checker tools (DA PA Checkers)
1) Link Explorer
You can check domain authority and page authority using Moz’s official tool, the Link Explorer. (It does require you to login but that’s something not many would mind).
I simply entered Ahrefs as the domain to check the authority of and here is the result.
Ahrefs has a domain auhtority of 76.
In case you want the page authority, you can select the “exact page” option from the dropdown of the URL box and that will give you the page authority of that particular page.
Apart from all these Moz’s Link Explorer gives you additional (and very useful) data about:
- Total linking domains (sites that have linked to Ahrefs)
- Inbound Links (number of unique pages linking to Ahrefs)
- Ranking keywords (an estimate of how many words a site is ranking for)
- You also get data on total links gained and lost in a given time
- data about top followed links to the site, top anchor text used for linking and a chart of linking domains by domain authority.
All these data can be exported for further analysis.
In my view, this is pretty valuable info that you’re getting about a site and you can upgrade to get more detailed information if you prefer.
Mozbar is the SEO toolbar by Moz that gives you information about sites like DA, PA, referring domains etc directly in the SERPs.
Since it is a chrome extension, you can click it on any site you visit to reveal details about the page like:
- On page elements: Page title, meta description, meta keywords, header tags, text formatting and alt text
- Page Attributes: IP address, load time, canonical tags, meta robots, Google cache URL
- Markup: Schema markup, microformats, Twitter card etc.
- Http status of the page
- Link Highlight: You can highlight links based on internal links, external links, and followed status.
The premium version comes with more features like keyword difficulty score and much more.
3) Bulk domain authority checkers: SmallSEOTools
If you want to check domain authority of multiple pages in bulk, you can use tools like SmallSEOTools for the purpose.
Other bulk DA checkers include RobinGupta, PrePostSEO etc.
These DA PA checkers don’t provide you with as much data as Moz’s link Explorer but are more than enough if you just want to compare the DA score of multiple URLs.
Not that you have learned all the basics of domain authority it’s time to understand how you can increase your DA using the right techniques.
To summarize, increasing your domain authority includes improving your SEO, your off page SEO, and an improved branding. Simply put, you need to focus on improving your website to improve your domain authority.
Let’s dive in.
1) Improve your On-page SEO
Having the right on-page SEO is critical in increasing the domain authority. On-page SEO is all about how well optimized is your blog’s content.
On-page has several things which you need to take care in a timely manner.
Here’s a quick checklist of all the on-page SEO factors to keep in mind:
- Have a keyword in your title tag. Also, try and keep the keyword at the beginning of your title but don’t always force it.
- Use SEO friendly URLs that are short and easy to remember and which has the keyword in it.
- Maintain a hierarchy of headings [H1 & H2] in your content.
- While using images in the article, give proper alt tags to all the images for better context.
- Make use of outbound links. Link to relevant articles, show you have done your research, cite sources.
- Internal link all the relevant articles. It’s like giving backlinks to yourself
- Post high-quality long-form content.
- Don’t forget to sprinkle LSI keywords in the article and also try and use the primary keyword in the first 100 words.
I know that’s a lot to digest, so here’s a detailed guide to On-page SEO techniques to help you increase your DA.
Recommended: KWFinder review – Why it’s the best keyword research tool and why you should be using it
2) Write content that attracts backlinks
Recent SEO Trends suggest that building links is not enough, you need to create content that commands links.
The best way to get high-quality contextual links from the biggies in your niche is to create content that people love linking to.
How about an example?
Brian Dean is well-known for creating practical and information-rich articles on his website Backlinko.
I copy pasted his root domain in Ahrefs and clicked on “Best by links.” You will be blown away on how many referring domains he has on a single page of the site.
Check out this image of one of his articles on Google ranking factors that has over 3600+ referring domains and the other data backed article with the topic “Search Engine Rankings” has over 2800+ referring domains.
The best advice I have for you to acquire good links is, link-worthy content. You should make effort to create content that draws link by itself rather than you having to actively build links to them.
For example, if I had to build links to this very article, I’d have to reach out to bloggers in the niche which is a very good strategy but has very less ROI. However, my post on SEO Statistics is such a post that draws links to itself every now and then.
Always try to by cite-worthy.
Pro Tip: Make sure to present your content in easy digestible yet engaging format. Use elements like table of contents, quotes from experts, multimedia, custom made infographics, tables etc to make your content likeable and thus linkable.
Here’s a guide on how to build backlinks safely and increase your domain authority. In case, you are new to link building, here’s a guide on backlinks for beginners.
3) Improve page speed
Google has officially declared page speed as the direct ranking factor. Also, if the website loads fast visitors would love to spend more time on the site.
You can tweak simple things on your site like:
- using a CDN service like Cloudflare, MaxCDN or KeyCDN
- optimizing the image files
- removing the plugins which you don’t use often
- using a cache plugin like W3Total cache, WPRocket or LSCache
- updating WordPress to its latest version
- lazy loading resource intense elements like images, videos etc.
- changing your web font to the system default etc.
In case you find these tips overwhelming, you can hire a developer to do these optimizations for you.
Pro Tip: One more key factors to increase website speed is to get a faster hosting. When I switched to WPX hosting (check my review of WPX hosting) my site loading time improved drastically. They offer free CDN and free site optimization for enhanced loading time.
4) Check if your website is penalized
While Google penalties aren’t related to Moz’s DA rankings in any way, but Google penalties can decrease your website traffic and hence may affect your DA in the long run.
Discussing the A to Z of Google penalties is beyond the scope of this article but if you see traffic fluctuations (or steep drop in traffic) in Google analytics, search console etc then you might be possibly affected by a Google penalty.
Double-check on traffic drops because these days Google’s very erratic on algorithm updates and what you think if a penalty might be a result of any algorithmic change that affected your ranking.
Pro Tip: Make sure to read major publications, talk to fellow bloggers and check on tools like SEMrush (get free trial worth $99.95) to see if the drop is actually the result of an algorithmic change (because then more than one site will be having it).
After that, you can focus on gaining your traffic and search rankings back.
5) Disavow toxic links
If your sites backlink profile is filled with bad and toxic links, the domain authority will not move forward.
Moz favors domains with high-quality contextual links and toxic backlinks or links from low-quality content sites will only increase your Moz spam score.
Checkout on the types of links you should probably stay away from:
- Cheap comment and forum links
- Article directories
- Link networks
- Footer links
- Sitewide links
- Web directory
Many a times your competitors also build such toxic links in the form of negative SEO to pull you down in rankings.
Toxic backlinks need to be checked regularly (and can be done by using tools like SEMrush.
Pro Tip: Need more information about backlinks? We’ve a detailed, easy-to-understand guide on backlinks for beginners to help you know which backlinks to go after.
6) Work on improving technical SEO
Most of the SEOs always boast about on-page and off-page SEO but no one cares about the technical SEO part which plays a huge role in increasing your site DA.
With Google’s core web vital on its way, fixing your technical SEO has become very crucial.
You might find it boring to optimize your robots.txt or sitemap file but it drastically helps the search engines find and understand your site in a much better way.
List of some of the crucial steps which you should do while setting up your website in the initial days:
- Create a robots.txt file with the help of hosting CPanel or Yoast SEO plugin
- Submit your website for indexing by Google and other search engines
- Have an SSL version of the site
- Make sure you noindex author pages and other unnecessary pages from the SERPs
- Create a Google Search Console account and fetch your website
- Add schema markup on to the site
All the above factors will help you set the foundation right from the very beginning and in turn also help increase the domain authority of the site.
7) Up your social media presence
There’s no official news or update available on social signals being a direct ranking factor. However, if you check out the top ranking pages they do have one thing in common and that is large social media share counts.
Not only share counts, having a social media exposure can help you boost your domain authority.
Try being on places your target audiences are. May that be Quora, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.
This will not only drive you referral traffic but also will boost your brand recognition quotient which can further help in improved CTR in SERPs.
It is not that social shares help in ranking directly but they can have an indirect impact.
Let me explain:
Social shares are a token that mean that people found your content useful, interesting or worthy of sharing it with their social media followers.
When done on the right platform and by the right audience, social shares, can bring you loads of traffic.
A social share would also means exposure to your readers’ audience which will help in your brand exposure which will again help in improving familiarity in the SERPs or ad campaigns.
How to increase your social media presence:
- Write articles that are useful and spark a conversation or interest.
- Add a CTA for social shares or better yet,
- Use lightweight social sharing buttons that float on the left side to increase chances of sharing (I use Social Snap for it). Read my detailed review of Social Snap that has tons of other features to help you boost your social media game.
- Here are some tips to increase your Facebook likes and shares
- Check out this guide on pinning tweets on how to leverage pinned tweets to get more traffic.
- Use click to tweet buttons throughout the article
8) Publish articles frequently & also update old articles
Content freshness is a direct ranking signal in Google as stated by Search Engine Watch. Both Google and Moz want to know how recently your web page was updated with fresh content.
You not only have to update the old blog posts but also pump out new articles on your blog frequently.
Check out these actionable tips on how to properly update your old blog posts with fresh new content:
- Add fresh and new information in the existing post and remove the old and outdated information
- Add new images cover more data and graphical images
- Update in a way that your article can be easily scanned
- Rewrite your title and meta description for better search engine visibility
- Try and answer more questions in the post to get the #0 featured snippet rankings
- Check for grammar or punctuation mistakes
- Update the date and re-publish the article
9) Build your brand
Build a brand around your blog is as important as focusing on the SEO part of it.
When you have your own base of loyal fans who love what you do, relate to it and trust you, it helps in building up your brand.
A well known brand helps you in SEO too.
But why take my word for it?
In a research conducted by Search Engine Land and Survey Monkey, they asked nearly 400 consumers” what is most important in helping you decide which results to click on in a search engine search?” and nearly 70% of US consumers said that they look for a “known retailer” to decide what search results to click on.
That’s where branding helps.
Just imagine, when you search for a query and 3rd result out of the top 3 result is a website you know, have bought from and had a good customer experience overall.
Would you not click on the 3rd result instantly?
Similarly, blogs or website owners with a well received brand identity tend to get more mentions or links.
Here are some branding tips for you:
- Try to be real
- Add your own experiences in your blog posts or social media posts (they help people relate to you)
- Focus on injecting your personalty with your writing
- Here’s a guide on how to brand yourself on Twitter
- Partner with influencers and use relationship marketing with fellow bloggers to get more exposure
- Be consistent with your brand identity (color palette, tone etc)
- Create a Facebook group or community around your blog topic. (Please note: We have a thriving community of bloggers on Facebook. Click here to join for free.)
How to increase DA for new websites?
If you want increase the domain authority of your new website, I would say give it some time. In the meantime, follow the above steps to increase your DA.
I would like to stress the fact again that domain authority isn’t a ranking factor and is not used by Google or any other search engines. However, if you still use it make sure to:
- Publish high quality articles,
- Build and earn links,
- Have a good presence on social media platforms,
- Build a brand around your blog, and
- Build a community of raving fans by providing value and differentiating yourself from the rest.
Conclusion: How do I increase my domain authority score?
I hope you liked our guide to increase your domain authority score. The idea is, you need to focus on your blog’s overall growth including content, technical SEO, links and social media presence to move the needle.
Domain authority is a slow game and with patience and persistence with your website maintenance you will get there.
If you still have any doubts about how domain authority works or how to increase your DA, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll see what we can do.
One small request…
If you liked this article, please consider sharing it on your favorite social media platform. It will make my day!
~ Thank you.