If you are here, you already understand the importance of GOOD domain authority (DA) and how it can benefit your rankings on search results. So, we won’t talk about definitions.
Instead, we’ll delve straight into the steps to increase domain authority — even as a beginner.
Here is a little heads-up:
Domain authority (DA) is not the same as domain rating (DR). The former is a Moz term, while the latter is Ahrefs’.
Regardless, having a great DA/DR score is a good sign your site will rank high on search results.
That said, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect in this article:
- How to check your site’s domain authority – the tools to use
- How is domain authority calculated
- Actual steps to increase your site’s domain authority
How To Check Your Website’s Domain Authority
As much as you want to increase your site’s DA/DR right now, you must know where you are. Is the current rating poor, average, or good?
But why should you care?
Knowing your current DA/DR will help draft your action plan. You’ll affirm if you should actively increase the DA/DR or maintain it.
So, how can you check?
Fortunately, there are tools you can use: domain authority checkers. We’ll list the top ones below and show you how to use them.
The best part:
The domain authority checkers listed below are FREE.
If you don’t have an Ahrefs subscription already, you should. It is one of the best SEO tools to boost your site’s visibility.
But even without a subscription, you can use Ahrefs to check your site’s domain ratings. Here is how:
- Visit Ahrefs “Website Authority Checker” page
- Input your domain in the “enter domain” space and click “check authority.”
PS: we shall be using “semrush.com” as our sample domain to check the consistency of the checkers.
Moz is another top SEO tool. But you don’t need the “entire” functionality to check your site’s DA/DR. The MozBar — a Google Chrome Plugin — will suffice.
The best part: the plugin will save you the time of inputting domains one after the other. The tool will display the score on every page you visit — even Google search results.
Also, you’ll get a snapshot of other vital details like the spam score of your URL and keyword difficulty.
So, how does the MozBar work?
- Download the MozBar toolbar
- Add the toolbar to your Chrome and log in (sign up for a free Moz account)
Now, visit your URL. For our example, we’ll use Semrush.
You’ll find the DR score at the top bar.
Ahrefs rates Semrush as a 91 DR. Moz’s rating of Semrush, on the other hand, is 89 DA. Let’s see what the last tool says.
Ubersuggest, owned by Neil Patel, is another popular SEO tool you can use to check your DA ratings. And fortunately, the process is not complex.
Just follow the same steps we took while using Ahrefs Website Authority Checker.
Here is a quick run-down:
- Visit the Ubersuggest homepage
- Input your domain in the “enter a domain or a keyword” bar and click “search.”
- Check the left tab; select traffic estimation > traffic overview
Again, we’re using Semrush as the test domain.
A quick note: Ubersuggest and Moz check for DA. That is why the rating score is the same.
With the varied scores, chances are that you are confused. Which one of the checkers should you rely on?
Use Ahrefs for DR and either Moz or Ubersuggest for DA. But if you are checking strictly for DA, use Moz!
So, what next?
Let’s discuss how the checkers decide domain authority ratings. That will further help you understand what you must do to increase or manage your site’s DA.
How Is Domain Authority Calculated – What You Must Know
Domain authority checkers use varied parameters to determine a site’s DA. So, there are no general “contributing factors” to monitor.
Nevertheless, we’ll narrow down the likely factors.
That said, we’ll check what Ahrefs and Moz checkers use.
According to the resources from Ahrefs’ blog, the Website Authority Checker considers three factors to determine a site’s DR.
- The number of sites linking to the domain you’re checking
- The domain rating of the linking domains
- How many “sites” do the linking domains link to?
BTW, once a domain links to yours, that’s one point. Ahref won’t count the number of times the site links to yours.
Note: the linking sites are called referring domains.
Also, the quality of the referring domains matters. What are their DR scores?
Bottomline: the higher the DR of your referring domains, the higher the chances of your site having a high DR.
And here’s an even more INTERESTING twist: if the owner of a referring domain improved its DR significantly, your site will also benefit.
Lastly, if a referring domain links out to several sites, the authority it passes gets diffused and almost insignificant. But if it rarely links out or only refers to a few, your site will receive more boost.
Despite having a different term, DA, Moz considers the same factors as Ahrefs’ DR. They are:
- The number of links linking to a domain
- The quality (metrics) of the links and their root domain
Whether you’re working on improving your site’s DA or DR, the factors are the same. Check the number of referring domains linking to you and the quality of their links.
If you sense that a referring domain links to several sites suspiciously, they are likely “link farms” or PBNs. Avoid such domains.
That said, shall we discuss the steps you must take to increase your site’s DA/DR?
5 Steps To Increase The Domain Authority Of Your Site
Regardless of whatever any SEO guru tells you, DA/DR revolves around your site’s ability to attract quality links. The more links you acquire, the more credibility search engines will attach to you. And as a result, you’ll rank higher on search engines.
However, attracting quality links is too broad. Below are 5 specific steps you can take to achieve the goal.
Work On Your Website
Before you think of attracting links, you must prepare the RIGHT base. Is your site attractive?
How is the navigation on your site? Redundant and time-wasting?
Talking about time, how fast does your site load? What’s your bounce rate?
Furthermore, is your site mobile-friendly?
In summary, set up your site to be attractive. That is the first step to getting quality links.
Lastly, build a systematic internal linking strategy. This will help you channel authority to money pages when the external juice drips in from the referring domains.
Now that your website is attractive, what next?
Create Content That Attracts Links
Creating GOOD content isn’t enough to get links from authority sources. They already have such on their sites and more on queue.
In other words, you need a unique perspective on a general idea or a new topic entirely.
So, how do you do that?
- Bank on what’s working
- Offer value first
About banking on what’s working, check what the top guns in your niche are writing about. How?
We wrote this article on how to find competitors’ backlinks. It will guide you!
Now you have the content that gets links. Find ways to make it better. Do you have new studies or reports to beef up the idea?
Is there a contrasting view that readers should know?
More importantly, can you tell interesting topics of real-life results of the strategies used?
It’ll be best if the stories are from you or your clients.
Now, let’s talk about the value part!
You must understand that not everyone is online to buy immediately. Even if that were true, prospects still need information and a bit of education.
In other words, you can’t be salesy with your content. Offer value, and write informational content that will help readers solve a problem.
If possible, create a free tool on your website. This could be a calculator — something unique to your niche and site. That alone will fetch you tons of traffic and links.
Fun fact: Ahrefs backlink checker proves that free tools are natural “link magnets.” It fetched links from at least 1800 referring domains.
Guest Post On High Authority Sites
Guest posting isn’t just getting your name and resources on external pages. It meets Moz and Ahrefs requirements for a good DA/DR. How?
By guest posting on a high authority site, you’re leveraging their DA/DR to build yours. And when the site does not give links out unnecessarily, the effect will be significant.
However, you must guest post on sites in your niche. That way, you can leverage their DA/DR and audience — since you are targeting the same people.
So, how does this work?
The easiest method is to find sites where your competitors are currently guest posting. Check through their guest posting requirement and offer to write top-notch content.
Another method is Google search:
- Type in your “niche” + “guest posts” on Google’s search bar.
- Assuming you already installed MozBar, pick 3-5 sites with DA 70+ from the Google search results. Check their guest post submission requirements.
- Reach out!
Outreach is crucial to link building and your site’s DA/DR. Either to blogs, journalists, or influencers, you must do outreach.
Outreach is even more crucial when your DA is low. At this point, we’re assuming no one knows you.
In summary, outreach makes you known. It allows you to put your best feet forward — in this case, the kickass content you have written.
Note: outreach is broad. You can use it to ask, buy, earn, or exchange links.
Whichever one of the options you adopt, ensure you don’t violate Google Link Spam policies. Otherwise, you can lose all your rankings.
Leverage Unlinked Mentions
This is the last straw in increasing your site’s DA. By now, we expect that you are about more “maintenance” than “actively increasing.” Why?
At this stage, people already know you.
What if no one knows you yet?
Go back to step 1. Implement all the clues and gradually move to step 4. When you’re “popular,” then implement the following instructions:
- Visit Google Alerts
- Set up alerts for when your brand name is mentioned
- You can set spelling variations as many as you want
- Once notified of a mention, reach out to the publication or author. Since they already know you, getting a backlink won’t be a hectic task.
BTW, you don’t have to reach out to all mentions. Check if their sites have a GOOD DA and are not spammy dumps. Otherwise, don’t bother.
FAQS About Increasing Domain Authority
How To Increase Domain Authority Fast?
Unfortunately, there is no fast way to increase your site’s DA. Even if there was, it would violate Google’s Link Spam policies.
Instead of fast, focus on building your DA sustainably.
Nevertheless, focus on sites actively growing their DA as your referring domains. That would skyrocket your ratings significantly in a short period.
How Long Does It Take To Increase DA?
The time taken to increase your DA depends entirely on you, really. If you implement the tips discussed, you can expect results in as little as 3 months.
However, if you delay the necessary steps, you can be looking at a 9-month timeline.
What if the process is hectic?
You can always get help!
What Is A Good DA?
DA/DR is measured on a 100-point scale. As with anything on that scale, 70 and above is good.
But even when you get to the 70 mark, don’t stop. Keep improving —try the 80-85 mark.
Ultimately, your niche will determine what is GOOD for you. If your competitors are within the 40-60 range, you’ll be at the top with a 70 mark.
What Is The Difference Between DA And DR?
Undoubtedly, DA and DR are some of the most confusing terms in the SEO world. They seem to mean the same, but they are slightly different. Here is how:
- DR summarizes your backlink profile
- DA predicts your site’s chances of ranking on search engine result pages
Increasing Your Site’s DA Is A Good Investment
You can never go wrong by actively increasing your site’s domain authority. And considering that the process gives you exposure and connection opportunities, it is a no-brainer.
And fortunately, you have all the steps you need to take. Let us know if you need further help!