If you’re a marketing expert and know about SEO, you have surely come across the term Domain Authority. It’s a useful metric that many SEO professionals use to assess how likely content is to rank in the SERPs.
Everyone interprets the relevance of domain authority differently. That makes the concept quite confusing.
This blog post will cover everything you need to know about Domain Authority in an easy-to-follow guide. You’ll learn what Domain Authority is, which tools use the metric and discover some ways to improve the Domain Authority of your WordPress site.
What is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority (DA) is a metric developed by Moz, an SEO software company. Every website is assigned a score from 0-100. The higher the score, the more likely your content will organically rank on Google without any backlinks.
The lower the score, the less chance your content will rank on Google.
The DA is assigned by analyzing numerous SEO metrics. For example, the number of authority backlinks to your site, linking root domains, where your content is ranking in the search results, etc.
Keep in mind; your DA is a score for your whole site.
You also have a specific score for each page on your site. That is known as Page Authority (PA). A page ranking high in the SERPs will have a higher PA than a site with no backlinks and no traffic.
The score for DA is progressively harder to improve. Getting your score from 0-10, for example, is a lot easier than improving your score from 50-55.
Domain Authority is not a metric used by Google. It is a metric that approximates how the Google algorithm works.
So why should you care about your DA?
You use DA for keyword research to calculate how likely you are to rank in the search results for specific terms. For example, if everyone ranking for a specific keyword has a low DA and you have a much higher DA, it might be worth writing a blog post or creating a sales page targeting that keyword.
That’s a vast oversimplification of how to use DA for SEO, but it should give you the idea.
So now you understand the basics of Domain Authority. You understand a bit about how it works and why it matters. Let’s move onto the next section.
How To Calculate Domain Authority?
Checking your website’s DA score is straightforward. Many SEO tools give you access to a DA checker. Below are a few that can provide a valuable reference.
Tools That Use DA
Moz developed the metric of domain authority, which makes it the major contender. As you browse any website on Moz, you will get a DA score of the site you are browsing along with the page authority of the specific URL.
Alongside Moz, some of the other tools that use DA include SEMRush, and Majestic. There are also a lot of sites that offer a free DA checking service. These tools utilize an API to get results from sites like Moz.
Ahrefs does not provide you with a DA score. They developed an independent SEO metric called Domain Rating. Domain Rating (DR) has many similarities to DA but some key differences.
The Ahrefs DR ranks a site from 0-100. Like DA, the higher the score, the more powerful the site. Unlike DA, though, DR puts more emphasis on the number of referring domains. That means you’ll find some sites with a high DR, but low site traffic. You won’t see such a correlation with DA.
6 Ways To Improve Domain Authority of WordPress Site
Now you know how DA works and how to check your DA. Here are a few practical strategies you can apply to increase your website authority:
1. Create Killer Content
Long articles get three times more traffic, four times more shares, and 3.5 times more backlinks than shorter articles. Since content is so important, you need to know how to create articles and sales pages that earn backlinks and rank on Google.
When creating killer content for your WordPress site, always focus on the user. Your goal is to create content people find engaging and useful.
Thankfully, making this type of content is getting increasingly easier thanks to a new generation of SEO tools for content writing. Two of the market leaders in this space are Surfer SEO and Clearscope (though there are plenty of alternatives). Both tools work in a similar way. Let me explain.
Tools like Clearscope analyze the first 30 or so search results for the keyword you’re targeting. It then identifies the commonalities between the ranking pieces of content. Those commonalities include:
- The average article length
- Common keywords and phrases (plus keyword density for these terms)
- Common headings
The tools then generate a report.
The report is like a framework for the article or sales page you are creating. You can use those insights to structure your article better.
That will help you optimize your content for SEO.
Next, you need to consider the tone of the writing. You can use content style guides to ensure the written content aligns with your brand. You should also provide a grammar and punctuation checker to your writers to ensure that the articles they produce don’t have any mistakes.
2. Run Guest Post Campaigns
One of the most effective ways to increase the DA of your website is through guest blogging. Guest blogging allows you to connect with other sites in your niche and generate wider exposure for your business.
Running a guest post campaign can be difficult, but the approach is straightforward.
First, you need to create a list of relevant sites where you can submit a guest post. You don’t necessarily need any tools to run this type of campaign. For example, you could search for the following keywords in Google:
- Niche + guest posting
- Niche + become a guest contributor
- Niche + contribute
A faster way to find guest post opportunities is to use an SEO tool to create a list of relevant sites. For example, you could use a tool like Ahrefs and look at the backlink profile of an authority site in your niche.
You can then find out if those sites accept guest posts and pitch ideas. For a more comprehensive overview of the whole process, read this helpful guide.
While it takes time to pitch and write guest posts, it is a great way to improve the DA of your WordPress site. There are other advantages as well—for example, referral traffic and exposure to a new audience, amongst others.
3. Focus on Usability
Usability is an important ranking factor on Google. If you want your content to rank in the search results and get people to link to your content, you need to provide site visitors with a great user experience.
Choosing the right WordPress theme is important. You want a theme that is mobile responsive and looks good. Depending on your needs, you might want a custom WordPress page builder to design your custom sales page.
Another consideration is website speed. You want a WordPress theme that loads fast.
Hopefully, the WordPress theme you like loads quickly. If it doesn’t, then you’ll need to add some plugins to optimize page load times. There are lots of plugins available that optimize different elements of site speed.
One of the best plugins I recently encountered is NitroPack. The plugin has an auto-optimize feature for WordPress sites that drastically improves your site speed.
It’s particularly good at optimizing mobile load speed.
Implementing strategies that improve usability will ensure visitors have a better experience on your site. Providing a better experience means you’re more likely to acquire backlinks naturally. People are also likely to stay on your site longer, which will also benefit your DA.
4. Conduct Competitor Analysis
Regardless of the niche that you are operating in, you’ll always face competitors. If you’re the biggest website in your niche, you’ll want to monitor what other sites which are hoping to make their content rank in the SERPs are doing. If you’re a small business looking to establish a foothold in your sector, you should analyze what other companies did that worked in your niche.
Essentially, regardless of how you are performing, you need to monitor and learn from your competitors. Specifically, you want to look at:
- Type of content they are creating
- Keywords they are targeting
- Backlinks they are securing
By monitoring what your competitors are doing, you can either imitate their approach or develop a better strategy. That’s important in business because there are a lot of clever marketers out there.
There are many helpful tools to track competitors, many of which can create automated reports. It is a great way to check how your SEO efforts impact your website.
5. Try PR Link Building Campaigns
One interesting strategy you could try to improve the Domain Authority of your WordPress site is to run a PR link-building campaign. It’s difficult to implement an effective campaign, but the results can be impressive.
A nice example of a clever PR campaign is the GAME Christmas Tinner. They launched the campaign in December 2019 to get a page on “gaming chairs” ranking for Christmas.
Here’s a screenshot of the page. You can see the link for “gaming chair” nicely highlighted. The Christmas Tinner looks delicious.
With a page created, and an idea for a campaign in place, GAME started reaching out to journalists. The tongue-in-cheek campaign picked up a lot of attention in the press.
That attention generated backlinks from plenty of authority sites.
Those links generated traffic to the target page and boosted the site’s DA.
These types of PR campaigns are difficult to run. You need an original thinker in your marketing team to develop a great idea for a campaign. However, if you have such a person on your team, you can get great results.
6. Use Plugins to Facilitate Social Engagement
Use WordPress plugins aligned to your goal or campaign to increase your social media engagement on various platforms. There are some great social media plugins available that you should try.
For example, you can add a social media plugin like NovaShare to your site. The plugin makes it easy for people who like your content to share it online with friends and followers.
Social Auto Poster is another social media plugin you can use. This tool allows you to auto-post content on social media. Contests and polls attract audiences, too. You can use plugins like Contest Hopper to create contests for your social media page to promote your WordPress site.
Domain authority is crucial to your SEO success. While a low DA score doesn’t mean your website won’t perform, it still predicts how your website can rank in SERPs.
So, find ways to increase your DA score. Make your website mobile-friendly, create shareable content, and replicate your competitor’s backlinks. Run guest post campaigns, use plugins to facilitate social engagement, and provide a great user experience.
Don’t be too obsessed with a DA score, though. Instead, try to focus on the bigger picture and work on the different factors that will contribute to your solid rankings in Google. Good luck!