Improve Your Website Rankings & Traffic By Improving Your Domain Authority


On the long-running animated series South Park, there’s a recurring joke in which Eric Cartman — arguably the show’s most recognizable and controversial character — exclaims “Respect my authoritah!” when attempting to exert dominance over others. While his demand often elicits laughter from the audience, your website and its “authority” are no laughing matter. 

In fact, in order to increase the amount of quality leads to your business’s website and enjoy the increased engagement and revenue that tend to follow, you’ll need to get serious about ranking higher in search engine results, which means convincing search engines, like Google and Yahoo, to think more highly of your website and respect its “domain authority.”


What is Domain Authority?

The concept of domain authority (DA) started in 2006, when Moz, a provider of inbound marketing analytics software, created the domain authority metric — a score of 0 (worst) to 100 (best) that attempts to capture how trustworthy and useful a website is and predict how it would rank in search engine results pages (SERPs), especially within the context of its industry or subject matter. Unlike page authority (PA), a metric that predicts the strength of individual pages, DA focuses on an entire domain or subdomains.  

Since Moz released their DA assessment tool, countless similar alternatives have popped up online, including those from Ahrefs, Majestic, and SEMRUSH, each using its own combination of factors, including website’s traffic, relevance, user experience, backlinks, and domain age, to come to its proprietary score. 

While these typically free tools can provide some helpful insight, the data can often be difficult to comprehend and it can be confusing as to just what steps you’re to take next. This is why we highly encourage you to seek expert help to boost your DA. At M:7 Agency, we’ll run a free comprehensive report, walk you through the data, and then work with you to develop a highly effective growth strategy.

Click here to see how we dramatically improved the domain authority and search results for our client CAI.  


Does DA Really Matter?

Whether or not the DA metric is actually used by Google and other search engines is a bit of a mystery. If so, it’s likely hidden deep in the algorithms, causing some to argue it has no relevance if it isn’t used in search engine rankings. However, even if the metric doesn’t directly affect searches, improving your domain authority most definitely leads to better rankings which is essential to getting more people to your website and outranking your competition

Besides the fact that people are more likely to click on websites they regard as reliable and authoritative, several studies have demonstrated a noticeable relationship between domain authority and search engine results pages (SERPs), finding that better DA scores often correlate to increased web traffic and higher rankings.

Domain authority is subsequently a key element of any effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and marketing plan. Higher DA can also bring in more high-quality backlinks, which, as you’ll read, goes a long way in creating site credibility, stronger SEO, and more traffic, which inevitably raises DA scores even higher. 


How to Know Your DA Score

You can typically check your domain authority score on the website of the particular provider who offers such a tool. For instance, you can type in your website’s root URL at Link Explorer for your Moz DA numbers. Keep in mind that some of these sites ask for your email or that you subscribe before delivering the results. 

Now, getting your DA score from an online provider won’t help you if you have no idea what to do with it. Reach out to our search experts today for expert help deciphering your score and using the data to your advantage. 


How to Assess Your DA Score

You may ask then, what is a good domain authority score? That’s a tricky question, as the answer is relative to each unique tool and its common ranges. On Moz, for instance, a score of 30–50 is generally considered good while scores above 60 are seen as exceptionally good. 

However, it’s not just about having a high number; it’s also about having one that is as high or higher than similar sites and those of competitors. At M:7, we can provide you with a thorough report breaking down your score and the factors which contributed to it, including your overall site health. We’ll also give you next-level insights, such as a list of competitors and the best keywords to help improve SEO, while equipping you with a full outlook and optimal strategy to move forward toward greater DA.  

Now, if your scores seem surprisingly low at first, there’s no need to panic, as there are a number of reasons why that may be happening as well as plenty of ways to boost your scores. If your site is pretty new, it may not have even been recognized by search engine indexes yet. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for websites to rank in search engines like Google and Yahoo. Even when a new website is seen by search engines, its DA score is going to start at the lowest level (1 for Moz) on many of them. 

An important thing to keep in mind is that growing your DA score is a long-term process, taking months to years to achieve one that facilitates real results. In the meantime, because your DA can fluctuate, it’s important for you to monitor changes and identify the reasons for them as you progress. So, how can you improve your domain authority? 


6 Steps to Improve Your DA Score

Raising your DA score takes considerable effort as well as a good grasp of what works best. By consistently implementing the following 6 steps, you should see vast improvement of your domain authority over time.


1. Prioritize Key SEO Elements

Practically all of the content on your webpages plays a part in your search rankings, from copy and images to layout and navigation. Because SEO and DA are intertwined, it’s important that you do all you can to build your pages and create content that boosts your SEO. This involves utilizing best SEO practices, such as choosing and placing the right keywords and keyphrases in your content, optimizing meta titles and descriptions, providing a satisfying user experience, and weaving strong links throughout.


2. Incorporate Strong, Credible Links

The Internet works best when it creates a harmonious, collaborative environment, where websites connect, interact with, and support each other. This is how information and opinions are best accessed, shared, and discussed. That’s likely why search engines favor the most useful, credible websites in their search rankings. A key reflection of such websites is the way they hyperlink, or link, with other sites and pages across the Web. 

There are three common types of online links: external links, internal links, and backlinks. External links are ones you place in your own content that send readers to outside sources. Internal links are those you use in your own content to lead readers to another page on your site. Backlinks, also inbound or incoming links, are ones that others put in their content and websites that lead traffic to your page. 

On a physical chain, the stronger the links, the stronger the chain. The same goes for hyperlinks. Just like your keywords, you have to be strategic in the links you pick and where you place them. Search engines will respect your site more when they link to and from trustworthy, reputable sites that have high DAs themselves and are relevant to your content. You should be linking with educational sources, businesses, media, articles, studies, and so forth that pertain to your industry and subject matter. Meanwhile, you should always avoid misleading links, dead links, and links to direct competitors.

While internal and external links both contribute to your DA score by improving the overall user experience, backlinks are the most significant when it comes to domain authority, as they not only increase incoming traffic but they also show search engines that other sources find your content useful and relevant. 

Conducting a link audit is a great way to assess your current linking strategy so you can improve upon them. This will help you find and remove toxic backlinks from questionable sites and concentrate on adding SEO-friendlier links in the future.   


3. Provide Quality Content

The easiest way to earn natural backlinks from quality websites is to create quality content yourself, the kind that others will want to use to help support their own. From webpage body copy to blogs and reports, you’ll want to make sure your content is up-to-date, beneficial, and meaningful to your target audience and industry. You’ll want to produce that content regularly and strive to provide more engaging, more unique takes on that information compared to your competitors.  

Coupled with earned media, your owned media, like blog pages, brand journalism, and press releases, can go a long way in creating those links and connections between your page and other Internet pages that are so critical to your DA. When you and your business become a more respected thought leader in your industry, more people will come to rely on your information, thus increasing traffic and backlink opportunities. If you don’t have this type of content already, it’s time to think about adding it to your overall SEO strategy.


4. Compare Your Site to Competitor Sites

You should always have an eye on your nearest competitors to inspire and motivate you to do things better at all levels of your business, and this includes your website and its DA. As mentioned earlier, online tools can help you keep track of your competitors and their DAs. You can then study their websites, analyze the quality of their content, links, and user experience, then emulate what they’re doing right and take advantage of opportunities to do it better. 


5. Deploy an Omni-Channel Strategy

Because increased traffic also leads to higher DA, it’s essential that you incorporate other digital channels, such as social media, advertising, and emails, into your online marketing strategy in order to drive more people to your site. By heightening your brand visibility and engagement in the online places your target audience frequents, you’ll increase the awareness and credibility that leads to higher DA. Even non-digital channels, like print and broadcast, can and should lead potential customers to your site. Consistent, integrated omni-channel messaging with callouts to visit your site, therefore, is your optimal path toward higher DA.  


6. Maximize Your Business Relationships

For most businesses to succeed, they have to create and nurture strong relationships with other businesses, clients, vendors, media, community organizations, and others that have some stake in your operations. Believe it or not, this vast network can also help with your DA when they support your online presence, through everything from links and testimonials to guest blogging. Oftentimes, this is a mutually beneficial setup where you do the same for them, but the backscratching is well worth it when it enhances your domain authority. 


Taking these six steps should help you get search engines to start respecting your domain authority. Again, it’s important to remember that it takes time, so don’t expect to see meaningful results right away. With consistent, progressive application, you’ll eventually see your website rise in the rankings.  

For a comprehensive report analyzing your domain authority, a detailed strategy for growth, and the high-quality content creation you need to improve your DA, reach out to M:7 Agency today to tap into our wide array of strategic services.